The role of a priest is to help people pass from death to life. He has no other calling, no other purpose, no other job to do. Everything a priest does serves this one thing: PASCHA.
The life of every human being is a passage from darkness to light, from deadening passions to enlivening peace. Even the priest himself is making this passage. The one who heals is himself being healed.
I've often wondered why God has chosen to put his Spirit in clay pots, containers made of dirt. Why doesn't God use angels? Why has God chosen to reveal Himself by hiding in the hearts of sinful people? St. Paul says that it is so that the "surpassing power" may be clearly seen as from God and not from man. Sometimes, I confess, the power doesn't seem very surpassing, or very powerful--not that I doubt the power of God--but the dirtiness of the clay is all I can see sometimes.
And yet a light shines in the darkness. The trick is to turn to and follow the light. With our clergy, there will always be plenty of darkness to distract us if that is what we fixate on. God's treasure is in jars of clay. But there is also light, sometimes faint, perhaps, but sparks in the darkness, hints of holiness, brief moments of clarity that point the way to salvation. These are what we must follow. For this is how God has chosen to guide us: through His Spirit hidden in jars of clay.