I'd like to add this: We, the Church, are called the Body of Christ, and also the Bride of Christ. As Christ laid down His life for the Church, so His priests lay down their lives for her also. Without that intent, serving can shift into just another job or a huge ego boost. Within intimacy, the man is the initiator and the woman, receives him. This is echoed in the relationship God has with the world. He initiated contact. He initiated salvation. He initiated a relationship by first giving us His Holy Spirit. We, in turn, receive in joyful gladness.
This may be another reason why I don't agree with women as senior pastors of a church. They were not given the role of initiator, but as one who receives. The Blessed Mother Mary did not approach God, asking for Him to choose her. God approached her and initiated the divine conception.
Years ago, I wrote a letter to the editor of my diocesan paper addressing something that no doubt had appeared in its pages at the time (I don't remember now!)...but its crux was about women and the priesthood. In the letter, I simply mentioned that out of all the women I'd ever heard talk about ordination, all the women who chafed at being "only" women within the Church, not ONE of them ever said, "I want to be a priest because I feel called to lay down my life in sacrificial service, just as Christ did." They said, "I want to be a priest because it's only right and fair that the power of the Church be shared among men and women equally."
So this was their noble "calling": not one of sacrifice but one in which they could grab a share of power, authority, and visibility. It was about "privilege" (as in, you have privileges I want and I'M ENTITLED TO THEM!). Sometimes, it was about anger ("I'm sick and tired of stupid, patriarchal priests lording it over us women when we do all the work.")
But it was never, EVER about sacrifice. It was never, EVER about giving. It was about taking, and seizing power, and Changing the Church to Recognize Reality.
To this day, even among women I know who honestly (if misguidedly) feel "called" to the priesthood and are heartbroken because that big nasty male-dominated Roman teaching authority Just Doesn't Understand Their Gift...at the end of the day, it's STILL not about sacrifice. It's about what "I" feel called to do, what "I" want, what role "I" desperately want to fulfill in the Church, and the role GOD IS CALLING ME TO DO--it MUST be, because I want it so badly!
Whereas with all the holy, truly good male priests I talk to, and hear from...you can't go a sentence into a conversation with most of them before you hear the "S" word. They refer to their calling as a gift, not as their due, not as something they've earned, and not as something they're somehow "owed" by God. And they don't say the word "sacrifice" as if it's something I'M supposed to do, and they're NOT. They say the word as if it's something we're ALL called to do, together...and something that, by its nature, is difficult at times. If it weren't, it wouldn't be a sacrifice in the first place. :-)
But then again, if salvation were easy...God's Son wouldn't have had to die a criminal's death to procure it for us, either. Of course, maybe God should have sent a daughter to die instead--and then the whole equation would make more sense to these people? One can only wonder.
Obedience is much simpler. Easy? Maybe not always. But simpler? And more blessed? Yes, and yes.