Pope Benedict’s Wisdom for Priests and Seminarians

Enjoy these words from an address given by Pope Benedict XVI to Priests, Religious, and Seminarians.  Few say it better than him.  God bless you and please continue to have a safe and happy Summer!

VATICAN CITY, 3 OCT 2010 (VIS) – At 5 p.m. today in
the cathedral of Palermo, Italy, the Holy Father met with clergy, consecrated
people and seminarians.

  Following some minutes in adoration before the
Blessed Sacrament, the Pope addressed those present.

He began by speaking to priests, encouraging
them “always to be men of prayer in order, also, to be teachers of
prayer”. In this context he noted how “it is not easy to remain
faithful to these daily appointments with the Lord, especially today when the
rhythm of life has become so frenetic and our occupations absorb ever more
time. Yet we must convince ourselves that the moment of prayer is fundamental,
because it is there that divine grace acts most effectively, making our
ministry fruitful. There are many pressing matters, but if we are not in inner
communion with God we can give nothing, not even to others”.

  After then highlighting how “the Eucharist
is the source and summit of Christian life”, the Pope asked: “What
care do we take in preparing ourselves for Mass? In celebrating it? In
remaining in adoration? Are our churches truly ‘houses of the Lord’ where His
presence attracts people who, unfortunately, today often feel the absence of
God?

  “A priest always and immutably finds the
source of his identity in Christ the Priest”, the Holy Father added.
“It is not the world that defines his status, according to its
requirements and its conception of social roles. … A priest exists for the
faithful; he encourages them and supports them in the exercise of their common
priesthood as baptised individuals, in their journey of faith, in cultivating
hope and living in charity, the love of Christ. Dear priests, always show
particular concern for the world of youth. As the Venerable John Paul II said
in this land, throw wide open the doors of your parishes to young people, that
they may throw open their hearts to Christ. May they never find those doors
closed”.

  The Pope went on: “Priests cannot distance
themselves from the daily concerns of the People of God. Quite the contrary,
they must remain very close to those concerns, but as priests”. Recalling
then the anniversary of the murder of Fr. Pino Puglisi, a Palermitan priest
killed by the mafia, the Pope noted how “he had a heart aflame with true
pastoral charity. He dedicated a large part of his zealous ministry to
educating children and young people, at the same time struggling to ensure that
all Christian families fulfilled their fundamental vocation as primary
educators of their children’s faith. The people entrusted to his pastoral care
were able to draw nourishment from the spiritual wealth of this good pastor,
the cause for whose beatification is currently underway. I encourage you to
preserve a living memory of his fruitful priestly witness, and to imitate his
heroic example”.

  Turning then to address members of institutes
of consecrated life and cloistered monks and nuns, the Holy Father encouraged
them “always to follow Christ without comprise, … thus bearing witness
to the beauty of being Christian in such a radical way. … Your presence and
your lifestyle infuse the ecclesial community with a vital impulse towards the
‘high degree’ of Christian life. Indeed, we could say that your existence is
like a sermon, extremely eloquent though often silent”, he said.

  The Pope concluded his remarks by addressing
the seminarians present. “Respond generously to the call of the Lord, …
becoming increasingly identified with Christ the High Priest, and preparing
yourselves for the mission with a solid human, spiritual, theological and
cultural formation. … Commit yourselves to this time of grace and conserve in
your hearts the joy and enthusiasm of the first moment of your call and your
‘yes’ to Christ.”

 

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About erievocations

I am a priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie, PA. I am an Assistant Vocations Director, tasked with the promotion of seminary recruitment. My blog deals with discernment of vocations, especially to the priesthood, as well as our universal call to be holy.
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