Loading
Despite vocation shortage, God continually calls men and women to serve his Church, says Pope
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- As the Church prepares to celebrate the World Day of Prayer for Vacations, due to be held in May, the Holy Father is stressing that although many corners of the world currently face a priestly shortage, God continues to call men to “take care of his people” through the priesthood.

Today the Vatican made public Pope Benedict XVI’s Message for the 43rd annual prayer day, which falls on May 7th. It’s theme this year is “Vocation in the Mystery of the Church.”

In his message, dated March 5th, the Pope writes that "The weight of two millennia of history makes it difficult to perceive the novelty of the fascinating mystery of divine adoption which lies at the center of St. Paul's teaching."

He added that "We are called to live as brothers and sisters of Christ, to consider ourselves as sons and daughters of the same Father. This a gift that overturns all exclusively human ideas and projects."

In this light, the Pope asked "What, then, must we say of the temptation, so strongly felt in our own time, to think ourselves so self-sufficient as to shut ourselves off from the mysterious plan God has for us? The love of the Father, revealed in the person of Christ, calls out to us."

Benedict pointed out that through the centuries, men and women, "transformed by divine love, have consecrated their lives to the cause of the Kingdom," and "through Christ have known the mystery of the Father's love."

These people, he said, "represent the multiplicity of vocations that have always been present in the Church."

The Holy Father went on to describe the Second Vatican Council's universal call to sanctity. In each generation, he said, Christ "calls individuals to take care of His people; in particular He calls men to the priestly ministry to exercise a paternal function.“

He stressed that “The priest's mission in the Church is irreplaceable. Therefore, even though some areas suffer a shortage of clergy, we must not lose the conviction that Christ continues to call men" to the priesthood.”

He added that "Another special vocation occupying a place of honor in the Church is the call to consecrated life.”

Although these men and women “undertake various forms of service in the field of human formation and care for the poor, in education and in assistance to the sick, [consecrated people],” the Pope said, “do not consider these activities as the principle aim of their lives because, as the Code of Canon Law says: 'Contemplation of divine things and assiduous union with God in prayer is to be the first and foremost duty of all religious'."

As he concluded his message, Pope Benedict issued a call to pray "for vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life,” saying that “The Church's sanctity depends essentially on her union with Christ and her openness to the mystery of grace at work in the hearts of believers.”

“For this reason,” he said, “I would like to invite all the faithful to cultivate an intimate relationship with Christ, Master and Pastor of His people, imitating Mary who guarded the divine mysteries in her heart and contemplated them assiduously."

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 8:4-15

Gospel
Date
09/20/14
09/19/14
09/18/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: 1 Cor 15: 35-37, 42-49
Gospel:: Lk 8: 4-15

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
09/20/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 8:4-15

Homily
Date
09/20/14
09/19/14
09/18/14