On Monday morning candidates from the Holy See’s school for training diplomats had the opportunity to meet with Pope Benedict XVI. The key to success in their work, the Pope said, is to love and remain united to Christ and the Church.
The students of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, the institution which trains candidates for the Holy See diplomatic service, along with Archbishop Beniamino Stella, president of the academy, heard the Holy Father explain his insight into their service.
"Apart from the necessary juridical, theological and diplomatic training", the Pope told them, "what is most important is that your lives and activities should reflect a faithful love for Christ and for the Church which arouses in you a friendly pastoral concern towards everyone."
Regardless of what specific task they are called to, the Pope said that, "Unity with Christ is the secret of authentic success for the ministry of each priest.” He continued, saying, “ensure that you always remain His true friends, faithful friends who have met Him and have learned to love Him above all else. Communion with Him, the divine Master of our souls, will ensure you serenity and peace even in the most complex and difficult moments."
The Pope also addressed the pitfalls of the world that the future diplomats will minister in.
Faced with the danger "of losing the meaning of life," and of "a certain contemporary culture that casts doubt upon any kind of absolute value, even the possibility of recognizing truth and goodness", said Pope Benedict, "we must bear witness to the presence of God, a God Who understands man and knows how to speak to his heart."
"Announce the Truth that is Christ!” he encouraged the men. “May prayer, meditation and listening to the Word of God be your daily bread."
Also of great importance is the daily celebration of the Eucharist, the Holy Father said as he reflected on the source of strength and love that can be found there. “It is not possible to approach the Lord every day, to pronounce these tremendous moving words, 'this is my Body, this is my Blood', ... to take the Body and Blood of the Lord in our hands, without allowing ourselves to be seized by Him, ... without allowing His infinite love to change us within. May the Eucharist become a school of life for you, in which Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross teaches you to give yourselves totally to your fellow man.”
Benedict XVI finished his address by telling the diplomats in training that their role is to offer the fruit of their union with Christ to those they minister to.