The life of the Christian is a response to God's call, Pope Benedict XVI told seminarians in Rome last week.
During his annual visit to the Diocese of Rome's major seminary on March 4, the Pope taught on the Christian call to vocation, humility, community and unity from St. Paul's writings.
A “coherent life” is not just the result of Baptism, but “the fruit of the will and a persevering commitment to collaborating with the gift, with the grace received," said the Pope.
One must pay a "personal price" and commit himself to follow Christ by sharing his Passion and Cross, he explained.
"Christian life begins with a call and is itself always a response, until the end," he told the seminarians.
Christians must meditate "again and again" on the mystery that God has called each person and that he knows them and awaits their response," he said.
That God was born into the world, suffered and died for man is a lesson in humility, explained the Pope. "We must always see ourselves in the light of God, so as to appreciate how great it is to be loved by Him and, at the same time, to see our own smallness, our poverty, and thus rightly comport ourselves not as masters but as servants."
God's call is also an "ecclesial call," he said. It is a call to community, united in "a single body" by the Holy Spirit.
"We also have to bear in mind how beautiful it is to be part of a company ... having friends in heaven and on earth, experiencing the beauty of this body, being happy that the Lord has called us into a single body and given us friends all over the world," he said.
“The unity of the Church," he concluded, "is the result of harmony, of a shared commitment to act like Jesus, by virtue of his spirit. ... In order to conserve unity of spirit, it is necessary to model our own behavior on the humility, sweetness and magnanimity which Jesus bore witness to in his Passion.”
The Pope said that the Holy Spirit is essential in uniting man to God's call.
He capped off the visit by joining the seminarians for dinner. They congratulated him for his 60-year anniversary of priestly ordination to be celebrated on June 29.