Pope Benedict reflects on vocations during Lenten retreat

.- Thursday marks the fifth day of meditation and prayer for this week's Lenten retreat at the Vatican. Over the past few days, Salesian Father Enrico dal Covolo has offered reflections for the Holy Father and members of the Roman Curia during the annual retreat which began last Sunday and will continue until Saturday morning.

This fifth day of the Lenten spiritual exercises is deemed "Christological Day." Within Fr. dal Covolo's three meditations on Thursday, there are two morning sessions on "The history of the vocations of the first disciples," based on the Gospel of John.  The afternoon meditation will illustrate the "priestly biography" of Venerable Servant of God Fr. Giuseppe Quadrio.

Organized to encompass the theme, "Lessons from God and the Church on Priestly Vocations," every day of the week has a focus. The retreat started with the "Day of Prayer for Priestly Vocations" with the "Day of Prayer for Missionaries" following.  Wednesday was "Penitential Day" and Friday will mark "Marian Day."

The days consist of two morning meditations derived from bible passages relating to vocations, while a single afternoon session offers insights into the lives of exemplary priests including St. John Vianney, St. Augustine and "country priest," Fr. Georges Bernanos. Friday's afternoon meditation will center on the life of Venerable John Paul II.

The retreat includes daily recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours, Vespers, Adoration and Eucharistic Benediction.

Fr. Enrico dal Covolo will conclude the week-long retreat on Saturday morning with his 17th meditation titled "The call of the first 'deacons'."


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