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Priest must be reflection of Christ, says bishop at international meeting

.- Bishop Ramon Calderon Batres of Linares, Mexico, told reporters covering the V International Retreat for Priests in Monterrey that “the role of the priest is to make Christ manifest.” Bishop Calderon said 1,300 priests from 27 countries participated in the gathering, which “offers the opportunity for us to reflect on our identity.”

“The role of the priest is make Christ manifest, such that we may be like a window which is unseen.  You can see the window only when it is dirty, but as long as it is clean you can see right through it, and what we want is for people to see Christ,” he said.

Several talks during the retreat were given by the Archbishop Emeritus of Loreto, Italy, Angelo Comastri, who spoke first on the need for priests to increase their awareness of being called.  Secondly, he spoke on the condition of priests in the service of the Church for building up the community.  Thirdly he spoke on how priests “should always reflect Christ, and Christ has a series of teachings regarding one’s neighbor, such as not rejecting anybody, and always having an open heart.” 

With regard to prayer in the life of a priest, Bishop Calderon noted, “The priest must be a man of prayer, full of the Holy Spirit.  Prayer opens the way for the spirit.  Every Christian must have a docility of spirit, the docility of spirit that you get through prayer.”

Bishop Calderon also shared a story about when Archbishop Comastri met Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta.  “The first time he saw Mother Teresa of Calcutta, being a recently ordained priest, Mother asked him, ‘How many hours do you spend in prayer?’, and he said, ‘I thought you were going to ask me how many works of charity I do,’ and Mother responded, ‘No, because what you do depends on prayer’.”


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