Catholic priests should ask the Virgin Mary for a heart able to “relive Christ’s coming” during Advent this year, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza said.
The cardinal, who serves as prefect for the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy, said in his Nov. 27 Advent message to priests that Mary lived “constantly in prayerful vigilance.”
“In vigilance, she received the announcement that changed the history of humanity. In vigilance, she kept and contemplated, more than any other, the Almighty who became her Son,” he said.
Cardinal Piacenza noted that Mary was also prayerfully vigilant as she became “filled with loving and grateful wonder” while giving birth “to the Light Himself and, together with St. Joseph, became a disciple of Him to whom she had given birth.”
“In the vigilance of her maternal heart, Mary followed Christ right up to the foot of the cross where, in the immense sorrow of a pierced heart, she accepted us as her new sons,” he added. “In vigilance, she waited with certainty for the Resurrection and was assumed into Heaven.”
The cardinal emphasized that Christ constantly watches over his Church as well as every priest, who are each called to live the same vigilance as the Blessed Mother.
He added that priests should contemplate how Jesus has “radically and definitely” changed them through their ordination.
Cardinal Piacenza also recalled how the Virgin Mary faithfully lived “the duty of being the Mother of the Almighty.” Her Immaculate Heart was open to the “possible” and to the manifestation of God’s will in all circumstances, both the daily and the unexpected, he said.
Mary’s assent at the Annunciation encourages priests to be faithful to their assent to their own ordination, the cardinal noted. Her example in the Visitation to St. Elizabeth encourages priests to live in “divine intimacy” so that they can bring Christ’s presence to others.
From heaven, Mary keeps priests in Christ’s memory and she “continually opens the possibility of Divine Mercy to us.”
Cardinal Piacenza assured priests of his “special remembrance” for them in the celebration of Mass. He also asked for prayerful support for his own ministry.