Vatican City, Jun 7, 2021 / 08:06 am
Pope Francis told a group of young French priests on Monday that weakness is a chance for encounter with God, and not something they should try to overcome by their own strength.
“My fragility, the fragility of each one of us, is a theological place of encounter with the Lord,” he told a group of around 20 priests at a June 7 meeting at the Vatican.
“The ‘superman’ priests end up badly, all of them,” Francis said. “The fragile priest, who knows his weaknesses and talks about them with the Lord, he will be fine.”
Pope Francis encouraged the priests, who are in Rome for studies, to be pastors always acting in service of the Catholics under their care.
“Strip yourself of your preconceived ideas, your dreams of greatness, your self-affirmation, to put God and people at the center of your daily concerns,” he urged.
The pope also warned the French priests against placing the identity of being an “intellectual” above that of being a “pastor.”
“You will be a pastor in many ways, but always in the midst of God’s people,” he underlined. “The studies you do in the various Roman universities prepare you for your future tasks as pastors, and allow you to better appreciate the reality in which you are called to proclaim the Gospel of joy.”
The student priests who met with Pope Francis live together at the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome.