Seminarians must prepare to priestly life with intense prayer, Pope says

Pope John Paul II told a group of Polish seminarians on Tuesday that they must prepare for their future priestly duties with an intense prayer life.

The Pontiff welcomed the rector, priests, professors, religious and seminarians from the seminary of Radom, Poland, recalling his visit to the seminary in 1991 and speaking on the historical and spiritual legacies of which the seminarians today are heirs.

He noted that “in this year of formation you have the motto ‘Imitate what you will celebrate - ‘imitare quod tractibus’.”

“This is an invitation,” the Pope continued, “that each one of you seminarians, God willing, will hear during the liturgy of ordination. Usually this refers to the mysteries enclosed within the Eucharist and its celebration. In reality the deeper content of this call seems to come directly from Christ’s words: ‘Do this in memory of Me’. And ‘Christ’s memory’ is His entire earthly life, but above all, its paschal conclusion.”

He pointed out that their pastoral service “is constituted by a diversity of actions, of which, the Council says, the Eucharist is the source and summit. Whatever your service is, the invitation to imitate its deepest meaning is always current and just.”

“Humanly speaking, this is not an easy task to fulfill,” the Holy Father added. “In your lives today, and above all in the priesthood make sure there is always time for prayer.”

“Make every effort to prepare yourselves in the best possible way for your priestly duties through a solid study of doctrine, not only theological but also through other disciplines that will help you in your contacts with modern man, or by learning a pastoral praxis, but base this preparation on the solid foundation of prayer,” the Pope concluded.

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