Thursday, November 11, 2010
Recent words from the Holy Father:
Speaking of ordained ministers, he noted that "bishops, priests, and deacons can hardly think that they are living out their vocation and mission apart from a decisive and renewed commitment to sanctification, one of whose pillars is contact with God's word."
The priest "needs to approach the word with a docile and prayerful heart so that it may deeply penetrate his thoughts and feelings and bring about a new outlook in him," Benedict XVI stated.
Speaking to permanent deacons, he recommended that they "nourish their lives by the faith-filled reading of sacred Scripture, accompanied by study and prayer."
The Pope next noted that "those aspiring to the ministerial priesthood are called to a profound personal relationship with God's word, particularly in lectio divina, so that this relationship will in turn nurture their vocation."
He added that "it is in the light and strength of God's word that one's specific vocation can be discerned and appreciated, loved and followed, and one's proper mission carried out, by nourishing the heart with thoughts of God, so that faith, as our response to the word, may become a new criterion for judging and evaluating persons and things, events and issues."
"Great care should be taken to ensure that seminarians always cultivate this reciprocity between study and prayer in their lives," the Pontiff said.
Addressing some words to those in the consecrated life, the Holy Father noted that "both old and new expressions of special consecration are called to be genuine schools of the spiritual life, where the Scriptures can be read according to the Holy Spirit in the Church, for the benefit of the entire People of God."
He affirmed that contemplative men and women in particular, "by their lives of prayer, attentive hearing and meditation on God's Word, remind us that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God."
Benedict XVI spoke next of the lay faithful, "who live out their specific vocation to holiness by a life in the Spirit expressed in a particular way by their engagement in temporal matters and by their participation in earthly activities."