Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
April 26, 2010
Joyful witness crucial in promoting vocations
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
VATICAN CITY - The witness of a life lived joyfully and prayerfully is the key to attracting new vocations to the priesthood and religious life, Pope Benedict said.
In his message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, observed on April 25, the pope said that while the call to priesthood and religious life comes from God, "it is also helped by the quality and depth of the personal and communal witness" of priests and religious.
"God's free and gracious initiative encounters and challenges the human responsibility of all those who accept his invitation to become, through their own witness, the instruments of his divine call," the pope wrote in the message.
The pope said that especially for priests, but also for religious brothers and sisters, in three areas of life a personal example is particularly important for helping others see the fruits of answering God's call:
"Friendship with Christ" through prayer and Bible reading, which demonstrates how abiding in God's love fills a person with the desire to share that experience with others.
"The complete gift of oneself to God," which makes a person able to give himself or herself completely to others as well.
"A life of communion" and openness to others, which means drawing people together, helping them overcome differences and offering each other forgiveness.
The world today, the pope said, is often marked by materialism, self-centredness and individualism. That makes the complete fidelity of priests and religious to God and to serving others a sign of contradiction, but one that shows others where true joy is found.
"If young people see priests who appear distant and sad, they will hardly feel encouraged to follow their example."
Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 -- Western Catholic Reporter
Our mission: To serve our readers by bringing the Gospel to bear on current issues in the Church and in secular culture through accurate news coverage and reflective commentary.