we end the Year for Priests, let us continue
to be mindful of God's high calling for
them, and how much a gift to the Church
they are. Let us continue to support them,
by recognizing, helping, understanding,
collaborating with and praying for our
priests. Let us urge them on in growing
in holiness and in reflecting the very
image of Christ. Let us simply rejoice
in the many committed priests who give
so much of themselves in self-sacrificial
to Priests: Carry On!
Affirms There's No Room for Mediocrity
JUNE 10, 2010 (Zenit.org).-
Since Christ is
at the base of the priesthood, there
is no room for mediocrity in a priest's
life, says the prefect of the
Vatican's congregation for worship and
Antonio Cañizares Llovera affirmed
this Tuesday at a conference called
"In the Image of the Good Shepherd,"
held at the Regina Apostolorum university.
The conference was held in the context
of the closing of the Year for Priests,
which ends Friday.
priest must be like Christ. He must
be holy. Priestly holiness is
not an external imperative, it is the
imperative of what we are," the
cardinal stated. In fact, without priestly
holiness, "everything collapses."
Spanish cardinal characterized the Year
for Priests as "a great gift, a
blessing of God."
the future we will see the fruits of
the hoped-for renewal: the strength
of the Holy Spirit, Renewer and Sanctifier,
implored with so much prayer and fasting
everywhere, will not be in vain if it
is seen in a vigorous and joyful priestly
testimony, renewed and evangelical,
which contributes to the very necessary
renewal of humanity of our time,"
this year was held "in the midst
of a world storm, in which the weaknesses
of priests have been manifested,"
this in no way clouds "recognition
of the immense gift that priests represent,"
the cardinal affirmed.
he said, "are in themselves a gift
of God to men" and "they offer
Christ in person who is the Way, the
Truth and the Life, Light that illumines
our steps, Love that has no limits and
that loves to the end."
continued: "They proclaim to us
and give us his word, which is life,
force of salvation for those who believe,
good news that fills with hope; they
give us on God's behalf forgiveness
and the grace of reconciliation.
particular, they give us God, without
whom we can do nothing and cannot hope
for anything. They are a gesture and
sign of the irrevocable love of God,
who does not abandon men.
are not just something convenient for
the Church to 'function' well; rather,
it must be recognized that priests are
necessary simply for the Church to exist."
cardinal expressed "admiration,
recognition and gratitude to priests,"
recalling those who helped him "to
be what I am and which in no way I deserve
to be: a priest, simply and joyfully
give thanks, for example, to that great
holy priest of my village, for 45 years,
who among the numerous manifestations
of his charity as a good pastor was
able to leave his house to the plague-ridden,"
Cardinal Cañizares Llovera recounted,
"and carried the dead on his back
to give them a dignified burial."
continued: "I thank the exemplary
and apostolic priest who took me to
the seminary and guided me on the path
that has filled my life with joy.
wish to thank the many priests who are
dedicating all their life to the missions,
to the poorest countries and to the
service of the poorest, of those whom
no one cares for [...] the numerous
priests who work in the anonymity of
cities, who must face difficulties generated
by a very strong current of secularization,
and changes of mentality due to a new
recognition extended also to priests
who "carry out their task and pastoral
service in the suburbs and villages,
who often have the feeling of being
forgotten and isolated, of not knowing
what to do, but who always show that
God is found in what is small, and in
what doesn't count in the eyes of the
hesitate faced with the hard work of
Cardinal Cañizares Llovera exhorted.
"Our priestly life is worthwhile;
we are necessary. Courage! Carry on!
your priesthood! Be faithful to the
end! Be able to see in it that evangelical
treasure for which it is worth giving
one's all. And to all others I ask for
recognition, help, understanding, collaboration
and prayer for priests."
to me to live is Christ, and to die is
gain." (Phil 1:21)