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Vatican letter to seminarians

Catholic World News - June 05, 2013

Emphasizing the centrality of prayer in priestly life, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, the prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, has sent a letter to seminarians on the occasion of the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Referring to Pope Francis, Cardinal Piacenza said that “the Successor of Peter invites us to have a strong and solid love for the People of God, a love which – as the same Pontiff has noted – is not fed from purely human sources, nor is it reinforced by techniques of self-persuasion. It is the personal encounter with the Lord; it is keeping alive the knowledge of having been called by Him, who gives the truly greater supernatural strength to be priests in the image of the Good Shepherd of all, Christ Jesus.”

“But in order to be such tomorrow, you have to prepare yourselves today,” Cardinal Piacenza continued. “In very clear words, Pope Francis has referred to the primacy of grace in the priestly life: ‘It is not in soul-searching or constant introspection that we encounter the Lord: self-help courses can be useful in life, but to live our priestly life going from one course to another, from one method to another, leads us to become Pelagians and to minimize the power of grace.’”

“For the disciple walking with Christ, walking in grace, means taking on with spiritual joy the weight of the priestly cross,” the cardinal prefect added. “We hear again the Holy Father teaching about this: ‘When we journey without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord, we are worldly.’ On the contrary, to live our ministry as a service to Christ crucified, prevents us from understanding the Church as a human organization, ‘a charitable NGO, but not the Church, the Bride of the Lord.’”

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