Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Priest Makes His Strength from Friendship with Christ

Benedict XVI to the Priestly Society "St. Charles Borromeo":  Jesus wanted a priesthood for maintaining the life of the Church.

Rome (kath.net/as) The importance of the priesthood in the life of the Church and the world is in the middle of the language, with which Pope Beenedict XVI addressed the priests and seminarians of the Missionary Society of St. Charles Borromeo this Saturday on the occasion of their twenty fifth anniversary.

Benedict XVI recalled his long friendship with Don Luigi Giussiani, the founder of the movement, "Communion et Liberation" from whose charisma helped establish the priestly society through the work of Massimo Camisacascas.  The Society testifies to the fruitfulness of Don Giussiani's initiative of charisma.

The priesthood needs constant renewal, in which it finds in the life of Jesus the natural form of its existence, says the Pope, who exclaimed: "The Christian priesthood is not an end in itself".  Much more, it is deliberated through Jesus for the sustainability and the life of the Church.

The glory and joy of the priesthood consists in serving Christ and His mystical body.  it is a "very beautiful and rare calling in the Church" in which the presence of Christ is the participation in  the particular and eternal priesthood of Christ.  The priestly calling "is a sure sign for the reality and the vitality of the Christian society."

"There can be no true and fruitful growth in the Church without true priestly presence which bears and nourishes it", says Benedict XVI, further, that the importance of contemplation and the prayer must be stressed there as a "dialog with the risen Lord".

The Pope undescored the "value of  common life", that isn't just an answer to the urgency of the moment like the priest shortage.  The theological signficance of the community, explained Benedict XVI., as the "expression of Christ's gift, which is the Church".  The communal life is formed by the Apostolic community, which comes from the priest: "no priest, to wit, gives something that is his, rather he allows the other brothers to participate in a sacramental gift that comes directly from Christ."

The communal life brings such a help to expression, "Christ in our midst".  Living together means the necessity to accept its own existing return and above all to recognize the beauty of this path, "the joy of humility, penance and even of talking together, the encounter of forgiveness and support."

"A real community life is not possible without prayer", says Benedict in conclusion. It is necessary to be with Jesus, in order to come to another being:  " That is the heart of mission.  In the society of Christ and the brother, every priest can find the power that is necessary, to accept the other person, with those ever more new words from the love to learn the eternal truths of the faith, for which our present age thirsts."

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