Monday, February 04, 2008

Calling of this Love

~Peter's post today reminded me that I must go back and read Pope Benedict's address at Romano Maggiore, the Pope's Seminary, on Friday, February 1st. Here is the part that Peter quoted that is just lovely. For those of us with boys, it's a wonderful reminder to help our boys to consider the priesthood.
Dear parents, probably you were the most surprised of all for what happened and what is happening with your sons. You had perhaps imagined for them a mission very different from that for which they are now being prepared.

How many times have you perhaps found yourself reflecting on them: thinking about when they were babies and then boys; the times when they showed the first signs of their vocation; or even in some cases, the years in which the life of your son appeared very remote from the Church.

What happened? What encounters influenced their choice? What interior lights oriented them on their way? How were they able to abandon perhaps promising prospects for a secular life to enter the Seminary?

Let us look to Mary. The Gospel makes us understand that even she found herself with many questions about her Son Jesus, questions that she meditated on at length (cfr Lk 2,19,51).

It is inevitable that the vocation of your sons becomes in some way the vocation of the parents as well. In seeking to understand them and following the course of their life, even you, dear Papas and mammas, often find yourselves involved in their journey, during which your own faith is strengthened and renewed.

You have found yourselves taking part in the wondrous adventure of your children. In fact, even if it seems that the life of a priest cannot possibly attract the interest of most people today, it is indeed the most interesting adventure, and one most necessary for the world - the adventure of showing and making present the fullness of life to which every man aspires.

It is a very demanding adventure - and it cannot be otherwise, because the priest is called on to imitate Jesus, "who has not come to be served, but to serve and give his life for the ransom of many" (Mt 20,28).
A priest friend of mine said to me last fall that there is something about joyful priests that make for a powerful witness to young men. And I agree with Peter that you can sense the Pope's joy at being called.

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