Monday, February 04, 2008

Attention parents!

For all those of us who lament the seeming dearth of vocations (or, more accurately, the seeming dearth of accepted vocations) to the priesthood, Pope Benedict has something to say. If you are a parent and have one or more sons still single, no matter how young, it is your duty and privilege to open their eyes to the possibility, the grace, the wonder that is the priesthood. After Vespers at Rome's Major Pontifical Seminary on the occasion of the feast of its patron, Our Lady of Trust, the Holy Father talked to the seminarians and then turned also to their parents:

The Pope then addressed the parents of the future priests, saying "you are probably the most surprised of all about what has happened and is happening to your children. You had perhaps imagined for them a mission different from the one for which they are now preparing. ... Let us look to Mary. The Gospel helps us to understand that she too asked herself many question about her Son Jesus, and reflected on Him for a long time.

"It is inevitable that the vocation of children in some way also becomes the vocation of the parents", he added. "You have found yourselves participating in your sons' marvellous adventure. Indeed, although it may appear that a priest's life does not attract the interest of the majority of people, in reality it is the most interesting of adventures and the most necessary for the world: the adventure of demonstrating and realising the fullness of life to which everyone aspires. It is a very demanding adventure and could not be otherwise because a priest is called to imitate Jesus". (Full story via VIS.)

You can absolutely feel his joy at being a priest, and indeed his joy at being with the seminarians. It is joy this world lacks the most, and the one true source of joy is Him who saved us - this, above all else, seems to be an overriding theme of this Pontificate. What joy it is to come to know the Lord, and what joy it is to see your own son a vehicle to bring Him to us in the form of bread and wine, His Body and Blood given to save us all. "[A] priest is called to imitate Jesus." What better way to live?