Friday, March 16, 2012

Vocations: We are failing to listen - Pope Benedict

Traditionally the Holy Father meets with the clergy of Rome at the beginning of Lent. This year he explored the nature of call in his address to them. I was very taken by the powerful reflection he shared with them. Here are some of the quotes from his speech. They deserve to be reflected on by those considering a vocation and especially those involved in vocations ministry.

".....I would say that our first important call is Baptism, to be with Christ; the second important call is to be pastors in his service and we must listen ever more intently to this call so as to be able to call, or better to help others too so that they may hear the voice of the Lord who calls. A cause of great suffering in the Church today in Europe and in the West is the lack of (priestly) vocations, but the Lord always calls; it is the listening that is lacking. We have heard his voice and must always pay attention to the Lord's voice on behalf of others, we must help make his call heard and thus ensure that is accepted and that a path is opened to the vocation to be pastors with Christ."

....Saint Paul goes back to this word 'call'....and speaks of a vocation , a call that is to hope. In this way, he demonstrates the dimensions of the call: it is not only individual, the call is already a dialogical phenomenon , a phenomenon in the 'we'; in the 'you and I' and in the 'us' - called to the one hope. In this way we see the dimensions of the call; they are three.

....A call ultimately is where God is the the end we arrive simply in God and the whole of our journey is a journey towards God. However, this journey is never isolated, it is never a journey towards the 'I', but it is a journey towards the future, toward a renewal of the whole world, and a journey in the 'we' of those called who call others, who enable them to hear this call. Therefore the call is always also a vocation in the Church,'

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