Pope’s Benedict XVI’s “Lectio Divina” to Roman Priests (Part 1)

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Let us also make this reality a practical factor in our life: if this is how it is, a priest must really be a man of God, he must know God intimately and know him in communion with Christ and so we must live this communion; and the celebration of Holy Mass, the prayer of the Breviary, all our personal prayers are elements of being with God, of being men of God. Our being, our life and our heart must be fixed in God, in this point from which we must not stir. This is achieved and reinforced day after day with short prayers in which we reconnect with God and become, increasingly, men of God who live in his communion and can thus speak of God and lead people to God.

The other element is that the priest must be man, human in all senses. That is, he must live true humanity, true humanism; he must be educated, have a human formation, human virtues; he must develop his intelligence, his will, his sentiments, his affections; he must be a true man, a man according to the will of the Creator, of the Redeemer, for we know that the human being is wounded and the question of "what man is" is obscured by the event of sin that hurt human nature even to the quick.

Thus people say: "he lied" "it is human"; "he stole" "it is human"; but this is not really being human. Human means being generous, being good, being a just person, it means true prudence and wisdom. Therefore emerging with Christ's help from this dark area in our nature so as to succeed in being truly human in the image of God is a lifelong process that must begin in our training for the priesthood. It must subsequently be achieved, however, and continue as long as we live. I think that basically these two things go hand in hand: being of God and with God and being true man, in the true sense meant by the Creator when he formed this creature that we are.

To be man: the Letter to the Hebrews stresses our humanity; we find this surprising for it says: "He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness" (5:2). And then even more forcefully "In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard for his godly fear" (5:7).

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI* TheologyAnthropologyPastoral Theology

Posted February 25, 2010 at 7:43 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Helen wrote:

This guy is so fabulous.  But I’m not interested in becoming RC.

February 25, 12:34 pm | [comment link]
2. Sherri2 wrote:

This is wonderful. Thank you for posting it.

February 25, 1:18 pm | [comment link]
3. evan miller wrote:

I regularly give thanks to God for Pope Benedict XVI and ask that he be granted a long reign so he can complete the house cleaning in the RCC that he has so well begun.  So much damage to be undone.

February 25, 4:17 pm | [comment link]
4. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Yes, this is indeed a marvelous, inspiring meditation, especially for those of us called to be priests.  I agree that we are called to be mediators or bridge figures who help people find their way back to God.  Of course, this shouldn’t be understood or taken in any way that undercuts the truth of 1 Tim. 2:6-7, “For there is one God, and there is ONE mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all.  But the priesthood of all believers need not be understood in such a way as to exclude a special ordianed priesthood as well (Exod. 19:6 and Lev. are both there in the OT).

I was particularly moved and challenged by the pope’s remark,
if this is how it is, a priest must really be a man of God, he must know God intimately…

So true.  But that is also the high calling of every layperson too, to know the Lord intimately, and thus to be able to lead others to know him as well.

David Handy+

February 25, 6:08 pm | [comment link]
5. phil swain wrote:

God thinks of everything.  How lost and alone we’d be without that strange and mysterious gift of priests which God gives us.

February 26, 12:15 pm | [comment link]
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