By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
4/17/2014 (1 year ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
If a priest wants to overcome moments of sadness, exhaustion and boredom, in addition to discovering his true identity, he must head for the exit sign, going outside himself to be with God and his people, Pope Francis said during the Chrism Mass at St. Peter's Basilica.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A priest must also be a dutiful servant who listens to people's needs. He must build a church whose doors are wide open, offering refuge for sinners, a home for the homeless, comfort for the sick and God's word and joy for the young, the pope added.
The pope, presiding over the first of two Holy Thursday liturgies, blessed the oils that will be used in the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, ordination and the anointing of the sick. Deacons carried the sacramental oils in large silver urns to the main altar to be blessed by the Pope.
Check out our fine selection of Bibles -- by going here!
Surrounded by more than 1,500 priests, bishops and cardinals, Pope Francis led them in a renewal of their priestly vows in a lengthier-than-usual homily.
The pope focused on the meaning of being anointed through ordination, emphasizing that Holy Thursday was the day Jesus shared his priesthood with the Apostles by anointing them with "the oil of gladness.
"Priestly joy is a priceless treasure, not only for the priest himself but for the entire faithful people of God," the Pope said.
While "in that littleness we find our joy," he said, being "little" without God spells danger.
"No one is more 'little' than a priest left to his own devices."
Priestly joy must be rooted in God's love where it can find protection from evil in prayer to Mary, he said.
Otherwise a priest risks becoming "the poorest of men unless Jesus enriches him by his poverty, the most useless of servants unless Jesus calls him his friend, the most ignorant of men unless Jesus patiently teaches him as he did Peter, the frailest of Christians", unless Jesus gives him strength in the midst of his flock, he said.
Self-denial, forsaking earthly happiness and giving oneself to others mean the priest "has to seek his joy from the Lord and from God's faithful people. He doesn't need to try to create it for himself."
Nor should the priest create his own identity because "there is no identity - and consequently joy of life - without an active and unwavering sense of belonging to God's faithful people," he said.
"The priest who tries to find his priestly identity by soul-searching and introspection may well encounter nothing more than 'exit' signs, signs that say: Exit from yourself, exit to seek God in adoration, go out and give your people what was entrusted to you."
The People of God "will make you feel and taste who you are," he said.
They will also be able "to protect you, to embrace you and to help you open your heart to find renewed joy" during those moments a priest finds himself feeling isolated, gloomy, listless and bored, "which at times overcome us in our priestly life and which I too have experienced," the Pope said.
With his infinite compassion "for all the little ones and the outcasts of this earth, wearied and oppressed like sheep without a shepherd", Jesus calls people to his ministry, so that he can be present and work "in the person of his priests, for the good of his people."
By Atarah Haely (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
In life we set goals. Sometimes we're heading straight toward them and sometimes we fall prey to negative thoughts that can cause us to give up. Discouraging thoughts, doubting our abilities and negative mindsets often lead us nowhere but you want in on a little ... continue reading
By Tony Magliano
For the sake of our salvation, we need to pay serious attention, and act with purpose, to what Jesus teaches here in Matthew's Gospel: "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will ... continue reading
By Catholic News Agency
Global efforts to fight poverty protect the environment and the common thread of promoting human dignity must connect all make decisions about the economy, a Holy See representative told a United Nations body this week. New York City (CNA) - "In our efforts to ... continue reading
By Linky C. (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
Pope Francis delivered a homily on one of his favorite topics Friday morning during a mass at the Saint Martha residence. The homily focused on how the devil's temptations never wane. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis' recent homily in the chapel at the ... continue reading
By Kevin J. Jones, CNA/EWTN News
After Pope Francis' visit as a "missionary of mercy," Cuba is now in a prime moment to move forward in its relationship with the Church and work for the common good, said a representative of an aid group that works in the country. Havana, Cuba (CNA/EWTN News) - ... continue reading
By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
Pope Francis, speaking at Mass Friday morning, warned the faithful about the ways of Satan. "The evil one conceals himself, and comes with his very polite friends, knocking at the door, asking permission, but then moves in and spends time with the man and, ... continue reading
By Hannah Marfil (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
Life struggles are inevitable but to look at them more than just a bump in the road is like putting rocks in your backpack before a hike. God doesn't want that - our journey to Him is meant to shape us in a way He planned for us. Little by little, we achieve victories ... continue reading
By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News
Family rescues us from indifference and loneliness and teaches us the essentials of life, Pope Francis said - adding that as the family of God, the Church has the same role and must evaluate how to live this out. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - "Like Saint ... continue reading
By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
12-year-old Julia Bruzzese, who has been experiencing symptoms of Lyme disease, suffered from sudden paralysis that doctors are still unable to explain. However, following a blessing from Pope Francis, the young girl seems to be healing. NEW YORK, NY (Catholic Online) ... continue reading
By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News
Pope Francis formally opened the synod of bishops Sunday, telling participants that the union between a man and woman is the foundation of God's plan for the family, and a solution to the many forms of loneliness in today's world. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - ... continue reading