30 August, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 03/20/2008
VATICAN
Pope: may priests be "upright in the truth" and ready to "serve"
Benedict XVI, celebrating Chrism Mass, says that the "temptation" of man, who since the time of Adam has wanted to follow only his own will, does not lead to true freedom, because it pits him against the truth.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The "temptation of humanity", since the time of Adam, "has always been that of wanting to be completely autonomous, to follow only our own will and to maintain that only in this way will we be free", but in this way "we pit ourselves against the truth".  This is also true for priests: "we do not invent the Church as we would like it to be, but we proclaim the Word of Christ properly only in communion".  Benedict XVI dedicated entirely to the figure and responsibilities of the priest the reflection that he presented today during the "Chrism" Mass: the rite that, in all the cathedrals of the Catholic world, precedes the celebration of the Triduum of Holy Week.

So also in the basilica of St. Peter's, crowded with 1600 priests of the diocese of Rome, the pope celebrated the Mass during which priests renew their promises, and the oil of the catechumens and the sick is blessed, together with chrism used for confirmation and priestly ordination.

"Being a priest of Jesus Christ" has, in the words of Benedict XVI, a twofold meaning.  The first, expressed in "standing before the Lord", points to "the Eucharist as the centre of priestly life", and at the same time to the fact that "the priest must be someone who watches.  He must remain on guard before the relentless powers of evil.  He must keep the world awake to God.  He must be someone who remains upright amid the tides of the moment.  Upright in the truth.  Upright in his commitment to goodness.  Standing before  the Lord must always be, in its inmost depths, also a lifting up of men to the Lord, who, in turn, lifts up all of us to the Father.  And it must be a lifting up of Him, of Christ, of his word, of his truth, of his love.  The priest must be upright, unwavering and ready even to suffer outrage for the sake of the Lord".

The second word that describes the priest is "service".  This "involves many dimensions.  Certainly first among these is the proper celebration of the liturgy and of the sacraments in general, carried out with interior participation.  We must learn to understand more and more the sacred liturgy in all of its essence, to develop a lively familiarity with it, so that it becomes the soul of our daily life.  It is then that we celebrate properly, it is then that there emerges on its own account the ars celebrandi, the art of celebrating.  There must be nothing artificial in this art.  It must become one and the same thing as the art of living correctly".

Also part of serving are "two more aspects.  No one is as close to his master as the servant, who has access to the most private dimension of his life.  In this sense, 'serving' means closeness, it requires familiarity.  This familiarity also brings a danger: that our constant contact with the sacred might make it become routine for us".

"Serving means closeness, but above all it means obedience.  The servant is under orders: 'Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done' (Luke 22:42)". "We have true freedom only if enter into what constitutes the measure of freedom, if we enter into the will of God.  This fundamental obedience that is part of the human being becomes even more concrete in the priest: we do not proclaim ourselves, but rather Him and his Word, which we could not have imagined on our own.  We do not invent the Church as we would like to be, but we proclaim the word of Christ properly only in the communion of his Body.  Our obedience is believing together with the Church, thinking and speaking together with the Church, serving together with it.  This always involves what Jesus predicted to Peter: 'someone else will . . . lead you where you do not want to go'. This being led where we do not want to go is an essential dimension of our service, and it is precisely this that makes us free.  By being led in this way, which can be contrary to our own ideas and plans, we experience something new - the riches of the love of God".


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
04/05/2012 VATICAN
Pope: "A priest never belongs to himself "
04/13/2006 VATICAN
Pope: Priests must be men of prayer to take Jesus to the world
04/05/2007 VATICAN
Only by wearing the “garment of love” can we go to the “feast in the sky”, says Pope
03/28/2013 VATICAN
Pope: priests must “put out into the deep” to the "outskirts", where there is suffering and be Jesus’ disciples
04/12/2006 VATICAN
Pope: Easter reveals "evil does not have the last word; the risen Christ triumphs".

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.