Vocations are fruit of God’s love, says popeSunday, April 29th, 2012
Scripture, prayer and the Eucharist are the precious treasure enabling people to grasp the beauty of a life spent fully in service of the Kingdom, says the Pope in his message for the Day of Prayer for Vocations today.
Even before we come into existence, we are loved by God, writes Pope Benedict XVI. Each human person is the fruit of God’s thought and an act of his boundless love. “The discovery of this reality is what truly and profoundly changes our lives,” he writes for the 49th Day of Prayer for Vocations.
God’s limitless love precedes people and calls them along a path of life, “a love rooted in an absolutely free gift of God.”
“Every specific vocation is, in fact, born of the initiative of God; it is a gift of the Love of God! He is the One who takes the first step, and not because he has found something good in us, but because of the presence of his own love ‘poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. [St Paul].”
The appealing beauty of this divine love needs to be “proclaimed, especially to young people,” he says.
“Dear brothers and sisters, we need to open our lives to this love. It is to the perfection of the Father’s love that Jesus Christ calls us every day! It is in this soil of self-offering and openness to the love of God, and as the fruit of that love, that all vocations are born and grow,” writes the Holy Father.
“By drawing from this wellspring through prayer, constant recourse to God’s word and to the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, it becomes possible to live a life of love for our neighbours, in whom we come to perceive the face of Christ the Lord.”
Love of neighbour, and especially love for those who suffer, lead the consecrated person to be, “a builder of communion,” between people and, “a sower of hope.”
He quotes the Curé of Ars who was “fond of saying: ‘Priests are not priests for themselves, but for you’”.
The Pope appealed to bishops, priests, catechists and everyone involved in the field of educating young people, to pay close attention to, “those members of parish communities, associations and ecclesial movements who sense a call to the priesthood or to a special consecration.”
He goes on “It is important for the Church to create the conditions that will permit many young people to say "yes" in generous response to God’s loving call. What will nourish this call is Scripture, prayer and the Eucharist that should be the heart of every vocational journey.”
He hoped that local Churches and the groups within them would become the places where vocations are discerned and tested. Families too have an essential role, as, “a community of life and love,” to give young people, “a wonderful experience of this self-giving love.”
“May pastors and all the lay faithful always cooperate so that in the Church these homes and schools of communion may multiply, modelled on the Holy Family of Nazareth, the harmonious reflection on earth of the life of the Most Holy Trinity,” he added.
by Susan Gately