Skip to comments."Christian life begins with a call and is itself always a response, until the end"
Posted on 03/07/2011 3:01:47 PM PST by NYer
Pope Benedict XVI prays during a mass on the occasion of his annual visit of the Roman Major Seminary in Rome, Friday, March 4, 2011.
From Vatican Information Service, some thoughts on vocations from the Holy Father:
REFLECTING ON THE MYSTERY OF THE DIVINE CALL
VATICAN CITY, 5 MAR 2011 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon, in keeping with an annual tradition, the Holy Father visited the Major Roman Seminary for the occasion of the feast of its patroness, Our Lady of Trust.
In the major chapel of the seminary, the Pope presided at a "lectio divina" for all seminarians in the diocese of Rome, focusing on the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians.
Commenting on the word "call" or "vocation" as used by St. Paul, Benedict XVI highlighted how "Christian life begins with a call and is itself always a response, until the end". In this context he affirmed that "the image of the Annunciation to Mary represents much more than that single evangelical episode: ... it contains the whole mystery of Mary, her entire story, her very being. At the same time it speaks of the Church, of her eternal essence, and of each individual believer in Christ, of each Christian soul which receives the call".
"The Lord", he went on, "has called each of us; each is called by name. God is so great that He has time for each of us. He knows me, He knows each of us by name, personally. ... I believe that we must meditate on this mystery again and again: God, the Lord, has called me, He calls me, He knows me and awaits my response as He awaited Mary's response, as He awaited the response of the Apostles".
Turning then to consider the Lord's humility, about which St. Paul speaks in his Letter to the Philippians, the Pope said: "the God Who came down to me, Who was so great as to become my friend and to suffer for me, Who died for me: this is the humility we must learn, the humility of God. It follows that we must always see ourselves in the light of God, so as to appreciate how great it is to be loved by Him and, at the same time, to see our own smallness, our poverty, and thus rightly comport ourselves not as masters but as servants".
After then highlighting how "the call of God is also a call in community, an ecclesial call", the Holy Father explained that "the Holy Spirit creates the body and unites us as a single body. ... In this way we are in union with Christ, accepting the corporeity of His Church, of the Spirit which is incarnated in the body".
"We also have to bear in mind how beautiful it is to be part of a company, ... having friends in heaven and on earth, experiencing the beauty of this body, being happy that the Lord has called us into a single body and given us friends all over the world".
In closing, Benedict XVI reflected on "the importance of always seeking communion in the one Christ, the one God".
"The unity of the Church", he concluded, "is the result of harmony, of a shared commitment to act like Jesus, by virtue of His spirit. ... In order to conserve unity of spirit, it is necessary to mould our own behaviour on the humility, sweetness and magnanimity to which Jesus bore witness in His Passion. Our hands and heart must be tied by that bond of love which He accepted for us, making Himself our servant".
It brings to mind this beautiful paragraph from Dei Verbum:
2. In His goodness and wisdom God chose to reveal Himself and to make known to us the hidden purpose of His will (see Eph. 1:9) by which through Christ, the Word made flesh, man might in the Holy Spirit have access to the Father and come to share in the divine nature (see Eph. 2:18; 2 Peter 1:4). Through this revelation, therefore, the invisible God (see Col. 1;15, 1 Tim. 1:17) out of the abundance of His love speaks to men as friends (see Ex. 33:11; John 15:14-15) and lives among them (see Bar. 3:38), so that He may invite and take them into fellowship with Himself. This plan of revelation is realized by deeds and words having in inner unity: the deeds wrought by God in the history of salvation manifest and confirm the teaching and realities signified by the words, while the words proclaim the deeds and clarify the mystery contained in them. By this revelation then, the deepest truth about God and the salvation of man shines out for our sake in Christ, who is both the mediator and the fullness of all revelation. (par. 2)
That paragraph is, notably, featured in the opening paragraph of Part One of Verbum Domini, the Holy Father's recent Apostolic Exhortation on the Word of God:
The novelty of biblical revelation consists in the fact that God becomes known through the dialogue which he desires to have with us. The Dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum had expressed this by acknowledging that the unseen God from the fullness of his love, addresses men and women as his friends, and lives among them, in order to invite and receive them into his own company. Yet we would not yet sufficiently grasp the message of the Prologue of Saint John if we stopped at the fact that God enters into loving communion with us. In reality, the Word of God, through whom all things were made (Jn 1:3) and who became flesh (Jn 1:14), is the same Word who is in the beginning (Jn 1:1). If we realize that this is an allusion to the beginning of the book of Genesis (cf. Gen 1:1), we find ourselves faced with a beginning which is absolute and which speaks to us of the inner life of God. The Johannine Prologue makes us realize that the Logos is truly eternal, and from eternity is himself God. God was never without his Logos. The Word exists before creation. Consequently at the heart of the divine life there is communion, there is absolute gift. God is love (1 Jn 4:16), as the same Apostle tells us elsewhere, thus pointing to the Christian image of God and the resulting image of mankind and its destiny. God makes himself known to us as a mystery of infinite love in which the Father eternally utters his Word in the Holy Spirit. Consequently the Word, who from the beginning is with God and is God, reveals God himself in the dialogue of love between the divine persons, and invites us to share in that love. Created in the image and likeness of the God who is love, we can thus understand ourselves only in accepting the Word and in docility to the work of the Holy Spirit. In the light of the revelation made by Gods Word, the enigma of the human condition is definitively clarified.
Pope Benedict XVI, right, greets seminarians during his annual visit of the Roman Major Seminary in Rome, Friday, March 4, 2011.
“I exort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all goodliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (1 Timothy 2:1-6)
Thank you for the post and ping! That is precisely what ALL catholics do at each celebration of the Divine Liturgy. Now I know the biblical source for those prayers.
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