Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Pope: Praying with profound faith is key to increasing vocations

Pope Tells of Key to Awaken Vocations
Meeting at Shrine Turns Toward Prayer

ALTOETTING, Germany, SEPT. 11, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI stressed that if Catholics pray with profound faith the Church will receive the vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life that it needs.

The Pope expressed this conviction when celebrating Vespers this evening with religious and seminarians of Bavaria and members of the Society for Spiritual Vocations in the Basilica of St. Anne in the Marian shrine of Altoetting.

"God's harvest is indeed great, and it needs laborers," said the Holy Father. "In the so-called Third World -- in Latin America, in Africa and in Asia -- people are waiting for heralds to bring them the Gospel of peace, the good news of God who became man.

"But also in the so-called West, here among us in Germany, and in the vast lands of Russia it is true that a great harvest could be reaped. But there is a lack of people willing to become laborers for God's harvest."

Benedict XVI noted: "The Lord seeks laborers for his harvest. He himself said as much: 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.' That is why we are gathered here: to make this urgent request to the Lord of the harvest."

And, from Spirit Daily comes this interesting commentary on the Pope's observations concerning the key to increasing vocations:


It was there in a statement made by the Pope. Speaking during his visit to Germany, Benedict XVI lamented how, if an African bishop goes to Germany, presenting a plea for a social program, he receives enormous help. Every door opens.

But, said the Pope, when an African bishop goes to that same country (or, one might add, any Western nation) with a plan for evangelization, he meets with "reservations."

"Clearly some people have the idea that social projects should be urgently undertaken, while anything dealing with God or even the Catholic faith is of limited and lesser importance," said the Holy Father -- so tellingly, in this land of the Reformation, and speaking about the Church!

In a nutshell there was the root of a current crisis in the priesthood:

Many of our clerics are more social workers, or sociologists, than they are evangelists, more comfortable in the board room of a social agency than in a church where there is the laying on of hands. They prefer the academic, sociological approach to one that is spiritual.


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