30 May

May 30, 2018 | Claret With You

‘The other group that most claimed my attention was the clergy. If all those studying for service in the Church were men of genuine vocation, virtue, and studiousness, what good priests we’d have and how many converts we’d make!’
Aut 326


Nobody who has passed through the life of a Christian community doubts the need for the ordained ministry, in order to shepherd the faithful which belong to it. The figure of the priest is key to the spiritual path of each community. The Second Vatican Council has helped, however, to declericalise the image of the Church and to deepen the vocation of the laity.
Equally, in this vision of Claret, there are elements which even today have not lost their relevance. Above all, the need for absolute, convinced vocational self-giving of those called to the ordained ministry. It is necessary that priests be men of God for the service of the people and that, in each Christian community, they can animate communion, growth in the following of Jesus, the celebration of faith and life and service both within and outside the circle of brethren.
When this priestly service is blurred, the life of the ecclesial community is seen to be fairly strongly affected. Certainly, if our faith is mature it does not depend on the priest, but it is also true can for many people in society the figure of the minister is a reference to the mystery of God. The exclamation of desire in this initial text (‘how many converts we’d make!’) alludes to the immense task of bearing witness and avoiding scandal. This mission receives particular relevance at this time when the Church has lost credibility due to the deplorable weakness on the part of some of its ministers, and of the revelation, not infrequently unjust and disproportionate, which the media have made of it.
In what measure do we support the work of the priests who attend to us? Are we a source of encouragement or a motive for discouragement for them? Do we interest ourselves in the increase of vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life?

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