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Pope tells priests to live what they pray

Pope John Paul II's annual Holy Thursday letter to priests advises them to live the words they proclaim when celebrating the Eucharist.

The Holy Father's letter, signed on 13 March and published on Friday, stresses that the priest's "passion for Christ" is the secret that allows him to "radiate youthfulness, spreading it almost 'contagiously' among those he meets along the way".

To achieve this objective, he said "the words of [the Eucharistic] institution must be more than a formula of consecration: they must be a 'formula of life.'"

He refers specifically to the words: "Take and eat all of you; this is my Body, which will be given up for you"; "Take and drink of it all of you, for this is the cup of my blood."

The Pope sais that, in the context of the new evangelisation, "the people have a right to turn to priests in the hope of 'seeing' Christ in them".

"The young feel the need for this especially," he said. "Christ continues to call them, to make them his friends and to challenge some to give themselves completely for the sake of the Kingdom."

Pope Advises Priests to Live What They Pray (Zenit 18/3/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Letter to Priests for Holy Thursday 2005 (Zenit 18/3/05)

Priests must give their lives entirely to God's people (Vatican Information Service 18/3/05)
Pope demonstrates 'unfathomable dignity' of priesthood, says Cardinal Castrillon (Catholic News Agency 18/3/05)
Pope Appeals to Priests to Respect Liturgy (Zenit 18/3/05)

21 Mar 2005