Pope says human weakness not a barrier to religious calling

Human weakness is not a barrier to a vocation in the priesthood or religious life, "as long as they contribute to making us more aware of the fact that we need the redeeming grace of Christ", Benedict XVI said.

Catholic News Service reports that in his message for the 2006 World Day of Prayer for Vocations, the pope said that from Jesus' time, God has called individuals to dedicate their lives totally to serving God and their brothers and sisters.

God's call is not addressed to the perfect, but to those open to God's love, which changes human hearts and makes them capable of communicating the love of God to others, the pope said.

"The church is holy even if its members need to be purified so that holiness, a gift of God, can shine through them in all its brightness," he said.

Pope Benedict asked for special prayers for vocations to the priesthood, a ministry that is essential for the celebration of the sacraments and for the ongoing life of the church.

"It is not surprising that where people pray with fervour, vocations flourish," he said.

The day dedicated to praying for vocations to the priesthood and religious life will be celebrated 7 May in most countries; the pope's message for the day was released yesterday in Italian.

Photo credit: Stefano Spazio

Pope says people do not need to be perfect to be called to a vocation (Catholic News Service 30/3/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Vocations Ministry Australia

Europe: Creative fidelity to Christian heritage (Vatican Information Service 30/3/06 - temporary url)
Message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations (Vatican Information Service 30/3/06 - temporary url)
Pope slams gay marriage ahead of Italian vote (Reuters 30/3/06)
Certain Jesus continues to call to the priesthood, the one essential mission, says the Pope (AsiaNews.it 30/3/06)
Europe's Christian roots a secure direction for its future, says the Pope (AsiaNews.it 30/3/06)
Pope says belief in Jesus leads to communion with God, people (Catholic News Service 29/3/06)
Pope to European politicians: Ignoring Christian heritage is sign of historical immaturity (Catholic News Agency 30/3/06)
Catholics must be engaged in political debate, says Pope (Catholic News Agency 30/3/06)
Despite vocation shortage, God continually calls men and women to serve his Church, says Pope (Catholic News Agency 30/3/06)
No compromise on Christian principles, Pope says (Catholic World News 30/3/06)
Mark Coleridge: Not the Panzer Pope but a surprising man of the people (The Australian 31/3/06)
Pope Says Communion is A Force for Church Unity (The Universe 30/3/06)
Pope Benedict XVI: To the participants of the Congress promoted by the European People's Party (March 30, 2006)
"Communion" a Key to Church Unity, Says Pope (Zenit 29/3/06)
The Gift of "Communion" (Zenit 29/3/06)

31 Mar 2006