Released yesterday, Pope Benedict’s Message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations is one of those texts which builds upon the rich source of Sacred Scripture, with the Holy Father throwing out references to specific Bible passages like only he can. The main topic is the twofold divine love, love of God and love of the neighbour. It is a topic that the pope has written about before, not least in his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est.

This love, the pope writes, “must be lived with a particular intensity and purity of heart by those who have decided to set out on the path of vocation discernment towards the ministerial priesthood and the consecrated life; they are its distinguishing mark. Love of God, which priests and consecrated persons are called to mirror, however imperfectly, is the motivation for answering the Lord’s call to special consecration through priestly ordination or the profession of the evangelical counsels. Saint Peter’s vehement reply to the Divine Master: “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you” (Jn 21:15) contains the secret of a life fully given and lived out, and thus one which is deeply joyful.”

The text of the message is also available in Dutch.

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