Friday, February 4, 2011
Pope Benedict: Joy in one's vocation
The first congress was organized by the Vatican and the Latin-American Confederation of Religious 17 years ago, while the current gathering is the work of bishops responsible for the pastoral care of vocations in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Pope Benedict opened his message by saying that the “great task” of evangelization requires an “ever increasing number of people to respond generously to the call of God and make a lifelong commitment to the cause of the Gospel.”
Because of this need, the Pope underscored that general pastoral care “must” include specific focus on vocations.
“Experience shows us that, where vocational pastoral care is well planned and constantly practiced, vocations are not lacking,” he said. “God is generous, and our own commitment to vocational pastoral care in all particular Churches must be equally generous.”
The Pontiff went on to say that vocations “are not the result of any human project, or of some efficient organizational strategy.” Rather, he explained, at “the deepest level, they are a gift of God.”
He added that pastoral planning regarding vocations needs to “recall the primacy of the life of the spirit.”
“The young generations must be given the chance to open their hearts to a greater reality: to Christ, the only One Who can give meaning and fullness to their lives,” he said.
“The world needs God,” he concluded, “and for this reason it will always need people who live for Him and announce Him to others.”