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The Spirituality of the Diocesan Priest

VATICAN COUNCIL II

• Incardination to a particular diocese, the local church – a diocesan priest.
• A diocesan priest is thus of a diocese, for a diocese and in the diocese.
• For some valid reason could be a short time out of the diocese.
• Diocesan priests are called to remember that their faithful union and generous cooperation with their bishop greatly helps their sanctification -- LG # 41.

 

CALL TO HOLINESS
• Church is called to holiness.
• Expressed in many ways -- LG # 39.

 

POPE PAUL IV
• This ministry is exercised in the fullness of love.
• The obligation of diocesan priests to tend after Christian perfection is based on their dignity and ministry.

THE SPIRITUALITY - The obligation to HOLINESS

Triple function:
(a) prophetic
(b) priestly
(c) pastoral


Triple promise:
(a) priestly celibacy
(b) obedience
(c) prayer

 

HOLINESS
The diocesan priest is called to a life of holiness.
The spirituality of the diocesan priest lies in his configuration to Christ.
This will be lived out in the triple function (priestly, prophetic, pastoral)
? Lived through...
? Fidelity to celibacy
? Promise of prayer (divine office)
? Promise of obedience
? Practice of virtues.
? The Diocesan priest should be ...
? Sincere
? Tireless in the exercise of their functions in the spirit of Christ.

 

TRIPLE FUNCTION
? THE PROPHETIC FUNCTION: THE MINISTRY OF THE WORD.
? THE PRIESTLY FUNCTION: THE MINISTRY OF THE SACRAMENTS.
? THE PASTORAL FUNCTION: THE MINISTRY OF THE SHEPHERD

THE PROPHETIC FUNCTION - THE MINISTRY OF THE WORD
To preach the Gospel to all.
W.O.G. is the first source of Christian Spirituality
The importance of the ministry of the word can be gathered from the ministry of lector, which each candidate to the priesthood must receive
In the rite of the ministry of lector, the bishop says "Meditate on it constantly, so that each day you will have a deep love of the scriptures, in all you say and do, show forth the world our saviour Jesus Christ".
In the rite of the ordination to the diaconate, the bishops stresses the instruction...believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach.
The W.O.G. is strength for the faith, food for the soul and a pure and lasting fount of spiritual life.

THE PRIESTLY FUNCTION - MINISTRY OF SACRAMENTS
EUCHARIST
RECONCILIATION
THOUGH ALL THE SACRAMENTS ARE IMPORTANT IN THE MINISTRY OF THE DIOCESAN PRIEST, WE SHALL FOCUS CHEIFLY ON THE EUCHARIST AND RECONCILIATION.

MINISTRY OF SACRAMENTS - EUCHARIST
• The centrality of the Eucharist in the life of the Diocesan priest is clear.
• Ultimate aim is the building up of the Christian community through the Eucharist.
• For the Diocesan priest, his call to be of total availability to the diocese and to the flock through his faithful promises of obedience and celibacy.
• An important element for the spirituality of the Diocesan priest springing fort from the Eucharist is UNITY.
• The Eucharist is the sacrament of unity.
• Through the Eucharist, the Diocesan priest keeps his community united – the Bishop, presbyterium, the flock, the people.
• The Diocesan priest is a UNIFIER, through evangelical love.
• Visit to the Blessed Sacrament – will help the Diocesan Priest to be more and more united to the Lord in the busy schedule of his day.
• An example of prayer and devotion

MINISTRY OF SACRAMENTS - RECONCILIATION
• As a reconciler the Diocesan priest must also make his confession regularly – the loss of the sense of sin is the greatest sin of the century.
• Will develop an even greater pastoral compassion for the flock.

THE PASTORAL FUNCTION - THE MINISTRY OF THE SHEPHERD
To shine forth the image of the shepherd.
Called and chosen to shepherd of the people.
Encouraged by the LOVE of Jesus the Good Shepherd to give their lives for their sheep
Ministry based on pastoral charity so evident in the life of Christ.
Pastoral charity is the expression of the relationship of the priest to Christ through the Holy Spirit
Must not make use of the ministry for their own self-interests (false prophets)
MUST be at the service people to BUILD the body of Christ through extensions of gentleness, humility and friendliness as shown by Jesus.
Must have a welcoming spirit
FIRM in the essentials
Patient
Ready for dialogue
Pastoral compassion,
Enthusiasm for daily duties
Optimism
Freedom from prejudice, favouritism, fear.
Must feel at home with those on the margins of society, those on the edge of the crowd.
Must NOT give room for discouragement from misunderstandings, lack of appreciation, bitter criticism and at times deliberate opposition
Must try to become incapable of hatred, revenge
A heart to love
Love speaks the language of maximum possibilities, not of minimum obligations
Attitude of why do more when can do less – not the Right way.
Having hearts as large as the seashore but with no place in it to retain the memory of an offence.
CARRY OUT THE PASTORAL MINISTRY WITH THE HEART AND MIND OF CHRIST.

THE SPIRITUALITY - The practice of virtues.
? Charity
? Detachment
? Hospitality
? Patience
? Humility
Also ...
? Recollections
? Retreats
? Spiritual directions
? Silence
? Ongoing formation
? Joy and optimism

VERY IMPORTANT
? THE LOVE FOR MARY AND THE ROSARY

menufooter