Pope Stresses Role of Spiritual Guides in Discernment

Emphasizes Importance of Priests, Parents in Presenting Vocation

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 16, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI says that both priests and parents have a key role in helping youth discover their vocation.

The Pope on Sunday spoke about the role of spiritual guides in vocational discernment, before he prayed the midday Angelus with crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

«In the biblical readings of this Sunday — the second in Ordinary Time — the theme of vocation emerges: in the Gospel it is the call of the first disciples by Jesus; in the first reading it is the call of the Prophet Samuel,» he noted. «In both accounts there comes to the forefront the importance of the figure who plays the role of mediator, helping the persons called to recognize the voice of God and follow it.»

He went on to mention Eli, the priest awakened by young Samuel three times, who realized that it was the Lord calling the boy; and John the Baptist, who pointed out the Messiah to the first apostles.

«In the light of these two texts,» the Holy Father said, «I would like to underscore the decisive role of the spiritual guide in the journey of faith and, in particular, in the response to the vocation of special consecration for the service of God and his people.»

The Pontiff observed that the «call to follow Jesus closely, renouncing a family of one’s own to dedicate oneself to the great family of the Church, normally passes through the witness and the suggestion of an ‘older brother,’ usually a priest.»

«But this is not to forget the fundamental role of parents,» he added, «who with their genuine and joyful faith and their marital love show their children that it is beautiful and possible to build a whole life on the love of God.»

The Pope concluded: «Let us pray to the Virgin Mary for all teachers, especially priests and parents, that they have complete awareness of the importance of their spiritual role to help young people not only in human growth but also in answering God’s call and saying: ‘Speak Lord, your servant is listening.'»

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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-34123?l=english

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