Bishop Javier Echevarria's Intervention at the Synod

«By also Encouraging Presbyters to Regularly Sit in the Confessional, Many Souls will be Cleansed of their Sins»

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 15, 2012 ( The following is the text of the intervention of Javier Echevarria Rodriguez from Spain, Titular Bishop of Cilibia and Prelate of the Personal Prelature of Opus Dei, at the Synod of Bishops on Tuesday.

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The People of God would like the Bishops and priests to be masters of holiness, precisely because they seek it on a daily basis, through the sacramental life and through their own ministry. They must be men who pray with faith, who passionately love the Sacrament of the Eucharist and the Sacrament of the Confession, and who live them with sincere piety, to enrich themselves with graces and to be, therefore, bearers of the Good News to other priests and to all the faithful. Using those methods instituted by Jesus Christ in order to identify oneself with Him ensures that the faithful, listening to priests, listen to the Lord; seeing them pray, they in turn are moved to prayer. Aware that they frequently turn to Confession, they too will seek sacramental forgiveness.

It is beneficial also to reflect on the example of many saints, the Curate of Ars, Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Saint Josemaría Escrivá, and on the more recent example of the Blessed John Paul II. As Benedict XVI reminds us, they have left a living example of love for the Sacrament of Penitence, and can reinforce the awareness of having to be Good Shepherds, who know how to give their life for their sheep. By also encouraging presbyters to regularly sit in the confessional, many souls will be cleansed of their sins, and from this ministry vocations for the seminary and for the religious life, as well as vocations for good fathers and mothers of families will bloom.

It is also interesting to pay attention to homilies from the doctrinal point of view and with the “gift of tongues”. For many faithful, the Sunday Holy Mass, with its Homily, is the only occasion where they will hear the message of Christ. With evermore renewed commitment, preaching will be very effective, above all if it is directed also at one’s own soul: if one lives what one says and preaches what one lives.

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