ROME, MAY 20, 2010 (Zenit.org).- In carrying out the work of the Church, it’s as important as ever for priests to dedicate themselves to the 3D’s: doctrine, discipline, devotion.
This was the message delivered this week by Cardinal Ivan Dias, the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, to the general assembly of the Pontifical Missionary Societies, which will conclude Friday in Rome.
“In his journey of growth and in his ministry, every priest must take care of three dimensions: Doctrine, Discipline, Devotion,” he explained, as reported by the Fides news agency.
For the Indian cardinal, “to look at doctrine means to be faithful to the Word of God, to the magisterium of the Church, in the observance of the words of the Holy Father.”
Discipline, he added, “is very important today”: “Mental and corporal discipline is a sign and fruit of human and spiritual maturity.
“Part of this field is formation in chastity and in correct relations with the opposite sex; the management of discord and conflicts in relationships and in the community; the management of free time and of the use of the new technologies.”
In regard to devotion, Cardinal Dias stressed that “the priest, in every small daily action, must have very present his being a man of God, he must give primacy to the spirit, remembering that he is in the world but not of the world.”
“Above all, priests must be persons that ‘exude the sacred,’ especially in the celebration of the Holy Mass and in administering the sacraments, helping their neighbor to encounter the living and operating person of Jesus Christ,” he exhorted his listeners.
Every priest, that cardinal continued, just as every Christian, “has in his DNA the spirit of the mission,” or else he “is a poorly formed Christian.”
Cardinal Dias concluded by pointing out that Cardinal John Henry Newman — whom Benedict XVI will beatify in September during his visit to the United Kingdom — as model of priest who lived fully the three dimensions mentioned.