New evangelisation needs renewed priests, says Cardinal Prefect
“At times the fatigue is truly great” and priests “feel as if we are too few to fulfil
the Churches’ needs”, but “if first we don’t convert ourselves, we will become even
fewer”, writes Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy
in a letter to priests for Lent.
The Prefect asks them to use this period to
align their daily lives to the Gospel, becoming “living witnesses” of the Good News,
“which everyone can learn from and accept”.
He writes that priests who are
capable of bringing "the light of wisdom to contemporary circumstances”, which challenge
our faith, are the "true prophets" of today. The period of Lent, in particular, calls
for a "renewed conversion”. The priestly identity, - adds Cardinal Piacenza, “sacramentally
received and welcomed by our wounded humanity demands a progressive conformation of
heart, mind and actions of all who are the image of Christ the Good Shepherd”.
“A de-Christianized world requires a new evangelization” but this in turn requires
“new priests” not in the superficial sense, rather priests who are profoundly “renewed”
by the love of Christ at every Holy Mass.
The Cardinal asks priests to convert
themselves from the “noise” of everyday tasks to the “silence” of “being with Christ”.
He asks them to convert themselves to communion with the God and through him with
the Church, to renew their proclamation of the Churches teaching, law and tradition
and realise that the Church – the People of God – looks to its Pastors for safe points
Cardinal Piacenza concludes, noting that “only a renewed, converted
priest can become an instrument through which the Spirit calls new priests”.