2006-10-13 15:42:36

Pope points to prayer as a sure way to holiness

(Oct. 13, 2006) A sure way for bishops to lead their faithful to a genuine life of holiness is to inculcate in them the value and practice of prayer especially liturgical prayer. Pope Benedict XVI offered this advice to the bishops of Zambia during their current ‘ad limina’ visit to Rome, which bishops are required to make every 5 years or so to report on the state of their dioceses. Meeting them in a group on Friday in the Vatican the Pope encouraged the practice popular forms of piety, especially praying to the saints, who, he said, are the great friends of Jesus, and in a particular way by invoking the special intercession of Mary, his Mother.
Pope Benedict encouraged the bishops not to be disheartened by the difficulties they face while leading their people to sanctity, particularly when they encounter problems with some of their priests, who at times can be led astray by the many temptations of contemporary society. He urged the bishop to always transmit to their brother priests the joy of serving the Lord with a proper detachment from the things of this world. When urging priests to live holy lives, when preaching generous love and fidelity in marriage and when exhorting all to practise the works of mercy, the Pope said they become the light of the world. Pope Benedict particularly urged compassion for the poor, the refugees, the sick and all who suffer. He also urged the Zambian bishops to continue preaching the need for honesty, family affection, discipline and fidelity, all of which, he said, have a decisive impact on the health and stability of society.

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