Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cardinal Arinze: Letter to a Young Priest

Zenit brings word of a new book by Cardinal Arinze, the recently retired Nigerian head of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments:

A priest who lives his celibacy with joy, fidelity and a positive spirit is a testimony that cannot be ignored in today's world, says Cardinal Francis Arinze.The cardinal, who just retired last week from his post as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, affirmed this today when he presented on Vatican Radio his book "Riflessioni sul sacerdozio. Lettera a un giovane sacerdote" (Reflections on the Priesthood: Letter to a Young Priest). Excerpts from the volume were published by L'Osservatore Romano."The Church has always had great esteem for the celibacy of priests," the cardinal wrote. "Christ lived a virginal life, taught chastity to his disciples, and proposed virginity to those who are willing and able to follow a similar call.""In priestly life, perpetual celibacy for the Kingdom of Heaven expresses and stimulates pastoral charity," he added. "It is a special fount of spiritual fruitfulness in the world. […] It is a testimony that stands out before the world as an efficacious way to follow Christ."The cardinal said that in today's world, "immersed in an exaggerated preoccupation with sex and the violation of its sacredness […] a presbyter who lives his vow of chastity with joy, fidelity and a positive spirit is a testimony that cannot be ignored."Through priestly celibacy, the prelate continued, "the presbyter consecrates himself more directly to Christ in the exercise of spiritual paternity." He is more available "as a minister of Christ, spouse of the Church," and he can "truly present himself as a living sign of the future world, which is already present through faith and charity."

1 comment:

Marie Strasser said...

Fr. Kyle- I just read the Zenit article this morning, and Googled the title of Arinze's book to see if it was available yet, and, to my surprise and delight, your blog was the second choice right behind the Zenit article! I should have known you would be so on top of it! You do not know me, but my family and I are part of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you are doing with vocations in Cincinnati. You are a true blessing for our archdiocese. You have a fabulous zeal for the faith that is just contagious! You are planting seeds and I am really looking forward to the harvest! Thank you again and may God bless you with an abundant outpouring of grace to continue in your valuable ministry!