BISHOPS MUST BE, ABOVE ALL, MEN OF PRAYER
VATICAN CITY, SEP 22, 2007 (VIS) - This morning in Castelgandolfo, the Holy Father received participants in the traditional meeting of bishops who have been appointed over the course of the last twelve months. With them, he reflected on the apostolic and pastoral nature of a bishop's life of prayer.
After highlighting how "the chief place in the life of a successor to the Apostles must be reserved for God," the Pope told the bishops to reserve a special mention for priests in their prayers, "that they may persevere in their vocation, faithful to the priestly mission with which they have been entrusted.
"How edifying its," he added, "for each priest to know that his bishop - from whom he received the gift of priesthood or who is in any case his father and friend - remains close to him in prayer and affection, and is always ready to welcome him, listen to him, support and encourage him. Nor," he continued," in a bishop's prayers, should there ever be lacking a supplication for new vocations. They must be asked insistently of God, that He may call 'whom He will' to the sacred ministry."
"Where men and women are constantly rushing and lose themselves, where people live as if God does not exist," the Pope told the newly-consecrated bishops, "create places and moments for prayer where, in silence, in listening to God through 'lectio divina,' in individual and community prayer, mankind can meet God and enjoy a living experience of Jesus Christ Who reveals the true face of the Father."
The Holy Father exhorted the bishops "to make the cathedral an exemplary house of prayer, especially liturgical prayer, where the diocesan community united with their bishop can praise and thank God for His work of salvation, and intercede for all humankind."
"Be men of prayer," Benedict XVI concluded. "In appealing to God for yourselves and for your faithful, have the trust of children, the boldness of a friend, and the perseverance of Abraham, who was tireless in his intercession."
AG/PRAYER/BISHOPS VIS 070924 (350)