Venezuelan cardinal to priests: protect the treasure of celibacy

Caracas, Venezuela, Aug 21, 2012 / 12:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- During an ordination Mass for two priests and a deacon on Aug. 18, Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas, Venezuela urged priests to value and protect the gift of celibacy given by Christ.

“It is essential that, like Jesus, we fully live out our love for the Father and for humanity,” Cardinal Urosa said.

“In this way, we can understand and live our consecration to the Lord and to the Church in priestly celibacy, which is a treasure we have received from the Lord himself, with joy, fidelity and abundant fruit.”

During the Mass at the Basilica of St. Theresa, the Venezuelan cardinal noted that celibacy is a gift to “show to the world that 'God is love' and that love for God is more sublime and fulfilling than any other kind of love.”

In this sense, he recalled, the “path to happiness is not spiritual tepidness or greed or lust, but rather love of God and neighbor.”

“In the document on the ministry and life of the priest, the Second Vatican Council teaches us that pastoral charity is precisely the unifying element of all the tasks that we are to carry out in the diverse ministries entrusted to us,” Cardinal Urosa said.  

“It is essential that people see us as men full of the fire of God’s love and who consecrate ourselves in service to him for love of God and love of neighbor.”

Priests are cooperators with their bishops, he noted, and they are called to nourish themselves continually with the word of God and the Eucharist in order to be good shepherds who guide the faithful towards happiness amidst the difficulties of life.  

Cardinal Urosa concluded his homily by exhorting the faithful to pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and that priests would persevere in their calling.  

“May there be many young men and women who desire to consecrate themselves to the Lord in order to testify that God is love and to show and communicate the immense and sublime love of the Heart of Jesus to the whole world.”

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