ROME – The Christian life is a journey that involves moving forward each day, recognizing one’s fragility, overcoming obstacles and continually refocusing on God and his love, Pope Benedict XVI told Rome diocesan seminarians.
The fact that Jesus repeatedly had to scold his apostles for their lack of faith and understanding “shows that none of us have reached the heights of this great ‘yes’“ to the Lord, the pope told the 120 seminarians during a Feb. 17 visit at the Rome seminary.
Pope Benedict spent the evening at the seminary, responding at length to questions about preparing for the priesthood and for a holy life and then eating dinner with the students.
One of the students asked how priests could fight the temptation of career climbing in the church.
“The Lord knew that from the beginning there was also sin within the church,” the pope said. “In humility it is important to recognize this and to see not only the sin in others, in structures, in high church offices, but also in ourselves.
“In that way, we will be more humble ourselves and learn that the position we hold does not count in the eyes of the Lord, but what counts is being in his love and making his love shine,” the pope said.
Pope Benedict said that recognizing one’s own weakness and sinfulness is an essential part of growing in holiness because that is the only way to recognize one’s need for God’s grace.