Pope to seminarians: Don’t be normal. Be holy.

From Zenit

Pope Francis says future priests have to reject the temptation of “normality”: the temptation to be a pastor “for whom a ‘normal’ life is enough.”

“You are preparing to respond to that impulse from the Spirit, to be the ‘future of the Church,’ in accordance with God’s heart; not with individual preferences or passing fashions, but as the announcement of the Gospel requires,” said the Pope this morning as he received in audience the Pontifical Community of the Lombard Seminary in Rome, in the Clementine Hall. “To prepare oneself well requires not only extensive work, but also an inner conversion, basing daily ministry on the first call of Jesus, and reviving it in the personal relationship with Him, as did the apostle Paul, whose conversion we remember today.”

A priest cannot be contented with attention or judge his ministry on his “successes,” gradually becoming lukewarm and “without true interest in others,” Francis warned. “The ‘normality’ for us is instead pastoral holiness, the giving of life. If a priest decides merely to become a normal person, he will be a mediocre priest, or worse.”

The Pope also mentioned St. Charles Borromeo, whose life is presented as “a constant movement of conversion, reflecting the image of the Pastor.”

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The Pope said that the seminarians must be in constant dialogue with “the Word of God, or better, with God who speaks.”