Pope Francis to Mexican Bishops: look after your priests!
On Saturday, the first full day of his Apostolic visit to the country, #PopeFrancis addressed the Mexican Bishops admonishing them to:
"Introduce your priests into a right understanding of sacred ministry."Using words that can also be taken to heart by the laity, our holy Father said:
“The first face I ask you to guard in your hearts is that of your priests. Do not leave them exposed to loneliness and abandonment, easy prey to a worldliness that devours the heart. Be attentive and learn how to read their expressions so as to rejoice with them when they feel the joy of recounting all that they have “done and taught” (Mk 6:30). Also, do not step back when they feel humiliated and can only cry because they “have denied the Lord” (cf. Lk 22:61-62), and offer your support, in communion with Christ, when one of them, disheartened, goes out with Judas into “the night” (cf. Jn 13:30). As bishops in these situations, your paternal care for your priests must never be found wanting. Encourage communion among them; seek the perfection of their gifts; involve them in great ventures, for the heart of an apostle was not made for small things.”You can read the full text here.
"the heart of an apostle was not made for small things.” —This really struck me because I feel that so much of work as a community of the Gospel relies on strong leadership. The system of leadership we have in the Church is ordained by Christ, thus we can learn much by reflection on this. The style is not democratic, it requires great courage and constant recourse to prayer. Like any successful form leadership, you cannot please all the people all the time; you are inevitably going to upset and disappoint some. So the Pope's words make a lot of sense. Set out your cart: don't pander to uncatholic ideas or directions (i.e. "Introduce your priests into a right understanding of sacred ministry."), look after your priests, make your direction clear, and be bold!