Young people in St. Peter's Square hold the national flags of Brazil and other countries as they attend Pope Benedict XVI's "Regina Coeli" prayed from the window of his apartment at the Vatican April 29. CNS photo/Paul Haring

Don't let fear, search for the superficial deafen God's call, Pope says

By  Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service
  • May 1, 2012

VATICAN CITY - God is always calling people to dedicate themselves fully to serving him, but they often don't hear because they are either too distracted or afraid they would no longer be free if they answered the call, Pope Benedict XVI said.

"Let us pray that all young people pay attention to the voice of God, who speaks to their hearts and calls them to detach themselves from everything in order to serve him," he said April 29 -- the World Day of Prayer for Vocations.

Before praying the "Regina Coeli" with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Pope said, "The Lord is always calling us, but very often we don't listen."

"We are distracted by many things, by other voices that are more superficial and because we are afraid to listen to the Lord's voice because we think that it can take away our freedom."

But everyone on the earth is deeply loved by God, and as soon as people become aware of that love, their lives change by becoming a response to God's love, which in turn means human freedom is fully realized, the Pope said.

The Pope asked that the universal church and every local parish or community become a lush garden "in which the seeds of vocations that God spreads in abundance can germinate and ripen."

He asked that everyone help cultivate this garden so that those who do hear God's call can follow through with joy and generosity.

Earlier in the day, Pope Benedict ordained nine new priests in St. Peter's Basilica; one of the priests will serve the diocese Bui Chu in Vietnam, while the others -- who come from Italy, the Ivory Coast and Colombia -- will serve in the Diocese of Rome.

One of the newly ordained men, Father Piero Gallo, 42, worked as a lawyer and magistrate for the Italian government for eight years. Another, Father Marco Santarelli, 29, used to pilot private aircraft with the dream of someday flying a Boeing 747.

Before reciting the "Regina Coeli" prayer, the Pope said these men "are not any different from other young people."

The only thing that sets them apart is that "they have been profoundly touched by the beauty of God's love and could not do anything but respond to it with their whole lives," he said. They encountered that love in Jesus through the Gospel, the Eucharist and people in their church community, he added.

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