Benedict XVI: Prayer Is Not a Waste of Time

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 18, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Prayer and sacramental life are pastoral priorities for priests, even if they are called to take on great missionary challenges, says Benedict XVI.



The Pope said this today, in an audience in Castel Gandolfo with priests and bishops of Mali, Africa. The prelates were in Italy for their five-yearly visit with the Holy Father and members of the Roman Curia.

The Pontiff told them: "The life of prayer and the sacraments are an authentic pastoral priority for priests, that will help them to respond with determination to the call to holiness that they have received from the Lord and to their mission of guiding the faithful along this same path.

"He who prays does not waste his time, even if the situation has all the markings of being an emergency and seems to push us towards action alone."

In Mali, a country that is 90% Muslim, there are 71,233 people to every priest.

Benedict XVI asked the bishops to pay "particular attention to the emotional maturity" of seminarians, which will "help them to respond freely to a life of celibacy and chastity, a precious gift of God, and to maintain a firm and stable conscience throughout their lives."