Opus Dei Prelate Addresses Synod

Bishop Challenges Clergy to be "Masters of Holiness"

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By Ann Schneible

ROME, OCTOBER 15, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Bishop Javier Echevarría Rodríguez, Prelate of the Personal Prelature of Opus Dei, addressed the Synod on New Evangelization last Friday, where he challenged bishops and priests "to be masters of holiness," instructing the faithful through their example.

This example comes, said Bishop Echevarría, when bishops and priests seek holiness daily, both in their sacramental life and in their own ministry. "They must be men who pray with faith," he said, "who passionately love the Sacrament of the Eucharist and the Sacrament of the Confession, and who live them with sincere piety, to enrich themselves with graces and to be, therefore, bearers of the Good News to other priests and to all the faithful.

"Using those methods instituted by Jesus Christ in order to identify oneself with Him ensures that the faithful, listening to priests, listen to the Lord; seeing them pray, they in turn are moved to prayer."

Bishop Echevarría also spoke about the importance of confession in the lives of clergy. When the faithful are aware that the clergy "frequently turn to Confession, they too will seek sacramental forgiveness."

Pointing to the example of the saints, such as the Curate of Ars, Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, Saint Josemaría Escrivá, and Blessed John Paul II, Benedict XVI gives the reminder that these saints "have left a living example of love for the Sacrament of Penitence, and can reinforce the awareness of having to be Good Shepherds, who know how to give their life for their sheep. By also encouraging presbyters to regularly sit in the confessional, many souls will be cleansed of their sins, and from this ministry vocations for the seminary and for the religious life, as well as vocations for good fathers and mothers of families will bloom."
The Prelate of Opus Dei turned to the subject of homilies, considering them from the point of view of doctrine and with the "gift of tongues."

"For many faithful," he said, "the Sunday Holy Mass, with its Homily, is the only occasion where they will hear the message of Christ. With evermore renewed commitment, preaching will be very effective, above all if it is directed also at one’s own soul: if one lives what one says and preaches what one lives."