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Pope prays that more young people will answer the call to vocation

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In his homily for daily Mass in the chapel of the St. Martha House yesterday, Pope Francis reflected on his concern that too many young people are not answering the call to the priesthood or to religious life because they have become too attached to the things of this world to empty themselves for others as Christ did. “We must pray so that the hearts of these young people may be emptied, emptied of other interests and other sentiments, so that they may become free,” the Holy Father said, centering his thoughts on the Gospel passage about the rich young ruler who turned away from a calling to follow Jesus, and who had material wealth. “He was a good man, a man who had observed the commandments from his youth. However, this was not enough for him, he wanted more. The Holy Spirit was pushing him further.”

After Jesus told this young man to go and sell all that he had, give to the poor, and follow Jesus, Pope Francis pointed out that he went away sad. “His heart was full and he lacked the courage to empty it,” the Pope taught. “He made his choice: money. His heart was full of money, he was not a thief, or a criminal: no, no, no! He was a good man: he had never stolen! He had never cheated anyone: his money had been earned honestly. But his heart was imprisoned, it was attached to money and he lacked the freedom to choose. Money chose for him.”

The Pope then said that there are many young people who are not ashamed to live and proclaim their faith “but when their hearts are full of something else and they lack the courage to empty their hearts, they turn back and their joy becomes sadness.” Francis said that he believes there are many young people today who have a religious or priestly vocation, but that obstacles and roadblocks of various kinds keep them from heeding God’s call. “We must pray so that the hearts of these young people may be emptied,” he pleaded. “Emptied of other interests and other sentiments, so that they may become free. Lord, send us nuns and send us priests, defend them from idolatry, the idolatry of vanity, the idolatry of pride, the idolatry of power, the idolatry of money.”

“This is the prayer for vocations. This prayer of ours is to prepare these hearts so that they are able to follow Jesus closely,” the Pontiff said

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