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 CNS Story:

POPE-ANGELUS Feb-11-2013 (330 words) With photos. xxxi

Don't worry about being imperfect when called to vocation, pope says

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Men and women called to a religious vocation should not worry about being imperfect but should trust in God to transform their lives, said Pope Benedict XVI.

Vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life are "works of God," the pope said Feb. 10 before praying the Angelus with visitors gathered in St. Peter's Square.

The individual "is not the author of his own vocation, but replies to the divine proposal," he said.

"Human weakness shouldn't make people afraid if God calls," he said. People need to trust in God's strength, "which acts precisely in our poverty," and in the power of his mercy, "which transforms and renews."

The pope asked everyone not to get discouraged by difficulties and failures when sharing the Gospel with others.

"May the word of God also rekindle in us and our Christian communities the courage, trust and enthusiasm to proclaim and give witness to the Gospel," he said.

Referring to the day's Gospel reading, in which Simon catches two boatfuls of fish after following Jesus' command to "put out into deep water," the pope said "it's up to us to cast our nets with faith; the Lord does the rest."

After praying the Angelus, the pope welcomed the lunar new year and praised the spiritual and moral values of the Asian people who celebrate it.

The new lunar Year of the Snake began Feb. 10 with festivities that included fireworks displays, colorful processions, traditional dances and holiday food in many countries across the world.

"Peace, harmony and thanking the heavens are universal values that are celebrated on this happy occasion and they are desired by everyone in order to build a family, society and nation," the pope said.

He said he wished people's hopes for "a happy and prosperous life" would be realized and gave special greetings to Catholics in Asia. He said he hoped the Year of Faith would inspire them to "be guided by the wisdom of Christ."

END


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