The Bishop of Orihuela-Alicante has directed the Advent Retreat of the priests of the Diocese
With the recitation of the Angelus, the Advent Retreat of the priests of the Diocese of Segorbe-Castellón began this morning, which is included in the annual retreat program organized by the Vicariate for the Clergy and which was held today in the Casa de la Sagrada Family of the Daughters of Charity, in Castellnovo.
Bishop Munilla has shared two reflections with the more than fifty priests, who have been able to attend the meeting, and who has dealt with “humble spirituality.”
Just for today
The first of them, based on the Decalogue of Serenity of Saint John XXIII, which includes ten attitudes or life advice with a common denominator. They all begin with the expression “just for today.” The objective of the reflection, as expressed by the prelate, has been to underline the wisdom of this expression and that “it is based on the spirituality of living in the present moment and understanding it as a gift from God.” It is a “kairos”, said Msgr. Munilla, “a moment of grace that God gives me to live it without distracting me, without alienating myself thinking about what I will do tomorrow, without allowing myself to be overwhelmed or tempted to think that I will not be able or I will not have strength.
In this sense, the Bishop of Orihuela-Alicante has urged them to focus on “just for today” to “avoid falling into the temptation of what touches or does not touch”. In this sense, he has affirmed that the decalogue “helps discernment and frees us from derailing from the present moment.”
Focusing on “just for today” when we see ourselves as weak or fragile makes us have more strength and energy at this moment because “God allows, even if it is just for today, to be faithful.” And if the temptation leads us to consider what will happen tomorrow, the fact of having overcome it just for today, “gives us strength and energy, increasing self-esteem and filling me with joy and happiness.” In contrast to the spirituality of “just for today”, he has referred to the “I will not deny you” of Saint Peter to Jesus (Matt 26:35) which was later found to be “no more than a self-affirmation and false self-confidence that he was later unable to maintain.”
The expression “just for today”, Bishop Munilla said, “helps us to weave a humble spirituality because God gives us the grace for this moment and we see that when he asks us for something he is giving us the grace to achieve it”. He has shared some of his personal experiences and how applying the wisdom of the just for today He has obtained the grace of God.
The importance of just for today It resides, “in that this fidelity of God allowing us to do it, today and here, is lived with joy and joy”, otherwise “it will hardly allow us to maintain that fidelity”, he concluded.
The spiritual fatherhood of the priest
After a while of prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament exposed in which the priests have had the opportunity to, in intimate dialogue with the Lord, internalize the Decalogue of Serenity, a second reflection has been given in which the Bishop of Orihuela -Alicante has carried out a translation of Jacques Philip’s book on the spiritual fatherhood of priest.
Thus, from the light that the paternity of Saint Joseph bestows, they have been able to discover “the spiritual paternity of the priest” which, in the words of D. José Ignacio Munilla, resides “in being the shadow of Father God.” He has referred to several evangelical texts to expose that “the paternity that God has granted me as a priest is a shadow and a prolongation of the paternity of God the Father.” In this sense, he has urged them to assume that spiritual paternity as Saint Joseph did, “because the priesthood is a sacramentality of that paternity.”
From this spirituality, the nullity of possession is derived for the priest, since “I do not own myself as property and I am for the Children of God who have been entrusted to me.” The spirituality of the priest, Msgr. Munilla said, “supposes an emptiness and a spirituality in humility in the awareness that God allows me to show his paternity before the world and shapes our spirituality as priests.”
Only in this way, he said, “can we realize that in front of souls we have to act like Moses when approaching the bush, aware that he was treading on sacred ground.” “When souls are entrusted to us, we know that we do not possess them, that they belong to God and it is God who asks me to enter into that encounter, between the soul and God and I take off my shoes to attend that moment of the encounter with the Father”, it is finished.
After this second reflection, the priests were able to meditate again, in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. The retreat ended this afternoon with a fraternal meal.