Notable quotations from Pope John Paul II and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
In today's culture, the person who serves is considered inferior, but in sacred history, the servant is the one called by God to carry out a particular action of salvation and redemption.
The servant knows that he has received all he has and is. As a result, he also feels called to place what he has at the service of others.
In the Bible, service is always linked to a specific call that comes from God. For this reason, it represents the greatest fulfillment of the dignity of the creature...
In Sacred Scripture, there is a strong and clear link between service and redemption, as well as between service and suffering...
The vocation to service is invariably a vocation to take part in a most personal way in the ministry of salvation a partaking that will, among other things, be costly and painful.
In the hearts of many young people there is a natural disposition to open up to others, especially to the most needy. This makes them generous, capable of empathy, ready to forget themselves in order to put the other person ahead of their own interests.
Service is a completely natural vocation, because human beings are by nature servants, not being masters of their own lives and being in their turn, in need of the service of others.
Service shows that we are free from the intrusiveness of our own ego. It shows that we have a responsibility to other people. And service is possible for everyone, through gestures that seem small, but which are, in reality, great if they are animated by a sincere love.
True servants are humble and know how to be "useless" (cf. Lk 17:10). They do not seek egoistic benefits, but expend themselves for others, experiencing in the gift of themselves the joy of working for free.
(Source: Message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations, issued Oct. 16, 2002)
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