Today is also the Optional Memoria of Pope St Paul VI, saint of our own time. Cardinal Robert Sarah, then Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, wrote in the 2019 Decree inserting Pope Paul’s celebration into the General Roman Calendar: ‘As a priest, in 1931, when he had already begun his service for the Holy See, after having written that he did not wish “any extraordinary addition, or way of life” that would distinguish him as other than a normal Christian, he added that he would like to cultivate “a particular love for that which is essential and common in Catholic spiritual life”. “Thus” he wrote, “the Church will be the Mother of Charity: her Liturgy will be the preferred way for my religious spirituality”. Meditating on the Eucharist and reflecting upon the words in the Rite of Ordination of a Priest “imitate what you celebrate” he came to the resolve that the “immolation of one’s own life at all times” is a necessary requirement pointing to “the living out of the Mass” as being an act of “always giving thanks”’.

He lived these words out to the end, as a Christian, a priest, a Bishop, and finally as Pope. May he pray for us, that we too may live out our own calling in its fullness, and may God bless you.