Pope Francis’ remarks at the Regina Caeli on Sunday, May 11, 2014
May the Lord help us, us pastors, to be ever faithful to the Master and to be wise and enlightened guides of the people of God entrusted to us. And you, too, please, I ask you to help us. Help us to be good pastors. Once I read a beautiful thing about how the people of God help the Bishops and the priests to be good pastors. It is a writing of St Caesarius of Arles, a father of the first ages of the Church. And he explained how the people of God should help the pastor, and he gave this example: when the calf is hungry, it goes to the cow, to the mother, and takes the milk. But the cow does not give it right away: it seems that she keeps it for herself. And what does the calf do? It knocks with its nose against the cow’s udder, so that the milk comes. It’s a beautiful image! That, the saint says, is how you should be with the pastors: knocking always at their doors, at their hearts, so that they will give you the milk of doctrine, the milk of grace, the milk of guidance. And I ask you, please, bother [it: importunare = importune] the pastors, disturb the pastors, all of us pastors, so that we will give you the milk of grace, of doctrine, and of guidance. Bother us! Think of that beautiful image of the calf, how he bothers the mother so that she will give him to something to eat. In imitation of Jesus, every pastor “will sometimes go before his people, pointing the way and keeping their hope vibrant; the pastor should go ahead at times. At other times, he will simply be in their midst with his unassuming and merciful presence. At yet other times, he will have to walk after them, helping those who lag behind” (Apost. Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, 31). Would that all Pastors would be like that! But you, bother the pastors so that they will give us the guidance of doctrine and grace!