NICHOLAS CACHIA, «I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep» (John 10,11). The Image of the Good Shepherd As a Source for the Spirituality Of the Ministerial Priesthood
This is a well-written and clearly structured study.
It is a valuable aid for a critical understanding of the image of the Good
Shepherd as a source for the spirituality of the ministerial priesthood.
The introduction sets up the theoretical context for the scientific analysis
of the shepherd image by presenting some basic principles for arriving
at the theological meaning of this image. The study goes on to illustrate
the interdependence and interplay of traditions in relation to the meaning
of the shepherd image. The author studies the image in its Near Eastern
background, in the literature of the Old Testament and other Jewish traditions,
in the New Testament, especially John's Gospel, in the Fathers of the Church,
and finally in the writings of the recent Popes. The final section is an
essay which aims at working out a spirituality of the ministerial priesthood
in the light of the shepherd image. Here, the author explains the notion
of pastoral charity, the fulcrum of this spirituality. He stresses on the
relationship the priest must have to Christ and his flock.
NICHOLAS CACHIA was born in Malta in 1961
and was ordained priest in 1988. He studied philosophy and theology at
the Faculty of Theology, Malta. He read for a Licentiate in Pastoral Theology
at the same Faculty and the Licentiate in Biblical Theology at the Pontifical
Gregorian University in Rome from where he obtained a Doctorate in Spiritual
Theology. At present, he is a Spiritual Director at the Archbishop's Seminary
and lectures in Spiritual Theology at the University of Malta.
(C) PUG 1999