In His Face: A Prophetic Call to Renewed Focus

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For this reason, there is a need for communities which are welcoming and able to share the ideal of their life with young people, allowing themselves to be challenged by the demands of authenticity, and willing to accept them. The local Church is the privileged place for this vocational announcement. Here all the ministries and charisms express their complimentarity.

The active presence of consecrated persons will help Christian communities to become laboratories of faith , 53 places of research, of reflection and of meeting, of communion and apostolic service, in which all feel part of the building up of the Kingdom of God. In this way the characteristic climate of the church as God's family, an environment which facilitates mutual knowledge, sharing and the contagion of those very values which are at the origin of the choice to give one's whole life to the cause of the Kingdom, is created.

Care for vocations is a crucial task for the future of consecrated life. The decrease in vocations particularly in the Western world and their growth in Asia and Africa are drawing a new geography of the presence of consecrated life in the Church and new cultural balances in the lives of Institutes. This state of life which, through the profession of the evangelical counsels gives a constant visibility to the characteristic features of Jesus in the midst of the world, 54 is today undergoing a particular period of rethinking and of research with new methods in new cultures.

This is certainly a promising beginning for the development of unexplored expressions of its multiple charismatic forms. The transformations which are taking place directly involve each Institute of Consecrated Life and Society of Apostolic Life, calling them to give strong Gospel-based meaning to their presence in the Church and their service to humanity. Vocational ministry requires the development of new and deeper means of encounter; of offering a living witness of the characteristics of the following of Christ and of holiness, of presenting ways which strongly and clearly announce the freedom which springs from a life of poverty whose only treasure is the kingdom of God, the depths of love of a chaste existence which seeks only one heart, that of Christ, and the strength for sanctification and renewal contained in an obedient life whose only goal is to carry out the will of God for the salvation of the world.

Today vocation promotion is not something which can be delegated in an exclusive way to some specialists dedicated to the task, nor can it be separated from a true, specific youth ministry which first and foremost communicates Christ's love for youth. Every community and all the members of the Institute are called to take on the tasks of contact with youth, of an evangelical teaching of the following of Christ and of handing on the charism.

Young people are searching for others who are able to propose styles of authentic evangelical life and ways of arriving at the great spiritual values of human and Christian life. Consecrated persons must rediscover the teaching art of bringing to the surface and freeing the deep questions which are too often kept hidden in one's heart. This is especially true when dealing with young people. As they accompany others on the path of vocational discernment, consecrated persons will be forced to share the source of their identity.

Communicating one's own life experience always entails remembering and revisiting that light which guided the person to his or her own particular vocational choice. The Formative Courses. As far as formation is concerned, our Dicastery has issued two documents, Potissimum Institutioni, and Inter-Institute Collaboration for Formation. However, we are well aware of the constant challenges which Institutes must face in this field. The new vocations knocking at the doors of consecrated life present great diversity and require personal attention and methods which are able to respond to their concrete human, spiritual and cultural situations.

For this reason, a peaceful discernment, freed from the temptations of numbers or efficiency, must take place in order to verify the authenticity of the vocation and the purity of motivation in the light of faith and of possible contradictions. Young people need to be challenged to meet the high ideals of a radical following of Christ and the profound demands of holiness, when discerning a vocation which is beyond them and which perhaps goes beyond the initial ideas which attracted them to enter a particular Institute.

For this reason, formation must have the characteristics of the initiation to the radical following of Christ. The most pressing challenges which formation must face grow out of the values of today's globalized culture. The Christian announcement of life as vocation, that is, one which flows from God's loving plan and requires a personal and salvific encounter with Christ in the the Church must confront the dominant ideals and plans of cultures and social histories which are extremely diversified. There is the risk that subjective choices, individual projects and local customs will prevail over the rule, the style of community life and the apostolic projects of the community.

This calls for a formative dialogue capable of bringing together the human, social and spiritual characteristics borne by each person, discerning in them the human limitations which must be overcome and the promptings of the Spirit which can renew the lives of individuals and Institutes. Institutes of Consecrated Life are increasingly characterized by cultural, age and project differences.

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Formation should prepare for community dialogue in the cordiality and charity of Christ, teaching to see diversity as richness and to integrate the various ways of seeing and feeling. Thus the constant search for unity in charity will become a school of communion for Christian communities and an example of people living together in communion.

Particular attention must be given to a cultural formation in line with the times and in dialogue with the research of the meaning of human life today. This calls for a greater preparation in the philosophical, theological and psychological fields and a more profound orientation to the spiritual life, models more adapted to the cultures in which new vocations are being born and well-planned programs for ongoing formation.

Above all it is hoped that the best forces are destined for formation even when this calls for great sacrifices.

The use of qualified personnel and their adequate preparation must be a priority commitment. We must be very generous in dedicating our time and best energies to formation. The consecrated persons themselves are, in fact, the best resources that we have. Without them all formative and apostolic plans remain theory and useless desires. In an era as rushed as ours, perseverance and patient waiting to realize the scope of formation are called for more than ever.

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In circumstances in which rapidity and superficiality prevail we need serenity and depth because, in reality, a person is fashioned very slowly. Some Particular Challenges. Importance has been placed on the quality of life and the demands of formation because these seem to be the areas which are in most need of attention. The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life wishes to be close to consecrated persons in all problem areas and to continue an ever more sincere and constructive dialogue.

The members of the Plenary are aware of this need and have manifested the desire for a greater knowledge of and collaboration with Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. Their presence in the local Church and particularly that of congregations of diocesan right, consecrated virgins and hermits require special attention on the part of the Bishops and their presbyterates. In the same way they are aware of the questions posed by religious regarding the great works in which up to now they have been allowed to serve in line with their respective charisms: hospitals, schools, houses of welcome and of retreat.

In some parts of the world these are urgently needed, in other parts they are becoming difficult to administer. Creativity, wisdom and dialogue among members of the Institute, among Institutes with similar works and with those responsible for the local Church are necessary in order to find the right answers. The themes of inculturation are also very much alive.

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These deal with the way in which to incarnate consecrated life, adaptation of forms of spirituality and apostolate, ways of governing, formation, use of resources and material goods and the carrying out of mission. The appeals expressed by the Pope regarding the whole Church are also applicable to consecrated life.

In His Face: A Prophetic Call to Renewed Focus

We could endlessly list other expectations of consecrated life at the beginning of this new millennium because the Spirit always pushes us above and beyond. It is the word of the Teacher who, with great enthusiasm, must provoke all of the disciples to remember the past with gratitude, to live the present with enthusiasm and to look forward to the future in confidence. Listening to the invitation given to the whole Church by John Paul II, consecrated life must clearly start afresh from Christ, contemplating his face, giving preference to the ways of spirituality as life, teaching and pastoral practice.

Consecrated Life, like all forms of Christian life, is by its nature dynamic and all who are called by the Spirit to embrace it must constantly renew themselves in growing towards that perfect stature of the Body of Christ cf. Eph It came into being through the creative prompting of the Spirit who moved founders and foundresses along the Gospel path, giving rise to an admirable variety of charisms.

These founders and foundresses, open and docile to the Spirit's guidance, followed Christ more closely, entered into intimacy with him and fully shared in his mission. Their experience of the Spirit must not only be preserved by those who follow them but must also be deepened and developed. The Spirit alone can keep alive the freshness and authenticity of the beginnings while at the same time instilling the courage of interdependence and inventiveness needed to respond to the signs of the times.

We must therefore allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit to a constantly renewed discovery of God and of his Word, to a burning love for God and for humanity and to a new understanding of the charism which has been given. It calls for a concentration on an intense spirituality in the strongest sense of the word, that is, life according to the Spirit.

In His Face: A Prophetic Call to Renewed Focus: Bob Sorge: -

Consecrated life today needs a spiritual rebirth which will help to concretely bring about the spiritual and evangelical meaning of baptismal consecration and of its new and special consecration. It is the Spirit who allows us to recognize the Lord in Jesus of Nazareth cf. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ, does not belong to Christ cf.

It is the Spirit who instills love and gives birth to communion. Clearly consecrated life needs a renewed striving for holiness which in the simplicity of everyday life, aims at the radicalness of the Sermon on the Mount 62 and demanding love, lived in a personal relationship with the Lord, in a life of communion and in the service to every man and woman.

In His face : a prophetic call to renewed focus

It is such an interior newness, entirely animated by the strength of the Spirit and reaching out to the Father, seeking the Kingdom, which will allow consecrated persons to start afresh from Christ and be witnesses of his love. The call to return to one's own roots and choices in spirituality opens paths to the future. First of all it requires living the fullness of the theology of the evangelical counsels with the model of Trinitarian life as the starting point, according to the teachings of Vita Consecrata , 63 with a new opportunity to come into contact with the sources of one's own charism and constitutional texts, which are always open to new and more demanding interpretations.

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This dynamic sense of spirituality provides the opportunity to develop, at this stage of the Church's history, a deeper spirituality which is more ecclesial and communitarian, more demanding and mature in mutual support in striving for holiness, more generous in apostolic choices; finally, a spirituality which is more open to becoming a teaching and pastoral plan for holiness within consecrated life itself and in its radiance for the entire people of God. The Holy Spirit is the soul and animator of Christian spirituality; for this reason we must entrust ourselves to the Spirit's action which departs from the intimacy of hearts, manifests itself in communion and spreads itself in mission.

Starting Afresh from Christ. Therefore it is necessary to adhere ever more closely to Christ, the centre of consecrated life and once again take up the path of conversion and renewal which, like the initial experience of the apostles, before and after the resurrection, was a starting afresh from Christ. Yes, one must start afresh from Christ because it was from him that the first disciples started in Galilee; from him, that throughout history men and women of every status and culture, consecrated by the Spirit in the strength of their call, have started out; for him they have left family and homeland, following him unconditionally, making themselves available for the announcement of the Kingdom and doing good for all cf.

Acts And yet God's gift was stronger than human weakness. In fact, it is Christ who has made himself present in the communities of those who throughout the centuries have gathered in his name, he taught them about himself and about his Spirit, he oriented them towards the Father, he guided them along the streets of the world to encounter brothers and sisters, he made them instruments of his love and builders of his Kingdom in communion with all the other vocations in the Church.

Consecrated persons can and must start afresh from Christ because he himself first came to them and accompanied them on the path cf. Their life is the proclamation of the primacy of grace. Jn ; however, in him who gives strength they can do all cf.

In His Face: A Prophetic Call to Renewed Focus In His Face: A Prophetic Call to Renewed Focus
In His Face: A Prophetic Call to Renewed Focus In His Face: A Prophetic Call to Renewed Focus
In His Face: A Prophetic Call to Renewed Focus In His Face: A Prophetic Call to Renewed Focus
In His Face: A Prophetic Call to Renewed Focus In His Face: A Prophetic Call to Renewed Focus
In His Face: A Prophetic Call to Renewed Focus In His Face: A Prophetic Call to Renewed Focus
In His Face: A Prophetic Call to Renewed Focus In His Face: A Prophetic Call to Renewed Focus
In His Face: A Prophetic Call to Renewed Focus In His Face: A Prophetic Call to Renewed Focus
In His Face: A Prophetic Call to Renewed Focus In His Face: A Prophetic Call to Renewed Focus
In His Face: A Prophetic Call to Renewed Focus

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