The Millennial Generation and Vocation to Religious Life

millennials-on-devices-750

When We talk about young men who occasionally make an inquiry about religious life, we asked ourselves where they are coming from. When we speak of the young people of today, we are dealing of the so-called generation Y or the Millennial. The millennial generation is the generation of children born between 1982 and 2002, some 81 million children who have taken over K-12, have already entered college and the workforce. This generation will replace the Baby-boomers as they retire.

The Millennial lives in two parallel worlds. Their lives are interwoven both in the real and virtual world. The knowledge of reality passes almost exclusively through the mediation of social media. For many young people the virtual world is a place where you feel the security and the freedom to express themselves without fear of being judged. Vocations, today, in addition to the initiative of God, arise as a result of a new cultural mediation deeply that let glimpse the youth of today. This digital world, also called sixth continent that favors the new anthropologies and ways of thinking.

It is easy to spot a Millennial. A Vocation Director should spend time listening and observing young people around him. By being a keen observant he will notice these traits:

a. They don’t believe in being shackled to tradition or location.
This generation didn’t know a time without digital technology; they were weaned on it. this generation is shackled only to their devices and the reach of a cell tower or Wi-Fi signal. As cellular and Internet coverage spreads, and devices become more and more powerful and portable, those shackles are becoming less and less restrictive.

b. They believe in the inherent value of face time in the virtual sense.
That isn’t to say they aren’t social. Nor is it to say they don’t ever want to take meetings with other people. Face time, to the millennials, is more valuable when there’s less of it. When it’s reserved for the really important matter, or when it’s a smaller portion of the day. Face time means talking to the persons via social media applications.

c. They believe in learning, not pieces of paper.
While persons other generations are likely to tell about the degrees they’ve earned, or about the prospects or projects they’re afraid they won’t get because of the degrees they haven’t earned, the millennials talk to about what they’d need to learn in order to get the job. Which isn’t to say this generation doesn’t value a formal education or certifications. But when it comes to personal growth or qualifications they value knowledge and experience more. They can learn continually and cumulatively without compromising their work or lifestyle.

d. They believe in learning from someone else’s experience.
In line with valuing learning over degrees, this generation is all about learning from anyone who has done something they want to do. They gobble up stories of successful trailblazers, they pick the brains of more experienced people in their industry, and they look to everyone from formal advisers to fictional characters as role models.

e. They believe in life, not work-life balance.
They want to talk about designing a life. That life includes their family and friends, it includes their hobbies and pastimes and it includes their business.

 

LA FAMIGLIA E l’IMMIGRAZIONE ECONOMICA: L’ATTUALITA’ E LE SFIDE ODIERNE

PHILIPPINES-ECONOMY-JOBS-OVERSEAS

La statistica
Secondo il Rapporto Migrazione Internazionale 2015 delle Nazioni Unite, il numero dei migranti internazionali in tutto il mondo ha continuato a crescere rapidamente nel corso degli ultimi quindici anni, raggiungendo 244 milioni nel 2015 , contro i 222 milioni nel 2010 e 173 milioni nel 2000. Quasi due terzi di tutti i migranti internazionali vivere in Europa ( 76 milioni ) o in Asia ( 75 milioni) . Nord America ha ospitato il terzo più grande numero di migranti internazionali ( 54 milioni ) , seguita da Africa ( 21 milioni ) , l’America Latina ei Caraibi ( 9 milioni) e Oceania ( 8 milioni ) . Nel 2015 , due terzi (67 per cento ) di tutti i migranti internazionali vivevano in soli venti paesi . Il maggior numero di migranti internazionali ( 47 milioni ), risiedeva negli Stati Uniti d’America , pari a circa un quinto ( 19 per cento) del totale mondiale . La Germania e la Federazione russa ha ospitato la seconda e la terza maggior numero di migranti in tutto il mondo ( 12 milioni ciascuno) , seguito da Arabia Saudita ( 10 milioni)
.
Quali sono le sfide che deve affrontare la vita famigliare?

La migrazione internazionale è diventata una realtà che tocca quasi tutti gli angoli del globo. Il mezzo trasporto moderno meno costoso ha reso più facile e più veloce per le persone a muoversi. Allo stesso tempo il conflitto , la povertà , la disuguaglianza e la ricerca di una vita migliore e dignitosa sono tra le ragioni che spingono le persone a lasciare le loro case e le loro famiglie. Tale ha provocato la frammentazione delle famiglie .

L’ impatto della migrazione familiare sui bambini e gli anziani rimasti in casa può portare effetti positivi non solo ai migranti stessi , ma anche ai loro familiari che restano dietro nei paesi di origine. Le loro condizioni di vita migliorano e molti ottenere un migliore accesso ai servizi , compresi i beni migliori, un’istruzione di buona qualità e una migliore assistenza sanitaria. Ma questa realtà delle migrazioni contemporanea è tale che coloro che rimangono indietro sono spesso penalizzato dalla assenza del membro (i) della famiglia che sono migrati . Relazioni genitori-figli sono particolarmente colpite . Questa situazione costringe i genitori a lasciare i loro figli nella cura dei membri della loro famiglia allargata o altri membri delle loro comunità d’origine. La separazione dei bambini dai loro genitori molte volte manifesta ad avere effetti emotivi profondamente negativi , generando significativi cambiamenti comportamentali , e sentimenti di perdita , tristezza, l’abbandono , la rabbia e il rifiuto .

Negli anni novanta, il bisogno globale di lavoratori si è spostato verso nuovi settori – le donne. La migrazione femminile e cosi detto “la femminilizzazione della migrazione,” ha subito una forte crescita, spinta soprattutto dalla richiesta dei badanti , colf e tata (baby sitter). Tale fenomeno è stato prodotto da cambiamenti nel mercato globale del lavoro, dove si osserva una crescente difficoltà per gli uomini a trovare lavoro. I padri rimasti a casa con i loro figli non possono facilmente svolgere il ruolo tradizionale che le madri assumono , e spesso hanno difficoltà ad affrontare con la moltitudine di compiti che devono affrontare, e la solitudine conseguente e lo stress si sentono .

La prova della impatto dirompente della migrazione sulle famiglie dimostra quanto sia importante per analizzare gli impatti sociali non economici della migrazione . Gli effetti psicologici ed emotivi significativi di immigrazione familiare non deve essere trascurato nella ricerca sulle migrazioni . La sensibilizzazione della comunità e sostenere i familiari adulti ad assumere e assumere compiti domestici come cura per i bambini e gli anziani possono contribuire positivamente al benessere delle famiglie e delle comunità .
Quali sfide pongono questi cambiamenti alla missione evangelizzatrice della Chiesa?

La situazione delle persone coinvolte nel fenomeno delle migrazioni è una fonte di preoccupazione per la Chiesa , che “ha sempre contemplato l’immagine di Cristo ” di migranti. Riconosce i gravi problemi che devono affrontare : la discriminazione , il razzismo e la xenophobia1 , l’inganno per quanto riguarda i contratti o le condizioni di lavoro , essere trattati come strumenti e non come persone , occupazioni pericolose , lunghe ore di lavoro , retribuzione inferiore a quella dei lavoratori nativi per lo stesso lavoro , alloggi inadeguati o nessuno , non l’integrazione nella vita sociale .

La Chiesa vede anche la crescente percentuale di donne coinvolte nella migrazione. In particolare, molti di loro sono assunti per i servizi domestici, che sono lavori molto vulnerabili, data l’impossibilità di tracciare una linea tra orario di lavoro e non-lavoro, mentre in casa del datore di lavoro. Ci sono anche coloro che sono impiegati nel settore dello spettacolo, che potrebbe finire coinvolto in tutt’altro attività desiderabili. La Chiesa è anche consapevole del fatto che la separazione della famiglia è una difficoltà fondamentale nella migrazione.

Eppure, anche quando intere famiglie migrano, i problemi non scompaiono. Hanno esperienza lacune culturali dalla loro cultura di origine, senza essere opportunamente preparati per questo. Devono imparare un’altra lingua. Ci sono problemi intergenerazionali legati alla difficile misto di tradizioni e costumi dei paesi di origine e di arrivo, traumi psicologici, il senso di insicurezza e di incertezza per il futuro. A seconda della capacità di marito e moglie per far fronte alla situazione, accordo tra la coppia può diventare sia più solido, o cadere in pezzi.

La Chiesa, riconoscendo l’urgenza dell’impatto della migrazione sulla vita di famiglia e la vocazione del matrimonio deve accompagnare il migrante come persona umana ed assistere pastoralmente sia nei paesi di origine e di accoglienza. Per i membri della famiglia rimasti a casa di origine occorre offrire l’accompagnamento psicologico e spirituale, consulenza matrimoniale, un incontro regolari delle famiglie e altri iniziativi al sostegno morale e spirituale. Le chiese di accoglienza potrebbero offrire un accompagnamento pastorale olistico: centri di ascolto, in particolare a quanti devono confrontarsi con la solitudine; formazione umana su come adattarsi a nuove culture, imparare la lingua, gestire il redito e il tempo libero; formazione permanente sulla fede e la vita di testimonianza.

La missione dei Servi di Maria

Avere presente il quadro della situazione, il nostro Ordine non può estraniarsi dai grandi problemi che agitano l’umanità contemporanea e intende far proprie e rispondere alle necessità di un mondo tormentato e in continua trasformazione (Cost. 76).

Una presenza misericordiosa
“ La Chiesa, in questo momento di grandi cambiamenti epocali, è chiamata a offrire più fortemente i segni della presenza e della vicinanza di Dio.,” il Papa Francesco ha affermato nell’omelia durante la recita dei Primi Vespri della domenica della Divina Misericordia presieduti – nella basilica di San Pietro – in occasione della consegna e della lettura della bolla d’indizione “Misericordiae vultus.”

Per noi Servi di Maria, la misericordia è uno dei valori originari e centrali del carisma del nostro Ordine. E’ “una delle caratteristiche dei Servi di Maria” (Cost. 52), intimamente legata all’ideale stesso del servizio. La misericordia è la radice e l’anima di tutto il nostro servizio ai fratelli. La misericordia ci fa scoprire non solo nuove forme di vita, ma anche “nuovi tipi di servizio” per soccorrere, in maniera concreta ed efficace, le nuove e antiche miserie della società attuale (Cost. 76b).
Incarnare e mettere in pratica il nostro carisma della Misericordia occorre mantenere gli occhi nostri aperti, il nostro cuore sensibile e le nostre mani pronte per la carità: Occhi aperti e avere la capacità di vedere e analizzare la realtà del nostro mondo, essere attenti ai clamori del mondo in cui viviamo;
Cuore sensibile affinché la conoscenza della realtà ci muova a lavorare nella sua trasformazione; Mani pronte per la carità ed essere coinvolti nelle varie iniziative al livello delle comunità e delle parrocchie. Per aiutarci a riflettere sulla nostra risposta quotidiana, metto in risalto due domande: Come avere uno sguardo di misericordia verso il mondo in cui viviamo? Quali sono gli ostacoli che ci impediscono a cercare i mezzi adatti per rispondere alle mutevoli condizioni della società odierna?

PROTEGGIAMO LA NOSTRA CASA!

scuola-pace

Un programma nazionale di educazione alla pace e alla cittadinanza glocale
(anno scolastico 2016-2017)

Il programma “Proteggiamo la nostra casa” è promosso dal Coordinamento Nazionale degli Enti Locali per la Pace e i Diritti Umani, dalla Tavola della Pace e dalla Rete Nazionale delle Scuole di Pace, nell’ambito del Protocollo d’intesa sottoscritto con il Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca il 28 aprile 2016.

Giovedì 18 giugno 2015, Papa Francesco ha diffuso una lettera enciclica
intitolata “Laudato sì” per invitarci ad affrontare assieme le principali sfide del
nostro tempo: dal deterioramento della salute del pianeta ai conflitti, alle
migrazioni, all’impoverimento di tanta parte dell’umanità. La lettera,
indirizzata ai credenti di tutte le fedi e ai non credenti, nasce dalla volontà di
promuovere il cambiamento necessario per “uscire dalla spirale di
autodistruzione in cui stiamo affondando.”

Si tratta di un documento d’importanza storica, ricco di analisi, riflessioni e
proposte concrete che meritano di essere conosciute e studiate da tutti. Un
prezioso strumento per capire cosa sta accadendo nel mondo ed educarci a
vivere assieme responsabilmente nell’era della globalizzazione e
dell’interdipendenza.

Il suo contenuto si incrocia con i 17 “Obiettivi di Sviluppo Sostenibile” definiti
dai governi dell’Onu nel 2015 per sradicare, entro il 2030, povertà, fame,
disuguaglianze, ingiustizie, pericoli ambientali e promuovere la cooperazione
internazionale.

Papa Francesco e le Nazioni Unite ci pongono davanti alla necessità di
assumere la grande “sfida educativa” che viene dall’urgenza di affrontare le
crisi globali che incombono, anche cambiando “stili di vita, modelli di
produzione e di consumo.”

Raccogliendo questa sfida, il programma “Proteggiamo la nostra casa”
propone a ogni scuola di:

  1. ideare e realizzare un laboratoriodi educazione alla pace e alla
    cittadinanza glocale, a partire dall’illustrazione e dallo studio della
    lettera enciclica “Laudato sì” e degli “Obiettivi di Sviluppo Sostenibile”;
  2. promuovere la partecipazione degli studenti e delle scuole alla Marcia
    PerugiAssisi della pace e della fraternità del 9 ottobre 2016;
  3. condividere i risultati partecipando al Meeting nazionale delle scuole di
    pace che si svolgerà a Roma 
    a conclusione dell’anno scolastico.

GLI OBIETTIVI GENERALI

Il programma “Proteggiamo la nostra casa” si propone di:

  1. educare gli studenti alla pace e alla cittadinanza glocale (locale, nazionale,
    europea, mondiale) fornendo loro alcune delle competenze sociali e civiche
    indispensabili per entrare nel mondo del lavoro, affrontare responsabilmente le
    grandi sfide del 21° secolo e interagire con soggetti, culture, religioni e ambienti
    molto diversi;
  2. elaborare e sperimentare nuovi itinerari didatticiper l’educazione alla
    cittadinanza attiva centrati in particolare sul (1) protagonismo degli studenti
    (anche in un’ottica di alternanza scuola lavoro), (2) l’educazione all’uso critico
    dei media e dei new media sia come elementi chiave di ambienti di
    apprendimento che come strumenti di comunicazione, (3) la collaborazione tra
    le scuole e gli Enti Locali per lo sviluppo di una più ampia comunità educativa;
  3. contribuire al rinnovamento della didattica e dell’azione delle scuolenel
    campo dell’educazione alla cittadinanza attiva, favorire l’elaborazione delle
    linee guida per l’educazione alla pace e alla cittadinanza glocale e accrescere la
    formazione del personale docente;
  4. favorire il diretto intervento della scuola come intellettuale sociale nel
    territorio di riferimento, in collegamento con le amministrazioni locali e la
    società civile, per promuovere concrete attività di pace e realizzare percorsi di
    impegno civile.

Attenti ai bisogni dello studente

Continue reading ‘PROTEGGIAMO LA NOSTRA CASA!’

World Apostolic Congress of Mercy

http://www.wacom2017.org/

wacom

WACOM IV – Philippines (January 16-20, 2017)

Over-all theme:

COMMUNION IN MERCY, MISSION FOR MERCY (CALLED BY MERCY, SENT FOR MERCY)

  • Throughout salvation history God is experienced as eternal and unending mercy (Psalm 86:15). He is a helper who gives his people hope. His merciful power is benevolent, and makes a faithful and enduring commitment. In the formation of Israel, the chosen people, and the call of the Church, the people of the New Covenant, God has consistently and unfailingly employed his undeserved graciousness to present to the world a universal sign of his mercy.
  • Jesus Christ, the fulfilment of Israel and the head of the Church, is the incarnation of this divine merciful graciousness. His Paschal Mystery is the summit of the revelation of the inscrutable mystery of His Father’s mercy towards us. His mercy is more powerful than death and sin.
  • Jesus Christ called disciples to himself, representatives of the Church as a communion gathered by the merciful initiative of God. None of them deserved that intimacy with the Lord and no one in this Church deserves to be part of it. Our baptism, our faith and life of discipleship are fruits of His grace. The unity of all in the Church is sustained by God’s continuing merciful love; we are united in the mercy of God, a communion in mercy!
  • All in the Church are sinners, prodigal children to whom God runs to meet with mercy and forgiveness. we are to be receivers and givers of the same mercy within this community (MISERICORDIA AD INTRA). St. Pope John Paul IIstated this so clearly in his second encyclical “Dives in Misericordia” (1980): “The Church must bear witness to the mercy of God revealed in Christ…professing it in the first place as a salvific truth of faith and as necessary for a life in harmony with faith, and then, seeking to introduce it and to make it incarnate in the lives both of her faithful and as far as possible in the lives of all people of good will” (n.12).
  • The saintly pope also, seeing divine mercy as object of the Church’s missionary proclamation, said: “The Church, professing mercy and remaining always faithful to it, has the right and the duty to call upon the mercy of God, imploring it in the face of all the manifestations of physical and moral evil, before all the threats that cloud the whole horizon of the life of humanity today.”
  • Seeing that the absence of mercy in the world unleashes divine wrath (Rom 1:31), Christians must show love and compassion in their hearts to everyone around them; they cannot be unsympathetic to their neighbors in need for the love of God is only found in those who show mercy – 1 John 3:17 (MISERICORDIA AD EXTRA)

The Year of Mercy – Pastoral Reflections

X Rodrigo Mejía Saldarriaga, s.j.

Vicar Apostolic Emeritus of Soddo (Ethiopia)

http://www.consolata.org

 YEAR OF MERCY

Sagana, 1th of March  2016

 

 

Introduction

Pope Francis has not yet produced any document specifically addressed to the priests and religious on the theme of pastoral ministry. However, from his main documents, The Joy of the Gospel and more recently Misericordiae Vultus we can extract some suggestions that invite all those who are  full time oriented to pastoral care  to reflection, prayer  and evangelical discernment.

First, the Pope addresses the priests not so much as presiders of the Eucharist celebration but mostly as pastors and guides of the people of God. In other terms, the Pope stresses more the presbyteral function rather than the priestly function as a liturgical function as such, following in this point the more recent theological trends.

Having recently opened the extraordinary Jubilee Year on Mercy for the universal Church, I think it is normal that the profile of the apostle today, as a merciful pastor, is stressed. This is why I want to reflect on this theological theme as a central theme for us during this year of Mercy. I will be guided in these reflections by the excellent book of Cardinal emeritus Walter Kasper untitled “Mercy” of which the Pope said in the cover jacket : “This book has done me so much good”.[1]

More recently, the same Cardinal Kasper has published another small book on Pope Francis and his “Revolution of Tenderness” [2] whom he calls a “Pope of surprises”.

Why a Year of Mercy?

The response may be found in an interview to Pope Francis by the known magazine “America” only six months after his election as Pope, he said: “Mercy to heal wounds, to warm the hearts of the faithful. The service of mercy is central in the Church’s mission…The Church ministers must be “ministers of mercy above all”. They have to accompany the people like the good Samaritan”.[3]

Later on in his Apostolic Exhortation “The Joy of the Gospel”, he wrote: “The Church must be a place of mercy freely given, where everyone can feel welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged to live the good life of the Gospel”.[4]

The concern for mercy is not new in the Church. Already Pope St. John XXIII in his address at the opening of the Second Vatican Council said: “Now the Bride of Christ wishes to use the medicine off mercy rather than taking up arms of severity…”.[5]

Blessed Pope Paul VI spoke in a similar way at the closing of the same Council: “We prefer to point out how charity has been the principal religious feature of this Council…the old story of the Good Samaritan has been the model of the spirituality of the Council”.[6]

But one greatest pastoral contribution towards the issue of mercy wasthe Encyclical Letter of Pope Saint John Paul II, “Dives in Misericordia” (1980), a teaching that deserves to be taken up once again during this Holy Year. This letter was written in the background of Pope’s St. John-Paul experience of the horror of the Second World War, the Shoa, the Nazi era, and the communist oppression in Poland.  Later on, he took up the suggestions expressed in the writings of Saint Faustina Kowalska and made the Sunday after Easter “Mercy Sunday”. In the Jubilee Year 2000, he canonized Sister Faustina as the first saint of the new millennium.

In that Jubilee, among other things Saint John-Paul II wrote, “The Church lives an authentic life when she professes and proclaims mercy – the most stupendous attribute of the Creator and of the Redeemer – and when she brings people close to the sources of the Saviour’s mercy, of which she is trustee and dispenser”.[7]

Continue reading ‘The Year of Mercy – Pastoral Reflections’

Pope Francis sets up commission on women deacons

by Cindy Wooden

Catholic Herald

papa formatori

Pope Francis has appointed six men and six women to a commission to study the issue of women deacons, particularly their ministry in the early Church.

In addition to the 12 members named on August 2, the Pope named Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to serve as president of the commission.

The Pope set up the commission at the request of the International Union of Superiors General, the organisation for the leaders of women’s religious orders around the world. Meeting the group in May, Pope Francis said that while his understanding was that the women described as deacons in the New Testament were not ordained as male deacons are today, “it would be useful for the Church to clarify this question.”

The International Theological Commission, a body that advises the doctrinal congregation, included the question of women deacons in a study on the diaconate almost 20 years ago. While its report, issued in 2002, did not offer recommendations for the future, it concluded that biblical deaconesses were not the same as ordained male deacons.

In June, Pope Francis told reporters that he had asked Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect of the doctrinal congregation, and Sister Carmen Sammut, president of the superiors’ group, to suggest scholars to include in the study group.

At least one of the members Pope Francis named to the commission — US scholar Phyllis Zagano — has written extensively on the role of women deacons in the early church, arguing that they were ordained ministers and that women can be ordained deacons today. Zagano is a senior research associate in the religion department at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

Another US scholar also is among the 12 commission members: Augustinian Fr Robert Dodaro, president of the Pontifical Augustinian Institute in Rome and a professor of patristic theology specializing in the works of St. Augustine.

The other members of the commission are:

— Spanish Sister Nuria Calduch-Benages, a member of the Missionary Daughters of the Holy Family and member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission.
— Francesca Cocchini, a professor of church history at Rome’s Sapienza University.
— Italian Msgr. Piero Coda, a professor of systematic theology and member of the International Theological Commission.
— Spanish Jesuit Father Santiago Madrigal Terrazas, professor of ecclesiology at the Pontifical Comillas University in Madrid.
— Angeline Franciscan Sister Mary Melone, a theologian and rector of Rome’s Pontifical Antonianum University.
— Father Karl-Heinz Menke, retired professor of dogmatic theology at the University of Bonn and member of the International Theological Commission.
— Rwandan Salesian Father Aimable Musoni, professor of ecclesiology at the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome.
— Jesuit Father Bernard Pottier, professor at the Institute of Theological Studies in Brussels and member of the International Theological Commission.
— Marianne Schlosser, professor of spiritual theology at the University of Vienna and member of the International Theological Commission.
— Michelina Tenace, professor of fundamental theology at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University.

 

Mission: The Key to Understand Consecrated Life Today _______________________

SERVITE_WORLDWIDE

José Cristo Rey García Paredes, CMF

We find ourselves a little lost when our General and Provincial Chapters make the evaluation and balance of the previous years and try to plan the future. Likewise, we find ourselves a little lost when we religious come together for congresses, meetings, and courses of on-going formation. At times it gives the impression that we allow ourselves to be carried away by the tide of the moment. Other times, we give the impression of being more worried about our internal problems than by the external ones, which usually are the ones challenging our mission.

It is interesting to observe how in our Chapters we are so worried about our problems of internal functioning: authority, assignments, communitarian projects, individualism, lack of prayer life, poverty or chastity. And it is right! They are real problems which we cannot undervalue. However, these problems become worse and more serious, when the missionary spirit is weak and we have lost the missionary sense in our lives.

What takes place in our practical life, also happens in the theological field. A theology which does not start from the mission (and is at the service of the mission) is a theology without direction, without a goal, without passion, without feelings, which does not respond to the great questions of our world today.

Without a strong missionary awareness, the Church and the Consecrated Life within the Church, have no meaning, no raison d’être.

 

Is the “Mission” a key category?

 

Mission is the key to understand the Church and everything happening within her, including Consecrated Life. Without the mission, as the basic and architectonic principle, everything could collapse. When the mission is the central and structuring principle, everything functions well and develops.

When the mission does not fulfill this central and key function, other realities appear and try to take its place, such as, the spirituality, community life, new trends and personal activities understood as “work”.

  1. Spirituality: It could appear that spirituality is the central focus of Christian life and consecrated life. It could appear that prayer, contemplation, life in Christ are the axis and core of Christian existence. And, certainly, it is. But when spirituality tries to conceal the lack of missionary passion, it is good for nothing; it is not true spirituality, but a fake way of escaping reality. It is not anymore a Christian experience, rather a pseudo-Christian, disincarnated and pietistic experience.
  2. Community life and the interpersonal relationships among the members of the community or group: in many institutes this is the central concern. In the experience of many religious this is a serious question they are worried about: where they are assigned, with whom they need to share their life, what kind of relationship should they maintain with the superiors, etc. The most important preoccupations which take up most of the time of many members of our religious institutes are internal questions, not the great challenges of our world today to our charismatic reality as followers of Jesus Christ. Those who develop their lives from these premises or questions, remain childish, irresponsible, only worried about self-preservation.
  3. The new trends: When the mission is not the basic principle of our religious lives, then, we tend to get carried away by themes or topics of the moment, the snobbism of the moment. We get absorbed in problems of modernity, New Age spirituality, globalization, sustainable development, and Marxism. But none of these are seriously confronted from the perspective of mission, but rather as an intellectual curiosity, without practical results or missionary implications. These reflections usually exert a superficial influence, because afterwards, we go in search of the next new trend, leaving behind the previous ones. The problems of society are contemplated from outside, not

 

from within, in order to transform them, as the Evangelii Nuntiandi of Pope Paul VI demanded (n. 14).

  1. Personal and private activities, and individualism: The lack of an authentic missionary spirit brings people to focus on their private interests. A way to camouflage our apostolic and missionary spirit, paradoxically, is to concentrate on work, “my work”. There are workaholics; however, it is not a real passion for the mission. It is what was previously called the “heresy of action”. What they are searching for is not service to others, but self-realization. All these have nothing to do with the realization of the Kingdom.

Without the missionary perspective the service of authority, formation and even theology have very narrow horizons.

  1. Government and authority in religious communities: a government dedicated more to the immediate than to what truly generates the future, slowly kills the prophetic sensitivity. It does not take care of the urgent needs of the Church and society. The government becomes closed in internal problems and without horizons. Only secondarily it deals with real questions of the missionary project; mostly it worries about maintaining a system which does not have the mission at the centre of its concern. It does not facilitate the discernment of the community, being always alert and sensitive to the signs of the times or where and how the Spirit is leading humanity towards the future of God.
  2. Formation: Frequently the mission is not the principle articulating the whole process of formation. It is usually thought that, before any personal implication in the mission, each candidate in the period of initial formation has to solve his own personal problems, or conflicts. To a certain extent that is true; but to try to solve personal conflicts outside of the mission and the vocation to mission is to deprive ourselves of the best resource to solve them. In the measure in which the vocational-missionary spirit does not work, the formation process goes crazy, becomes narcissistic, too sensitive to the individual horizon.
  3. Theology: The theological reflection, deprived of the missionary perspective, usually suffers from the same defect. The mission is relegated to the last chapter. It is usually said that “being” comes before “acting” or “doing”. This theology presupposes that mission is just acting and doing. For that reason, the subjects considered essential in religious life, as consecration, vows, community, are the first ones to be dealt with. This is usually called “identity”. Later on comes the projection of the identity into the apostolic activity. Neither, in this case, is mission the articulating principle of theology of the religious or consecrated life.

Continue reading ‘Mission: The Key to Understand Consecrated Life Today _______________________’


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