Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Formators Listen, speak and Discuss!!!!!

The third Day we spent listening, discussing about the Franciscan way of Discernment and accompaniment in the formation houses....What is Franciscan Discernment? How it is different from the other Religious congregations? Francis consulted individual friars and even Clare when he had to take a decision.....he discerned along with the community....he took time to be alone in silence, prayer and meditation.....The Biblical men and women did the same......For Francis Jesus was the great model for Discernment......
The positive type: most of the qualities expected of a priest are found in them. Being authentic to their words and deeds they try to live their vocation faithfully. They see an unwavering commitment to the mission of the Lord as the sole purpose of their existence. Looking at their life people come to believe that God is still actively present in this world. These are the ones who manifest a compassionate face of the Church to the world. The focus of their life is God and they are confident that nothing happens in their life without God’s knowledge. About them Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth and light of the world”. They are the true ‘good shepherds’. This is the type projected in vocation promotion camps, in documents and seminars on priesthood. However, they are becoming a minority today.
 The negative type: Frustrated, inhuman, discontented, crabby, spiteful, aggressive – one may use many more similar adjectives to describe this type. They fear neither God nor human persons. People often don’t understand why these people chose to be priests. Fortunately, they are not many, though the antagonists of the Church find enough of them to vitiate her name.
 The ‘hired-man’ type: The majority of today’s priests seem to belong to this type. They appear to be happy and content in their vocation. They may perform liturgical rites with great perfection, may give wonderful sermons on the love of God and may exhort people on social justice and compassion towards the needy. But they themselves may not take seriously what they preach. One may even find a great chasm between their words and deeds. If people come closer to them and happen to know their lifestyle people may get confused and scandalized. They often fall prey to the lures of power, prestige and wealth. Not the mission but their own comfortable existence becomes their main concern.
 They may make use both the spiritual and temporal powers and structures of the Church to safeguard their personal agenda. They may prefer keeping themselves away from getting involved in social issues and taking any stance as it would disturb their peace and solace. Pastorally, Jesus’ metaphor of the ‘hired man’ who care little for the sheep may fit well for this type. But they succeed in projecting an impressive image in public.

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