A course of formation at the service of consecrated life

May 15, 2024 | Blog Articles

Let us pray that religious sisters, brothers and seminarians will grow in their vocational journey thanks to a human, pastoral, spiritual and community formation that will lead them to be credible witnesses to the Gospel.

In this month of May, the Pope is directing our attention and prayer to the formation of people who are moving towards a religious commitment or the priesthood. The purpose of this formation is that they grow in their vocation and become credible witnesses to the Gospel. The way Christ lived his incarnation remains the model to be reinvented in every age. The four named areas of investment are aimed at the quality of the many human relationships they will experience during their apostolic life.

Behind human, pastoral and spiritual formation, the Pope implicitly refers to philosophical and theological studies, with a purpose that is not primarily academic but apostolic. In so doing, he is implementing the guidelines laid down by the Second Vatican Council for greater openness to the world, a necessary condition for evangelization. The words the Pope uses are part of common language, they are not learned. They reveal his concern for the Church of tomorrow’s presence in the world, and for welcoming everyone with kindness, adapting to their language and culture. Adopting a language that can be understood by all breaks down the ever-present risk of self-centeredness, where people take comfort in fixed expressions that border on the magical.

The word ‘community’ is a whole program in itself. It refers to the way we live out our pastoral responsibilities within the ecclesial community. Learning to listen to one another, not seeking first to defend one’s own ideas but to understand those of others; learning to build a Church where everyone is recognized for what they are and has their place; living out responsibilities not as power, but as service: accomplishing all this is a challenge.

The Acts of the Apostles says that “the multitude of believers were of one heart and one soul” (Acts 4:32), and then goes on to explain how difficult it is to live this out day by day, and sometimes in conflict. This first affirmation is essential if we are not to resign ourselves to mediocrity. We believe that this unity of heart and soul does not come from our merits, but is a free gift of the Spirit, born of Christ’s Resurrection; and it is because it is given to us that we can work with a simple heart to bring it about.

Daniel Régent SJ

Director of the Pope’s World Prayer Network France

Read more on www.prieredupapefrance.net

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The Pope’s Official Prayer Network

We pray that religious women and men, and seminarians grow in their own vocations through their human, pastoral, spiritual and community formation, leading them to be credible witnesses to the Gospel.