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02.04.2024 16:43:11 777x read.
Continuous Formation in consecrated life

Continuous Formation in consecrated life

Following Article 115 of the Brothers FIC Constitution, which emphasizes the importance of continuous personal and communal development throughout our lives, the Catholic Church places great significance on religious formation, particularly within the context of consecrated life and ministry. Religious formation encompasses various dimensions, including spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral aspects. It aims to gradually transform individuals by deepening their understanding of the Catholic faith, fostering a rich prayer life, and equipping them with the necessary skills for effective ministry in accordance with their calling. The ultimate goal of religious formation is to shape individuals into disciples who can authentically live out the teachings of the Gospel and make meaningful contributions to both the Church and society.

(The participants of the "OASIS 2023")

Within the Catholic Church, religious formation holds particular relevance for those in consecrated life who have taken vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. There are several reasons why religious formation is crucial in this context. Firstly, it helps individuals develop a profound sense of spiritual identity, which is essential for consecrated persons who are called to live a life of radical discipleship, following the example of Christ. Secondly, religious formation equips individuals with the understanding and commitment needed to live out the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, which are central to consecrated life. Lastly, religious formation prepares individuals for the various ministries they may be engaged in as consecrated individuals, such as education, healthcare, social justice, and pastoral care. It provides them with theological, pastoral, and practical training, enabling them to effectively serve both the Church and the wider community.

(Bro. Yusuf Kuncoro FIC, very right,  with other participants of Medior course in Roncalli Retreat House in Indonesia)

Pope Francis, renowned for his emphasis on mercy, inclusivity, and the joy of the Gospel, has placed great importance on religious formation. He acknowledges it as a vital element in the life of the Church and stresses the necessity of ongoing formation to address the challenges of the modern world. In his apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis declares:

"I urge all Christians, without exception, to have a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least to be open to letting him encounter them; I ask each and every one of you to do this unfailingly every day. No one should believe that this invitation is not intended for them, as 'no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord.'" (Evangelii Gaudium, 3)

This call for a renewed encounter with Christ highlights the fundamental significance of religious formation, aligning with the Pope's vision of a vibrant, missionary and synodal Church.

To conclude, I reemphasize that religious formation is a crucial foundation in developing a strong and dynamic consecrated life within the Catholic Church. It equips individuals with the spiritual depth, dedication, and abilities necessary to authentically live out their consecrated vocations. As we heed Pope Francis' words and embrace a continual encounter with Christ, may our approach to religious formation be characterized by joy, mercy, and a profound commitment to the transformative mission of the Church in the world.

BY: Bro. Augustine Kubdaar

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