Tuesday 15 December 2015

Ongoing formation - formazione permanente

Constitution 118 (the print copy of the latest edition has just reached me; my first reaction was, I miss the old Sans Serif font; I don't like the layout and the Cambria font) is entitled "Need for ongoing formation" and runs thus:
118. In the context of a society characterized by pluralism and rapid changes, the evolving nature of each individual and the quality and fruitfulness of our apostolic reli­gious life call for a continuation of our formation after the initial phases.  We try to grow in our human qualities, to conform our­selves more closely to Christ, and to renew our fidelity to Don Bosco, so that we can re­spond to the ever new demands arising from the situation of the young and the poor.

Through personal and community initiatives we nurture our Salesian spiritual life, ensure our theological and pastoral updating, and develop our professional competence and our apostolic inventiveness. 
118. In un contesto pluralista e di rapide
trasformazioni, il carattere evolutivo della
persona e la qualità e fecondità della nostra
vita religiosa apostolica richiedono che, dopo
le fasi iniziali, continuiamo la formazione.
Cerchiamo di crescere nella maturità umana,
di conformarci più profondamente a Cristo e
di rinnovare la fedeltà a Don Bosco, per rispondere
alle esigenze sempre nuove della
condizione giovanile e popolare.
Mediante iniziative personali e comunitarie
coltiviamo la vita spirituale salesiana, l’aggiornamento
teologico e pastorale, la competenza
professionale e la creatività apostolica.
Here ongoing formation is understood as "a continuation of our formation after the initial phases." Perhaps the new understanding has to enter properly into whatever we will write about ongoing formation: understanding 'formation' to mean first and foremost that formation that lasts all our life and that never ends - from womb to tomb, as Cardinal Braz said the other day. Simply because it is the Father forming in us the heart of the Son. Within this ongoing and permanent formation, the phases of initial formation take their place.

In the same logic, the agency has to change, from Ourselves to God. God as first formator must come in more clearly into the text of the Constitutions. Not "we try to grow in our human qualities, to conform ourselves more closely to Christ" etc. but "the Father forming in us the heart of the Son through the Spirit...."

The Ratio (FSDB) naturally reflects the Constiutional text: "It is the natural and absolutely necessary continuation of the process he has lived in his initial formation." (#520)

Vita Consecrata, instead, simply speaks of ongoing formation as an essential dimension of life and an intrinsic requirement of the religious consecration (text quoted by J.J. Bartolomé):

 La formación permanente, en cuanto dimensión esencial de la vida y proceso siempre en realización, «es una exigencia intrínseca de la consagración religiosa.» (VC 69)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Featured post

Rupnik, “E se l’evangelizzazione chiedesse una novità nella vita consacrata?” English summary