Wednesday 27 January 2016

Formators and attitude

"The first reform must be the attitude." (Pope Francis in his interview to Civiltà Cattolica. See Austen Ivereigh, The Great Reformer 169) Absolutely the first point for formators: attitude towards the formees. What is my attitude?

This is somewhat complex. Not possessiveness; not "defending at all costs." Not the paternalism that can suffocate by excessive attention. But yes, the attitude: positive. As Rossano Sala said: if you don't have fiducia in the young, better quit. No place among the Salesians for you.

"Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect," He said. "Be merciful as he is merciful." And Francis: the Church, first a tender mother, merciful, only then rule-maker and regulator. Or better: tender merciful mother rather than rule-maker and regulator. (ibid.)

Francis' Jesuit model, interestingly, is Peter Faber! (Ivereigh 171) Faber, of the three original companions, is the gentle man of dialogue - and so of a kind with Francis de Sales and with Don Bosco. 

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