Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Discernment and Decision

At what time does a youngster with us 'decide' that he is to be a Priest or Brother?
The aspirantate? But isn't that still a forum or platform for discernment... so much so it does not even come under the formation commission. It is placed under the youth pastoral department. (that is something I learnt only today!) Salesian formation commences only with the pre-novitiate!

The pre-novitiate? But that's only to discern whether or not, I have a vocation to religious life. Perhaps also to know more about the Salesian congregation and Don Bosco.

Novitiate? Well this could be a place where one finally makes a decision. But one only becomes only a temporarily professed member of the congregation at his first profession. This too is not the final decision-making moment.  It is again a trial period (lasting 6 to 9 years)!

Well, the final preparation for perpetual profession (for a Brother) or Ordination (for a Cleric) could be the final decision-making moment.  That means, from the time a youngster enters the Salesian house (at the age of 18 or so) till this moment (say, age 29) what the hell is he doing???  Already decided?? Or discerning??!

Isn't discernment a process? And at some time, a decision. Yes! But open to review by self and others! If my decision is so fixed and finalised that I am not willing to let it be challenged, neither by self nor others, then I am not even letting it grow. I'm only fanatically preserving it (my vocation), – mostly out of fear that in case something damages it, I would no more be a Priest or Salesian – not living it out recklessly and joyfully.

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