Monday, 13 October 2014

Situational Formation? (2)

I reproduce here something more tangible and sensible, as continuation of my previous post of Situational Formation?. The following is a response that came in from a good and well-intentioned friend of mine. 
... what you are saying in other words, is let them be lay people engaged in spiritual and religious study. It is fantastic but you may have 2 priests at the end of the entire process. Needless to say, those two will be priests you will be proud of (might turn out to be very individualistic and weird too by regular church standards), but you will only have that kind of numbers. 
Experience of daily practical stresses is also why some lay people can be much better at pastoral work than priests. They understand how hard it is to balance. And then too, you can see how hard it is to put the beatitudes into practice. Almost certain, that the quality of preaching will change. Then, the church will get into the business of justifying why, how, what, cost, so on and so forth, just to pump up those numbers and you will be back at square one. 
Take a middle path. Treat them like we would our kids who are studying who have to earn a scholarship. They need to work hard and/or be brilliant. If not, then they need to earn while studying to pay the fee (subsidised please..we need to give them a break). Once the course is done, they all work for a living like the rest of us. The church would need to pay them a living wage. (this would be like the apostles were- they worked for their living and preached the good news). I say church because if they had to perform regular jobs, they won't be able to do full-time priest jobs.
I'm posting this text for I see a great value behind the whole idea of formation and priesthood/religious life... and if anyone is not willing to attempt to see it, leave alone embark on this risky journey, will really need to clarify his or her concept and orientation towards consecrated life, primarily to God and also to His people. 

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