Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Spiritual animation vs Administration

Only in 1901, with the Vatican decree that the Rector cannot be the ordinary confessor of the boys and confreres, did the portfolio of the Spiritual Director emerge in the Salesian community. The role of the Rector, who so far was the ordinary confessor too, now had to be reinvented. Given the increasing workload, the Rector got practically swamped by the legal, administrative, and organisational work. This did lead to the Rector leaving the spiritual animation part to the confessor and taking up other responsibilities.

The current phenomena which sees Rectors not take up the spiritual animation of the community could be traced back to this historical event. However I think it has another reason too: spiritual animation is more demanding than taking care of administrative matters. Another way of putting it: administration is more lucrative than spiritual animation. This calls for an introspective of our values, our virtues, what we as religious find 'lucrative'. And if helping a person grown holistically is not my primary option, rather I choose do some 'petty' service which is fulfilling for now then I need to rethink what my true vocation is!

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