National Directory



should be properly trained themselves so as to assist the men in for mation with developing self-knowledge and growing in moral and emotional freedom. Such formators, ideally deacons, should be spe cifically trained to guide participants in honestly assessing the state of their marriages, their emotional and moral life, their work life, and their relations with their pastor and how these affect their capacity to fully enter formation. 118. “Human formation leads to and finds its completion in the spiritual dimension of formation, which constitutes the heart and unifying cen ter of every Christian formation. Its aim is to tend to the development of the new life received in Baptism.” 14 “Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.” 15 The spiritual life is, therefore, dynamic and never static. The first goal of initial spiritual formation is the establishment and nourishment of attitudes, habits, and practices that will set the foundation for a lifetime of ongoing spiritual discipline. 119. A man should not be admitted to initial diaconal formation unless it is demonstrated that he is already living a life of mature Christian spir ituality. 16 Such maturity is evidenced by a habit of prayer, especially praying with Scripture, a strong habit of attending Mass that goes beyond the fulfillment of the obligation, 17 and a commitment to ongo ing spiritual reading. A love of the Word of God is crucial for anyone who considers himself called to proclaim the Gospel at Mass and other liturgies. The spiritual dimension of formation should “affirm and strengthen” this spirituality, and it should emphasize “specific traits of diaconal spirituality.” 18 These specific traits are directly related to the deacon’s being a servant after the example of Christ. As an ordained minister living in the world, the deacon’s spirituality is tied to his activ ity in the world, bringing others to Christ and his Church. Spiritual Dimension

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