DIMENSIONS IN THE FORMATION OF DEACONS
120. Configured sacramentally to Christ the Servant, a deacon’s spirituality must be grounded in the attitudes of Christ.These include “simplicity of heart, total giving of self and disinterest for self, humble and helpful love for the brothers and sisters, especially the poorest, the suffering and the most needy, the choice of a lifestyle of sharing and poverty.” 19 This diaconal spirituality is nourished by the Eucharist, which, “not by chance, characterizes the ministry of the deacon.” 20 A diaconal spirituality is conditioned by participation in the apostolic ministry and should be marked by openness to God’s Word, to the Church, and to the world. 21 The fundamental spiritual attitude should be one of openness to this Word contained in Revelation, as preached by the Church, celebrated in the Liturgy, and lived out in the lives of God’s People. In these ways, with the assistance of a spiritual director, a man takes on the heart and mind of a deacon. Being configured to Christ the Servant (Lk 10:29 ff.; 14:15-23; 17:7-10; 22:27), each participant begins to think and choose and discern anew. It is Christ the Servant who is now the compelling figure in a candidate’s life, affecting him with a different mind and a new desire to remain with Christ in prayer. Prayer will open the participant to a missionary zeal, one needed for the deacon to herald the new evangelization—bringing God’s love and salvation to all in word and action.The preaching of the Word is always connected, therefore, with prayer, the celebration of the Eucharist, and the building of community. The earliest community of Christ’s dis ciples was a model of this (see Acts, chapters 2–4; see also 1:14). To attain an interior spiritual maturity requires an intense sacramental and prayer life.
Spiritual Dimension Objectives
121. The objectives of the spiritual dimension in formation are as follows: a. To deepen the deacon’s prayer life—personal, familial, communal, and liturgical—with special emphasis on participation in Eucharist, daily if possible; daily celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours, espe cially Morning and Evening Prayer; lectio divina ; devotion to the
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