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  #1  
Old Feb 18, '09, 8:22 pm
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goforgoal goforgoal is offline
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Default Theology of Religious Life

Theology of Religious Life

-Why is there a theology of religious life?
-What distinguishes a lay person from a religious?

Ingredients of a Theology of Religious Life

1. Response to call from God.

2. A call to discipleship.

-In the Old Testament all people are called to be people of God but we see that from within the group God chose certain individuals from among the larger group for a special role.
-In the New Testament everyone is called into a common discipleship.
-We also see that there are those called into special discipleship.
Example: The 12 Apostles.

Why does He call people into special discipleship?
a). To be with Jesus Christ.
b) To proclaim the Good news. Call to live Christ's style and form of life.
c) The Religious consecrates self by vows:
d) Call to live in Community.
e) Call to live out the charism of the founder/foundress and of the congregation.
f) A call to religious life is a call approved and regulated by the Church.

-Jesus did not invent the idea of discipleship. This idea was already being lived out in the Old Testament. He took a perplexing social reality and gave it a new meaning.

Traits of Jewish Discipleship

1. Discipleship moved into the household of the Rabbi and lived with him 24 hrs. a day.--Living with the teacher was not part time...often it was lifetime.
2. In a household there were often other disciples--A relationship to the rabbi and to other members of the rabbi's household.
3. Disciples shared in every aspect of teachers life, joys, successes, sorrows, and sufferings.
4. Disciples served the needs of their teachers.
5. The relationship to the Rabbi was similar to the son with a father--He was obedient.
6. The disciples strove to become like the teacher in every way by:

a) Observing, watching the teacher. How he lived, what he did and said.
b) He listened to what the teacher taught by what he did and said.

7. The disciples shared in the life of his teacher, the mission of his teacher.
8. The disciple not only did the work of his teacher, but did it in the same way. * We share in the activities bu which Jesus lived.
a) Teacher of faith
b) Priest who have life on the cross--shared through the liturgy.
c) Shepherd who: i) gathers sheep and brings them together
ii) leads the sheep
iii) protects the sheep
iv) heals the wounded sheep
v) goes in search of the lost sheep

God Tells us Some Things About Special Discipleship

1. The call to a special discipleship comes from God.
2. This call is not given to everyone.
3. This call is often unexpected.
4. The call is communicated either directly by God or indirectly by a third person--as with some of the disciples.
5. God the Father's sovereign choice--"ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into his vineyard." Jesus prayed and asked the Father, whom shall I choose (when he spent the night in prayer)
6. No one is worthy or fit to be called special disciples. God does not called the qualified, he qualifies the call (1 Cor. 1:18-31), (2 Cor. 11:30), (2 Cor. 12:10)
7. The vocation to be a special disciple is a radical and totalitarian (Lk 5:11), (Lk.9:61-62).
8. Special discipleship is a full time occupation which calls one to give up everything not compatible for full time discipleship.
9. Special discipleship is a permenant vocation not a temporary one.
10. There is a special reward for special disciples. (Matt.19:29)
11. The purpose of special discipleship is two fold:
a). To be with Him
b) To be sent,proclaim,make happen the Good News in the world.

Jesus Disciples of the Father

1. Vocation of Jesus the Disciple--His response to his call
Jesus' vocation is doing what the Father commands him to do. (John 10:10-11)
The Father appealed to the love of Jesus for him...Do you love me enough-- (Jn. 3:16) (21:15-19).
-Jesus asked, 'Do you love me.' not my people, my apostolate, my ministry, etc. The first thing he wants to know is if Peter loves him.
2. How dis Jesus respond to his call
There are no ifs, no buts, no maybe's, no holding back. Jesus said, "here I am, everything I have, am can do...I give them to you."
(Heb.10:5-7), (Ps.40:6-8), (Phil.2:5-8).
* Am I ready to belong to someone else, everything I am, have, can do...belongs to someone else.
-Who disposes of how I SPEND MY TIME. Others or me. (Isaiah 53: 3-5).

Traits of Jesus as Disciple


1. Just as I need food, I need to be obedient to the Father to complete his work.

Jesus was obedient. Obedience comes from a Latin word obdire which means Obedience means we open ourselves to God's will. It's not always easy.

Obedience calls me as a religious to be a stewardship of self, of my gifts. In my vow to obedience I have vowed to use the gifts that God has given me.
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  #2  
Old Feb 18, '09, 9:33 pm
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goforgoal goforgoal is offline
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Default Re: Theology of Religious Life (cont.)

a) The Obedience of Jesus was deeply rooted in prayer and communion.

b) Christ lived his obedience in Community- In religious community discernment is done in three levels. Prayer, study, and discussion which operates on three levels. Personal, local, and provincal.

c) Obedience of Christ was in his daily life, his free total and continual availability to the spirit of love... My vow calls me to be attentive, available to be touched, and disturbed by the cries of the distressed.
Jesus was free to be obedient, to give of himself because he was giving out of love.
The vow of obedience progressively calls us into the fullness of freedom and availability in loving service.
Obedience is loving service of others, and the freedom to say yes to God. It is not a passive submission.

d) Christ learned his obedience through his sufferings. Sometimes it cuts. It did in the life of Jesus...Why should it not ours?
- The vow of obedience is a sign in the world for those who live only for prestige, in competition, and domination. It promotes service, gratitude, mercy, and care for others.

2. As a disciple, Jesus preached what the Father gave him to say.

3. Jesus was obedient onto death for the salvation of the world.

4. Part of the call to discipleship is the call to undivided love. Jesus chose to live his love in a direct way as a celibate. (Mt.19:11-12). Celibacy is a Charism, a gift and vocation from God. Expressed in the choice to remain unmarried for the sake of the Reign of God. It is the lived choice not to engage in any other relationship as the first commitment of my life. The choice for celibacy in the context of Jesus' time was not an honourable one.

Consecrated celibacy is about how one chooses to love.
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Old Feb 18, '09, 9:33 pm
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goforgoal goforgoal is offline
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Default Re: Theology of Religious Life (final)

Christian Community


1. Christian community is established for both the benefit of the members and to serve outside of the community. Christian community must have both (Acts 2:42-47). Members of Christian community become members of a divine call.

2. The disciples had to make sacrifices that was not compatible to living in community.

3. The disciples moved into the household of Jesus. Living with each other is their life.

4. As individuals and as a group the disciples observed and imitated Jesus and became like him.

5. As individuals and as a group the disciples lived community and prayer life.

6. Disciples had community possessions.

7. Disciples shared in the work of Jesus.

8. The disciples shared in the breaking of bread in the last supper.

9. The disciples witnessed the life and death of Jesus.

10. Jesus entrusted the members of his community to the care of his mother.

11. Jesus entrusted the continuation of his saving work to his community (Jn.20:21), (Mk.16:16), (Matt.28:19-20).

12. To empower the disciples for their mission Jesus fulfilled his promise of his Spirit on Pentecost Sunday.

13. Purpose of Christian community is person and task oriented.

14. The bond and uniting force of community is Jesus. The Eucharistic spirituality unites them.

15. The Christian community exists and grows in the shadow of the cross and it doesn't belong to the world. It cannot afford to be "politically correct." (Jn.16: 2,4)

16. The end of John 16 Jesus promises two things--trouble and peace and victory.

17. Before the ascension the Christian community consisted of a group of disciples surrounding Jesus visible present. After the ascension Jesus is present in a different way, especially in two signs 1) His Word 2) His Sacraments (Matt.18:20)

Our Role as religious is to pursue holiness.

Some Signs that you could be an Authentic Celibate


1. I have close friends. Some of my friends are my peers (around my age, similar education, and social circle).

2. I have a life.

3. I can enjoy time alone.

4. I can set limits.

5. I have a special relationship with God and my prayer time is one of intimacy with this God.

6. I can say "no."

7. I am willing to love those no one else will love.

8. I don't need to satisy my own needs immediately. I can delay gratification.

9. My social circle is a mix of men and women.

10. My prayer life supports my struggle to be chaste (not chased).

11. I know how to be intimate without being active sexually.

12. I have made and kept commitments in my life.

13. I can be honest, down to earth, realistic, joyful and warm. (Though not all the time. We are not perfect.)

14. Most of time I am comfortable with my own body and emotions.

Typical Relations to the Call from God to be Holy and a Special Disciple


1. Who me? You must be kidding?---(Mary--fearful, confused, perplexed)

2. But I'm not worthy--I'm not clean--God will fix that Isaiah

3. I'm not capable--Jeremiah--I'm too young--I know but I will make you capable.

4. I don't know what to say--Ezekiel--I will put my words in your mouth...eat my word...man becomes what he eats...We become the word of God.

5. God, what you are asking is impossible--I know. But, I will make it possible if you let me--Mary.

6. I'm afraid of whare this may lead--Do not be afraid--Found 366 times in scripture for every day of the year even leap year.

The secret to holiness lies in letting God do what he wants. Saints are made by God. We don't make saints. God can only make us holy if we let him. Like Mary we put it into God's hands. This is our contribution. Holy abandonment.

How to recognize a Genuine Call for God


Jn.6:44 "Nobody comes to me unless the Father calls him. God calls by a two fold grace.

I. Grace of fitness

a) A person who feels called has physical, mental, and spiritual health to do what he/she needs to do.
b) Psychological fitness
c) Moral fitness--living according to commandments and moral virtues.
d) Spiritual fitness--faith, hope, charity.
e) Social fitness- Ability to relate with others.

II. Grace of Decision
1. Ability to decide--Are you capable of making your own decisions.

2. Freedom to decide-
a) internal freedom-- Person knows what you are getting into. An idea of what this is about.
b) external freedom--No external cohesion from outside.

3. Impulse to decide

4. The motive--What is moving the candidte to say I want ot make vows. In every case there is often more than one motive.
--Security, reward, education, prestige, parents, expectations of others, aimlessness, love of community, frustration, need to be loved (even habit).
The important thing which is the dominant motive. The dominant motive must be something revolving around God. Not always easy.
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  #4  
Old Feb 22, '09, 7:27 pm
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JReducation JReducation is offline
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Default Re: Theology of Religious Life

This is excellent. Thank you for sharing.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OFS
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Fraternally,

Brother JR, FFV

"Forget not love."


A Deacon's Deacon
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  #5  
Old Feb 22, '09, 10:41 pm
Poor Clare tobe Poor Clare tobe is offline
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Default Re: Theology of Religious Life

Thank You for the time and patience it took to post and pull this thread together. I hope many will take the time to read and reflect on this.
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“Start by doing what's necessary; then do what is possible; & suddenly you're doing the impossible.” - St. Francis of Assisi
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