Page 80

On the other hand, Paulines may fail to be professional enough in their apostolic field, satisfied with productions that are undoubtedly pious and blamelessly in accord with ecclesiastical standards, but inferior in the quality of content and technically flawed. These productions may not answer truly to the real needs of the audience in a given place and time. Again the C/D gives clear directives on the matter: Imitating the example of Christ, the perfect communicator, we commit ourselves to adopt a way of expression consistent with the circumstances of the audience and suited to the time, the place, and the instrument of communication. All this so that dialogue can be brought about between God and men and among men themselves (C 19). At the same time, out of fidelity to the human person in his diverse socio-cultural situations, we will know how to shape content to audience with wise pastoral discernment (C 17).

Formative Implications

The personal and community experience of Christ Master, Way, Truth and Life as the ground, center and goal of human life is the dynamic source of mission. Apostolic formation then must facilitate contact with this source. Having made sure of this, apostolic formation needs to take into account several important elements: 1. Growth in a pastoral mentality. This means cultivating in the formands, and in all the members of the congregation, the ability to grasp the deep-seated need of people for what will truly bring them happiness. It also involves fostering the ability to read the signs of the times and to perceive something of what the Spirit is working out in human history. It means feeling Paul’s apostolic torment which led him to spend and overspend himself for the spread of the Gospel. 2. Formation to creativity and apostolic daring. Working in the constantly developing area of communication demands that Paulines cultivate a capacity for prophetic vision and the courage to try new means so that the Gospel may be proclaimed in ways relevant to people of the modern age. 3. Professional training. Without this, the mission runs the risk of stagnating or being largely ineffectual. 4. Capacity to live creatively the tensions inherent in the apostolate, not the least of which is immersion in communication culture while upholding Gospel values without compromise. 5. The acceptance that what one can do is never enough in the face of an apostolate that surpasses one’s abilities. The spirit of the Pact is what sustains the Pauline apostle in her efforts to echo Paul’s cry, “It is then about my weakness that I am happiest to boast, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Cor 12:9). 6. Capacity for sacrifice and the mystery of the cross from which flows true apostolic power.

Consecration: “In the spirit of the beatitudes” If witnessing is the way by which the Daughter of St. Paul most effectively lives her discipleship and communicates Christ as Master, Way, Truth and Life in a postmodern world, there can be no more radical witnessing than a life consecrated by the vows, or evangelical counsels, of chastity, poverty and obedience. Such a life is patterned after the Magna Charta of Christian life, the beatitudes, which are founded on the paradoxical kind of power in powerlessness that this study has been examining. The C/D begins its section on the vows with the following article:

80

Profile for Pauline Books and Media

Power in Powerlessness  

Dialogue between Alberione and Asian Traditions of the Spiritual Masters.

Power in Powerlessness  

Dialogue between Alberione and Asian Traditions of the Spiritual Masters.