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|Pontifical Work for Ecclesiastical Vocations|
New Vocations for New Europe
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28. In synthesis, we can say that, in the dimensions of liturgy, ecclesial communion, service of charity and witness to the Gospel, the existential condition of every believer is condensed. This is his dignity and his fundamental vocation, but it is also the condition that allows each one to discover his own particular identity.
Therefore every believer must live the communal event of the liturgy, of fraternal communion, charitable service and the proclamation of the Gospel, because only through this overall experience can he identify his particular way of living these same dimensions of Christian being. Consequently, these ecclesial itineraries are to be valued since they represent the main route of pastoral work for vocations, thanks to which the mystery of each one's vocation can be uncovered. These are already classical itineraries, that pertain to the very life of each community that wishes to call itself Christian and, at the same time, reveal its strengths or weaknesses. Precisely because of this they not only represent an obligatory path, but above all they provide a guarantee to the authenticity of the search and discernment.
These four dimensions and functions, in fact, from one side provoke a total involvement of the subject, and from the other they lead him to the threshold of a very personal experience, a demanding confrontation, an appeal that is impossible to ignore, a decision to be taken, that can not be put off for ever. Therefore pastoral work for vocations must expressly help people to try to find their bearings by means of a profoundly and totally ecclesial experience, that leads every believer to "the discovery and assumption of his own responsibility in the Church".(85) Vocations which are not born from this experience and insertion in the communitarian action of the Church are at risk of being spoiled at root and are of dubious authenticity.
Often, in effect, there are young people who spontaneously favour one or other of these functions (either they are only involved in voluntary work, or perhaps too much attracted by the liturgical dimension, or they are great theoreticians, a little bit idealistic). It will be important then that the vocational educator encourage the sense of a commitment that will not correspond to the tastes of the young person, but to an objective measure of the experience of faith, which can not, by definition, be smothered. Only respect for this objective measure can allow one's own subjective measure to be introduced.
Objectivity, in this sense, precedes subjectivity, and the young person must learn to give it precedence, if he truly wants to discover himself and what he is called to be. Or rather, he must first realise what is requested of all, if he wants to be himself.
Not only this, but what is objective, based on a norm and tradition aiming at a precise objective that transcends subjectivity, has a notable strength of attraction and vocational gravity. Naturally the objective experience must also become subjective, or be recognised by the individual as his own. Always however in order to move from a source or a truth that is not determined by the subject and that avails itself of the rich tradition of the Christian faith. Concretely, "pastoral work for vocations possesses the fundamental steps for a journey of faith".(86) And this too highlights the gradual and convergent nature of pastoral work for vocations.
85) Propositions, 10.
86) Propositions, 11.
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