2.1. General Guidelines
82. In the formation itinerary there are three stages: discovery, assimilation, and deepening. These correspond to the stages recognized by the educational praxis of the Church in the field of consecrated life: initial welcome of Candidates, postulancy, novitiate, scholasticate, permanent formation.
In this itinerary the candidate, with his individual personality, will allow himself to be involved in the process of gradual assumption of the evangelical form of life as it was incarnated by the Founder and as it is interpreted by our Order throughout history.
Called "to follow Christ with greater liberty and to imitate him more closely” (Second Vatican Council, Perfectae Caritatis (PC), 1)., we learn how to be his disciples, committed to a Christ-like existence, which embraces the man as he strives for the full transfiguration of his being, listening and action.
The origin of each disciple's call is the gratuitous, personal, and unique love of God the Father who calls us to a covenant with Him in Christ. The disciple, receptive to the Holy Spirit, responds to this covenant with love. "Only this love, which is of a nuptial character and engages all the affectivity of one's person, can motivate and support the renunciations and crosses which one who wishes 'to lose his life' necessarily encounters for Christ and for the Gospel (cf Mk 8:35). This personal response is an integrating part of religious consecration". ( PI, 9)
It is in this context that we can take into consideration the discipline which is required by any formation.
83. The formation we wish for those who want to embrace the Bamabite way of life must be characterized by:
a) totality - harmoniously developing all the dimensions of the person;
b) graduality - spreading out the education goals of the various stages of initial and permanent formation;
c) interiorization - integrating the exterior rule in one's daily living;
d) self-education - allowing the candidate to experience himself as the agent of his own formation, which takes account of the characteristics and needs of each individual candidate;
e) brotherly communion - implying communication in faith and fraternal sharing of thoughts and action in an authentic family spirit;
f) pluralism - in a Pauline sense, inserting oneself positively into the various environments and diverse cultures, testing everything and retaining what is good (1 Thess 5:21);
g) interior freedom - not being bound to any school of thought, system or author, but allowing itself to be guided by the Holy Spirit who guides to the fullness of truth (Const 3,5);
h) supernatural spirit, - thinking over and reliving everything in the light of God the Father, his Word made flesh, and ofthe interior movements of his Spirit.
84. The candidates are at the center of all the stages of formation and therefore must be considered at the human level primarily responsible for and co-protagonists of their own education according to the specific tradition of our Order. They must be enabled to express themselves concerning the objectives and programs of formation because alive in them is the need to participate and to experiment. This will increase in them the sense of responsibility in an attitude of constant evaluation (Cf. PI,29).
Interior Unification and Openness
85. The whole formation process should aim at preparing "personalities inwardly unified 'in the love and desire for whole and total perfection'" (Const 139) and therefore open to the service of neighbor.
a) growth in the human, Christian, and religious virtues which lead to the knowledge, acceptance, and overcoming of oneself, to psycho-affective balance, to self-education, and to self-discipline;
b) progressive socialization and insertion in the religious, ecclesial, and civil community;
c) the attitude of maintaining responsibly and faithfully the commitments one has assumed;
d) the capacity to relate in a positive way to the members of the community and to the formators;
e) the creativity and the enterprising spirit to root the charism in lived experience and to inculturate it into one's own environment.
In the Path of Tradition
86. There is a need to stir up in the one who is initiated into the life of the Congregation a sense of belonging and continuity. This will enable him to absorb and then transmit the cultural and spiritual heritage that he has received. For this purpose it is of primary importance for him to master the history and spirituality of the Congregation and of its Pauline matrix, because it will enable him to discover his roots and so draw from it the vital sap.
Times and Ways of the Formation Process
87. The formation to the life of the Congregation must be inspired by the ideal proposed by our Founding Father. Diversified, instead, are the times and ways of the formation process depending on whether the candidate is being formed for the priesthood or the brotherhood, his age, his character, his education, and the aims of his activities.
88. The Bamabite educator considers the whole person, totally forgetting himself, with a loving, persuasive, and discreet attitude toward the other:
a) He respects in the candidate what God himself respects: autonomy and individuality;
b) He stimulates his potential toward the full maturation of his personality in the light of the Holy Spirit;
c) He creates between himself and the disciple a serene and trustful attitude marked by vigilance in attitudes, integrity in feelings and affections, and a natural distinction of methods.
Taken from "The BArnabite RATIO BARNABITICA. For Vocation Promotion and Formation"