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Formation Manual 2016

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INTRODUCTION

Every human being is in a continual process of transformation. For those who respond to the call to Carmelite life, this transformation is marked by a commitment to “a journey of gradual and progressive conversion, encompassing every aspect of life,” during which they allow themselves “to be conformed to Jesus by the action of the Spirit and to come to union with God.”[1] This formative journey is not merely a stage preceding permanent membership in the Order; it is a dynamic process, which continues until death. “God renews his call day by day and always expects a fresh response from us.”[2] Carmelite life consists in the on-going surrender of the will to God’s transforming action. In truth, “the formative process can never be said to be completed.”[3] Therefore, initial formation is understood as a time for developing a capacity for discernment, flexibility, and availability – qualities that enable us to renew our lives constantly.

[1] Ratio Institutionis Vitae Carmelitanae, “Carmelite Formation; a Journey of Transformation,”2000. Abbreviated as “Ratio” and as RIVC; no. 5

[2] RIVC, no. 19

[3] RIVC, no. 14

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