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Psycho-Spiritual Integration (Part I)


Introduction
Psycho-spiritual integration centres on the relationship between psychology and spirituality; it is the meeting of two
persons: Jesus Christ and the individual person (in other words this is a meeting between values and the
psychological structure of the individual). The point of meeting between these two poles is the motivation of the
individual;
Values
Motivation
The Individual
Values need to move the person as I encounter them, if they do not move me then they have no influence on me.
My motivational system needs to be oriented towards values which is a process involving the whole person. The
work of the educator is to educate the motivation of the individual.
A. Spiritual Experience and Discernment
1. A spiritual experience is a gradual awareness (knowledge) of the objective values and selftranscendent values (Jesus Christ), which progressively modifies ones way of living.
2. Moral discernment is the most basic and is presumed before entrance into the seminary or
formation programme.
3. There is a need to discern the quality of the individuals spiritual experience, that is, to discern
whether it came from God of from the individuals own creation. What really happened when the
student felt called to become a priest or religious?
4. This is achieved through distinguishing the apparent good from the real good: through a
discernment of this we find out the interpretation and conclusion that the person has given to his/her
experience. The subjective interpretation of values determines the way in which it is to be lived by
the person: what does it mean for him to be a priest.
Discernment involves an understanding of two moments;
Theological moment in this we seek the signs of the presence of God in the lived life of person. How
does God manifest himself to this person?
Anthropological moment how does this person respond to this God that has invited him into a new
relationship?
These two moments must converge. God uses means to speak to the individual and the individual uses the same
means (opportunities and experiences) to respond. But it may happen that God uses my experiences to speak to me
but I use different means, i.e. He may seek me as a married man but I seek him else where thus creating a
divergence between the theological and anthological. In this case the person is seeking God as a Deacon instead of
seeking him as a married man which is the problem of the apparent good.
The heart of discernment is this; is there is a convergence or divergence between these two moments?
B. Discerning Motivation

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1. Discerning availability and willingness towards dialogue with God. This is assessed from attitudes; if a
person is really moved by love then it will be seen in their concrete actions.
2. The presence of God and the human subject there is a progressive experience of God in the persons life
which becomes the object of reflection and judgement (He is discovered day by day by the heart that is willing
to listen). This experience of God brings the subject to progressively discover himself and he gradually
becomes confronted by a new value system (objective values) which is an experience of conflict and struggle.
Growth is allowing oneself to be conquered by God and in order to achieve this we need to cultivate a
willingness which is necessary for this growth. This willingness is a necessary condition for the change of
ones original position (that is personal philosophy) which is the whole process of transformation. Thus, the
basic question posed by the formator is not has the person changed but has he changed the capacity to
change further?
3. Presentation of values the formator must present the values to the student in a clear and uncompromised way.
The students reaction towards these values gives indications of both the existence and willingness to learn.
4. Apostolic experience from which the student will learn.
C. Dynamism of Change
1.First Phase The Divine Call
God calls the individual out of his gratuitous love, but this call has no content only God attracts the person to
himself in love and gives him some instruction about his nature. There is the new awareness of a
transcendental horizon in the persons life which goes beyond just natural values. The individual is aware of
what is happening but does not know the contents;
The individual becomes more disposed to some good which previously he would/could not do (what
Karl Rahner call operative grace). The individual is passive here; God has taken the initiative and
guides the person in a new direction.
The Formator has no real role here all this first phase is the work of God.
2.Second Phase Beginning of Human Cooperation
The individual begins to respond to the divine initiative as he feels the movements in his heart; he begins to
make his judgements and decisions correspond to these new transcendent ideals whose content is not fully
known. The formator can help in clarifying his responses and feelings so as not to base decisions on emotional
but on rational judgments.
The individual is invited to take a position not based on facts because the content of his experience is not
known he is invited to a response to love which is a different way of knowing. It is not just knowing the
facts but a decision out of love coming from the spiritual experience. In this situation the individual is called
to make a decision and only afterwards to analyse and understand. The task of the formator is to know the
individual at this stage and help him resolve this kind of knowing.
The dynamic union has between God and the individual has begun (although this stage is very fragile as
the person listens to a reality he does not yet fully know). The individual has to pass through to the next stage
which is accepting this logic of love which he is now experiencing.
3.Third Phase The Initial Decision
The individual risks and responses to this reality by deciding. The decision has content; to do something
concrete to accept this new horizon in life. Deciding means accepting what God wants. Not longer is the
psychic disposition enough but doing something concrete now. Here both Ideal Self and Actual Self are
engaged.
NB. The acceptance of these new ideals widens the basic dialectic because the basic natural needs of
the person remain in the very action of choosing ideals the person feels ambivalent feelings and a
tension arises which stems from the natural needs in contradiction to the new ideals. The problem

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emerges of the incapacity of living out what one has chosen to live; that is living out the consequences of
the risk taken in love.
4.Fourth Phase Integration of Choice made with the Lived Life
Integration actually means containing the tension by knowing the forms of this tension present in the
individuals life. Integration does not mean harmony of opposites that brings about the serenity of a cemetery;
it is rather bearing the scars of the war between our Actual and Ideal selves.
Tasks to achieve this integration;
a. The formator must be aware of this tension and how it manifests itself in the life of the person; what is the
significant nature of this tension for the person.
b.The individual must integrate his chosen values with his dispositions that are already conscious (Manifest
Self), i.e. a subjective sanctity which is putting the individuals gifts to good use at service of the
kingdom of what the person already knows of himself, his obvious talents etc.
c. The individual also has to integrate the values with the unconscious dispositions (Latent Self) which are
less free in order to make them freer, i.e. objective sanctity.
d.This integration of the two conscious and unconscious dispositions are important not only for God but for
the person themselves.
This integration has two elements;
1. Psychological Analysis this is the technical means by which a persons unconscious needs are assessed.
His/her psychological profile is described.
2. Anthropological Analysis this is an analysis of each students natural tendency to transcend himself and
to love God (conscious intentionality). It requires providing the student with a the knowledge of Ideal Self
and Actual Self, i.e. implying that they is always a gap between what he is and what he is called to be.
D. The meeting of the Ideal and the Psychological Structure of the Person; The Place of Symbolism

A. Symbolism (values)
When values are presented to a person, some receive them positively others negatively why is this so?
Ultimate values (revealed in Jesus Christ) presented by a formator (or the Church) are values and are
therefore symbols. These values represent one thing for one person and another thing for another person, i.e.
for one person celibacy represents life, for another it means death. These representations/interpretations take
place at an affective level.
-

Values are different from norms as they do not tell us how to live, i.e., poverty as a value does not tell
us how much money we should spend each week. Norms prescribe what needs to be done in certain
situations.
- Values are endure in time, they are distinguished from personal interests which could be lost if the
interest vanishes.
Terminal values concern the ultimate meaning and end of human life (union with God and imitation of
Christ).
Instrumental Values the means to this end (poverty, chastity, and obedience).
The terminal value justifies the instrumental value. It is thus important that the individual does not see the
instrumental values as end in themselves.
Religious vocation demands an integration of these values in the psychological structure of the person.
The formator needs to discern if to the extent in which the value is free and objective in the life of the person in
their particular life situation.

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Symbolism
What does this value/this experience mean for me? No one can be known in his interiority, but ones interiority
is revealed through what he does. Symbols help us to externalise our interior life. Our actions are symbol
activities of our interiority. A persons actions reveal the person but can also be used to cover the self,
therefore there is need to move away from actions to the self and from the self to actions.
Symbols can do this because they give us two types of information;
1.
What is seen, said and done = the thing.
2.
The meaning = the signified.
Self-transcendent values and Natural values converge in symbols, therefore when S. T. values come into
contact with my psychic structure, my actions become symbolic of these values; my choice of clothes, my
choice of friends, my decisions, my interests, are all reflections of my symbolic life.
So only when the value has assumed a symbolic form in the life of the individual as an expression of his
interiority can the value effect change in the person. The value becomes a symbol through a persons
affectivity.

B. Affectivity
Only when a value/ideal is loaded with affect can it assume a symbolic form and be able to change a person.
Every idea has a mental representation, but when it succeeds in attaching itself to my affectivity, then it assumes
greater force to effect some change in the psychological system (motivation). This indicates to me the kind of
relationship I have with that object or idea;
Positive

Value
AFFECTIVE RESPONSE
Subject

Indifference
Negative

These varying responses of affect to values reveal a lot about the person, it is not enough that the person
interpret the value well; we need to ask; what is the type of relationship between this value and the psychic
structure of the person? If a value does not provoke affect in me, it means it has no place in my symbolic
world.
The symbolic relationship has three elements;
1.

Cognitive Element
This means knowing the values; but it is more of an interior image of what has been perceived. The cognitive
element includes;
- Perception that the person is aware of some fact
- Clarification of Values the candidate needs to know and be clear on the values, but knowing is just
information, it does not affect behaviour, it could remain only a dry idea.
- The Interior Image of the Idea this image of the value influences behaviour. The image of Jesus in
the interiority of the person indirectly influences all he does, i.e. his interpersonal relationships. The
formator must ensure that because of the basic dialect, the student may have a poor image of values; he
wants to love God with all his heart but his values represent more defensive or ego-centric symbols.

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The formator task is to reduce the limited or distorted representation of these values in the life of the
candidate.
Limitations in the students structure could be voluntarism which means Gods love demands a lot
and therefore I must win or earn it. This view limits freedom as the student feels he is being trained or
tested by God.
2.

Affective Element
The establishment of a new relationship happens through our affectivity; affectivity is towards;
a. the possibility of channelling our energies,
b. towards an esteemed object central to our identity.
NB. Our affectivity is channelled towards what is central to our self-esteem. When an object touches
negatively our self-esteem there could result depression or even suicide. That is why it is important to
find out where one found ones self-esteem; in fantasy, intelligence, beauty, power, money, relationships.
If an object does not become the source of my self-esteem, it becomes secondary in the individuals
psychic structure and does not receive enough psychic energy for its realisation.
A central question is; How much does this vocation following Jesus found my self-esteem?
Only when an object occupies the centre of ones self-esteem can all energy be mobilised towards its
realisation. Formation therefore helps at making the object of love Jesus the centre of the candidates
psychological structure. This lack of centrality leads to problems as the person seeks outside
compensation and confirmation to bolster identity and self-esteem.

3.

Conative Element (the element in psychological processes that tend towards activity or change and appear as desire,
volition, and striving).

This is the least important aspect as it follows as a consequence of the previous two. Now my actions are
a reflection of my interior processes. We need to integrate all aspect of our psychic functioning;
Psycho-physiological
Psycho-social
Psycho-spiritual
(Any exaggeration at one of these levels to the expense of the other indicates an integration problem).
Elements of Renunciation
In many elements involving a Christian religious experience, there are definite implications;
-

Every choice implies a renunciation of other possibilities, not always an external renunciation but an
internal one; that is, renouncing some part of the self and its needs which may not permit the realisation
or gratification due to the object chosen.
One chooses a cause not because it is the only possibility but because it is the one preferable to others.
Renunciation must be justified so that it does not become a constricting mortification; this also implies
that the values renounced are not despised.
The choices made become the foundation of all future choices and decisions.

Every Christian Decision in terms of Vocation Presupposes;


1. RISK there is always a sense of insecurity (about the future) which can only be overcome by courage and faith
2. Maximum cost an action that expresses the intensity of love is always preferable in decisions even if the outcome
is minimal
3. Precision but not clarity the accepted values should be objective and realistic but can never be exhaustively clear.
They is progressively discovered only in concretely realising them.

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Psycho-Spiritual Integration (Part II)


The Laws of Christian Experience;
A. First Law; How can the individual be helped to move gradually in his experience to move from subjectivity to
objectivity?
1. Christian Experience is situated in the intermediary space between two poles;
Christian Revelation (objective pole)
Christian Spiritual Experience

Concrete Existence of the Person (Subjective pole)


Christian spiritual experience cannot be identified without both of these two poles.
Psychoanalysis the subject is truly a subject when the objective is destroyed.
Humanistic Psychology the objective is at service of the subjective.
NB. From this law the fundamental criterion for discerning truth of a spiritual experience is deduced; namely: the
priority of the objective pole over the subjective. It is this priority that confers to the spiritual experience the quality
of internalization.
2. Reasons why this law is important;
a. The individual possesses some self-deceiving (self-defeating) mechanisms that facilitate distortion of
reality. Transcendent values in their objectivity offer the motivational system the capacity of
discontinuing this distortion of motivation and behaviour. In this way, the objective pole serves as a
guarantee of continuity and verification of spiritual experience.
b. Regarding the motivational sources of the individual, the transcendent values in their objectivity provides
the possibility to the individual to give new meanings (not distorted) to the psychic events of the past
(meaning re-organisation).
c. The primacy of the objective pole guarantees that election made does not depend solely on the intrapsychic structure (i.e. as in miraculistic approaches after one month novena I will not remember the
pains again in the sense of establishing irresponsible relationships between events or infantile attitudes
the feeling that the conflict have been resolved).
Role of Educator/Formator;
The educator (or formator) must try to get the candidate to hold onto the objective pole, as the objective is so
frequently conditioned by the subjective. In other words, the objective becomes defined or interpreted according to
the individuals psychodynamics;
Example; your WORD is a light for my ways (objective illuminates my psychodynamics), instead the individual
says, my WAY is a light for the Word! (the subjective psychodynamics illuminates the Word).

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Therefore the educator must correct distortions of behaviour and motivation in himself and the candidates. These
distortions are activated frequently when the challenge to live our values touch upon a central conflict and there is a
greater tendency to reduce the objective pole to the subjective in order to deal with conflict ( Second Dimension
dynamic = important-for-me is sought instead of the important-in-itself). The primacy of the objective pole affects the
choices one makes, when inconsistency prevails, the person makes inconsistent choices and follows infantile
behaviours (i.e. projection of problems onto others, too much attachment to roles, etc.)
3. Favouring the Primacy of the Objective;
The two movements of discernment;
Discernment directly touches human freedom which should and wants to choose and commit itself to the good, to
a value and indeed, to the Good. There are two processes or movements in discernment and they correspond to the
two movements of human freedom;
a. Human freedom is realised in transcending itself towards a good understood in relation to the Good;
b. It also involves a concrete and specific choice.
- This double dynamic is expressed in the double movement of discernment.
Ascending movement: this movement is verified in the search for transcendence in every event or
action. It is the movement from the Particular goods
to the True Good/God. This is the
movement of participation in which the divine is sought in the human = spiritual insight. One
searches to see in what way every phenomenon or concrete reality participates in the transcendent
world.
Descending movement: In this movement the divine illuminates and favours the particular choices the
individual makes in the concrete. This is the movement of purification in which the human is
sought in the divine = psychological insight.
Two types of relationship are possible in the formation or educational environment;
1. Symmetrical the candidate is despairing and the educator reaches out to help him.
2. Complementary The candidate is despairing but the educator leaves him because he is seeking. He
asked the question and instead of direct help, the educator introduces him to a reflection by what he
tells the candidate.
In this way the formator is favouring the primacy of the objective as it is important to see how far the lived practical
life of the individual (Descending movement) betrays the believed ideal (Ascending movement). NB., This attempt
helps to avoid transferential attitudes and dependency between the formator and the students.
4. Spiritualizing the problem;
Spiritualization is the challenge of transforming the struggles which take place on the human, psychological plane into
a spiritual one. It is clear that the reality of the whole person is in dialogue with God (which may not always be the
case). It is not just at a level of cognitive abstraction or a level of principles that must be addressed but the whole
existential being (emotions, needs, desires, past history and aspirations).
Integration of two aspects of human existence;
1. Religious Level; each person is called to take a position before God. This encounter (relationship)
can create tension as it gives life but also death, therefore anxiety is present.

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2. Psychological Level; there is our purely psychological aspect due to our humanity: concerns which
are not immediately religious in nature, i.e. fears, anxieties, questions, struggles between ideals (such
as success, self-image), and aspects of the Actual Self (needs), and problems of relationship and
communication.
Importance of Psychological and Human Integration;
When these two areas are separate entities, a person experiences a distress that does not really have a clear cause.
When a person is locked in a vicious circle due to some opposing psychological mechanisms which are in conflict, the
persons energy is absorbed in himself and undergoes a continual and futile struggle.
A similar process can happen when one is involved in a spiritual struggle, which is neglecting a concrete
(existential) reality, and ends up in a dry argument about abstract principles. In both cases a lack of integration is
present.
Within every psychological struggle, there is a religious one and that is where the true problem lies: the encounter
with God flows into a responsible dedication to him or to frustration and lack of growth. At a psychological level it is
God who calls the person into a new kind of relationship which touches the heart concretely at that point where he is
divided in himself and is alienated from himself.
Holding the two levels together means that there is a psycho-spiritual struggle; it is not just a struggle between the
ideals of God and the ideals of man; it is not only the struggle between the limits imposed to human freedom and the
demands of responding to reality; it is rather a psycho-spiritual struggle it is an appeal directed to me to do some
good that I can and want to do only if I let myself be led towards a greater freedom.
Role of Educator/Formator;
The role of the formator is to enable to students see the importance of this integration (or interpenetration) between
the two levels; helping the individual see the connection between the two and being able to create the connection
himself where the need arises. Advice to achieve this aim;
1. Do not remind him constantly of the ideals which he already knows (this could just frustrate him)
(= Orthodoxy).
2. Do not give him further advice on how to act (= Orthopraxis).
3. Only help him to make a true question become explicit and which are already within him (= Orthopathy). In
other words, help him to see the particular human situation and the following spiritual invitation (= Parabolic
pedagogy which creates a complementary relationship see above).
5. Inductive method of moral life: method of intrinsic morality;
1. The central point is that values are objective realities which are above and beyond man, but they have
the privilege of satisfying the unspecified yearning in the human heart. If they are received, it
becomes an interiorised reality by means of the process of internalisation which is set in motion by
human desire and confirmed by the will. The effect of such internalization is the maximum
satisfaction of our genuine human aspirations.
2. Values are objective realities which are above an beyond man which coming from outside and in an
unexpected way question our existence and but can be poorly interiorised through the process of
conformity set in motion by the voluntaristic effort of the person. The effect of such conformity is the
abolition of the freedom to act.
This is the essence of intrinsic morality which differs from extrinsic morality;
a. Interiorised value through process of internalization
b. Values are understood in terms of relationship/dialogue

a. Interiorised value through process of compliance


b. Values are seen as an imposition, no relationship is established.

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c. Method of learning; emphasis on desire (willingness).


c. Method of learning; emphasis on voluntarism (wilfulness).
d. Values are presented in persuasive way that attracts,
d. Values are presented in threatening way; if you do this you will be happy
they present a qualitative way of living which leaves
otherwise you are a failure (value does not convince as with the Pharisees
us with free choices
and Law)
e.
Leads to transformation and increase in freedom >
e. Leads to voluntaristic effort and loss of freedom > no
freedom and feels
The individual feels themselves and fully alive.
trapped.
Intrinsic morality = human experience of value (Jesus and his teaching) as maximally human and leading to

transformation, and the individual becoming fully alive. Method of learning is the appeal to desire and motivation.
Extrinsic morality = human experience of value (Jesus and his teaching) is understood as an imposition demanding
voluntaristic effort which makes the individual feel a reduction of freedom and reacts with rebellion.
Role of Educator/Formator;
The individual must be helped in his task of moving towards an intrinsic morality by the;
- Presentation of objective values which must be clear;
- Also help in digesting them which means the educator must avoid risk of being the intransigent type (not
willing to compromise) who is preoccupied with abstract principles and rules and the concrete person is
neglected. The other danger is the indulgent educator who is so taken up in the concrete situation of
individual that the objectivity of values and the obliging character of the values are lost sight of.
The means in which this process can be achieved is through the following steps;

Collection of
facts

Grasping the
project of life

Confronting
/confirming his
actual project in
life

This means knowing the existential situation of


the individual and his daily programme along
with his personality (moods, prayer, work, free
time, etc.) The intransigent formator may see
this as a waste of time.

Through his daily actions and his stories he is


telling the world (community) what his aims in
life are and how and who he wants to be. From
this the formator gathers a constant style of life
and assesses if he is guided more by
important-for-me or important-in-itself

Does the candidates life correspond to the


Christian project given by Christ? Does who
you want to be correspond to who you are
called to be? The indulgent formator may not
care about these aspects

Experience

Understanding

Judging

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Helping him modify his


life project so as to
reflect more the life
proposed by the Gospel

This is the heart of intrinsic morality. The


value had to be presented as attractive
otherwise it will not receive an affective
response; if the individual does not feel
attracted to it, consequently he may not come to
the possession of it.

Responsible Decision
Being in love

NB., Helping the person is not criticising his project of life even when this means offering another alternative in life
(i.e. religious vocation may not be suited to this person). Confronting his style of life, his project of life implies
letting him understand his personality deeply and profoundly and letting him see for himself what he really wants in
life (if a person is too aggressive, then what is this aggression seeking?). Self-Knowledge is the key it is not a
matter of preaching but enabling the individual to preach to himself.
Self-Knowledge is acquired in three ways; (always the task of the formator)
1. Explaining his situation to him enabling the individual to give true and correct names to what is really
happening in this life (i.e. his feelings, motivations, needs, desires).
2. Understanding: This means enabling the individual to give a subjective meaning to what is happening
to him. What functions do your actions perform in your life, as these establish and create your style of
life?
3. Interpreting: This means enabling the individual to confront his behaviour with Gospel values. Does
the way you live promote the Gospel you seek or is this aim impeded?
6. Favouring the process of introspection: the response of the subject;
The formator needs to know what kind of response the individual is giving. There are four kinds of responses that an
individual can give as a justification for his/her vocation (of their faith life in general).
1. Catechetical Response
These are exact responses which demonstrate the individual has understood the content. It is actually a mere
repetition of content rather than a free and independent exploration of faith. These responses do not lead to
assimilation (internalization).
2. Moral Response
This is like a confessional response that is a correct indicating again the individual has understood the content of the
faith and morality and is aware of what should or should not be done. It promotes orthodoxy but does not lead to
assimilation but more to a voluntaristic effort to do things the way they should be done.
3. De-Individualized Response
This is an impersonalised response that the individual offers which is a common response shared by everyone
indicating a general agreement with the common knowledge of the group, i.e. what the Church teaches about
Religious life is agreed upon. In this kind of response, however, the first person is lost and one speaks as a member of
a group of believers.
4. Personalised Response
This is a convinced response as the person believes the content of faith or values having personally verified the
content. Such a response is the fruit of a personal investigation and arrived at after genuinely searching. Such
responses are socially independent (therefore not impersonalised response) and made in a climate of suspended
judgement (and hence different from moral responses) and are far deeper than just rote learning (catechetical

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responses). The personalised responses are stimulated by explorative questions which push the person to find
meaning for his faith. The individual questions his faith and religious vocation and is provoked to seek for an ever
more meaningful response.
7. From Subjectivity to Interiority;
Interiority understood in this sense implies what Lonergan calls authentic subjectivity. The whole point of
Lonergans analysis is to help us to grasp that our own knowing processes orient us towards truth and our own
valuing processes orient us towards what is good. The criteria of our own consciousness, if we will but follow
them attentively, intelligently, reasonably, and responsibly, will lead us to true judgements both of fact and value. Our
evaluations, (our judgements) then, partake in objectivity insofar as we give ourselves authentically to seeking truth
and value.
It might seem strange given the commonly accepted division between subjectivity and objectivity that the more
one employs the full range of ones subjectivity, the more objective ones conclusions, but it is in fact true.
Example: the radiologists trained subjectivity arrives at an objectivity that I, merely looking at the x-ray, could not
arrive at. Knowing is not merely taking a good look, it is attending and understanding and judging.
Religious values, finally, lie at the heart of the meaning and value of our living and our world; because our desire is
unrestricted, we are finally satisfied with nothing less than ultimate meaning and value (even winning a marathon
does not bring ultimate values!)
The Laws of Christian Experience;
B. Second Law; From the Global to the Particular.
This law directly touches the contents to be taught. The objective contents must find their resonance in the interiority
of the subject. Each moment of the contemplation of the objective value of God Jesus Christ must produce a
corresponding consequence in the individual. The global must be incarnated in the particular.
There are three stages in the presentation of the Christian message;
Point of departure God reveals himself in Jesus Christ, the face of God is revealed. This means
the union of immanence and transcendence through the incarnation in history and the revelation of
our means to salvation.

Consequences in the mind of the individual and how he responses with his motivational system.
We are called to make a union between our own historical immanence and transcendence, i.e. my
history; the concrete experiences of my life are concrete places of salvation. The revelation of Jesus
Christ gives me the vision in which I can understand the meaning of my own history. I contemplate
the progressive obedience/decision of Jesus in his conformity to the Father by which I learn that
through my own decisions I open myself to my own salvation. This contemplation leaves me with a
greater image of objective values; therefore the process is a gradually conforming of the human mind
through an ordering according to the mystery of God as revealed in Jesus Christ.
Concrete Acts this concerns what concretely should be done in my life (morality); it involves the
translation of events through the activity of contemplation into particular choices and decisions.
Anthropological Requirements;

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The principle anthropological requirement is the development of willingness in the individual i.e., an internal
disposition in the person in order to act in such a way as to not need persuasion. It is the development of a
readiness to respond to the love of God in obedience.
In order to encourage this willingness the following is of help;
1. The act of faith is not en intellectual act in itself but rather a relationship which is not just founded on
what to do but on being with the beloved. Doing always flows from being. The individuals new
identity is built on this new relationship.
2. This relationship demands from the individual a synthesis between the message of the Gospel and his
intra-psychic structures. The theological truth gives meaning to our being and because it is truth itself, it
can contradict my own definition of being.
Models with attempt to facilitate the Development of Willingness
1. The Model of Negation
This model hold that feelings, desires, motivations or other such psychological structures should be repressed or
denied when they contradict values, i.e. mortification of affective life. A good priest of religious should not feel
anger or sexual desire. This is an example of repressive pedagogy.
2. The Model of Substitution
This model is a form of sublimatory pedagogy which states that contradictory emotions should be substituted with
other ones, i.e. a female religious without children substitutes her feelings and become a spiritual mother for her
junior sister to channel her frustrated maternal instinct and play mother for others.
Problems with this model of sublimation are likely to follow however as, sublimation does not result in
complete satisfaction, anymore than displacement does, there is always some residual tension. This tension may
discharge itself in the form of nervousness or restlessness. (Lindsey & Hall, p. 51)
3. The Model of Identification
This model identifies psychological movements with theological ones. It is like saying that the way I feel is what
God is saying to me; I feel like going on the missions, therefore it is the will of God that I go on the missions
because I feel it strongly within me.
4. The Model of Linearity
This model says that there is harmony between the psychological structure and the Gospel values in such a way that
the Gospel values take the person to a higher level.
NB.; Models 1 & 2 are too pessimistic / negative and stress the inner human struggle to the point of despair and
little hope. There is no hope of managing the tension only resignation; such models are found in psychoanalysis.
Models 3 & 4 are too optimistic / positive and undermine the human struggle to the point of delusion and folly, the
basic dialectic is cancelled altogether; such models are found in humanistic psychology.
Models from Christian Anthropology
1. The Model of Incarnation
This model presupposes the human psychic structure and maintains it, for example it is not possible to love God
without loving your neighbour. This model does not impoverish or amputate the individuals psychological
structure; it addresses the way in which the dialectic is handled.
2. The Model of Redemption

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Revision Notes

This model holds that Gospel values complete the individual; they draw him/her toward their fullness going beyond
their natural capacities to a capacity to love with all your heart, i.e., the natural capacity to help others can be
transformed to the capacity to even dying for others in martyrdom. Therefore the human psychological structure is
transformed under the action of grace, through the values of the Gospel. There is a reorganisation and a
transformation as human desires are channelled into self-transcendence.
3. The Model of Circularity
This model holds that the relationship between the Gospel structures and the individuals psychic structure is
circular. The Gospel influences the psychic structure and the psychic structure attends to the Gospel and so on.
NB. The second group of models is drawn from Christian anthropology and explains that the harmony between the
psychic structure and Gospel values is never stable or smooth but a continuous dynamic tension. The basic tension
remains, we are in constant need of transformation.
Willingness requires a good and open attitude which manifests itself in concrete acts. Through our actions we
begin the process of configuration to Gospel values which establishes our attitudes and leads to further concrete acts
and a greater degree of willingness (readiness). The measurement of a persons willingness is his effective
freedom. The Gospel values keep challenging us to an ever greater response to God through the process of a
complete transformation of heart and mind. Put on the mind of Christ.

Conclusion
The growth of Christian vocation actually takes place on the First & Second dimension; the first dimension regards
the end for which I am made and the second regards the contents and materials which help or block this movement
towards its end. For this reason growth must take place on both dimensions;
The primary of the Objective (First Dimension)
The translation from global to particular (Second Dimension)
Essentially the final aim of Christian vocation invites the individual to reorganise himself,
(i.e. conformity to objective values)

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