Marriage and Family Life--Being Deacon

Category: Education

Presentation Description

Overview of Christian marital spirituality as a backdrop for diaconal ministry and spirituality. Some practical consequences considered.


Presentation Transcript

Marriage and Family for Deacons : 

Marriage and Family for Deacons Being Deacon

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spirituality is the way in which we live out our Christian discipleship in the particular context in which we find ourselves. The primary contexts for deacons are ministry and marriage/family.

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Diaconal spirituality is Trinitarian & Incarnational…relational and embodied. deacon…icon points to the realization of agape in the world Diaconal service Act of ordained ministry Often in context of marriage and family

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Until 20th century theological discussion of marriage was driven by canonical debates. Personalist elements included in 20th century. Dietrich Von Hildebrand Gaudium et spes Humanae Vitae

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Embodied relationships reflect communion of Trinity. marital spirituality is participating in God's life and love; sharing it with the world Marriage characterized by Eros Agape

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Living for the Beloved is characteristic of Trinitarian love Marital love Marital spirituality helps us discover ways in which, through our fidelity to faithful marital living, we discover our truest identity before God

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A marital spirituality would guide couples ever more deeply toward what Pope John Paul II calls 'nakedness without shame …Cardinal Joseph Bernardin

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Love is a spiritual discipline that tempts one toward self-forgetfulness and self-transcendence, so that two persons can meet as "living beings through which divine being may sound. Married life is not a distraction from union with God. It is a valid instrument of that union

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Marriage as “domestic Church” marriage is not isolated but a dynamic and community building force that looks outward in service. Couple gives witness to their faith in Jesus Christ. Sacramentalize Christ's compassion through their own empathy with the sufferings of others. Their actions give sign to the gospel values. Their fidelity gives testimony to their faith and hope in the death and resurrection of Christ

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Deacons and their wives view diaconal ministry as a development within the larger story of their married life. Ministry is integral to the life of a deacon and his wife long before deacon ordination. The role of formation is to help the baptismal family based service of the aspirant take root in the context of ordained ministry

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Formal ministry is usually undertaken by the deacon alone. Wives may have their own formal ministries different from those of their husbands. Sometimes the deacon and his wife serve as a ministerial team. Diaconal ministry has a positive effect on marriage

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Normative communitas brings opposites together, facilitating solidarity. deacon is a natural intermediary between the married laity and the celibate hierarchy. pointing to the communitas values of Christian marriage and calling people to conversion by living those values. deacon couple is a witness to the grace and challenges of marital commitment. It is not so much what they can do, as what they are and what they symbolize.

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Whether … marriage or orders, grace does not ensure perfection. Normal, less than perfect family may feel unacceptable to the Church. Deacon couple witness is not of perfection but of commitment to their vows and willing to undergo the paschal mystery of life-death-resurrection that is inherent in marriage. Their witness frees those around them to admit their own imperfection, then to seek healing from God in the nurturing community of the Church. The deacon couple finite marital union points to the infinite.

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Ministry can be in contention with marriage and family life, especially around the issue of the deacon's presence to his wife and children. Time spent with children or spouse is a legitimate living out of diaconal spirituality Over commitment to ministerial activities and unclear family boundaries can be a problem

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Diaconal family need to be experts in the spirituality of marriage and family life. Clergy couples and their children need marriage enrichment resources and access to counselling. Children of clergy have a challenging time. Public role of clergy provides an additional stress on their marriage. Spiritual direction can be a great help for both, building up not only their spiritual lives but also their marriage

Reflection Questions… : 

Reflection Questions… What are some of the challenges to your marriage and diaconal calling that have emerged during formation or your ministry to date? How have the two of you dealt with them? In what ways have the experience of diaconal formation or your ministry to date supported and enriched your marriage and family life? How have your children reacted to your formation and ordination? To what extent have they been involved in your formation and ministry? What does diaconal spirituality mean for you, especially in light of your spouse and children? What is needed to better support your marriage and your ministry?

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