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Joseph PUTHENPURAKAL, Guwahati says,
Missionary Spirit
By Fr. Puthenpurakal Joseph SDB
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Guwahati, Jul. 26. Dear Fr. Paul,
Thanks for your story on Fr. Puthenpura. I have also read your Blog. Congrats. What Fr. Sebastian has written and which you have cited:
``there is a general decline in our missionary spirit and enthusiasm... etc.`` is certainly true to some extent.

Dear Fr. Paul,
Thanks for your story on Fr. Puthenpura. I have also read your Blog. Congrats. What Fr. Sebastian has written and which you have cited:
``there is a general decline in our missionary spirit and enthusiasm... etc.`` is certainly true to some extent. I feel the reason of it  lies in our formation that does not take us closer to Jesus Christ. It provides us with degrees. Even theology is a rush to  ``cover syllabi``. People think that more the knowledge, the more educated we are. .. more prepared we are. I am of the opinion that while knowledge is pumped into one`s reasoning area, the WILL to do good, to make sacrifices, to go out of oneself is becoming less and less. The formation of the WILL cannot be equated to the formation of the MIND. It is the CHOICE we make that makes us more human, and not the KNOWLEDGE  we acquire. So there should be a WILL training programme with special emphasis in our formation programmes at all levels. Otherwise, by the time one is ordained or professed one is so bloated up with KNOWLEDGE that the strength of the WILL is nowhere near.
It is a pity that theology is losing  its ``missionary`` teeth. By missionary I mean one who is SENT by JESUS Christ. One who has this awareness that he/she is SENT by JESUS  for carrying out JESUS`  mission -  whether he/she is in a village or in a town, in a school or in  a college, in India or abroad - is  a  MISSIONARY. It does not matter where you are. What matters is WHO  sent you.
It is HIS mission not our mission. He will take care of us. The most important thing in a missionary is to be with JESUS. All the studies we undertake should be constructed on a platform of the awareness that HE is sending us and that we are only HIS instruments. I may be not too wrong, if I affirm that all theology professors, and professors of all other sciences - if they are serving the Church - should first undergo a full course on MISSION THEOLOGY and some practical MISSIONARY EXPERIENCE [ such as exposure to a multi cultural, multi religious context]   (for not all ``theology`` is at the moment MISSION ORIENTED... and yet, the Church exists in order to evangelize and the Church by nature is MISSIONARY. Here
I am not speaking of a missiology that teaches you what to do in a village... or how to administer the sacraments...but of a missiology [of the Second Vatican Council and post-conciliar documents]  that is, a theology that is missiology pure and simple. For missiology is the Mother of Theology. Who cares about the Mother Today!  As the Church went on MISSION, theology emerged. The Mother is forgotten, Today ``theology`` runs the risk of being Motherless!
Fr. P.V. Joseph SDB

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