Some indices of personal growth PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 20 September 2018 14:14



NO matter how imperfect and non-conclusive, it is always helpful that priests, or anybody who has the duty to take care of others, like parents and teachers, avail of some measurements or indices that can show if there is progress and development in the personal life of the those under their care.

These indices will help them to be very effective in their work, which means that they are truly helping those under their care.

Besides, these indices would allow them to discover more areas that need to be looked into in their effort to guide souls. They can serve as leading and directing guide to discover the more specific needs of the people.

Obviously, priests, and the others similarly situated, should have a clear plan of formation for those under their care.

Depending on the concrete conditions of the parties involved, this plan of formation may include doctrine classes, periods of recollection and retreat, personal chats and mentoring, administering of the sacraments, especially confession and the Holy Mass, etc.

This plan of formation should cover the different aspects of personal growth toward maturity. These can be in the human,

doctrinal, spiritual, apostolic and professional aspects. The different virtues have to be explained well. Same with the doctrine of our faith. The art of praying, making sacrifices, waging spiritual struggle have to be taught. Concern for others has to instilled. Love for study and work has to be instilled.

These activities in this plan of formation should be adapted to the level of the persons involved. We have to avoid being too theoretical or the other extreme of being too practical in these means of formation. And they have to be delivered in such a way that those who receive them would really appreciate them. As much as possible, the priests and others should show consistency between what they preach and what they do.

With this plan of formation taken care of, the priests and the others similarly entrusted with the duty to take care of people have to see to it that some progress and development can be observed in the life of those they are giving guidance.

For me, with the students that I am taking care of, I look first of all if there is an improvement in the way they take care of their appearance and their relation with others, that is, if they are cultivating social skills which in some concrete terms means they do less bullying and are learning to be more refined in their speech.

I also look into how they are overcoming their shyness, especially in approaching the sacraments of confession and the Holy Mass. If they come to see me for some chat and spiritual direction and eventually to open up his personal life and have a confession, I would know that the student is improving spiritually.

When they invite their friends to see me also, then I know that they are developing an apostolic spirit. And when their grades improve, I also would know that they are acquiring the proper discipline of studying.

I also look into their classrooms and see if they are clean and orderly, the lights and fans turned off when these rooms are empty. I also try to see if the noise they create are in proportion to the specific circumstance they are in at a given moment.

It is a matter of accompanying them, motivating them and opening to them new horizons, new goals to reach. In this regard, it is important that we win their friendship and confidence.

Of course, they can commit mistakes and offenses against school policies anytime. And when these happen, it is important that they realize that they will always be understood even if some appropriate penalties would be given.