From Functionalistic Willfulness to Transcendent Willingness: The Pathway to Formative Healing

Dissertation, Duquesne University (1996)

The initial fulfillment which a Christian minister may experience in his or her ministry may be suddenly perceived to be threatened with disruption and a meaningless end. This may be due to an imminent end of the circumstances which enable him/her to exercise the particular ministry; for example, the sudden discontinued existence of the situation in which the minister believes is the "locus operandi" of his/her ministry. The threat to this sudden meaningless end to one's ministry; insofar as the minister-self is concerned, may come from the end of his/her life itself in premature death. ;From functionalistic willfulness to transcendent willingness investigates the formative healing which the Christian minister may strive to attain through ministry. This research is guided by the basic assumption that distinctively human fulfillment in peace and joy, which the minister may seek non-consciously, can only be attained through formative healing. Thus in seeking healing front a bio-physical life-threatening illness which s/he may perceive as the imminent disruption of and meaningless end to his/her initially satisfying and life-fulfilling ministry, the Christian minister is, indeed, seeking this distinctively human fulfillment in formation. ;This formative healing consists essentially in the appreciative abandonment of his/her own functionalistically willful projects which the minister may bring to the ministry. It is this appreciative abandonment of one's functional willfulness to the Divine Forming Mystery which allows the distinctively human life form of the minister to unfold congenially. This becomes the direction which brings him/her to the fullness of his/her human formation, and is thus the pathway which leads him/her to formative healing
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