By Y. Kusno Bintoro, CM[1]


The theme that was given to me for this meeting is “Political Charity and Inculturated Formation.” This is very challenging theme since I am not a Formator and also not an expert of Inculturation. After much time spent in searching for resources for this paper, meditating for hours, and trying to put all of the materials into a paper, I made the decision to write it in a very practical way. As we understand, our charitable movement should be grounded in our own socio-political situations. The term ‘political charity’ means, for me, is concrete solidarity with the poor at any given situation.

For that reason, I want to speak the “political charity” in the light of my own experiences when I was in the seminary and now as I am living in an International community. That means when I am talking about “culture”, it will mostly refer to my own given Culture (Indonesia) but not in an academic way. I will merely refer to my experiences of being an Indonesian. More to the point, I will share on my being an Indonesian that lives in an Intercultural setting. I am Indonesian, living and working in Taiwan, with some confreres from the States, Poland, Korea, The Philippine, Holland, Indian, Vietnam, and of course China – Taiwan. This mixture of cultures is sometimes a blessing, and the other times a challenge.

I present this paper in two parts. The first part is talking about us, our dynamic self and its relation to any given culture. This part is also talks about the changes in the culture and its implication for our present lives. The second part is about Charity as a power from within ourselves because we have been loved by God. That means we cannot talk about Charity without mention about the other two part of our Credo; that is Faith, Hope, and Charity. The last is a short conclusion that is added as a summary.

A Call to Unlearn: Dialog between self and culture

Formation is like a long journey that needs courage and steadfastness to continue on. To bring to realization any significant quest or possibility in our lives we need to call upon deep inner resources of fearlessness, dedication, and perseverance. Like in every great journey we enter into unfamiliar territory, inevitably fear, doubt, and uncertainty will be occasional companions in our travels, yet we must move on. Robert Wicks, in the book of “Seeds of Sensitivity” wrote:

All through the history of the human race we have heard stories of people being asked to let go, unlearn, reform, renew, and accept an identity that is more in line with who they could become rather than who they have settled for being because of the presence of anxiety or ignorance. For instance, in the book of Genesis in the Hebrew Scriptures we see how Abram is called to let go of the identity he had in order to become open to the person he could and should be (Abraham). Likewise, his wife Sarah is asked to let go of her limited sense of self to become Sarah, a woman filled with new potential. Like them and others throughout history, we are now called to unlearn much of what we have absorbed that is untrue about ourselves and others so we can have an attitude of sensitivity (1995, 18).

No doubt, Formation needs an attitude of sensitivity to self, others, and God. It is the role of the Formator to nurture and nourish the seeds of vocation of the Formandi. In accompanying our Formandi in their journeys, it is good to remember always that each individual is unique. They are part of a larger social system and that they are to be seen subjectively and humanistic ally (Sharf, 1999, p.161). In this respect, we need to see each Formandi’s lifestyle, a term that refers to how you live your life, how you handle problems and your interpersonal relationships.

The interpersonal relationship refers to the fact that each individual is part of larger wholes or systems; the family, the community, all of humanity, our planet, and the cosmos. Our way of responding to our basic social system, the family constellation, becomes the prototype of our worldview and attitude toward life. This long journey that our Formandi might take, require a genuine looking ahead of their own selves, and how do they see themselves in the whole systems of the socio-cultural aspects of their surroundings.

The Development of Self

In the parish where I work there is a kindergarten with around 100 kids. One thing I like to watch is the reaction of the children when their parents come to take them home. They usually want to stay as long as possible. They usually enjoy playing with their classmates–running, swinging, playing hide-and-seek. After some time of doing this, parents want them to go home. The children, however, become increasingly excited and want to continue playing and running. They began to tug at their parent or grandparent excitedly to let them continue playing. Eventually, their parents tell them that they have to go home, or if they don’t want to go home, tomorrow they won’t be allowed to go to the kindergarten any longer. At first they will cry, but slowly they become quiet and will agree to go home so that the following days they will be able come back again.

Through this situation, a five/ six year old kid is learning to contain his/ her unbounded energy or to direct it in ways that would not involve others. They are learning about the rhythm of balancing rambunctious play with more quiet activities. They were also learning to adjust their time with their caretaker. Had they been without their parents, perhaps they would all have continued to play for a longer period of time. However, they are becoming aware that their parents will allow them to play for a time, but not endlessly. They learn to adjust their natural impulse to play to the concrete demands of the situation in which they find themselves. Thus our functional life is formed and developed.

This process become conscious of felt insufficiencies in the face of normal, everyday tasks, especially when they compare themselves to older children and adults. As a result, they experience what Adler called inferiority feelings, which are the very normal reactions to the awareness of not being able to function in a way that we wish. Adler also described this as experiencing a “minus situation.” These feelings become motivation for striving toward what he called a “plus situation.”

Individuals strive in this direction because of the “creative power of life, which expresses itself in the desire to develop, to strive, to achieve, and even to compensate for defeats in one direction by striving for success in another. This power is teleological, it expresses itself in the striving after a goal and, in this striving, every bodily and psychological movement is made to cooperate” (Ansbacher and Ansbacher 1956, 92). An understanding of the person’s feeling of inferiority and the corresponding goal of superiority needs to be understood simultaneously. Savage said:

“…Overcoming feelings of inferiority in a psychologically healthy manner requires a balance between striving for superiority and acknowledging one’s limits. That is, knowing when to charge and attack obstacles, overcoming them so that one may lead a more productive life or knowing when an obstacle is too great, acknowledging one’s limitations and setting more realistic goal”. (pages 18-9)

Adler claimed that individuals express this striving for superiority in their own unique way, called as lifestyle.

From a foundational perspective, the word “strive” is associated with function and performance. We speak of the functioning of our vital organs, such as our heart, lungs or kidneys. When someone we know is under considerable stress we may be concerned about their ability to function on the everyday level. We may refer to carrying out our work or role obligations as fulfilling our functions. In the work world people are generally hired, fired or promoted on the basis of the quality of their job functioning. We refer to the various functions of a computer and to mathematical functions. At times, we attend social functions.

The functional dimension of ourselves refers to that part of us that is in the world primarily as doer. In our capacity of doer, we manage, order, plan and control everything from our daily schedule to our personal goals. Our functional self organizes our living space and our work would in ways that make us efficient and effective. It enables us to think and choose, to analyze and calculate. Our functional self adjusts and adapts to the world around us. It is competitive. It seeks to master and dominate. It perceives obstacles, challenges or any form of opposition as problems to be solved. It is that part of us that specializes in isolating problems, figuring out and moving toward solutions.

On the everyday level, our functional self is expressed through our ambitions, plans and projects. We invest our functional energy in making things happen in ways that are pleasing and personally fulfilling. We direct our time and effort toward the realization of our goals. Ambitions sometimes are not guided by the reality. They were also guided by fictions or what they believe to be true, though these beliefs are largely unconscious (Vaihinger 1925). These ideas formed the basis of Adler’s concept of the final goal. The final goal is a fictional creation of the individual–an imagined ideal situation of perfection, completion, or overcoming. Movement toward the final goal is motivated by a striving to overcome the feelings of inferiority. Although the final goal represents a subjective, fictional view of the future, it is what guides the person in the present.

In an active, courageous individual possessing a strong feeling of community, the striving toward the final goal to overcome inferiority feelings may be expressed as a life-long movement toward optimal development — with full realization that there is no end point to this striving. This is quite similar to Abraham Maslow’s view of individuals striving toward self actualization — toward the full realization of their potential (Maslow 1970).

Our functional self, then, is about the practical things of life. It is that part of us that gives flesh to our vital impulses and our spirit inspirations. Without our functional self, impulses and inspirations could not be actualized. They would remain locked within. Our functional self plays an executive role, making concrete and expressing in an appropriate and congenial manner our vital impulses and our spirit inspirations. It knows how to accomplish effectively and efficiently what needs to be accomplished, although by itself it may not know what ultimately to accomplish or where to go. It is dependent upon the light and motivation of our vital and spirit dimensions, of our socio-historical situation, and on what emerges from the ongoing interaction of all of these.

Such balance among these various dimensions of our personality is possible only to the degree that we are in touch with our vital impulses and our spirit inspirations. When we live cut off from our vital and spirit dimensions, our functional life becomes totalized. For example, the priest or religious who is overcommitted to meeting the needs of those to whom s/he ministers may ignore his/her personal needs and yearnings. Or those who involved in the charity, by leaving God to meet God, at the end, they really don’t meet God but end up burnt out. The Formator who lives with high self-expectations may repress his/her anger, jealousy or other negative feelings that do not fit into his/her image of who s/he should be. Thus, our whole self becomes reduced to a functional self. We cannot see beyond our functional plans, projects, ambitions and roles. Our life becomes excessively goal-oriented. As a result, the life of our body and spirit is undernourished and becomes impoverished.

On the other hand, we may be in touch with our vital and spirit dimensions, but lack the functional ability to incarnate our impulses and inspirations. We have not learned to organize our world to reach out for what we want. Perhaps as children everything was done for us; we did not learn to work things out for ourselves. Or perhaps reaching out for what we wanted was discouraged as being an expression of selfishness. As a result, our impulses and inspirations surface only to die for lack of our ability to move toward incarnating them into functional ambitions. We do not know what to do or how to go about the task of realizing our inner desires and ideals.

Our functional self is similar to a glass jar. Just as the transparent glass makes visible and contents of the jar, so too our functional life, lived in dialogue with our spirit and vital life, makes visible our invisible impulses and aspirations through our manner of being present to ourselves, others and life. Lack of such groundedness leads to the problem of functionalism in which our whole self seems to be reduced to our functional self. As we reflect upon our culture, we become readily aware of the problem of functionalism.

Development of Culture

Denys Lombard, an Indonesianist from French, on his book Le Carrefour Javanais: Essai D’histoire Globale, a history of Java (1996) stated that history of Java is a history of its culture. The island of Java, since a long time ago had become a place of the melting grand Cultures; such as India, China, Islam, and later Western cultures. Each element of these Cultures has influenced our own culture in different degrees. Now, in the life process, some elements of this particular culture still remain and can be seen very clearly, but some others are less influenced. As we Indonesians move to the modern era, our cultures become more and more cosmopolitan. The cosmopolitan culture is influenced by industrialization and its inevitable product: materialism. The thesis of Lombard that our area is a place for meeting of many Cultures is true and continues to be true.

The three cultures that influence our home land are easily being seen in the variety of culture and religious we have to day. We have a relatively high tolerance for variety, and easily accept differences in a synthetic manner, without a sense of conflict. For instance, in our Asian societies, people allow the coexistence of difference religions within a family, such as a father and mother might be a Buddhist, and children are Christian, one is a priest (like our confreres Charles Pan). Or not long ago in Indonesia, one family might consist of difference religions and they accept that. It is not a big problem for us to respect things that are old and traditional and, at the same time, value things that are new and modern, until the modernization and industrialization really touch our society.

1. Functionalistic

As we reflect upon our lives throughout recent history, we become aware of a significant shift. Until the modernization touched our country – Indonesia–, work was generally an expression of the worker’s deepest self. When we refer back to the memories of our childhood, or if we ask our parents, we may notice the shift and the pace of life as well as people’s approach to work. The pace of life was slower and work revolved around the home and the village. People knew one another. They were aware of one another’s talents. They relied upon one another: what one could not do, someone else in the village could do. We generally see various farmers, the potter; the carpenters; the weavers; the canners. We see women cooking, preserving the harvest, sewing. We also see some people engaged in various professions: teacher; clergy, paranormal; the village leader.

What is striking in these Agricultural eras is that whatever work people did seemed to be an expression of their total self. Their heart was generally in what they did; they respected the organic rhythm of their body. Work had intrinsic meaning for them and was perceived as an integral aspect of their everyday life–not separate from life. They took pride in what they did. Their slowed-down pace as well as their groundedness in the earth and in the things of the earth facilitated a holistic approach to work. Furthermore, children saw their parents at work. They participated in their parents at work. They participated in their parents’ work according to their growing ability to do so. They were formed into continuing the family trade, craft or art-not by courses given by strangers or taken at a distant college or trade school, but by working side by side with their parents or by becoming an apprentice with another villager. Something of this organic approach to work remains alive in rural areas throughout our country.

Now, mechanization has replaced craftsmanship. Mass production has replaced organic production based on concrete and practical needs. The assembly line has replaced the total completion of a task by one person. Factories have replaced working at home. Technical knowledge has replaced congenial formation into a craft or trade. Specialization emerges as the work now becomes more and more complicated. Gotong-royong, and gugur-gunung (two terms from Javanese language mean working together, sharing the talent) in building the road or a house, has been replaced by the contractor.

Ever since, this functionalistic approach to work has dominated our culture. All of us have been raised in this context. We may not work in the factory or on the assembly line. However our approach to work is colored by this significant cultural shift from work as a congenial expression of one’s deepest self, as an integration of head and heart, to work as a functional task to be accomplished far away from home, in which we experience a split between our head and our heart.

We live in a culture dominated by workism and workholism. An ‘ism’ is described as an “abnormal state or condition resulting from excess of a specified thing.” Within our culture, most of us suffer from the excess of work and of approaching all of life as work. We approach each segment of our life as a separate entity in itself with little or no relation to the rest of our lives. Each segment is perceived as another task to accomplish or master. Each aspect of our lives may be perceived as another problem to be solved. Each may be mentally checked off our list as it is completed…and we move on to the next item on the agenda that our lives have become.

Our life as Religious and Clerics is not immune from the cultural values of workism and workholism. Indeed, the functionalistic culture in which we have been raised permeates the fabric of our lives. As a result, we are predisposed to interpret from a functionalistic workism perspective, the Gospel message as well as the charisma of our Congregation or Society. Furthermore, our Formation into Religious Life and/or Priesthood may have focused upon a functional accomplishment of chores, studies, communal responsibilities, prayer and other religious obligations. We may have been so intent on fulfilling perfectly these various segments of our life that we were out of touch with our hearts. Or we may have never learned to allow our hearts to influence and inform our functional lives.

As a result, our ministry may be dominated by workism. We may be workaholics of God.” There is so much to do. There are so many people to be helped. Our numbers are diminishing while the demands of ministry are increasing. We are aging. There are fewer of us to do more work. Immersed in workism, we come to believe that we must continue to maintain every aspect of our ministry despite diminishing numbers. We justify our work holism by telling ourselves that we are doing God’s work, taking care of God’s poor or furthering God’s kingdom. We come to believe that the more we do and the more difficult it is the more God is pleased. Soon, we will become Social workers.

Rather than influencing our work, our prayer and reflection are put on the back burner, at the bottom of our priority list, to be done after we have finished all our work. We justify our lack of prayerful reflection by convincing ourselves that our work is our prayer. This is true only to the extent that our work is grounded in and emerges from our reflective prayer and the dispositions of our spirit. If our heart is empty and our spirit undernourished, our work is not our prayer. It is simply an expression of the drivenness of our workaholic approach to life.

2. Personal Pride

Our culture is rooted in the belief that if we work hard enough, we will get our share of the good things life has to offer. However, the functionalistic air we breathe leads us to not only work hard, but to become identified with our work. What matters is what we do, how much we do, the number of hours we spend on the job, the extent to which our work impresses significant others, the professional position we hold, the many responsibilities we have, the number of degrees we have after our name, the number of diplomas and certificates that hang on our office wall, the number of prominent individuals we know. All of these become status symbols that shore up our poor self-image. They give us personal worth and value. We become identified with our work function or position.

We see a similar attitude in parents who indiscriminately encourage their children to go to college rather than to engage in other post-high school training that may be more congenial to their particular talents. Often they do so without taking into account their children’s abilities. They believe that college-oriented professions have more credibility and prestige in our culture than do technical careers such as being a secretary, electrician or plumber.

Why do parents so indiscriminately encourage their children to go to college rather than go for post-high school training? Asian people (Indonesian, Javanese in particular) are enculturated since childhood to be concerned about other’s opinions and how they will be regarded and received by others. From this concern there developed the culture concerned with “face”, which is more or less shame oriented, rather than guilt oriented (Tseng, Wen-Sing, ed. 2005. p.5). At this point we can understand that for this “shame” culture orientation, parents, and children alike, want to pursue to get the job that regarded as “higher” than other such as, being a teacher is much better than being a plumber, being a doctor is much better than being a salesman, and ..Being priest is better than… (?)

How often we push ourselves beyond our abilities, thus disregarding what is most congenial to us for the sake of more power, prestige, or visibility. From a functionalistic perspective, whatever position we have becomes a stepping stone to something more. The more powerful our position, the better we feel about ourselves. Thus, our center of gravity shifts from the core of our being to outside ourselves in our professional position.

Within our functionalistic culture work is considered almost exclusively as a job or career that gives us personal meaning and value. Developing Bellah’s thought, Dick Westley describes another alternative, which moves work beyond mere functionalism:

It occurs when one no longer sees what one does merely as a way to make a living, nor even as a path to personal fulfillment in terms of career goals, but as one’s way of making a contribution to the common life of the community, as one’s CALLING… It is precisely as “calling” that work has the capacity to link one to a whole in which what one does transcends both utilitarian and expressive self-interest and is a contribution to the good of all (Westley, 1989, 81).

Such a perception of work invites us to move beyond the functionalism of our culture. It invites us to let go of identifying our worth with our work, and to discover our personal worth within the recesses of our being. Thus grounded, whatever work we do becomes a congenial expression of our deepest self, regardless of whatever prestige may or may not be attached to it.

3. Royal Consciousness

But, industrialization is also making people economically affluent. At this time, our culture also appears in what Brueggemann call as the Royal Consciousness. Royal Consciousness is a counter of the “counter-culture of Moses”. Moses experiences at the wilderness, breaking the imperial culture of Egypt. Moses dismantles the politics of oppression and exploitation by countering it with a politics of justice and compassion. The reality emerging out of the Exodus is not just a new religion or a new religious idea or a vision of freedom but the emergence of a new social community in history, a community that has historical body, that had to devise laws, patterns of governance and order, norms of right and wrong, and sanctions of accountability. The Royal Consciousness is by contrast a culture of status quo, where Israel was a Kingdom, and no longer a nation at the wilderness. This community talks about economics of affluence to counter the economic of equality.

A royal consciousness committed to achievable satiation. It has redefined our notions of humanness and it has done that to all of us. It has created a subjective consciousness concerned only with self-satisfaction. It has denied the legitimacy of tradition that requires us to remember, of authority that expects us to answer, and of community that calls us to care. This model does not require too much interpretation to be seen as a characterization of our own cultural situation. Further Brueggemann says:

It takes little imagination to see ourselves in this same royal tradition

Ourselves in an economics of affluence in which we are so well off that pain is not noticed and we can eat our way around it.

Ourselves in a politics of oppression in which the cries of the marginal are not heard or are dismissed as the noises of kooks and traitors.

Ourselves in a religion of immanence and accessibility, in which God is so present to us that his abrasiveness, his absence, his banishment are not noticed, and the problem is reduced to psychology (1978, p. 41).

The royal program of achievable satiation is fed by a management mentality which believes there are no mysteries to honor, only problems to be solved.

The seminary can be seen as a Royal Palace that gives birth to royal consciousness too. There is new reality in seminary. That we don’t need to work, no need be anxious about what we eat or paying telephone, water, electricity bills. All of these needs have been taking care by seminary. It is difficult to keep revolution of freedom and justice under way when there us satiation. The prophetic consciousness seems remote when we are so overly fed. Even we can fail to the materialism and hedonism. This will be easily seen in the attitude of the (seminarian) in using the common good. For example, it will be easily forget to turn off the light, using telephone without control, surfing the internet unlimited time, and so on. All that I mention above is the product of royal consciousness culture.

Faith, Hope, and Charity as Character of our Formation

We understand the virtue of Faith, Hope and Charity as powers or spiritual movement developed for within. Tanquery (1930, p. 550), like Thomas Aquinas, writes of these particular virtues as theological. “Here on earth, charity always includes the other two theological virtues.” St. Paul speaks these three virtues as a power in 1 Corinthians 13. He understands that faith, hope, and charity are effective powers that bring about growth, development, and well-being in the individual. Faith brings about relationship with truth; hope brings enjoyment of security, and charity brings about an overcoming of evil or harmfulness that threatens to destroy or at least debilitate the individual or community (Savage, 2003, p.42).


Faith has communal dimension. At one hand, faith is a gift from the Lord, at the other hand; faith is a response from the human being to God. The attitude of faith is not an additive to an individual’s experience. It is not acquired. It is an awareness of the faith-response that arises within the experiences of life. The faith response brings about some change, movement or development in the individual.

Faith is an affective response shown in the individual’s striving for a healthy “community feeling,” a term that I take from Individual psychology. If people have developed social interest at the affective level, they are likely to feel a deep belonging to the human race and, as a result, are able to empathize with their fellow humans. They can then feel very much at home on the earth — accepting both the comforts as well as the discomforts of life. At the cognitive level, they can acknowledge the necessary interdependence with others, recognizing that the welfare of any one individual ultimately depends on the welfare of everyone. At the behavioral level, these thoughts and feelings can then be translated into actions aimed at self development as well as cooperative and helpful movements directed toward others. Thus, at its heart, the concept of feeling of community encompasses individuals’ full development of their capacities, a process that is both personally fulfilling and results in people who have something worthwhile to contribute to one another. At the same time, the concept denotes a recognition and acceptance of the interconnectedness of all people.


Brunner (1956, p.52), notes that “the Christian faith does not hope for union, it hopes for communion. Hope is not something we lack now, waiting for a future realization, but rather hope has its concrete effects in the present living moment. Those who live in hope, encourage each other, strengthen each other and affirm each other I life against hardships and seeming meaninglessness (Savage & Nichole, 2003, p. 50). Hope leads the individual to seek a deepening of community feeling through striving for a better future.

There is a tension between the present and the future. This tension is the lived reality where things longed for and hop realized in experience do not yet coincide. Adler (1943, p. 275) notes:

It is not a question of any present-day community or society, or of political or religious forms. On the contrary, the goal that is best suited for perfection must be a goal that stands for an ideal society amongst all mankind, the ultimate fulfillment of evolution.

This accords with St. Paul’s teaching in Romans :24ff. Hope is future directed and its object is not yet accomplished. “For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience”, as the Apostle Paul expressed it (Rm, 8:24).


Charity is not a seeking to act for requited love, but charity is an evoked response (attitude) because one has been loved. We are loved by God, so we need to love one another. “Do for others what God has done for you.” That sound like a movie “Pay it forward”. “Pay It Forward” is a book written by Catherine Ryan Hyde, which in 2000 was adapted into a Warner Brothers film.

Reuben St. Clair, the teacher and protagonist in the book “Pay It Forward,” starts a movement with this voluntary, extra-credit assignment: THINK OF AN IDEA FOR WORLD CHANGE, AND PUT IT INTO ACTION. Trevor, the 12-year-old hero of “Pay It Forward,” thinks of quite an idea. He describes it to his mother and teacher this way: “You see, I do something real good for three people. And then when they ask how they can pay it back, I say they have to Pay It Forward. To three more people, each. So, nine people get helped. Then those people have to do twenty-seven.” He turned on the calculator, punched in a few numbers. “Then it’s sort spreads out, see. To eighty-one. Then two hundred forty-three. Then seven hundred twenty-nine. Then two thousand, one hundred eighty-seven. See how big it gets?”

It’s an action plan within a work of fiction. But does it have to be fiction? We’re hoping not. In fact, since the book was released in January of 2000, a real-life social movement has emerged, not just in the U.S. but worldwide. What began as a work of fiction has already become much more.

In Adlerian psychology charity means the striving to realize the notion of community feeling (social interest). If people have developed social interest at the affective level, they are likely to feel a deep belonging to the human race and, as a result, are able to empathize with their fellow humans. They can then feel very much at home on the earth — accepting both the comforts as well as the discomforts of life. At the cognitive level, they can acknowledge the necessary interdependence with others, recognizing that the welfare of any one individual ultimately depends on the welfare of everyone. At the behavioral level, these thoughts and feelings can then be translated into actions aimed at self development as well as cooperative and helpful movements directed toward others. Thus, at its heart, the concept of feeling of community encompasses individuals’ full development of their capacities, a process that is both personally fulfilling and results in people who have something worthwhile to contribute to one another. At the same time, the concept denotes a recognition and acceptance of the interconnectedness of all people.

A refusal to show interest in community feeling would not only be uncharitable, -according to Adler- is neurotic as well. Adler (1943, p. 282) tells us:

When we speak of virtue we mean that a person plays his part: when we speak of vice we mean that he interferes with co-operation. I can, moreover, point out that all that constitutes a failure is so because it obstructs social feeling, whether children, neurotic, criminals, or suicides are in question.

Just like Trevor, the individual must adapt behavior to the good of the community. What is healthy for the individual is healthy for the community. The intension in acting charitably is to solve the broad problems of living in community. The paradox is that in solving the broad problems of others we often solve particular problems as well.

Adler insists that community feeling needs to be developed from birth. Similarly, the Christian insists that charity be exercised from the birth. D.L. Weatherhead (1952, 453) understood what Adler was attempting to articulate through his Individual Psychology.

We defined health, earlier in this book, as the harmonious relationship between every part of the self and Environment. Granted that man is a body, mind, and spirit, his complete heath necessitates a harmonious relationship between his spirit and its environment which we call God.

At this point, we come to closer understanding, that our formation tasks is to develop community feeling so that charity become a way of being and not seen as a job.


l As Formators, we stand as reminders to the culture that there is more to life than doing things and working. We have committed ourselves to a way of life that is grounded in and permeated by the values and dispositions of the spirit. Unless we ourselves live from our hearts and are steeped in a reflective approach to life, our charitable work risks being a job-we-do rather than a ministry to which we have committed ourselves. If we are to be effective ministers of the Gospel, it is vital that we reflect honestly upon the quality of our functional life. Our God invites us to live from the integrative stance of being in touch with our heart, and of freeing up our heart so that all we do becomes an expression of who we most deeply are. Only in this way can we be effective ministers of the Gospel.

l Living consciously is a way of maintaining our innate power in the midst of our functionalistic culture: The more consciously we live, the better we can see whatever reality confronts us and thereby identify our varied choices. Having choice confers a measure of power. The more choice we have, the more power we feel in that situation. Living consciously fosters choice and choice fosters power. When we are in touch with our body and our spirit, we experience not the power that we have, but rather the power that we are as individuals. Our functional power emerges as an expression of the power of our being. It is no longer blindly harsh, domineering or controlling. Rather its hardness is tempered by the respect and reverence of our spirit. We see an example of the power-of-being in such individuals as our founder St. Vincent, Mother Teresa, Romo Mangunwijaya, and other less prominent persons that we admire not because of the power they have but rather because of the power that emerges from their living in fidelity to their truth. Their power-of-being is grounded in and radiates from their heart. They have no need to control or dominate others. They do not need others to give them a sense of power. They live from the power of their being.

l Finally, political charity and inculturated formation is shaped through participation in life and not merely by the observation of life. Therefore, it is important that our formation allow our seminarians to get in touch with the reality. The story of “Pay It Forward” is worth to put into reality in the seminary.


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[1] Kusno Bintoro, CM gained his MA in Counceling from USA; he is Indonesian missionary in Taiwan, and is currently working as parish priest in Kaoshiung, Taiwan while at the same time giving lectures in different schools.

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