For all of us, study and reflection are necessary conditions for the effective realization of our ideal of Christian service to people (Const. 24.1).
There is a poster that has been popular in recent years that says, “Be patient with me. God isn’t finished yet!” That might be a good motto for each confrere in his human and religious development. Formation never ends as long as we live. Certainly, there are times at the beginning of life which are more or less exclusively dedicated to formation. That is also true at the beginning of new ventures. But it is an illusion to think that, once initiated, there is nothing more to learn, nothing more to become. God, the Great Sculptor, does not put down his hammer and chisel. From all eternity, he has conceived an image of each person and the person’s mission. God begins to bring that to realization already in the womb. Little by little, through the people around us, through instruction of all sorts, through happy and unhappy experiences, God gently strikes to bring about the work. The Sculptor does not stop until the work is finished. The moment is not at the end of studies, nor at solemn profession, not even at retirement. Everybody is in formation until death. Patience, God is not finished yet.
Don't let go of your oars until the canoe has reached the bank. (Mpongoue)