291. Being a disciple is a gift that is intended to grow. Christian initiation provides the possibility of a gradual apprenticeship in knowledge, love, and following of Jesus Christ. It thus forges Christian identity with fundamental convictions and accompanies the search for the meaning of life. The catechetical dynamics of Christian initiation must be undertaken. A community that takes on Christian initiation renews community life and awakens its missionary character. This requires new pastoral attitudes on the part of bishops, priests, deacons, people with vows, and pastoral agents.
What does it mean, this intention to grow? A Christian disciple is never in a place of stasis, unchanging in one’s orientation. There is always an impulse to get closer to God. Sometimes we do not achieve this, either in appearance or reality. But it is a matter of cooperation with grace, plus the intention of moving forward, seeking new frontiers and opportunities.
For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.