All Christians receive a common gift, which includes all other gifts: the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, which may be called the Spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of the Father, Spirit of Love, Spirit of truth. In the diversity of gifts and charisms this is always one and the same Spirit which works all in all (cf. 1 Cor 12).
Spirituality is that motion that is behind our actions, is that set of values and, perhaps, countervalues that we sincerely believe. They dictate our behavior and conduct, determine everything that we are before God and our reality. Everyone has his spirituality, even those who are not Christian or don’t believe in God because the religious and transcendental element is inherent to the human nature.
Christian spirituality involves, necessarily, faith in Jesus Christ, full in detachment and donation in support of its mission of love, “is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2: 20). This spirituality is to live as Jesus lived in profound communion with God, guided by the Holy Spirit.
Christian spirituality means: The Christ living in us, under the grace of God in the power of the Spirit, in a perfect and intimate personal relationship, it means, live in full the love towards God and neighbor, in a caring attitude that becomes service to the most vulnerable, especially the sick.
Spirituality Camillian: Biblical Sources
When we read and study the life and works of the saints we observe behaviors enviable, attitudes full of meaning, namely, deep intimacy with God, continual prayer, love for the Church, daily participation in the Eucharist, devotion to Our Lady, reading and meditation on the word of God, the source of spirituality. It is precisely at the heart of the Gospel where is born the foundations of Camillian spirituality. Therefore, our reflection – without claiming to exhaust the depth of the subject – aims to show, albeit synthetic, the essence of spirituality and biblical spirituality Camillian.
Spirituality is God’s gift, life lived in the spirit and principle of unity between the Father and the Son. This unifying principle can be called also the Spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of the Father, the Spirit of Love and Spirit of truth, because the Spirit blows where it wishes and loads those who get carried away (cf. Jn 3: 8).
In other words, spirituality is born from the Spirit’s action in us and thus is life in the Spirit and how the Spirit, since the Spirit raises the most of what is most human in us. The true spirituality is expressed necessarily through the values, namely: humility and charity. These values guide our behavior, and determining thus everything we are and do before God and our brethren.
Furthermore, spirituality is understood as the unique and personal individual’s response to all the calls to the integrity and transcendence. It follows from this that thus emerges Christian spirituality, way of life under the action of the Spirit, that is, an existence totally trusted in which the shadow of the Spirit of God covers us, making our actions through the will of God .
The will of God is revealed in people, especially in personal and intimate relationship, it means, the person makes an experience of faith. The experience which Camillus de Lellis proved is a Christocentric spirituality, giving meaning to his life and his mission. This Christocentrism is practical, doing what Christ did for the sick: welcome, heal, deliver and care with maternal affection and care.
The humanity of Christ is the heart of Camillian spirituality. This humanity is touchable, loved and served in the humanity of suffering, which are designed as “the suffering members of Jesus Christ,” composed in royal dignity, which he, Camillus and his followers serve with love and faithfulness to Christ’s commandment.
The life of Camillus de Lellis was oriented and grounded in Holy Scripture. We highlight here the first foundation of the Camillian spirituality sprouted from the heart of the Gospel, “I was sick and you visited me” (Mt 25, 36). If we can synthesize the Camillian spirituality, in one word, it would be: mercy. Camillus was caught by the divine compassion, becoming himself an instrument of mercy to his neighbor. His humanizing action proved, especially in service to Christ crucified in the sick, the poor, the suffering and the needy, because “they are our lords and masters” and in them we see and serve Christ himself.
Article 6 of the Constitution of the Camillian Religious shows us the foundation of such simplicity and love to the sick “This Love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us “(Rom 5: 5). The Spirit impels us to cooperate in the plan of salvation brought by Christ is realized and encourages the fraternal communion in the Church, for everyone to provide services to each other, according to the diversity of the gifts we received. “Camillus anticipated times, made the difference, it means, held a humanized action in the health world, rescuing the essence of evangelical spirituality with respect the care of the sick, as did the Good Samaritan. This passage is the second biblical foundation of great relevance for the Camillian spirituality (cf. Lk 10: 25-37).
In short, the source of Camillian spirituality is the presence of Christ in the sick and those who assist them in His name, a life centered on the personal encounter with Jesus, who teaches us to live our vocation in listening to the Word of God and community experience with the help of the Holy Spirit.
The identification with Christ and his mission makes us creative and responsible. So we don’t need that someone send us to do good or to be charitable: we need only look at the example of Christ (the good Samaritan). Following the merciful Christ, identifying with Him: this is the mission of every baptized Christian.
Fr. Francisco de Lellis Maciel, M.I. Fr. Gilmar Anthonio Aguiar, M.I.