- The Vocation of the Brother
- The Theological Aspect
- The Ecclesiological Aspect
- The Religious Life
- Charismatic Inspiration
- The Example of St. Camilllus
- The Charism of the Texts of the Foundation
- A Holistic Vision of Health
- The Constitutions
- The Role/Space of the Brother
- 5. The Brother and Mission
5.1. The Indian Reality
5.2. The Camillians in India
5.3. The Brother in the Reality of Mission
THE VOCATION OF THE BROTHER
- The Theological Aspect
‘The vocation of the brother religious is a development of the consecration conferred by the sacraments of baptism and confirmation, by which he lives integrally the Christian values of the people of God: sanctified and sent by God the Father for the salvation of the world, he takes part in the mission and activity of Christ, prophet, priest and pastor, and as a consequence belongs to the mission of the Church to proclaim the Gospel and bear witness to it’.
A Christian is made such by adherence to the proposal of faith contained in baptism. His being of Christ is rooted in this and Christ is taken as the model from which every human project draws inspiration. Through confirmation, a Christian receives the strength that enables him to persevere in his choice of faith.
The shared vocation or call of every Christian to holiness becomes more radical and exemplary in the choice of the state of a religious, whose goal is perfect communion with the Lord. It is more radical because it involves a foregoing of every other dimension that does not put God at the centre; it is more exemplary because it points to the fundamental direction of human and spiritual values and at the same time commits the person to ‘full-time’ witness.
The elements of the vocation to follow Christ are participation in the mission of Christ, a mission that is regal, prophetic and priestly.
Through the regal ministry a religious affirms the supremacy of Christ in temporal realities which, in their turn, are inspired by his words and his approach.
Through the prophetic ministry, a religious proclaims the Good News both through words and through facts.
Through the priestly ministry, a religious sanctifies and consecrates every element of human life and human reality which is made into an act of worship of God.
A brother religious embodies in the choice of the state of his life the radical character of the mission of Christ. He is free from ministerial and sacramental roles so as to further live adherence to Christ who is held to be the sole reason for his following him. A brother, in truth, responds to the loving initiative of God by linking himself to Him through a forgoing of divided love, of possession and of his own independence. He does this knowing that in return there are no honours or responsibilities or roles but only the promise of a greater Love.
‘Male lay religious life is a state in itself for the profession of evangelical counsels which is complete in itself. Thus, the sacred synod, holding it in high esteem…confirms the members of this form of religious life in their vocation.
The vocation to religious life in the state of a brother is a response to the call of God. It is nourished by human elements through which the Lord shows His plan of salvation. The Grace of the Spirit enables him to live this call; natural special gifts direct his character, enabling him to engage in various ministerial choices in the context both of the single call (to religious life) and of the charism itself (the charism of the Order or Congregation to which he belongs).
‘In receiving these charisms, however simple they may be, in every believer is born the right and the duty to exercise them for the good of men and for the building up of the Church, both in the Church and in the world…’