Indifference, individualism, throwaway culture, according to the pope

ROME — Christians must be prepared to respond with love and charity to those in need, especially the victims of today’s throwaway culture, Pope Francis said.

Meeting with members of the Order of Ministers of the Sick, commonly known as the Camillians, the pope said the prevalence of individualism and indifference has “caused so many lives to be lonely and wasted.”

“The Christian response does not lie in the resigned observation of the present or in the nostalgic regret of the past, but in the charity which, animated by trust in providence, knows how to love its time and, with humility, bears witness to the Gospel” , he said on May 16.

Founded in 1586 by Saint Camille de Lellis, the constitution of the Camillian order stipulates that it is dedicated “above all else to the practice of works of mercy towards the sick”.

Welcoming the members, who were in Rome for their general chapter, the pope said that, like their founder, Camillians are called to imitate “the compassion and tenderness of Jesus towards those who suffer in body and spirit.”

“This is what your founder, who is one of the saints who best embodies the style of the good Samaritan, accomplished, to come closer to his wounded brother along the way,” the pope said.

“The (Saint Camillus) inspired gift and task of looking at the reality of suffering, sickness and death through the eyes of Jesus has been entrusted to you,” he said.

The fulfillment of their mission, he added, “demands a docile openness to the Holy Spirit” and “a certain audacity, in order to discover and walk together unexplored paths or to express in new forms the potential of the Camillian charism and ministry”.

Pope Francis said the order’s emphasis on service to the sick and elderly combines “two essential dimensions of Christian life”, which are “the desire for outgoing and concrete witness to others”. and “the need to understand oneself according to the norms of the Gospel life”. humility.”

Thanking the Camillians for their service to the poor and the sick, the pope called on them to be faithful to the charism inspired by Saint Camillus so that “those who are wounded may encounter and feel the closeness and tenderness of Christ.”

“It is up to you to give hands, feet, mind and heart to this gift of God, so that it may continue to animate the works of God in our time, in the time when we live our vocation said the pope. mentioned.

Barry F. Howard