Man cannot be saved by his own strength nor can be saved alone but together with his brothers, being inserted in the mystic body of Christ, the Church, which is continuously enlivened and sanctified by the work of the Holy Spirit.
In order to carry out this work of salvation, the Spirit, as we know, continuously spreads gifts and charisms, making each baptized person a living part of this Body: one is made “eye”, one is made “mouth”, someone else is made “hand”… Though sharing the variety of functions of the whole Body, each of us lives being a part of a single function of it. This function qualifies him, putting him into an effective relation with his brothers.
That happens not only in a certain period but is repeated from generation to generation. In fact, while waiting the building of the universal Christ, who will resume in Himself all creatures and things (belonging to all times and places), we can say that each generation may enlighten a peculiar charism of the Spirit, thus featuring its own work more as the one of the “eye” or the one of the “mouth” or of the “hand”… so giving life to different forms of spirituality.
Then a certain “spirituality” is not only the whole of the “inspirations” and the rules which lead a baptized person in his or her personal relation with God but it is also the totality of the visible external expressions (personal and collective ones) that make actual this relation and that, being such, change according to the different historical contexts.
All that falls within the “Incarnation economy”. The holiness we are called to and we are tending to, while containing elements which are necessarily beyond and out time, cannot be shown if not including the cultural mediation of a particular human context. Besides, who could welcome as “his own” a pattern of life which he cannot understand?
Because of that, in the middle ages the spirituality of the absolute evangelical poverty can impose itself, like the one testified and passed on by Saint Francis. In a different climax and following the requests of the Counter-Reformation a new spirituality sprang up, like Saint Ignatius’s, where contemplation boldly matches with action, etc.
That make also understand to us another main aspect of what a “spirituality” is made up: the charisms given to a single person (when they find in him a full and generous answer, till the complete oblivion and dispossession of himself) can be transmitted to others, to many other people. It is Jesus’ s “kenosis” which is renewed in those who lost their lives and then get them again in a overabundant way, acquiring descendents to lead to the Lord.
Thus religious orders or spiritual movements come into life, last but not least those of them which come from the charisms that the Spirit stirred up in laic founders, so that they might set up a new spiritual current, a new turmoil in today’s Church, promoting the common aspiration to holiness in God’s whole people
We too were given by the Spirit the gift of living and announcing a precise “spirituality”. We realized that while going through happy or sad events of our community life but besides that, while also listening to the Spirit in a prophetic attitude. He wants all of us make the highest experience of Jesus’ s life on the Earth, which includes living and rising with Him!
All that comes from Jesus has got a vital importance for us, each words of His, each gesture of His… Though the Spirit’s work in Jesus is chiefly achieved in the resurrection, where the meaning of all the other aspects of this work is revealed.
That is a gift and an entrustment to be welcomed, embodied and understood day by day, in any situation. In fact, if we do not consent to be risen by the Lord continually but we want to remain in the death, we do not hurt ourselves only. We also betray the vocation we received and delay our entrance into resurrection of that part of the world we were entrusted with.
Alberta Avòli Ricci