"Anyone familiar with the life of John of God must wonder how he was able to be so responsive to the misery of the poor, the homeless, the sick, and the emotionally troubled. Where did his compassion come from? How was he able to pay so little attention to his own needs and ego when most people clamor focus primarily on satisfaction and fall into despair or "bum out" when confronted by the magnitude of suffering in the world. How was he able to shoulder the pain of his community while not getting angry at God and demanding personal explanations for the suffering and indifference he both experienced and witnessed all around him".
Robert Grant PhD
St. John of God made everyone feel like someone. This came out of his interior life which we call spirituality. St. John of God became an open person to the sufferings of others because he worked through his feelings of incompleteness. This was his source of healing to be in touch with his woundedness in this he discovered the compassion and love of God. This was his spirituality that from his own woundedness he was restored by the suffering of Christ on the cross thus becoming an active contemplative in the care of the sick and suffering.
St. John of God’s hospitality grew spiritually in meeting the needs of those who suffered, with care and compassion, offering them respect and dignity in a manner that was restorative and healing.
Hospitality as a spirituality is welcoming, open, accepting, understanding, healing, and most of all pays attention to the needs of the co-workers, residents, family members and those who visit.
Hospitality as a spirituality is about dynamic interior change. It is a way of living the beatitudes of Christ. Being of service but always returning to prayer as a source of strength in facing the hardships of life.
When people feel down and out, paying attention to their needs especially with care and compassion will touch people’s hurt, loneliness, pain, restoring new life. Just being yourself and being there present, present when you are needed, changes feelings of worthlessness into feelings of being someone.
The spirituality of hospitality is to bring hope, offering people a vision that things do get better; and that there is a progressive journey that one takes from brokenness to wholeness. The spiritual fulcrum that will assist us in catapulting us from our present state to one of wholeness is making sure that in Christ everyone feels like someone that they are respected and love. Hospitality is our spirituality. It is also a way of acting and being there, with and for others expressing the care and compassion of God in the midst of pain and suffering.