09 Feb Koinonia 2021 – 4 (N.112): FRATELLI TUTTI: SOCIAL FRIENDSHIP AS A WAY OF EVANGELIZATION FOR THE OFS
We are living in a period in which individualism has become the “modus vivendi” and, consequently, the value of safeguarding the brother no longer makes sense. The other or the others no longer count anything; everyone cares only about their own interests by living according to the motto: “Each one for himself and God for all”. This way of conceiving life has the consequence that often, both in the social and in the religious sphere, those who do not share the same opinion or the same belief are no longer seen as a friend who has a different idea from mine but as an enemy to fight or/and to exclude. In the context of OFS and, specifically, in what concerns the belonging to a fraternity – generally defined as “my fraternity” – this expression is often used only to indicate one’s own local fraternity, seen however not as a unit of the Order but as a reality in itself. It almost seems that fraternity is reduced to a purely theoretical term and not concretely real and practical.
Now, more than ever, the world needs to re-evaluate its attitude towards the values of brotherhood and sharing, of living together in peace and in harmony.
How is it possible to evangelize in such hostile environments, where everything seems to be focused on one’s ego? Speaking of social friendship is a very difficult task. However, I will try do my best to highlight some points that, in my opinion, are fundamental when it comes to social friendship as a way of evangelization for the Secular Franciscan Order.