18.09.2007 @ 23:36
The mission among the Muslims - A dialogue of life
THE MISSION AMONG THE MUSLIMS - A dialogue of life
1. The call to the Crusades
The holy places had fallen into the hands of the Muslims. This was considered to be an ignominious affront to the Christian world. The Popes, first Urban II and then Eugene III, asked the Christian people to liberate them by convoking the first Crusades. Christians and Muslims fought in a â€œholy warâ€. The Christians had to respond to Muslim aggression with war, the IV Latern Council declared. Both Christians and Muslims thought they were defending the honour of God. On the Christian side it was a question of honour and justice to tear the places of our redemption from the hands of the Muslims, considered to be â€œrobbersâ€ of the land of the Lord. For the Muslims, that land belonged to them, it had been given to them by Allah from the beginning of Islam. Besides, Mahomad had â€œascendedâ€ to heaven from mount Moria, in Jerusalem.
The vocabulary used, in this context, by the preachers of the Crusades was significant in the reigning bellicose climate: â€œThe sons of Agar, Abrahamâ€™s slaveâ€, â€œA people enslaved by devilsâ€, â€œWorms from whom it is necessary to liberate the Holy Landâ€. The image of the beast, described by Daniel (7, 20-24) and in the Book of Revelations (12, 3), was applied to them. Mahomad, Innocent III would write, was the â€œson of perditionâ€, â€œthe Beastâ€, whose death, the Pope announced, was immenent. In this context, whoever killed a Muslim, St. Bernard would affirm, was not a killer of men, but a â€œkiller of evilâ€ and would be considered as one who had avenged the insult to the Lord. Things were certainly no better on the side of the Muslims, although we do not have any literature on it. The one certain thing is that both the one and the other were fighting, in the name of â€œtheir Godâ€, for a land which, according to them, belonged to them exclusively.
2. The guns fell silent and hearts were opened
In this climate, a man, whose name Francis was a blessing, was born and reared (LgMj 1, 1). Called by the Lord to repair His Church, the Poverello had to break down many walls and cross many barriers, especially the walls and barriers which opposed people to each other: minors and majors, educated and â€œidiotsâ€, Christians and Muslims…
Francis joined the V Crusade, probably in Ancona. Finally, after failing in 1211, the son of Bernardone would see his dream of getting to the kingdom of the Saracens realised. The battle of Damieta began on the 29th of May 1218. Francis, with a group of â€œpilgrimsâ€ of the V Crusade â€“ this was the name given to the combatants -, arrived at the battle field in July 1219. The Christian army suffered a serious defeat on the 29th of August (cf. 2Cel 30). Francis had predicted it and had declared himself against the war, but he was not listened to. Faced by his failure in the Crusadersâ€™ camp, Francis, feeling he was sent by God, as he himself would say before the Sultan, did not hesitate to present himself before Al-Malik al Kamil, who received him with great sympathy. We do not know the content of the conversation between the two protagonists of this meeting. What we do know is that Francis would present himself openly as a Christian, he went to the essential, and the Sultan accepted that.
The Sultan discovered a man of faith in Francis. Francis, in turn, discovered a â€œbelieverâ€ in the Sultan, a man who prayed five times a day, and was not a â€œson of the devilâ€. The miracle of the encounter came about. The guns fell silent and dialogue began between these men, separated by religion and culture but united in faith. It is very significant that they both undertood and respected each other, even though they spoke different languages. It was faith in the â€œclement and merciful Godâ€, that united them, though their religion was separating them.
Francis would return from the â€œenemyâ€ camp as he had arrived: without any riches, for he rejected them, but with a heart more open than ever to the â€œotherâ€, before whom he did not hesitate to confess his faith in the triune God.
3. Crossing barriers, jumping walls
On meeting Melek-el-Kamil, Francis destroyed the wall of Chriatianity. He did not reason with the ideological criteria of the Christianity of that time, but placed himself beyond the frontier of the Crusade. His proposal was â€œto go beyondâ€, to leave his own â€œsideâ€ to get to the â€œsideâ€ of the other. When Francis arrived at the â€œhouseâ€ of the Sultan, he didnâ€™t present himself as one â€œsentâ€ by the Crucaders, but by God, as a messenger of the one God in whom the Sultan also believed. In this way Francis immediately placed himself within the sensitivities of the other.
Francis also overcame the wall of fear. Francis didnâ€™t fear force (the army), or power (of the Sultan or of the Cardinal Legate, Pelagio), or the â€œincognitusâ€ or the difference present in the other. Francis had already overcome, in his life, fear of the other, the sick and repugnant, by embracing the leper. He had overcome the division between the good and the bad, welcoming the robbers and offering them fraternity and acceptance, and by inviting them to a change of life. He had overcome the barrier between those who have power and those who suffer oppression. The episode of the wolf at Gubbio is a clear exposition of that. In Damietta, Francis overcame every fear, crossed every frontier and reached the â€œsideâ€ of the other.
Francis, in a definitive way, aimed at the construction of a new world based on a programme of universal fraternity. In Francis, everything began with the discovery he made of God in his youth. From then on he didâ€™nt hesitate to â€œjumpâ€ all the barriers he would encounter on his journey towards the other: the barrier of his ego in order to embrace the physical leper; the social barrier to embrace the robbers or â€œmoral lepersâ€, the ecclesiastical barrier to embrace the spiritual leper, which was the Muslim.
Francis was a pilgrim, a â€œmendicantâ€ in search of the unknown brother. He was a mendicant of God and of men.
4. The keys to the â€œdialogueâ€ of Francis with the Sultan
The episode to which we have just referred presents Francis, the universal brother, as a man profoundly convinced of the need to pass through the doorway of the other which holds us back, without any prejudices or other pretentions, except those of the gratuitous meeting and respectful and frank discussion.
It is significant that, while his contemporaries, including the Popes, invited people to go against the Muslims and granted indulgences to those who fought to liberate the holy places of our redemption, Francis asked his Friars to go among them (1R 16, 3; 2R 12, 1). This is a great difference. Francis was going against the current. The God in which Francis believed profoundly is the God of love of St. John (cf. 1Jn 4, 8). He therefore asked his Friars who, by divine inspiration wished to go among the Saracens and other non-believers, to go to give witness to the God of love, the Father of Jesus Christ and of us all.
At Damietta, each one affirmed his identity, the diversity was respected and interaction was lived, all the keys necessary for meeting and dialoguing with others.
5. The Franciscans on meeting the other
We Friars Minor received a great inheritance from Francis: to go among the Saracens and other unbelievers. Our Order is missionary, the first missionary Order in the Church. For the first time in the history of the religious life the apostolic vocation among the unbelievers was established as normal. The mission of the Order is open and universal. The missionary vocation of the Friars Minor came to be the ultimate expression of the Gospel lived catholically. The fact that the Approved Rule concludes with the chapter dedicated to this mission among the Saracens and other unbelievers is highly significant, almost saying to us: the mission is the high point of the gospel vocation of the Friar Minor.
From the beginning, the franciscan fraternity perceived itself as being in a state of mission, itinerant, open to all mankind, which meant that the Friars â€œvery quickly spread throughout the worldâ€, as St. Bonaventure stated, comparing the epic period of the Order to the early history of the Church (cf. LMj 4, 7). Faithful to this vocation, today, despite the scarcity of vocations in some regions from which the greatest number of missionaries used to come, and even when the whole world could be considered to be â€œa missionary countryâ€, the Order, however, cannot renounce this duty to go among the Muslims, no matter how difficult it may be or seem. Having become aware that the mission is the key to understanding and giving new vigour to our life, aware that the mission is the dimension which unifies the other aspects and values of the franciscan life, we feel the need to overcome our temptations and egocentric tendencies and to renew our presence among the Muslims. This presence forms part of our charism.
Our Order is present, at the moment, in various countries that are officially Muslim or where there is a big Muslim representation: Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Djibouti, Togo, Burkina Faso, the Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau (in Africa), Israel-Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria (in the Middle East), Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines (in Asia), Bosnia, Albania (in Europe), Kazakhstan and Turkey.
I thank the Friars for their work and mission among Muslims, in the majority of cases in situations that are by no means easy. The Order appreciates their work and gives thanks for what they are, â€œbeacons of hopeâ€ and â€œa generous offering of faith and communionâ€ among the Muslims also (cf. The Lord speaks with us on the road, 37), in the majority of cases through their â€œsimple presence and perseverance in areas of the world where difficulties [in many cases] have reached truly extreme levelsâ€ (cf. The Lord speaks with us on the road, 37). Persevere, dear brothers, in this way of dialogue, of meeting the â€œotherâ€, the â€œdifferentâ€, of crossing borders, as Francis did, on the basis of the desire to create a real fraternity which springs from recognising that we are all children of the same Father (cf. The Lord speaks with us on the road, 36).
How can we carry out this mission?
6. Setting out from the Rule
The Rules, approved and unapproved, give us important principles to keep in mind in both the mission in general and in the specific mission among the Saracens and other unbelievers. Let us look at the more important ones.
The necessity for discernment
Not all, according to the Rule, are called to go among the Muslims. This is a vocation within the franciscan vocation: â€œLet whoever of the friars who by divine inspiration wants to go among the saracens and other infidels seek permission for that reason from their minister provincial. Indeed the ministers are to grant permission to go to none, except those who seem fit to be sentâ€ (2R 12, 1-2).
It is significant that to go among the Saracens and other unbelievers is the same expression used for entering the Order: by divine inspiration (1R 2, 1). This requirement, which disappeared in the text of the Approved Rule when embracing this kind of life (cf. 2R 2, 1), is, however, introduced in the Rule when going among the Saracens and other unbelievers is spoken about (cf. 2R 12, 1).
Personally, my attention is drawn to the insistence that is put, in both the 1R 16 and the 2R 12, on the need to discern the will of those who wish to go among the Saracens and other umbelievers. â€œCan there be so many deceptions!â€, the present-day commentator on the Rule, Javier Garrido, wonders and then replies: â€œthe most dangerous of them all is that which comes from the best of desires, that of heroismâ€ (La forma de vida franciscana ayer y hoy, 219). The missionary is not a hero. He is a man who responds to the call of the Spirit, the real protagonist of the mission in its beginning as well as in its development. One does not go on mission or choose the mission on the basis of a personal project. The mission is a particular vocation which comes from God, inspired by God, and which requires, on the part of the person called, a generous response.
However, besides this temptation, which is certainly real, Francis puts us on guard against another, no less real, which refers to the ministers. They have to discern the suitability of the Friar in total freedom and with a great spirit of generosity. This is because, if the discernment has necessarily to pass through the ministers, they must be very attentive to not give permission to those unsuited, or deny those who, before God, they consider to be suitable to go among the saracens and other unbelievers, because they will have to give an account to the Lord (cf. 1R 16, 4).
This is a clear call for attention: to those who wish to free themselves easily of some Friars, or to those who, considering themselves masters, wish to hold them back, against divine inspiration, to â€œcover other needsâ€ considered to be â€œmore urgentâ€. I consider it important, in this sense, to note a change of accent between the first Rule and the second Rule. While it is insisted, in the first, that the ministers must not deny permission to those they consider called to this kind of mission; in the second it is insisted that permission should not be given too lightly: â€œIndeed the ministers are to grant permission to go to none, except those who seem fit to be sentâ€ (2R 12, 2). What does this change insinuate? In my opinion, something was happening in the fraternity. Francis called all to be very realistic and serene in discernment. In the area of vocation no one is â€œlordâ€ either of himself, or of another. One and the other are at the service of what the Spirit â€œinspiresâ€. Fraternal obedience and the primacy of the initiatives of God must function at the same time.
We now have to add to what was said above, that one does not go on mission, or choose the mission in function of â€œneedsâ€. One does not go because a Province has enough Friars to cover the needs, but also one does not go because â€œmore urgent needs have to be coveredâ€, as is sometimes heard. Nor is the mission chosen because of its needs. One goes on mission because he feels called and this call is confirmed by whoever has the responsibility â€“the serious responsibility- of making the final discernment. It is not the need that determines the going on mission or not, or the selection of this or that mission, although the Lord also speaks through the said needs. The determining factor is always the call of the Lord.
The missionary method
The general principle for the Friars on mission is that which Francis gave to all the Friars who go through the world: â€œI counsel, warn and exhort my Friars in the Lord Jesus Christ, that when they go about through the world, they are not to quarrel nor contend in words, nor are they to judge others, but they are to be meek, peaceable and modest, meek and humble, speaking uprightly to all, as is fittingâ€ (2R 3, 10).
The solemn tone and the personal nature of this exhortation, the second of the Rule, lets us understand that we are before one of the core values of the very form of franciscan life. The Friars, in a permanent state of being on mission, have to live a life configured by the Beatitudes of Jesus by constantly developing the ministry of reconciliation (cf. 2Cor 5; Ef 2) through the love which supports and awaits without limits, that is, following the footprints of Jesus, who took on our sins (cf. Adm 5, 15). The franciscan mission, whatever its pratical manifestation may be, has to be inspired by the dynamics of the Beatitudes.
Our mission, for Francis, is not that of avenging anything, but that of â€œdoing penanceâ€ and of being lesser (cf. 2R 9; Test 7-8). Minority and the ministry of reconciliation are dimensions of the same mission for Francis. According to the biographers, Francis was a prophet of peace (cf. 1Cel 23; 36; 42; 101) and a man of reconciliation (cf. LP 75; 108). We can see, between the lines, the methodology used by Francis on this mission: non-violence, hoping against hope in the efficacy of active and powerful love, and the undefended love which trusts in the human heart, despite appearances. He commended it to the Order as an essential task (cf. LP 84). All this indicates that minority is a determining attitude of our going about the world and also among the Saracens and other unbelievers.
The franciscan missionary method is, therefore, inseparable from minority, from the attitude of service and of dialogue, subject to all human creatures for God (cf. 1R 16, 7). This means that priority must be given to the person of the other, without prejudices, and that man is sought by considering, above all, the other to be a brother or sister. The franciscan missionary is called to place himself in evangelical relationship with the other, becoming a source of welcome, of listening, and developing feelings of sympathy and courtesy. The franciscan missionary is called to accept and respect the other, at every moment, to live solidarity to the ultimate consequences, to walk with the other. The person has to count for more than the culture and even the religious creed for a franciscan missionary (cf. Vincenzo Brocanelli, Living-in-mission according to the franciscan charism, Rome 2006, 66ff).
The arms proposed for the mission by Francis, in contrast to the arms of the Crusaders, are gentleness and simplicity, without forgetting, certainly, prudence (cf. 1R 16, 1). The Friars are called on to set out on mission, especially, among the Saracens and unbelievers, as men free of any ideology and not depending in any way on human powers, but only on the Lord who sends them. His only strength is the power of the Word of the Lord and the power of God, which is manifested in the weakness of men.
Life first of all
The vocation of the Friar Minor is to follow and show Christ to others. This means that every Friar Minor, and the franciscan missionary in particular, should give primacy to gospel life above pastoral ministry. He does not proselytise, he doesnâ€™t â€œconquerâ€, he gives witness; he doesnâ€™t demonstrate, but rather shows, makes Him who is, for him, all good, supreme good, richness to satisfaction (cf. PrsG) visible. The franciscan missionary has to keep in mind that what was really attractive in Francis was not his eloquence, but the fact that he was a man of God. The franciscan missionary, like Francis, is a man who, with â€œnothing of his ownâ€, radically poor, feels he is rich in giving witness to Him who is everything to him.
The missionary among the Saracens and other unbelievers does not refuse to preach the Gospel in any circumstances, but he does so first of all through his life and only when it seems opportune (once again, discernment) by preaching it explicitly. Isnâ€™t the contrast between the franciscan missionary method and that of the Crusades of yesteryear and of today very evident?
This method is fully up-to-date. The Extraordinary General Chapter affirmed it: Nothing can substitute for life (cf. The Lord spoke with us on the road, 10). Life has absolute primacy in the everyday of the authentic missionary. From this is deduced an absolute primacy for all those who announce the Gospel, especially among the Muslims: giving quality to oneâ€™s life as a Friar Minor, keeping in mind the Priorities of the Order, in which the style of franciscan life is summarised and updated (cf. GGCC 1, 2).
In summary, the franciscan missionary method can be expressed in the words: inculturation, fraternal presence, respect, dialogue and solidarity with all, especially with the disinherited, the least of men and the excluded.
Missionaries are not improvised, they must be prepared. How? By providing, right from initial formation, an education in the anthropology of reciprocity, an education in multi-cultural life, an education in dialogue and an education in acceptance and hospitality.
7. Education in the anthropology of reciprocity
I believe that an educational and formative â€œrevolutionâ€ is necessary at the moment, even in our Order and not only on the level of methodologies, but also on the anthropological level. Going deeply into the anthropology of reciprocity lights up the significance of openness to the other, of the recognition of and respect for the other, of walking with and meeting the other.
In a world wounded by egoisms, wars and violence, it is urgent to inculcate a new humanism, a new paideia for the planetary man. Education must feel it is questioned by the presence of many â€œnew facesâ€ which are becoming our â€œneighboursâ€ and which are â€œyourselfâ€, according to the intuition of LÃ©vinas. Education must allow itself be questioned by this society, so complex, in order to take responsibility for the other, for which it is demanded that we go out of self, out of our egoisms and egocentrism, of our indifferences and possible hostilities in relation to the different, with the other.
8. Being educated for multi-cultural life
We need, and I see it as an urgent task, to educate ourselves in order to know, communicate and live with diversity, to have reciprocal inter-dependence in the common belonging. It is a matter, definitively, of a multi-cultural education. How can this be done? In my opinion, a multi-cultural education has to base itself on some principles which I, personally, consider to be undeniable:
â€¢ Valuing the human person. Believing that the human person, whoever he may be, is worth more than any project or object. That is, in my view, the greatest challenge in the world of today, crucified by fratricidal, ethnic and religious wars caused by egoism and organised violence. There is, therefore, an urgency to learn how to live together: one of the four pilars of the education indicated by the Report of the UNESCO International Commission (1996) for education in the XXI century. The recommendations of the well-know Jew, Nazim Hikmet a Mchmet, to his son seem very opportune in this context: â€œDo not live as a guest in this world, or as a nature tourist; live in the world as in your paternal home. Believe in the seed, in the land, in the sea, but, above all, believe in man. Try to feel the pain of the branch which dries up, of the stars which fall, the sadness of a wounded animal wandering about, but especially, let the sadness of man hurt you. I hope that something good of the earth will delight you: the light, the shadows, the four seasons; but I hope, above all, that it will be man that will give you the greatest pleasureâ€.
It seems evermore urgent to have passion for the cause of the human person who merits every respect, all our care and, above all, all our love. What good is it to wish to save nature that is threatened on every side if we do not save man, who is equally threatened?
I can only confess my sympathy for the proposal of a well-know scholar, Ricardo Petrella, who suggests that the educational system should be made a priority objective: â€œto learn means to say hello to the other, which means â€œrecognising the existence of the otherâ€, â€œlearning democracy and living itâ€, â€œlearning solidarityâ€. It is urgent, as Paul Ricoeur pointed out many years ago, to understand and teach how to understand what is different. It is urgent to assure everyone of the common human identity by respecting oneâ€™s own identity.
â€¢ Passing from â€œIâ€ to â€œweâ€. In a culture dominated by â€œsubjetivismâ€ I see the need to fight openly against exacerbated subjectivism and all that it implies: egoÃsm, ethno-centrism, particularisms which encourage a negative view of the other, which can, in the long run, provoke attitudes of fear, indifference, intolerance and racism in its various forms. Making oneâ€™s identity absolute and adherence to oneâ€™s particularities lead to a distain of others and of the other. The solution? It lies in the recognition of the other, in the recognition of the very dignity of the other. The other exists with me, lives with me and together we form the â€œhuman familyâ€, as is found in the universal declaration on human rights and, therefore, is worthy of respect in the same way as I want respect for myself.
â€¢ To journey on the basis of the other, that is, to allow ourselves be educated by the other, by what is different, in an attitude of openness, humility, gratitude, cooperation and solidarity. To journey from the other, that is, to make the other the criterion and measure of my activitieds. This leads to listening, respect, loveâ€¦
9. Being educated to dialogue
As we well know, etimologically, dialogue comes from dia-logos which literally means to allow yourself be penetrated by the word of the other. This ethimological meaning could lead us to think of dialogue as a kind of conversion in which people put themselves into relationships. This relationaship alone will make understanding and respect possible, goals towards which all true dialogue tends.
I see four attitudes as being indispensable for this relationship to be possible:
â€¢ Clarity. This, in turn, presupposes that one has a clear sense of oneâ€™s own personal identity. One cannot give clarity without having oneâ€™s own identity clear. There cannot be authentic dialogue without knowing where one is starting from, without each one knowing who he is and before whom he is standing, without being faithful to oneâ€™s own identity. This fidelity to oneâ€™s identity, far from being lived in a fundamentalist attitude, an attitude which is born of the fear to think and of the illusion of an unquestioning faith, has to be lived in an ongoing attitude of listening and respect, of cordiality and sincerity. Only these attitudes will lead us to grow in dialogue composed of listening and announcing. One cannot build up his identity by locking himself up in himself, without setting out from the other, from the different, from otherness. Formation to dialogue would have to be a chapter of integral development, which is the objective of formation or accompanying the person in the discovery, the re-appropriation and growth of oneâ€™s own identity.
â€¢ Meekness. This is not an attitude in frequent circulation, yet it is fundamental to dialogue. The meek person is free from pride and resentment, including when he has experienced insult or reproach. Meekness is incomparable to violent methods. Besides, the meek person learns not to take himself too seriously and is always disposed to learn from the other.
â€¢ The capacity to face up to conflicts and the critical confrontation with different positions on the basis of passion for man and his undeniable dignity. Conflict, as we well know, is not bad in itself. Everything depends on how it is handled. I think it is very important to educate ourselves and others to face up to conflicts in a suitable way.
â€¢ Confidence. It is not only a question of confidence in oneâ€™s own words, but is also a recognition by both parties involved in the dialogue. Confidence enables us to tell the truth openly, but always expressing that truth with love.
10. Being educated in the culture of acceptance and of hospitality
This culture finds its roots in the understanding of the other as being unavoidable in order to speak of oneself.
Postmodern culture, dominated by the neo-liberal ideology and sustained by the culture of the media, encourages the creation of narcissistic identities centered on the cultivation of self, of appearancesâ€¦ It becomes urgent, in this context, to form ourselves and others in a culture of acceptance and of hospitality. To do this, I think it is necessary to overcome the formative models based on the concept of individual perfection and to encourage models founded on concepts of encounter and dialogue.
This involves, in my opinion:
. Leaving oneâ€™s social environment, leaving the securities of oneâ€™s cultural tradition in order to be able to find the diference of oneâ€™s self and, at the same time, to show how it is precisely in this abandonment of self, in this continuous journey of kÃ©nosis towards the â€œstrangerâ€, that the person is realised and realises his vocation.
. Finding words capable of creating communion with people who are different. It is indispensable to form ourselves and others to a respect for the â€œdifferentâ€, in the capacity to listen and to take into account the points of view of those who are different. It is a priority to form ourselves and others in order â€œto embraceâ€ and no only â€œto put up withâ€ the ethnic, cultural and theological differences, in our own fraternities also.
. In this age of â€œvirtual relationshipsâ€ it is fundamental to educate ourselves to live in a relationship which should be, at the same time, profound, free and liberating. Only in this kind of relationship can the other be listened to in his â€œothernessâ€, without falling into the temptation of reducing him to our schemes, until we arrive at eliminating him. It is a question, therefore, of a journey of growth in freedom, understood as self-control which leads to self-commitment.
The franciscan missionary, especially he who lives among Muslims, is he who, on the basis of his adhesion to Christ, gives of himself totally, without reservations or limitations of energies or time; he who gratuitously commits himself; he who lives the logic of gift to the extreme, knowing that nothing belongs to him, that everything is a gift which is received and, therefore, has to be restored; he who constantly goes out of self in order to go to meet the other, the different (cf. The Lord speaks with us on the road, 19 - 25). The franciscan missionary, in particular he who lives among the Muslims, is he who, basing his life on the beatitudes, opts for dialogue of life, for a presence in frontier areas, giving witness that â€œthere is no one all-powerful, except Himâ€ (LtO 9).
The franciscan mission, like that of Francis, was derived from his intimate union with Christ, was nourished by the Word of the Gospel and by the sacrament of the Eucharist. His encounter with the Lord was poured out, necessarily, in the mission (cf. Jn 4, 4ss). The discovery of Love opened him to love of others, no matter how different they might be. On the mission, the Friar Minor transmits the Love which conquered his heart rather than a doctrine, and involves what constitutes the richness and the beauty of his life, rather than transmit what he learned intellectually, and, at all times, â€œpreserves peace of spirit and body out of love of our Lord Jesus Christâ€ (Adm 15, 2).
All that has been said places us in pefect condition to go and remain among the Saracens and other unbelievers. The missionary methodology which our form of life proposes will open the door to the other, as it opened the door to the heart of the Sultan one day, and the confrontation of some against others will give way to dialogue and respect for each other.
Br. JosÃ© RodrÃguez Carballo, ofm