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How can we become the agents of disruption?

By Our Own Correspondent

Manila, the Philippines, 7 December 2017 -- As sign of our times the Salesians all around the world try to be present among the young people in the digital playground. How can we be present in these ambivalent places where the pornography and Gospel are living together? Solid reflection of Fr. Armand Robleza (FIN province) shared with the Salesian Brothers during the quarterly formation session in Manila last November offers meaningful insight and way forward. Full text of his reflection is available on the Bosco Link: Salesian Prophetism in the Digital World of Millenials (link below).

Substantial reflection takes inspiration from the famous question of former student of Valdocco in his Letter from Rome (May 10, 1884): '.... Where are our Salesians?' The question of accompaniment becomes the key word of this educative-pastoral reflection. In order to foster realistic pastoral attitude, Fr. Armand offers deep insight into the typical cultural trends of our societies.

In his reflection Fr. Robleza focus on three characteristics of today youth cultures, faced by the Salesian today - a world of contradictions, a world of disconnections and a world of entitlement. And the way forward calls us again to read daily the read God's storyline!

World of contradictions creates a world complacent with diversity. We Salesians must face the fact that diversity is here to stay - people get along comfortably despite being different along race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio economic status, age, physical abilities, religious or political beliefs or other ideologies. Of course, people have become more tolerant and for a healthy spirituality of contraction we need to nurture an attitude of tolerance.

And truth is the voice of reality. If you search for truth, go and find real people, thow whose God's storyline influences their daily lives. For all the overhelming technology gripping our lives, we need each other in flesh and blood to witness to truth and righteousness. This points to the need of irresistible prophets like Don Bosco and his Salesians.

A similar reflection lead us to the spirituality of determined, authentic disciple of Jesus within the diversity of our times. the contraddiction is expressed also in the disconnection and call and strong desire and search for integrity and honesty.

And finally the furious speed of our times, looking always for faster, simpler and cheaper solutions leads us to spend more time nurturing our relationships with each other and with our God. Contemplation is the way forward. At the end of this reflection we are invited to become 'Agents of Disruption'. In this way we can stand as prophet with a counter-cultural voice in the wilderness of young people lives steeped in technology. Young people expect us to be tolerant, authentic and courageous. In this way we could foster the necessary culture of (personal) encounter.

This reflection is just one in the rich mosaic the Salesians around the world try to answer to this overhelming challenge: Can we still educate and evangelize the youth living in today's digital culture? This question is heard from all continents. We expect more discernment and reflection on this crucial mission issue of our times, challenging already all of our provinces.

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