On 5 December 2023, His Holiness Serbian Patriarch kyr Porfirije gave a lecture in the Grand Hall of the Student City Cultural Center on the topic We Need Each Other.
That night, as a month ago, several hundred students, eager for words of love and paternal instruction, filled the Grand Hall of the Student City Cultural Center to capacity and with great attentiveness followed the address of their Patriarch. During the one-hour lecture on a perpetually relevant and inspirational topic, His Holiness warned that the spirit of the modern era is filled with individualism, hedonism, and egoism.
– This spirit dominating the planet today urges man not to see anyone beside him. Individualism in interpersonal relationships and the desire for everything to be subordinated solely to ourselves lead not only to considering our neighbor as a competitor at the very least but also to regarding our neighbor as an adversary – emphasized Patriarch Porfirije, adding:
– The consequences of our orientation towards individualism are the alienation of contemporary man, especially in large cities, exploitative attitudes towards God’s creation, and what is particularly relevant today – insistence on individual rights. Such an instinct of modern man without balance, without an idea, and – most fatally – without love cannot bear fruit. Moreover, this selfish impulse of man leads to war! Completely isolated, surrounded by thick walls he himself built around him, filled with anger, dissatisfaction, jealousy… man creates a foretaste of hell. Unfortunately, we are concerned that such a state has also affected the family.
A particularly impressive part of the Patriarch’s lecture related to the feat of raising and preserving the family in accordance with Gospel values, which imply sacrifice for others and complete openness to others – values that call on man to crucify his egoism and individualism in order to see his neighbor as an eternal companion, as an eternal brother whose dignity he must preserve and respect.
At the end of the lecture, Patriarch Porfirije concluded that love is the only cure against egoism and the only path to the meaning of life, which can be realized only through one’s neighbor. – Love is the path to paradise – were the words with which His Holiness concluded the lecture, which later turned into a lively and open conversation with the audience.