Wednesday, 28 February 2018

THE MIRACLE ABUSER


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The modern society is characterized by the abnormal suffering, absolute poverty, unimaginable cost of living and higher levels of manipulation. The intentional or unintentional application of psychology to intoxicate the minds of the poor and the search for quick metaphysical interventions has in vain tried to enable achievement of their daily needs and desires.
The foot-on-door techniques to struggle for what cannot be found, has been like a life-trial to produce juice out of the stone, which will cost us much if we do not open our extrinsic and intrinsic eyes. The poor are the most vulnerable to this threat.

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People have made abnormal profits in the miracle business, having conquered a certain sample groups. These can be composed of the poor, the jobless and co-partners in the business. The tendency to recourse to miracles and denouncing work in the mask of “God will provide”, will not help us. Many have been exploited, abused sexually, confused to their overwhelming expectations of quick returns from God.it is painful that even the little they had has been taken away from them by the money hungry minister. Much time has been devoted to prayers, day and night, but the world is getting tougher. The reflection question is; should we continue to pray or should we not pray? I am convinced that we should continue to pray but we need a balance between prayer and work ‘ora et labora’.

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Dedication is also an important factor in one’s life. The forms of dedication are vast but let us talk about time. In this case, how is the dedication to the families nowadays. Marriages are breaking up, children are getting out of hand, and many other instances; we should ask ourselves first, how much time do we dedicate to be with our families? These persistent social problems should teach us to think and operate ethically.

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This is not to render God powerless or an old man who cannot do anything helpless. God is always with us and his mercy transcends humans’. The Bible tells us that no greater sign will be given rather than that of Jonah. May God encourage us to double our efforts in the acts of praying and working so as to actualise what we aspire for; in love, fraternal correction and commitment as responsible citizens.
By Justus Namanya

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

WHY MOST YOUNG MEN SHOULD ENTER SEMINARY

We need more men who are capable of moral leadership and seminary can provide the formation needed to do that -- even if they don't become priests.

Who should enter seminary? Only those who are 100% certain that they will become a priest? Or should all men “test the waters” and spend a year or two at their local seminary?

When discerning young men consider entering seminary, they are often asked by friends and relatives, “Are you 100% certain that you are called to become a priest?” Many young men struggle with this question for years and will never enter seminary because they are not absolutely certain that God is calling them to this vocation.

This is unfortunate, as seminary shouldn’t be viewed as a “priest-making facility,” where young men enter without any doubts or fears and magically become a priest at the end of it all. It is true that men must enter seminary to become a priest, but the human, intellectual and spiritual formation that a man receives at seminary will benefit him in whatever vocation to which God calls him.

I would argue most young men should enter seminary, especially when compared to the type of formation they receive when attending a secular or private college, often living on the same floor with women and sharing the same bathrooms. We need more men who are capable of moral leadership and seminary can provide the formation needed to do that, even if most of the men enrolled do not become priests.

I say all of this as a man who entered seminary right out of high school, but who is currently married and the father of five children. Do I regret the three years I spent in college seminary, spending all of that time learning how to become a priest when in fact God was calling me to the married life? Not at all.

When I entered seminary, I hoped one day to celebrate Mass at the altar. I had many doubts and fears, but I entered anyway, knowing that if I didn’t enter I would regret it for the rest of my life.

I knew I had to “try it out” for myself with the full knowledge that God could be calling me to something entirely different (which he did). I may seem like a failure, dropping out of the “priest factory” and not having a collar to show for it, but I don’t see it that way and look at my years in seminary as the perfect preparation for becoming a strong, spiritual leader for my family.

To be honest, if I hadn’t gone to seminary, I don’t know what I would be doing now. Odds are likely I would be the timid, shy little boy who played video games all day and who wouldn’t stand up for anything. I certainly would have never developed a daily regimen of prayer or attended daily Mass on a regular basis.

It is amazing how much seminary can change a boy into a man, giving him the tools necessary to remain strong in the midst of any trial.

I will admit, however, that seminaries have not always been havens of holiness. During the turbulent times of the 70s, 80s and 90s, men entering seminaries were not given the same formation that they are today. The good news is that the current state of seminaries is extremely encouraging. Countless seminaries are growing by leaps and bounds and much of the success revolves around the quality of formation.

In the end, I would recommend to any young man discerning the priesthood to take the leap of faith and enter seminary. You aren’t “signing up” to become a priest, but making a deliberate effort to discern God’s call in an environment of prayer and fraternity. I firmly believe that the future of our culture will require many more men entering seminary not only to become holy priests, but also holy husbands, fathers, lawyers, politicians, businessmen, etc.

Article by Philip Kosloski

Source:

WAKE UP MY D. R. CONGO, RECREATE YOURSELF

“This article has incorporated some ideas from the books: Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freiro, and Existentialism is Humanism by Jean Paul Sartre. These are the books that have inspired me to write this article.”


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A society that does not recreate itself is more dead than alive. This is the case with the Congo. From 1960, the year in which Congo got her independence, there has been a number of unreasonable wars that has left the country in total depression and despair.  When Lumumba, the Congolese freedom fighter and great hero in the history, officially announced the independence of his nation there emerged a lot of forced violence. The so called ‘les martyrs de l’independance were killed due to the violence that took place at the period, that is from the 1959 to the 1960s. They stood courageously and violently to demand for their right. I think this was not the right way to do so, but that was for them the possible mean to go with as Franz Fanon would buttress. They thought that by fighting these colonials they will obtain independence and lead their country toward great development as sung in their national anthem. What these people fought for was the freeing of their nation from oppression. In the 1965, the very first president of D.R. Congo, Kaza Vumbu, was overthrown by Mobutu Sese Seko, who is seen as the great oppressor of the Congolese politicians and citizens in general.  When he came into power, people thought that he was going to lead the country towards splendid growth. This remained at the level of illusion. After him, there came Lauren Desire Kabila, who was not only a man of big ideas, but also of great actions. He wanted the resources of Congo to be fully enjoyed by the Congolese themselves. Many may deny, but he aimed at that because during his time the economy was stable and things started working out. This was a man who would have led the country toward something greater than what it is today. In 2001, this marked the homecoming of our misery. Kabila came in power and officially announced the renaissance by planning what he called, ‘les cinq chantiers’. He promised to reconstruct the nation and make sure that everyone accesses their basic needs. This for me remained in the level of ideology. There are people today in the vast forest who cannot meet the basic needs such as adequate health care, food, clean water, security, shelter and good quality education. That is why at the International Standards, Congo is referred to as ‘a failed nation’. This is shameful to all the Congolese citizens.

Congo is a country that is full of great intellectual people and enormous resources that can enrich its population. I personally view it as a possible paradise. But, its people are experiencing what I can describe as ‘hell on earth’ due to the unreasonable greed of their representatives. Those who think that their existence is necessary have deliberately decided to make others experience wretchedness.  

There is a lot that is taking place in the country that needs to be addressed. Due to the selfish pursuit of power of its leaders, people are being killed in the East and other parts of the heart of Africa. This happens because the power they are after is not the one of empowering and enriching others, but of acquiring as much resource as possible for themselves. These people, who are being forsaken, asked those who can be heard to speak for them no one have strongly spoken from the international level; they have stood up themselves on the streets to say ‘enough is enough’. And that is why they are being killed and threatened. This is something that needs to be condemned. How do you expect someone who wakes up in the morning and does not know where to start from or where and how he/she will end the day, to stay calm and not demonstrate? Those who support the oppressor are the people who have been fed with “enough soup” in order to keep silent and act as if nothing is happening. Actually, we should stop being indifferent to our own brothers and sisters’ cries. Those who demonstrate and ask for good leadership are not after anyone but equal share of the common wealth. They fight so hard that their children may go to school and be provided with quality education, meet all the above mentioned basic needs, and have good means of transport and communication within their nation’s boundaries. If they ask for those who can be heard to speak for them to do so, they are not doing because they fear to be killed, since those who tried, are no longer among the living or sent to exile.


It is our duty to speak for the voiceless whose hopes and expectations have been thwarted. It is when we understand what it means to be oppressed that freedom can be pursued. Since the year 2017 to date, Congo has been through all sorts of calamities that have left unforgettable marks in the history. The people who have supported the acts done by the leaders in Congo are those who enjoy the resources of the country. I humbly ask, without offending anyone, that our government should pay attention to the needs of the population. These are people who are snacking through the borders of other nations just to find how to survive. They are therefore referred to as ‘refugees’. I think we should be ashamed to have refugees in the world, though many will say that it is the fact of life; I say that it is not the fact of life. We are not born refugees. We get refugees due to some people’s selfish motives and unconcerned spirit for the human race. Why do we run after power when we do not empower others? Nelson Mandela once said, ‘a successful leader is not one who leads against his people’s will, but one who empowers others to do the same just as he did’. Let this article not be misinterpreted as an attack, but be looked at as an appeal for us to act with humanity in mind. For our leaders who have not paid attention to our plea, may they wake up from their willed dogmatic slumber and embrace the challenge. People have suffered and they need to be alive, not dead. Our population deserve respect than witnessing blood every day. I think they have seen enough, and if we are willing, we can end this.  All this occurs due to the self-deceiving attitude of those who think that they are necessary i.e. the world cannot do without them. Thus, they end up treating others simply as objects or means to meet their ends instead of looking at them as members of one family. Among those who treat others as objects are the Christians who go to Church and believes in Christ’s message, yet Christ is regarded as the great moral teacher. We have to imitate Christ who came to restore our lost dignity. I would like to write of my highly estimated moral teacher, philosopher Jean Paul Sartre. He speaks of human dignity which he traces from Descartes’ ‘cogito’. The “Cogito ergo sum; I think therefore I am; Je penses donc je suis”. This is the indubitable truth that is self-sustaining. Sartre writes, “The man who discovers himself in the Cartesian cogito, does not only discover himself but discovers others as a condition to his existence. Under these conditions, the intimate discovery of myself is at the same time the revelation of the other as a freedom which confronts mine...” (J-P Sartre, Existentialism is a Humanism, p. 53). When our leaders choose to stay in power forever and at the same time do not serve their populations, they are therefore misusing their power and becoming a hell to the entire country. This is exactly what is happening in Congo. People are lacking what we may call the ‘necessary basics’ while the few are becoming richer than the entire country. Surely, how can you, only one individual, keep on growing richer and being happy at the suffering of the others? I think it is time for the Congo to look back and restore their dignity, because she is referred to as a ‘nation of crooks’. I therefore call for the ‘renaissance’. People should be given their rights. What is wrong with us?


Image result for leadershipFor peace to prevail, the leaders should avoid the oppressing attitude and know that they are leading their own people who have suffered throughout history. The approach should be natural, yet functional within each structure. People need someone who can restore their dignity, give them hope again, and ensure that they meet their basic needs. Personally, I do not find any rational reasons to say that only few individuals should enjoy the wealth of a given nation while the rest of the population experience misery. I wish those who amass more resource than what they actually need, could know how it feels like when you empower and enrich others. The sad situation is that the dictator will always think of oppressing others in order to be happy, yet they will never be happy. If a heartless person is the leader, he/she would not mind of other peoples’ cry. They only see themselves.

We cried for the independence, but are we truly independent?  We have instead become hell to ourselves. People are no longer working for the good of all but for personal interest. We cannot develop, because those who are in the so called big positions are not for the whole but individual. Even if it is said that man is for himself, it is in this understanding that he also lives for others. When choosing for himself, he also chooses for the entire world. We can see how the choices made by some of our people affect the country. They chose to say no to the colonials so that they may lead their own people toward something greater than themselves. We collectively said no. After saying no to the colonial powers, we are the ones now becoming burdens to our own people. Why this? Let us not preach freedom, development and many other good terms without being ourselves promoters of those values. This is what the Congolese leaders should know. They attend both national and international meetings; they give good speeches yet find it hard to practice what they preach. Are they not right to refer us as ‘a failed nation’? I will not allow my grief overtake me. It is those who have been burnt or oppressed will understand how it feels like. Even those who have not experienced these things can identify with the oppressed if they understand what it means to be human. God will punish us if we try to be indifferent to the misery of our brothers and sisters. What will we gain after amassing all that the earth contains? The day we will experience death’s sting we will realise how vanity is the world.
Jose Nixon Litako Belengo, from D R Congo 

Saturday, 10 February 2018

THE ITESO PEOPLE

Iteso is the name of the people speaking Ateso language. The man originating from the Teso land is known as ‘Etesot’ and a woman on the other hand she is known as ‘Atesot’.

Background
They are believed to have come from Alexandra in Egypt. They are the descendants of the Biblical Joseph, a Hebrew, who is said to have married a black Egyptian woman. She gave birth to Ateker speaking people who include: Jie, Turkana, Maasai, Karimojong and Iteso.
When the Israelites left for the promised land, the black Egyptian woman left with her children towards South West where they claim to have had their promised land as promised by Abraham to Jacob his grandson; the land surrounded by the rivers.
When this group reached Ethiopian highlands, they claimed it and looked at the South West, where they saw their promised land and they said ‘Ite so’ meaning, ‘we have seen’ which gave rise to the name ‘Iteso’.

Areas Occupied
Basing on the 1980 statistics, the tribe is the second largest in the country, Uganda. It has a population of about 3.2M people. The population occupy several districts namely: Pallisa, Bukedea, Kumi, Ngora, Soroti, Serere, Kaberamaido, Amuria, Katakwi, Bugiri, Tororo, Busia and many others. They are found mainly in the Teso Sub-Region in the Eastern Uganda. On the other side of Kenya, in Busia County, they have a population to approximately 578,000.

Political Organization
The Iteso are a decentralised society organized mainly into seven clans each with a council of elders for both administrative and moral undertaking. Each clan had a role to play and a totem. For example, the Inomu clan were the doctors; the Ikaruok clan were the warriors. But it is unfortunate that the state has advised the Iteso people to have a king as well as other tribes in the pearl of Africa. In the year 1995, the Iteso people got their king ‘Emorimor’ known as Emorimor papa Iteso Augustine Lemukol Osuban.

Economic Organization
Iteso are the plain Nilotes. They are nomadic pastoralists who bear hundreds of herds of cattle. The one referred to be rich in the society; one has to be with several herds of cattle, land (which was allotted by the clan elders) and food. The staple foods for the Iteso people include: millet, sorghum, cow peas, sweet potatoes, cassava, groundnuts and many others.

Social Organization
The Iteso people believed in a god called ‘Akuj’, who is said to reside in the firmament. There were also other gods ‘idekesio’ such as: Imusimun who were said to be the spirits of the dead that were roaming around and could possess an individual, especially if the deceased had ‘a bad death’.
Marriage was done across the different clans, this mean that, the marriage between the same clan members was highly prohibited. The marriage was partly organized by the parents of two families who will determine all the possible requirements for the marriage to be celebrated. After finishing their part, they will then hand over to the council of elders who were to discuss the matters of dowry.
In immoral actions in the society such as incest, a purifying ritual had to be done whereby at the end a Billy goat had to be slaughtered and the rumen had to be smeared on the two naked individuals to be cleansed. The meat was then consumed alongside ‘ajon’, the local brew.
The ‘ajon’ is commonly referred by the Iteso people as ‘acowa Iteso’, which means ‘the wisdom of Iteso’, was drunk by the elders during the different ceremonies.

Critique
The culture of the Iteso, despite being rich and diverse with the variety of organic and supra organic items, it has been subjected to constant evolution. Over the past few centuries, there have been many changes in some aspects like in the aspect of marriage; many alien traditions have been injected into the original culture. However, most of the tradition has concretely been observed taking an example the issue about the dowry payment. It is still maintained to include the use of cattle and the ‘ajon’ MUST not miss. Believe me, Teso is a right place to be. You will not regret being with hospitable people of Teso.
‘Emuria koliai’
Odong' Jude