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THE IMPORTANCE OF SILENCE IN PRAYER
           
            Prayer is a mystery. A person in deep prayer focus daily upon God as the centre of one’s life. Silence is the language of prayer. God will be communicating with one deep down one’s heart. It is in silence when one deeply listens “what God is saying to him or her.” Silence facilitates a dialogue with God. Silence deepens our awareness of ourselves and God. Silence is a continuous process of letting go and allowing the Holy Spirit to pray within us. God is the friend of silence, only in silence is where we can find him and one can be the friend of him. It is in silence when one can hear better the voice of the Holy Spirit. The aspect of silence, meditation and deep reflections is strongly initiated at Mazoe formation house for the seminarians on the preparatory course for the philosophy seminary.

Priesthood a call for sacrifice
           

Priesthood is a vocation in which one is called to work in the field of the Lord. A call to sacrifice all what one owns for the service of God’s people. Responding to this call one is giving oneself fully to the Lord and to the Church. Being a priest does not mean one has to give himself partly and reserve the other part for other unknown reasons; rather the whole self is to be given to the Lord. You give back your life to the one who gave it to you. The call to priesthood is not a time to enjoy life and have enough rest. No; it is a sacrifice in which one gives himself to the Church fully for service.

A story is told of Ms. Hen and Mr. Pig who lived in a farm. These were close friends each time you would see them moving together. On the eve of fourth of July which was the birthday of their master. Ms. Hen said to Mr. Pig,
- ‘Pig do you know tomorrow is a birthday of our master?’
- I had forgotten already.
- So what are we going to serve our master for his birthday?
- I don’t know, what was your suggestion Hen?
 - ‘I was for the idea that we serve him with eggs and ham.’
Mr. Pig, seeing were the issue was going, says,
- ‘Ah hen how can you say that? For you, you are just going to lay an egg while am supposed to sacrifice my life to produce ham, this does not work.’ 

           Some of us, like Ms Hen, do not want to sacrifice our own lives but we want others to do it for us. Remember the words of the Lord, those who always want to protect their lives will lose it but those who give it for service to the Lord will have it.     

And they will have it to the full. The Lord says to you, ‘Come and See’ and ‘Follow me.’ Sacrifice entails that you give away everything you own for the sake of working for the Lord.
 
These words of Mother Theresa are important to note: “At the end of our lives, we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made or how many great things we have done. We will be judged by “I was hungry and you gave me to eat. I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless and you took me in.”

Give your life for the service of the Lord and in turn you will rejoice in the Lord.

By Thulani Chuma

THE VOCATION TO PRIESTHOOD:

 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not. In all your ways be mindful of him and he will make straight all your paths”. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
            This brings me to what I want to write about: The vocation to priesthood. The priesthood calling is a decision an individual makes to dedicate his life to serve Christ and the community. In our society today to heed this calling has proved to be a big challenge to many young men.
            As a community, as a family and as individuals we need more people committed to this vocation considering the times we are in when our faith needs to grow. When a young man from our family or our community becomes a priest our faith grows stronger.
I say this is a challenge because when God speaks, we, as humans, tend to find a reason not to follow what He suggests but do what we want. But if we abide by the word of God he always shows us the right way, which I believe should be the case when it comes to making a commitment to become a priest.
             This huge decision is one to be taken seriously as it also has an impact on family and on the community. There are certain factors that tend to deter young men from this vocation; the family and community have a great influence in whatever they later decide.
                        As I write this article I mainly look at the role of the family and community on an individual or individuals who feel they have a strong calling to this vocation. The tradition in some families is still very important and even more so when referring to the male child (son) in our culture. Some may say that it is a tradition which has been long discarded. Looking closely into the setup of the family the son is considered to be the head and to be the one to carry the name of the family by having a family of his own.
            This being  a major issue the families deliberate on it when a child decides to join the priesthood. Families also consider the impact it has on them economically, more so in these challenging times when people and families rely on each other for financial support. In such instance the family would have hopes on their sons being able to work and provide for their families.
The vocation is a calling people should not take lightly as it is a life of commitment. In this regard the family should always have full knowledge and understanding of the Priesthood. Families and the community need to provide support to these young men; support in all forms, be it financial, spiritual or moral. This is truly a trying time for an individual. And the perception and opinion of people around could have an influence on the final decision to take.
            In this note I would like to urge fellow Christians (family and Community) to make decisions in life in counsel with God through the Word of God, prayer for our spiritual uplifting. In this way we are able to do God’s will and give support to those who need our support.
May we encourage more men to commit themselves to God through this calling.  May God be with you all.

 

Charline Mpala
St. George’s Parsh

ENCOUNTERING GOD DURING THE EUCHARISTIC       CELEBRATION
          

  Every Eucharistic celebration is a sacred and transforming experience. It is time to be with God, to experience God. Our Eucharistic celebration has two major parts that enable us to hear the word and to eat the word.
            The first part is the liturgy of the word; we encounter God Himself speaking to us in the scripture. That is the reason why it is recommended that listeners of the word do not read their lectionaries and Bibles during the Eucharistic celebration. God Himself will be speaking to us during the Liturgy of the Word. Who in any culture would be happy, when a minor does not concentrate when spoken to by an adult? What more if when God is speaking to us in His Word, we occupy ourselves opening our lectionaries and Bibles. The celebration is not a time for Bible study but to listen to God speaking to us through the readers or lectors of the day and the priest. The liturgy of the word is time to encounter God.  It is recommended to check in the liturgical guides and read before the beginning of the Eucharistic celebration. This personal reading is to be done well before mass, not during the liturgy of the word.
            The second part of the Eucharistic celebration is the liturgy of the Eucharist. It is the time when we experience the changing of bread into the body of Christ and the changing of wine into the blood of Christ. We are privileged to see, touch and consume the Lord. It is a vivid reminder of the Emmaus experience. The disciples walked with Jesus. They saw him as a stranger. But they recognized him at the breaking of the bread. The breaking of the bread opened their eyes. (Luke 24:32) They did not remain the same after experiencing the lord at the breaking of the bread.
            The encounter with the Lord during the Eucharistic celebration will never leave us the same; for no one have ever encountered the Lord and remained the same. Like the disciples who when they encountered the Lord their eyes were opened, we should be transformed by the encounter with the Lord at Mass. The question that we may ask ourselves is: ‘do we encounter the Lord during the Eucharistic celebration or not?’ do we attend mass or celebrate mass? Does the encounter with the Lord at Mass leave us the same? The Eucharistic celebration is a time to encounter God, it is in fact a transforming experience for us Christians. The danger may be to attend mass without celebrating mass taking it only as time to socialize with friends. It is difficult to encounter the Lord when we are absent minded during the Eucharistic celebration.
           For us Catholics mass is the highest prayer. No other prayer is higher than mass. Some of us have the privilege to celebrate mass everyday of our lives, some on every Sunday. To encounter the Lord we have to be properly disposed. God is always there to be encountered.  We need to do our part to encounter Him or not
            No one encounters God and remains the same. For example St. Francis of Assisi and Mother Teresa lived a Christ-like life. The example of these great people in the Church shows us that a life after an encounter with God is always different.
            A saying may help us to explain the possibilities for one to encounter God, “a saint has a past and a sinner has a future.” The lives of St. Augustine and St. Paul clearly show the fact that one can still live a new life. There is still time for us to encounter God. To be able to do that we need to put our house in order, we should remember that our hearts are the temples of God. Thus we need to be able to create space for God to dwell in us and thus enabling us to encounter Him always.
            God is always waiting for us.

By  Wisdom Simwinde, major seminarian

IMPRESION OF A VISIT TO THE MINOR SEMINARY
        

On the 3rd November 2012 we, the Junior CYA of St. George’s Parish, went to pay a visit to the Minor Seminary in Dete. We started going to the Chapel and praying. Then we saw the seminarians who are being trained to be priests; they were many and well disciplined. After being introduced to each other we asked them questions why they wanted to be priests instead of doing other jobs which pay money and they said that they were called by God because they do not belong to other jobs. They informed us that to be a priest you need to study for eight years after getting the five O’ levels needed to be admitted to the Major Seminary. Counting the years of Secondary School, if they join the seminary in Form I, it may take 12 years.
                    

Chengeto Mukwabo (St. George’s Junior CYA)

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