God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

09.07.2009 I always have known how and who you are..

End of last year I became to realise that my time as a chaplain to the German speaking Catholic Community in Cape Town will come to an end. My immediate superior had left his post and now the rules had been changed within hours. In my discussion with one of my superiors discussing the matter, one of his sentences stroke me with full force and is still in my mind. Arguing, that he will do everything possible to terminate my contract, he reasoned his decision with the sentence: ” I always have known how and who you are…”.

Wow, I thought – this is hardcore stuff.. Even I discover every day new things in my life, and even those who I belive I know pretty well – they suprise me again and again.
Such a statement is the end of any communication – as it closes any possible way to learn something new about somebody. Such a statement is on the highest level of arrogance, as you must be like God to be so knowledgeable about another person. But I guess it judges more the person saying it in many ways.
I think being a human being and also being a Christian means always to have an open mind towards other people. It means to never put somebody in a box and then throw the key away for all times. Yes, we have our struggle with people, we fight with each other, we are of different opinion – and sometimes we even don’t speak to each other for a shorter or longer while.
But knowing ourselves and how we can change, and how we can be misinterpreted by others – we should be able to allow others also to grow and to develop.  Working in a parish or working with people living with the virus – without that basic rule of giving each other space to grow and to have the humility to accept this, the work would not be possible.

For me, this one sentence is accompanying me since the beginning of the year – and it made me reflect a lot of my perception of people. Time to throw all the boxes away which I have collected in my life to categorize other people. But I also feel sorry for those, who’s own perception has indeed become their very own self made reality.

Filed under: Reflection, ,

HIV, AIDS and HOPE – thoughts of a Catholic priest

Being a Roman - Catholic priest and working in the fields of HIV and AIDS in Africa is often a challenge. Living in Africa has also its challenges. On the other hand I feel very much blessed having all the three. So you will find stories and reflections about my work, about the church, South Africa and Africa and essential information and developments in the field of HIV and AIDS. And in between personal stories and thoughts. You are most welcome to leave a comment or to get in touch with me - blogs - "thinking loud" so to speak is a ways of communication and exchange of ideas.

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