God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensée of a Catholic priest

13.02.2010 Haiti…

4 weeks are gone in Haiti – and seeing some video clips and photos I am not sure we really understand what is going on there and how desperate people must feel having lost everything. All modern technology could not help to prevent this disaster and the first attempts of help, coordinated by the US has been – I almost would have said naturally – with lots of enthusiasm but also the typical sense of “we know it all”.  Haiti was a broken state and nature has proven to be able to add to the misery. I am not sure how so-called industrialised countries can coop with such a natural force, but hurricane “Katharina” has shown that they do not better, even worse as the expectations of the people are much higher.

Sometimes I ask myself how much compassion a person can show in our times or when the constant flood of misery through TV news, online news etc simply provokes a stop of such feelings because people are exhausted or getting used to it. I guess the same is to ask when one lives in a developing country and sees poverty and tragedy every day. It is in a certain sense true that one gets used to a situation – and when I go with visitors into a township, then I see rather the improvements since my last visit (if there are any) than the poverty. And it needs the art of a sort of balance of different feelings, being touched, but also accepting certain conditions for the time being as not changeable by oneself.

After almost 13 years South Africa, I am still sitting in the evenings after a day “out there” and reflect how I would feel living in a shack or without work or without mony depending on other people’s handout. I tell myself that this thoughts are useless because obviously alone the way I think is surely different as I would have thought if I would have been in that situation since birth. Sounds philosophically? Yes, I believe so, but in simple words: My realties would be a totally different ones grown up under different circumstances.

Nevertheless, alone that I am reflecting shows me, that I have not lost the sense of compassion and a sense that there is in front of my doorstep lots of injustice. I know that having founded HOPE Cape Town together with others helps people, but often I wish I could do so much more in less time. And then creeps in the feeling of being powerless.  Well, then there is only one thing to do: to believe my own sermons telling that nobody is powerless and that we are all called to change and better the world.  🙂

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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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