God, AIDS, Africa & HOPE

pensées of a Catholic priest

02.01.2010 Afterthoughts..

The first decade of the new century or better millenium is gone – and when people had dreams about things going better in this world after the cold war ended – we all have been dead wrong. Civil wars continue – the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians reached a new sort of brutality and we saw war crimes on both sides of the fence. 9/11 marked an area of confusion about we really can declare a “war of terror” – President Bush and his alike introduced torture again as a means of interrogation in a democracy – an unlawful war in Iraq produced chaos and a killing spree and the war in Afghanistan is also not what we have been promised.

Bankers have nothing learned out of the credit crunch and the financial turmoil and politics tried to gain upper hand – without a lot of success – we are drifting into the next turmoil for sure. Sarkozy in Paris, Berlusconi in Italy – the sort of politicians we get are at least questionable in my view. Copenhagen was a disaster – and the EU is growing in a way which might not be practical on a long-term run. Meanwhile we have to fight for our civil rights in Europe which seems to be taken away step by step. We urgently need a discussion on what is the purpose of a state.

Our church also did not show itself from the best side – children abuse was and is a big topic and Pope Benedict XVI also did not miss out some deeds of irritation be it his lecture in Regensburg, his like for the old traditions in liturgy and other matters as well his approach towards the Pius-Brotherhood.

My personal way was in the last year also in turmoil. Ignorance, jealousy, breach of promise and the likes should not be part of the principles for action within the church.  But staffing policy is not easy and not every department head and desk officer has the skills for human resource management or interpersonal skills. The virtue of dealing with criticism is also not that often found in the culture of the church. But I can say that I am not bitter and I am happy that I have overcome this testing of my vocation – it was at breaking point.

All this does not sound very exciting – but as so often: there are thousands of events, encounters, moments of joy, happiness, fulfillment – and all those moments give a good balance and a solid base to go into the new decade, even in my personal life with the resolution to remain a human and to “fight” for a human world – into a God made himself a human being, as we Christians believe.

My belief that at the end, it will all come together despite all human attempts to derail the lives of human fellows – and I am sure there will be a justice in a way at the end of our life, which is perfect but so different from what we call justice with our little human mind. I am looking forward to whatever is left from my personal life and to try to live it to the fullest.

Everybody who was with me, supported me, showed me his/her love, affection, trusted that I can assist him/her, prayed for me, just was part of my life: Thanks you and thank God for you!!

Happy New Year 🙂

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24.12.2009 Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve 2009: The noise of the construction side next to my cottage has ceased – since month the first day without noise – what a relief. The sun is shining and my cellphone is giving its characteristic “sms beep” again and again – all the good Christmas wishes are coming in – even the email box is full of well wishers. The coming services are prepared – and it feels like time and hectic is calming down for a moment.

Christmas Eve – traditionally in Germany the most important family event and as parents preparing the last necessities for their kids, I will now close down my office and enjoy a Christmas Eve with friends. I must admit that I am not a real Christmas person – too much sentiments are not my cup of tea on this day. I cherish my memories of a winterly Christmas time in Germany but I must say that I enjoy a sunny Christmas the same way if not even more. Sun, laughter, kids at the poolside, braai: doesn’t that sound like a real birthday bash? 🙂

We celebrate the coming of God into the world – and we proclaim us brothers and sisters in Christ, sons and daughters of God. But looking around, watching the news, experiencing it in my own environment: Do we have drawn any consequences out of this event? Is mankind better in dealing with each other? Do we see our sisters, our brother in the person next to us? According to statistics the most poor people in this world living in Africa have become more poor in the last two decades. All the progress, all the donations have done virtually nothing to change the world as a whole. Millions dying of hunger in the developing countries while others live and digest more than it is healthy. The funny conference in Copenhagen – has it shown that those having benefited since years from climate change, are now really looking towards the lives of their brothers and sisters when they propose targets to stop this change in nature. Or do they, like always, just offer money – the rich ones can always bail themselves out,it seems.

Christmas – we celebrating the coming of God into our world – and we proclaim us brothers and sisters in Christ, sons and daughters of God. On this day we also should look and acknowledge all those, who take these titles serious and try to act on that – sometimes against the will of a state or a church. People, who are really take it on – day by day – to fulfill the promise of Christmas. I just read about Erwin Kraeutler, bishop in the Amazons, who is not able to walk a mile without security because of death treats he received. Those are the people balancing the bitter balance of human mankind’s dealing with each other in a way, which indeed shows the likeness of God.

Merry Christmas to all of you – and may the blessings be felt by each and every one of you!

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