We continue on our journey of growth as a community. Our focus this week is on
Prayer and listening.
As we grow as community we need to build on three elements, prayer,
service and listening, especially to the poor. It is through this element that
the community can examine itself and judge whether it is growing or not. As we serve the poor we will soon
discover that there is a need to pray. The reason that we pray is to remind ourselves that we are doing the work of God, Opus Die. A community that is not prayer centred can easily degenerate into a political party or worse into a
burial society. For it does not have God at the centre of the community. Through prayer we are equipped by the
Holy Spirit to do the work of God and for God. Prayer helps us to grow inwardly
and to be connected with the one who has called us to do his work.
“Opening to God in adoration and opening to the poor in welcome and serve
are the two poles of a community’s growth.” (Vanier 1982:97) For community to grow
it must learn to listen. To listen to God and to listen to the poor and the
needs of the community. Ideas and vision can never
be imposed. It is always best to start from bottom going upward and not
the other way round. Community
needs to have a sense of ownership of the ideas and the vision.
To listen is to help people have confidence in their gifts and to
encourage and nurture those gifts.
It is sign of extreme poverty on ones part to arrive in place with ideas
and visions people will look at you and never be involved. It is important for
us as community to grow we need to spend time with people listening before we
embark on service. Jesus Christ
before he healed anyone he would often say, “What do you want me to do.” An
important teaching from our Lord and Master that we need to listen to the needs
of the community and its individuals before we can help. Listening is obedience
to God. It means that we do not behave like the dispensary and that we resist
being efficient with people. When
we listen to people we can build lively communities in which people participate
and are not spectators. ” Service which is really human takes time,” and it is
painful. (Vanier 1982:98)
Fr. Barnabas Nqindi
My name is Barnabas Sibusiso Nqindi, rector of St Barnabas-Bluff. I enjoy a good debate and I love to see people grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ