July 22, 2024
News Nigeria Umuahia Diocese

Prayer, healing, preaching: 3 virtues for effective discipleship, Msgr. Aniagwu

By PJ Usanga

In his homily at Mass during the just concluded annual retreat for staff of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) and agencies of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), the retreat moderator Msgr. John Aniagwu stated that the virtues of Prayer, healing and preaching which characterised the public ministry of Christ, should define the zeal of a true Christian and disciple of Christ.

At the concluding Mass which took place at the St. Gabriel Chaplaincy of the CSN, the retreat moderator intimated the participants that the Church is the body of Christ which should continue the ministry of Jesus. He emphasised that the three virtues of prayer, preaching and healing, characterised the mission of the Church and that is what Catholic Secretariat should be doing as an organ of the Church.

“These three virtues also characterised the mission of the Church. That is what Catholic Secretariat should be doing as an organ of the Church. These three things are what every disciple of Jesus should be doing, not just priests. Every disciple of Christ must develop the urge to pray. Must preach by word of mouth and by witness of life. A disciple must strive to heal the battered wounds in our society. Must express love by reaching out to the sick and the needy, like what Caritas is doing.”

Msgr. Aniagwu further charged that to effectively live by the tenets of these tripartite virtues, one must cultivate the habit of listening, and listening effectively, as Samuel did in the reading at the Mass.

“We must learn to stop from time to time to listen to God like in this retreat. If we do not listen, our work will suffer. We have to listen to his words in the scripture. We should listen to God speaking to us through the magisterium. The CSN staff must know what the magisterium is asking the people of God to do.”

In his vote of thanks on behalf of the Secretary General of CSN, Rev. Fr. Zachariah Samjumi, the Director of Mission and Dialogue, Rev. Fr. Joseph Nomwanghe expressed gratitude to God and to the CBCN for the opportunity to serve in love.

Acknowledging the dual personality of the retreat moderator of being a pastor and a scholar, Fr. Joseph described him as one who is able to balance life with theology, and thanked him for a gracefilled time together.

“One advantage of being a pastor and a scholar, is that you are able to balance life with theology, and that is what Msgr. Aniagwu has done in the past two day. In the course of the 2-day retreat we have come understand that God’s love for us is boundless and the only thing we owe God is love for him and our neighbours. One of the best way to show this love is through forgiveness. Through forgiveness, you free yourself.”

He thanked all the staff and participants for availing themselves for the exercise not necessarily out of compulsion, but as people who are spiritually hungry for a rich spiritual food.

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