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May 25, 2018

CRAVING FOR LOVE

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

  Intrinsic to the human being is the craving for love in its multifarious dimensions – attention, acceptance, direction, inspiration, affirmation, consummation, etc. As a corollary, there is also an inherent desire to show love and affection to others. The essence of true love is central in the life and teachings of Jesus, and today, he states it in one sentence that encapsulates everything he taught: “Love one another as I have loved you.” He then explains exactly what he means by “love,” a word that is often distorted, by saying that a man “can have no greater love than…

The Church cannot be silent about economic suffering – Pope Francis

  In the preface to a book on his economic thought, Pope Francis has written that the Gospel is not an unattainable ideal, but something that the whole Church should seek, especially where there is economic injustice. “The Church, in spreading the message of charity and justice of the Gospel, cannot remain silent in the face of injustice and suffering,” the pope wrote. “Many encounters have confirmed to me that the Gospel is not a utopia but a real hope, even for the economy: God does not abandon his creatures… he invites them to not grow tired of collaborating with…

Anger in Marriage

Anger in Marriage

  Anger has rendered many marriages meaningless. Anger brings about the downfall of a marriage. To a layman, anger is the strong feeling that you have when something has happened that you think is bad and unfair.   This strong feeling however, pushes you to act irrationally which often results in regrets afterwards. This phenomenon is generally the bane of most marriages. There is need for spouses to develop and build anger resistance therapy.   A wedding once took place few years back and the young beautiful expectant couple embarked on their honeymoon. The duo arrived the choice hotel of…

Valentine /Ash Wednesday is a Godincidence not a Coincidence – Archbishop Obinna

  The Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, Catholic Archbishop of Owerri has explained that this year’s feast of St Valentine and Ash Wednesday occurring the same day is a special Godincidence rather than a coincidence because all times all events that touch humans have their remote and proximate genesis in God. Speaking in an interview with THE LEADER, Thursday, Archbishop Obinna talked about the simultaneous celebration of Ash Wednesday and St Valentine Day, and the relationship between the two. “So deep down I have seen the connection between Ash Wednesday and St Valentine day, because St Valentine himself was not only…

Valentine Day: Our youths celebrating the opposite

  On the 14th day of February last year, just like the 14th day of February the other years back, the world witnessed euphoria of love in all its quarters. The wind of love blew from the four poles of the world making love to fill the air. In fact, love was in the air. What made this to be empirically felt were the love messages that were flying across phones, love images and messages shared in the social media and other social interactive rooms, phone calls to loved ones were made like never before. Radio and TV stations held…

Celebrating Valentine Day on Ash Wednesday … Christ’s love made manifest

lovers day

  In the gospel of St. John we read, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lays down his life for his friends (John 15:13). In verse 12 Jesus said, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I loved you.Given this mandate, on Wednesday February 14, the entire human race joyfully celebrates what I may describe as Ash – Valentine day. On this day we venerate St. Valentine who reigns as the patron of true and happy marriage. It is a day popularly known as lovers’ day. Like the Harley’s comet which appears once or…

True love is not about feelings

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

Today Jesus encapsulates the entire Old Testament into two main commandments – love of God (Deut.6:5), and love of neighbour (Lev.19:18). In the Gospel passage, he has just silenced the Sadducees, and the Pharisees come up with their own plot to ensnare him. So, one of them, a legal expert, asks the Lord about the greatest among all the commandments, but Jesus mentions two. By so doing he makes the point that loving God is inseparable from loving our neighbour. St Paul teaches us that love is the greatest theological virtue (1 Cor. 13:13); and love is the “fulfilment of…

WHEN IGNORANCE IS REAL BLISS

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

Of all the monotheistic (one God) religions in the world, only Christianity believes in the Trinity. The Church teaches that, “In God there are three Divine Persons, really distinct and equal in all things, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” This is a unique mark of our faith and, no doubt, it is very hard to comprehend! How can God be both one and three? How can the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be fully God, and yet distinct persons? The ordinary human mind cannot grasp this completely, but that very fact makes the doctrine ring true. It…

I HAVE CALLED YOU FRIENDS JOHN 15:15 (2)

If we may ask him who his brothers are; he says ‘my brothers are those who hear the word of God and keep it.’ Those who give heed to the commandment of love by seeing the face of Christ in the most vulnerable and defenseless in our society. Walter Burghardt, S.J. in his book Preaching the Just Word, evangelizes that in trying to live Jesus’ declared mission, we should not only struggle to preach good news to the poor, proclaim release to prisoners and sight to the blind, but we should actually strive to ‘send the downtrodden away relieved.’ [Luke…

I HAVE CALLED YOU FRIENDS JOHN 15:15

“I no longer call you slaves, because the slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I heard from my Father.”  John 15:15 We all have friends, and we enjoy being in friendship with them. This is because, their company is invaluable. It is because they are always there. We are always filled with the albums of memories of the past moments, and the love which encompassed our encounters with them. We can never forget them; we remember the mysterious ways in which we met them for the…

Turning the other cheek

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

Today, we have one of the most radical religious teachings ever – to turn the other cheek when we are smacked. Last week, we were challenged to exceed the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees. This time, Jesus invites us to imitate the perfect love of God the father when responding to personal insults and injuries – with grace, patience, forgiveness, and generosity. Our Lord wants us to overturn the culture of vengeance and violence by not always insisting on getting our own way, but rather going out of our way to do good to others, especially when they…

JESUS CHRIST OUR TRUE AND BEST LOVER

Tension in Igboland Catholics begin 30-day prayer, fasting as Court proscribes IPOB

The 14th February every Year has come to be known across the World as Valentine Day or Lover’s Day. For those who know that St. Valentine, a Catholic Priest, was martyred in the cause of approving and celebrating true married love among young people, the 14th February on which day St. Valentine was killed has now become a special day to remember a caring lover of young people and a promoter of genuine love, especially married love. For those who are just excited about the dream, idea and experience of love, Lover’s Day has become a day to dream, to…

THE LESSON OF VALENTINE’S DAY

Overtime, the celebration of Valentine’s Day in all parts of the world has been orchestrated by lots of misconceptions. But going back to the root of this festival, one understands that there is an urgent call for a sober reflection on this day of days. Authentic history has it that Valentine whose feast we celebrate today was a Catholic Priest who served during the third century in Rome. It was during this period that Emperor Claudius II was the ruler. The emperor discovered that unmarried men make better soldiers than those with wives and families. He therefore out-lawed marriages for…

FAITH PERFORMS ACTION OF GRACE

The proclamation of the Kingdom of God is a proclamation made not only with words but also with actions. “Miracles seal the triumph of the Spirit over Satan and because of this Jesus invested by the Spirit, enters into combat with Satan in the desert.  Christ is the strong man, who with a hard battle, recovers from the spirit of evil what he usurped.  Jesus inaugurates the messianic kingdom destroying the undertaking of his enemy. The miracles, therefore, enter into the perspective of the inauguration of the messianic kingdom.  For its content, the miracle is an anticipation of the eschatological…

THE WORD OF CHRIST, SIGN OF DIVISION

The kingdom of God is the realization of communion among men and with God. Already the prophets announced it and described it as a time of peace, of well-being, of unheard of joy; a time of universal and cosmic fraternity. Every barrier would be eliminated. There will be constituted one people for one God. Jesus realizes this project of God in humanity expressed by the prophets. He comes to “gather the dispersed sons”. His last prayer is the prayer for unity: “Father that they may be one, as we are one”.  How do we reconcile this expression with the words…

THE TEN ‘I’s THAT BREAK THE HOME (5)

As October 1 draws near

REMEDIES TO INFIDELITY Avoid other bad habits: The worst way to conquer evil is by the aid of evil (Cf. Mark 3:20-30). Two wrongs cannot make a right. It is wrong for a couple to become addicted to another bad habit simply because the partner has taken to extra marital affairs. For instance, some couples indulge in alcohol and become drunk as palliative to the effects of infidelity. Some learn to keep away late also to solve such problems. Others too look for extra marital partners to fill in the vacuum created by their man or woman. Others still become…

The One Who Loves Others Reveals God

By nature man experiences “within” existence the fragility of life.  He seeks to find security outside of himself in God.  Man therefore, seeks to reach God, to be like Him, to divinize himself through rites and the cult.   MAN SEEKS TO BECOME GOD For Israel God is the totally OTHER, unreachable by man.  The cult does not divinize.  The unique ways of achieving salvation is by fidelity to the covenant.  God will gratuitously save those who expect all from Him and who faithfully observe His Law (1R).  But is such absolute fidelity possible to man, such response charged with…

Umuaka Igbo Taa visit Nnorie Parish

As Umuaka Igbo Taa continue their work of re-orientating Igbo children, they visited St James Catholic Parish,Nnorie in Ngor-Okpala Local Government Area where they were warmly recieved by the Parish Priest,Very,Rev Fr. Anslem Ekeh and the Parishioners. After the Mass, the president of the group  Chidi Opara – Ibeleche spoke to the children and youths, charging them to be proud to speak and live Igbo and when those in the cities return to display foreign culture, they should correct them in love and help them to feel at home. “As many of them now wish to return,we should recieve them…

St. Augustine’s Deanery Ezinihitte inaugurates Two Hearts of Love: Jesus and Mary

The association of Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary has become solidly founded in St. Augustine’s Deanery Ezinihitte through its inauguration ceremony at the deanery centre, St. Patrick’s Catholic Parish Itu Ezinihitte, Saturday, June 8, 2013.  The exercise attracted members and invitees from 21 parishes in the deanery who appeared in their full uniform. Among the people were 28 persons who were inaugurated Matrons and Patrons while 62 new members were consecrated including an infant of 11 month old, Esther Adibe from Queen of Peace Parish Oboama Ezinihitte. In his homily during the Eucharistic celebration, presided over…

THE TEN ‘I’s THAT BREAK THE HOME (2)

As October 1 draws near

INFIDELITY Infidelity in marriage can also be referred to as cheating, adultery or extramarital affair. Wikipedia defines it as the subjective feeling that one’s partner has violated a set of rules or relationship norms and this violation results in feelings of sexual jealousy and rivalry. The violation can be sexual in nature, for example involving kissing, sexual fondling or sex with another individual outside of the marriage relationship. Statistics reveal that the rate of infidelity in marriage is higher in men than in women. In their book, Close Encounters: Communication in relationships, Guerrero, Anderson and Afifi maintained that men are…