What if the Church empowers us to Defend our Lives?

I’m sorry I have to use these big words at this painful moment. It is now obvious that our nation is religiously chaotic, morally degenerating, politically disoriented, economically down-turning, developmentally dilapidating and culturally disintegrating. Financially deflated and depleted, socially terrorised as well as thumbing moral relativism. The most agonizing and unbearable aspect of this horrendous condition is that even as we struggle to survive in such a failed nation, our lives are recklessly snuffed out from us and butchered mercilessly as often as possible. To mention the gory details and several carnages experienced, upon which we have lost thousands of innocent lives in this conscienceless country would make me soil my paper with tears without actualizing my aim in this write up.
In critical moments in which the whole atmosphere is oozing not only with hunger, diseases, corruption and sufferings but also series of deaths too numerous to mention, it becomes difficult to continue writing my series without sensitizing audience to wake up from our laissez-faire slumber. It’s time for us to brace up for war, our ethnic identity should not impede our collective struggle for liberating humanity. My problem remains: why is it difficult to galvanize the masses beyond the noise on social media. When all the important security officials were zoned to the North no person heard us. Even our Reps were contented with the fact that they respond when called. But when we are being slaughtered, orders are given even to our own eastern soldiers to back off.
Well, let me first of all, appreciate the administrative strategies of the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria. At first, they wrote to the presidency in kind words on the pitiable state of the nation. At Benin, they all knelt down and consecrated our country into the heart of our Blessed Mother Mary. In another session with the President, the state of the nation was presented in clear terms and harsh tones. Yet, it is becoming increasingly problematic for the citizens as we encounter the worst on several occasions. Very recently, social media displayed them carrying placards in defense of human lives. Whether true or false, who knows what would be the next strategy?
That pen is mightier than sword is no doubt. And we cannot use the sword to do what the pen can. But if pen refuses to achieve what the sword can do, let us allow the sword. We have really used pen to achieve a lot on this matter. But beyond writing, something revolutionary has to happen, whether bloody or bloodless. Martin Luther King Jr said that it is the oppressor that determines the instrument of the oppressed.
My confidence here is that the early Church had a way of organizing civil disobedience, and the Church today is not different neither in definite declaration of her doctrines nor in occasional principles. For instance, when the Roman Empire were killing innocent people, the Church made it compulsory for everyone to become soldiers. Today, I believe we are not afraid of being massacred. Besides our belief and certainty in the resurrection of the dead is beyond doubts. It will be better to die out of struggle and with honour than to sit on our laurels and die a shameful death. The early Church then, were made up of people who were not even influential nor educated in the society. They were able to organize themselves to change the entire system. Of course with loss of lives but conquered eventually. Simply because they were united with one heart. And they listened to their leaders.
In the Church today, we have the most of educated people and most influential in Nigeria but unfortunately lack the power to control because there is division among the people of God. This is division brought about as a result of ethnicity, doctrines, language and culture but then, the blood of Jesus Christ which unites us, is costlier than human thoughts that divide us. And bearing in mind that we have a common goal: to save humanity, let us allow the heart and not the head to direct us.
I think the prayers we have said so far and of course we are still praying, can empower us through the Holy Spirit to act in defense of ourselves and our Faith in the preservation of human lives. We really need to mobilize ourselves, for prayers without good works, is dead. Meanwhile to work is to pray.
Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr were not saints, they had their downside, but were able to liberate black Americans. We should not be expecting one clean 100% incorruptible Jesus Christ, to liberate us. The Tunisian vendor who in 2010 set himself ablaze, was a single act that revolutionalized the Tunisian dictatorship. Incidentally, our Church is a tailorized one such that everything we do must be approved by the authority unlike these barbarians who are not answerable to any authority before their evil acts on human lives.
Nevertheless, if the Church calls us together for a collective struggle, how effective shall we respond. Many may feel less committed perhaps their families are still safe. But when they will come for us who are thinking that all is well, there will be no one left to fight with us. And by then we shall plead to become Islamic scholars. Our tomorrow is now. .
If Biafran agitators had received a better guidance and support, the story would have been better experienced. The agenda should have been administratively packaged and delivered, and what could have been the agenda: that we cannot stay together, and if we must, how possible? And if the possible means becomes unrealistic, then allow us to be on our own.
As God continues to offer us the wisdom and courage to face these horrendous challenges, let unity and commitment strengthen our collaborative synergy.
When Asaph, one of the Temple singers in Jerusalem discovered a new and wonderful unity and love among the Israelites on exile, and how community and love bear great fruits, he was inspired to compose the beautiful Psalm 133. “how great and awesome it is when brothers live in harmony “. This is the kind of love and oneness that will win us victory and inspire Flavour to compose historical songs for our children who will enjoy our sacrifice of today and ever remain proud of us.
Permit me to end with the saying bequeathed to mankind by the Greek Philosopher, Sextus Empiricus, who lived in Alexandria and Athens in the 3rd century. It goes thus: “the mills of the gods grind slowly but they grind exceedingly fine”. In every day language, it means justice may be slow, but it will come eventually. And for us who pray, it also means that God may not answer our petition immediately but he will eventually respond at his own time, which is the best. I therefore join Empiricus to express the confidence that God’s dealing comes with calm sure-footedness and not at the dizzying speed that some people would have wanted. Let patience continue to accompany our wisdom as the bishop of Carthage (St. Augustine) prayed.

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