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Beyond Witnessing

A New Way of Humanising the World

Peter Chidi Okuma

The Poor and poverty-related issues and questions are in vogue. Humanitarianism is in. Yet so many mouths are hungry and poor – even «more hunger» than never. What is responsible? Aren’t there enough theories to end poverty like that of Jeffery Sachs: The End of Poverty. How we can make it happen in our Lifetime? Or those of Dambisa Moyo and others? Are resources not really enough and those directly concerned not doing enough in «doling out» help? Are we not donating enough? This author has x-rayed the theories of poverty and world poverty in particular through the purview of Jeffery Sachs. The author discovered that we need to go beyond witnessing today in order to really make true and lasting impact on the lives of humans. As he suggests through a combination of what he calls the «Christian Metannarrative hermeneutics» and the Mother Teresa of Calcutta model: «We are called to live the love of God, not to feel the love of God. We live this love through prayer and action. Our work is the fruit of our prayer, so that if our work is not going well, we must examine our prayer life. If we neglect our work or are harsh, proud, moody, and angry, then we should examine our prayer life. We will see that something has gone wrong there.»

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Chapter Six

Extract

6.1 The Eucharist – as the utmost prayer vis-à-vis Witnessing Beyond The Eucharist is the utmost form of Christian prayer, because it is the celebration that embodies the mystery of our salvation. Ipso facto it is the “the source and summit of the Christian life.” (Lumen gentium, no. 11; cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1324) It is a celebration of life that finds its realization on the ‘altar of the celebration’ on one hand and on the other ‘on the altar of the world’- Sitz im leben der Menschheit (in the life-situation of humanity). This line of argumentation is fur- ther strengthened and attested to by Mother Teresa of Calcutta in the statement, that, Every human being has a longing for God. Christians go one step further – not only do we long for God but we have the treasure of his presence always with us. We also have the joy of getting even closer to him by receiving him in Communion. Yet Jesus was not satisfied with just becoming the Bread of Life, he also made himself the hungry one in the distressing disguise of the poor. We Missionaries of Charity cannot say that we love Jesus only in the Eucharist – naturally, we want to put that love into action, serving the poor. We cannot sepa- rate the Eucharist and the poor.110 In the light of the foregoing the Eucharist is thus a life that is equally celebrated beyond the frontier of ‘the altar’, to something that is...

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