• FEAR NOT

    Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 1.03.12 PMAlmost any culture, ethnic group or civilisation, since time immemorial, has a creation myth—to explain the existence of life and help people to cope with the hardships and the mysteries of living. Generally, myths are more or less elaborated stories of the birth of the Cosmos and of humanity itself. For Jews and Christians, the myth of Adam and Eve, already present in older religious traditions, is the opening key of the Bible. Myths have evolved into the most intricate theological speculations which present an obvious danger: when they tend to ossify and are seen as real facts, instead of pointing upward to an ultimate reality, they actually debase it. Literalism is, and always was, a source of religious misunderstandings, sectarian splits, even wars. Together with its twin brother, fundamentalism, it obscures the transcendence of the story—what was just a myth is able to spread fear and irrationality, even in a faith that has as one of its core messages: “Fear not!”

  • Basking in the strength of the mystery

    Screen shot 2014-01-23 at 1.40.04 PMBASKING IN THE STRENGTH OF THE MYSTERY

    What our faith assures us is the final liberation of humankind through God’s intervention and our personal and corporate collaboration, our personal and social covenant. Yes, evil is a mystery! How evil becomes personal sin is a mystery; how evil becomes a social sin is a mystery. Our own task is not to solve intellectually the mystery but it is to bask in the strength of the mystery because the mystery unleashes tremendous positive energies. We don’t need the solution for the mystery, what we need for a better life is an exposure to the mystery: such an exposure liberates us from the danger of all types of idolatries and opens us to infinite possibilities.

    BY FR FRANCESCO PIERLI | COMBONI MISSIONARY, THEOLOGIAN

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  • AS IF I WERE A SERIOUS GUY

    Mission is fun
    All the photos of Daniel Comboni that exist, show him in a serious mood. It was the style of “posing” of that time: the person should not move and was invited to look at the magic box—no relation, therefore, to his temperament and even less to his human and spiritual qualities!

    BY FR NENO CONTRAN, COMBONI MISSIONARY, EDITOR OF AFRIQUESPOIR, DR CONGO Continue reading →

Pope Benin

Africa, land of hope Franco Moretti, Editor of Nigrizia On 18–20 November, Pope Benedict XVI visited the country of Benin where he consigned the document Africae Munus, based on the Second African Synod of 2009. Its reflections will guide the pastoral activities of Christian communities in the coming years. The following is a summary of his visit Eighteen November 2011, Pope Benedict XVI is on his way to Benin. During the flight he engages in conversation with over forty journalists who are travelling with him, and answering the question of why he chose the small Western African nation for his second visit to the African continent, he replies: ‘There are a number of reasons. The first is that Benin is … Continue reading

Land of the cross

Land of the Cross. Bianca Berg-Mathiassen Symbol of the country’s ancient spiritual roots, the Cross is a sign of the deep religiosity of the people of Ethiopia. Every Christian wears or carries a cross. Every monk holds a cross in his hands, using it to bless people who continuously seek its spiritual power. Each year on September 26, the great festival of Meskal is celebrated and attended by large crowds in Meskael Square in honour of the finding of the true Cross.  Impressed by the people’s religiosity and friendliness, Bianca Berg-Mathiassen reports on her recent tour of the country where she visited well-known historical sites such as Axum, Gondar, Lake Tana, Lalibela and the Afar region of the Great Rift Valley   I don’t really know … Continue reading

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