By Olivia Obijiaku
Members of Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Nigeria (CCRN) of the Catholic Diocese of Zaria summed their thirty-one day prayer and fasting program in a three-day Prayer Camp in Sacred Heart Parish, Wusasa Zaria between Thursday, 3rd and Saturday, 5th February, 2022 when the Local Ordinary of the diocese, Most Rev (Dr) George Jonathan Dodo charged them to acquire and maintain a lifestyle of those who know that their Redeemer lives.
“We are gathered together this evening for the celebration of the Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit.” His Lordship announced.” We are here to invoke His Presence to be with us; to inspire and to direct all the activities of this year’s Prayer Camp of Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Nigeria of Zaria Diocese. This year you have chosen as the theme something that is obvious ‘My Redeemer Lives. We pray that the Holy Spirit may help us so that we may use these three days to ask ourselves the quality of our faith and lives as Christians in difficult, challenging, good and comfortable times.”
“Keep your faith and hope alive! People will ask you questions when they discover that you keep faith and hope alive but as Peter (1 Pet. 3:13-17) and Socrates said, ‘it is better to suffer for doing what is right than for doing what is wrong.’ If your Redeemer lives and lives in you, He will never encourage you to spoil somebody’s business, cheat or tell lies. In our teachings, we should be asking ourselves, Is this really the teaching of Christ? Is this the teaching of the Church? Christ teaches in the Gospel that we should stand on the path of the Truth and it is the Truth that will set you free. No one can hurt you if you are determined to do the right thing.”
“Those who are spiritually well nourished will tell you that there is always a lesson to learn from whatever we go through in life. There is no lesson that is a waste. Therefore, the lessons we learn at difficult times are not a waste because they can provoke us to swing into action and look for what solution there are for the challenges we go through in life. There is always a positive value to suffering and that is what purifies the soul for more intense and deep communion with God. Those who are deeply saturated with life in Christ, suffering will not make them to compromise their faith in God.”
“Temptations will always be part and parcel of our lives. Jesus went through the Way of the Cross and we cannot escape challenges. There is no way you want to live a Christian life on earth without challenges. No matter how rough or comfortable the days may be, let us keep faith and hope alive so that we don’t become like the cricket that dances and punches its stomach with its legs, but we will be conscious of the fact that what God has ordained for cannot be changed by human hands.”
“May the end of this spiritual exercise leave us with something new, even if it is not something new let it polish what needs to be polished in our lives so that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past. We will allow history to make us make the mistakes of the past if we don’t learn from it. We are worse off than we were six-seven years ago in this country. The hopes that were hanging up there have been dropped down like a shallow basket that cannot be used to fetch water. We could be victims of circumstances or wrong judgment – that happens at times but whatever happens in an imperfect way will be corrected with time.”