We went to our neighbour's christening recently at the nearby Catholic church. For the first time in Nigeria, I found the sermon moving and meaningful - it was on Job and the nature of suffering. Rather than the hard-sell of immediate wealth and brutal destruction of one's enemies, a la the pseudo-Christianity of the motormouth pastors, the priest spoke of the necessity to accept suffering, both personally and for others. He said that when one is next to someone suffering, it is often better to sit silently with them than to coat the moment in candyfloss (he didn't quite say it that way but you get the point). Although it was a Catholic church, this message strikes to the absolute core of my faith (if it is that) in the Buddhist message: embracing the necessity of suffering, rather than running away from it.
I do enjoy the colour and ritual of the Catholic church - especially in Africa. On the day, the music alternated between the drone-like latinisms of the priestly voice with lilting African melodious choral works. If only they'd change their tune on contraception!
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