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Le véritable bonheur se trouve dans l’au-delà.

En cet hiver tres froid, la triste nouvelle de la mort de l’Abbe Michel Lomanga vient brusquemement orienter notre regard vers l’essentiel: la vie de plenitude avec Dieu, la vie dans l’au-delà. Alors qu’il avait encore plein des projets pour son avenir, le Seigneur vient de le rappeler aupres de lui pour une vie de bonheur eternel. “L’homme, dit le Pape Benoit XVI, est fait pour le Bonheur eternel”. Notre frere, l’Abbe Michel a vecu toute sa vie dans la quette permanente de ce bonheur eternel. Sa mort nous fait tres mal mais la pensee de le savoir dorenavant dans les mains de Dieu nous donne le reconfort: Il est entre dans la vie de plenitude et, par la resurrection du Christ, “la mort n’a plus aucun pouvoir”. En quittant cette vie, notre Frere est entré “en un lieu de repos” (Sg 4, 7). Et maintenant nous pouvons l’imaginer dans le Bonheur Eternel, en compagnie de tous les saints, finalement liberés de toutes les peines de cette vie. A notre tour, nous epouvons le désir de nous unir a tous les notres qui nous ont precede dans la mort et de vivre un jour une si heureuse vie dans l’au-dela.

Cette naissance au ciel de notre frere, l’Abbe Michel Lomanga nous donne une occasion privilegiee de mediter sur ce que nous devrions faire pour meriter un jour le bonheur dans l’au-delà. Si nous posions a l’Abbe Michel Lomanga la question: “Que devrions-nous faire pour meriter un jour le bonheur eternel dans l’au-dela?”Il nous repondrait a peu pres ceci:

Prendre conscience que nous sommes tous de passage en ce monde: La realite de la mort nous rappelle que nous ne sommes que des pauvres pelerins sur cette terre et que notre destination finale est le Paradis, le Royaume de Dieu. La mort nous rappelle la vanite des realites terrestres et elle nous ouvre les yeux aux realites d’en haut. Elle nous plonge dans la decouverte de l’essentiel: Une vie d’intimite profonde avec Dieu en Jesus-Christ. Nous n’avons a tirer aucun orgueil humain ni sur ce que nous avons, ni sur ce nous sommes, ni meme sur tout ce que nous faisons. Le bonheur dans l’au-dela est un don gratuit de Dieu a celui qui aura mene sa vie selon les valeurs de l’Evangile. Saint Paul, conscient de cette exigence nous exhorte en ces termes: “Tout ce qu’il y a de vrai, tout ce qui est noble, juste, pur, digne d’etre aime, d’etre honore, ce qui s’appelle vertu, ce qui merite l’eloge, tout cela, faites en l’objet de vos preoccupations”( Phil 4:8).

Vivre sur terre comme devant etre evalue chaque jour par la loi de l’amour du prochain: Le bonheur dans l’au-dela commence deja ici sur la terre par des actes concrets de tous les jour envers le prochain. N’entrera dans ce royaume que celui qui aura compris et applique la loi du jugement dernier: Tout acte envers ou contre le prochain est un acte envers ou contre le Christ: “En verite, je vous le declare, chaque fois que vous l’avez fait a l’un de ces plus petits, qui sont mes freres, c’est a moi que l’avez fait. Car, j’ai eu faim et vous m’avez donne a manger; j’ai eu soif et vous m’avez donne a boire; j’etais un etranger et vous m’avez accueilli; j’etais nu et vous m’avez habille; malade et vous m’aviez visite; en prison et vous etes venu a moi”. (Mt 25:34-40). Notre veritable bonheur dans l’au-dela sera conditionne par notre attitude concrete sur la terre. “Venez, les benis de mon Pere, dira-t-il recevez en partage le Royaume qui a ete prepare pour vous depuis la fondation du monde”(Mt 25:34).

Croire tous les jours que Demain sera meilleur: Pelerin sur la terre, vivant de l’Evangile, nous sommes les pelerins de l’esperance. Ne pourra obtenir le bonheur dans l’au-dela que celui qui seme le bonheur autour de lui chaque jour et fait tout pour que demain soit meilleur qu’aujourd’hui. Ne pourra beneficier de la felicite eternelle que celui qui, chaque jour, fais un peu plus que ce que est possible d’etre fait ! Ainsi, posons-nous la question: Sommes-nous prêts à mourir pour notre foi en Dieu, certains de jouir du Bonheur éternel? Dans notre vie de tous les jours, sommes-nous obéissant à un dessein plus noble et plus élevé, un dessein dépassant les réalités terrestres ? Il faut donc vivre sur terre comme si la vie n’a pas des limites.

En donnant sa vie à Dieu pour l’annonce de l’Evangile à son Peuple, l’abbé Michel Lomanga a place toute son espérance et toute sa foi en ce bonheur dans l’au-delà. Par le Sacrifice ultime de l’Eucharistie de tous les jours, il a rendu Jésus présent au milieu de son Peuple et Il a montre aux hommes le chemin qui mène au Paradis. Comme chacun de nous, il a récite des milliers de fois l’Acte d’espérance, cette prière catholique par laquelle le chrétien affirme son espérance dans le salut par le Christ. Et voici le Texte français de cette belle prière :

« Mon Dieu, j’espère avec une ferme confiance, que vous me donnerez, par les mérites de Jésus-Christ, votre grâce en ce monde et, si j’observe vos commandements, le bonheur éternel dans l’autre,  parce que vous l’avez promis et que vous êtes fidèle dans vos promesses ».

Dans l’espérance de le revoir un jour dans l’au-delà, que l’Ame de notre Frère, l’Abbe Michel repose dans la Paix de Dieu. AMEN.

Mgr Louis Ngomo Okitembo

Humblement Serviteur de l’Evangile

Why should we give thanks to God ?

If the will of God in Christ Jesus is to give thanks to God in everything, every believer should know why we should give thanks and be grateful all the time. Gratitude is a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation of everything the Almighty God is doing in our daily life. It is an act that allows what we desire to flow into our experience. Let us now search the scriptures and learn the will of God concerning all of us. The Old Testament and the New Testament provide many Scriptures to justify why should we give thanks to God.

  1. One primary reason for why we should give thanks to God is God’s character: We should give God thanks just because of who He is, not just for what He does. His many attributes describe God’s character. He is the Creator of the Universe; He is God of gods; the Lord of lords; His goodness, faithfulness and His unconditional Love endure forever. Psalm 136:2-3: Give thanks to the God of gods. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords. His faithful love endures forever”. We give thanks to God for His greatness and His miracles: 1 Chronicles 16:8-9 : “Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. Sing to him; yes, sing his praises. Tell everyone about his miracles”. Psalm 138:2: I bow before your holy Temple as I worship. I will give thanks to your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness, because your promises are backed by all the honor of your name”.
  2. The Secondary reason for why we should give thanks to God is for what He has done: Psalm 136:4-9: “Give thanks to him who alone does mighty miracles. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to him who made the heavens so skillfully. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to him who placed the earth on the water. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to him who made the heavenly lights. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to him who made the sun to rule the day and the moon and stars to rule the night. His faithful love endures forever.
  3. The Third reason we should give thanks to God is because He is our daily Provider and He answers our prayer. Romans 14:6 : “Those who have a special day for worshiping the Lord are trying to honor him. Those who eat all kinds of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who won’t eat everything also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God”. 2 Corinthians 1:11: “He will rescue us because you are helping by praying for us. As a result, many will give thanks to God because so many people’s prayers for our safety have been answered”. Colossians 1:3: “We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”. Ps 75:1: “…We thank you, O God! We give thanks because you are near. People everywhere tell of your mighty miracles”.
  4. We give thanks to God because “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life”, wrote Melody Beattie. “It turns what we have into enough, and more. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
  5. We give thanks to God for many blessings: God Increases His Blessings on those who are grateful, those who recognize His Power. People who know that God is the Owner and Possessor of everything express their inner gratefulness for good health, knowledge, wisdom, love and for God’s Guidance. Knowing their weaknesses and being humble before God, they give thanks to Him for every blessing granted. The more we give thanks to God, the more we experience his kindness and His Goodness, His mercy and compassion. God grants even more health and power to those who give thanks to Him for the good health and strength they have. God bestows even more knowledge and property to those who are grateful for their knowledge or wealth. True believers remain grateful to God even under harshest conditions.

 

Prayer: O Lord, with humble heart, I give thanks for the many blessings you granted me. Thank you, Lord, for good health, your wisdom and Guidance. You are the Owner and Possessor of everything. Thank you for all you’ve done for me! Thank you for your kindness and for your Goodness. I promise you to remain Grateful every day in my Life. I give you thanks in Jesus Name. AMEN.

The Political Commitment of the Catholic Church in Zaire (1960-1992), Paris, l’Harmattan, 413 pages.

To the threshold of the Year 2000, the moment seems to come to evaluate the political role exercised by the Catholic Church upon the Society organization since the country independence, June 30 1960, until “the walk of hope” of February 16 1992.  This work presents a synthesis on the eventful history of the Catholic community the more important one of Africa sub-sahariennne.  Narrow collaboration with the “system Mobutu” to the concrete political engagement, the Catholic Church of Zaïre became the one of the forces politics of opposition essential on the political national chessboard. 

Giving Thanks in Everything

 In every thing give thanks:

 For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you(I Thessalonians 5:18).

In every Culture in the earth, one of the first habits, we try to teach a child is learning how to give thanks. We teach him or her gratititude and how to appreciate any gift or any donation. Giving thanks is the best way to recognize the value of People and things in Life. If we give thanks to People for everything we receive, we should give thanks to God for everything we receive from God. Giving thanks to God is one of the best ways to recognize who He is, what he have done for the Universe and for each one of His Children. Giving thanks to God is affirming that He is keeping all His Promises.

Giving thanks to God is not an optional thing for the Christian. Giving thanks to God is mandatory because “it is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning all of us”. Thankfulness to God for His unconditional love, His Kindness, His salvation and His provision for our daily life. That thanksgiving should not be limited to special occasions or to a special day. We have to be thankful to God in everything. Just as we are to rejoice evermore and to pray without ceasing, so we have to be giving thanks always to God.

Giving thanks in everything is God’s gift that will enable a believer to see God’s hand everywhere and all the time. Giving thanks is a profoundly spiritual faith’s activity. If you do not believe in God, you will not see Him in action in your Life. If we believe in Him, we will recognize His Presence and His Love: He will be with us every step the way; because Jesus promised to be with us always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:20). We have Christ’s promise to be with us all the way. Once we accept the Promise and we believe it, then there is no end to the presence of Christ in our Life. There is no end to the God’s love. Believing and living the promises of Christ will lead us into lasting Thankful to God.

In everything, give thanks means in every circumstance, in every experience, in every life situation, give thanks! The Word of God teaches that we must be patient in adversity and endure afflictions. We must endure hardship, pain, sufferings with thanksgiving. Everything happens in our lives happens for a raison. God allows hardship, pain, sufferings for a raison. He may allow hardship and sufferings to take place in our Life for the Purpose of teaching us something very important. He may do it because He wants to call our attention and help us to change our way of living. Being Christian is being someone who accepting whatever comes on his way; because we believe that “this is the will of God in Jesus Christ”.

“In everything” means in health or sickness, poverty or plenty, in peace or in persecution, in rain or in sunshine, in wind or in storm, in joy or sorrows, we must give thanks to God. This is possible only by the grace of our God in Jesus-Christ! Saint Paul advised: “And we know in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, those who have called according to His Purpose”. (Rom 8: 28). In our Faith we can say that everything is for our good and salvation. Nothing can be against us! God cannot withhold no good thing from us. All things work together for our good. This is the will of God for us in Christ Jesus.

Prayer: Oh Lord, help me to give you thanks in everything I face in my Life. Help me to appreciate your Love and Care no matter what circumstances and situation I am going through in my Life. In your wisdom and grace help me to say always and everywhere “Thank you Lord”. I glorify Your Name because you are my provider and my Savior in Jesus-Christ, Amen.