Monday, January 30, 2023

Deepen Relationship with God “step by step, patiently”: Nuncio in Kenya to Seminarians

 Apostolic Nuncio by Bakhita Radio | Mixcloud

Strive to deepen your personal relationship with God in steps, exercising patience, the representative of the Holy Father in Kenya has told Major Seminarians in the East African nation.

Archbishop Hubertus van Megen who was presiding over Holy Mass to mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of St. Thomas Aquinas Senior Seminary in the Archdiocese of Nairobi urged Major Seminarians in Kenya to seek inspiration from the way God related with the Israelites as recorded in the Old Testament.

“Grow in that deep relationship with God step by step. You do not need to do everything at once. We have eternity. Do it step by step,” Archbishop van Megen said in his homily during the Friday, January 27 event at the 60-year-old national Senior Seminary under the auspices of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB).

The Apostolic Nuncio called upon those journeying to the Priesthood to “grow in holiness as God patiently did with the people of Israel; as He does with each and every one of us because time is the patience of God.”

Growing in holiness requires the support of others, the Dutch-born Vatican diplomat said, and urged Major Seminarians to embrace the practice of regular spiritual direction.

Go more frequently to your spiritual Father,” he said, and cautioned, “Do not see it as a punishment.”

In relating with spiritual directors, the Apostolic Nuncio appealed for transparency, saying it is in a spirit of openness that genuine human and spiritual formation can be realized. 

“Try to be open with your spiritual Father in order that there is a true conversation going on and in order that you may really grow in your human formation and spiritual formation,” the 61-year-old Apostolic Nuncio in Kenya who also represents the Holy Father in South Sudan said.

He went on to caution the Major Seminarians against the temptation to be drawn away by the lure of social media for 21st century generation.

“You people of the 21st century where mobile phones, computers and Internet, Social media, Twitter, Tiktok and whatever you have is so prominent, be aware how it disperses you,” Archbishop van Megen said.

He continued in relation to the lure of social media, “Be aware of how it destructs you, be aware of how it reduces your concentration. It diminishes your concentration.”

The Apostolic Nuncio advocated for the spiritual discipline realized in staying away from social media gadgets and forums in order to “give that time to God”.

“I would wish for all of us to have silent times in our day when we turn our phones off, put them in a drawer, don’t look at them for an hour or two, and give that time to God, to study and try to expand that time each and every time so that the time that God gives us, we would give back to God,” he said during January 27 event to mark the 60th anniversary of St. Thomas Aquinas Senior Seminary in Nairobi, Kenya. 

“It is in silence that we come to know about God,” the Apostolic Nuncio in Kenya emphasized during the jubilee Mass that was concelebrated by Archbishop Philip Anyolo of Nairobi Archdiocese, Archbishop Maurice Muhatia Makumba of Kisumu Archdiocese, Bishop Dominic Kimengich of Eldoret Diocese, and Archbishop emeritus of Nyeri Archdiocese, Peter Kairo.