With respect to living a humble Christian life, Rev. Fr. Kpanie Addy, SJ, has recently sounded a clarion call, awakening Christians to incense God in prayer rather than themselves because it amounts to self-referentiality.
He likens self-referentiality to a navel gazing as he attempts to bring the minds of parishioners to an error in our Christian faith and practice mostly when praying. These happenings among Christian circles, he linked to the parable of the Tax collector and the Pharisee.
“Prayer is not the disposition of listing our successes but rather turning to God for He is the righteous judge who gives the crown of righteousness, He is the one who determines the arbitrator, and the one who says that you have earned this crown”, he said.
According to the well-respected Jesuit priest, Pope Francis is very much opposing to self-referentiality especially where the church is always looking within instead of looking out. The spirit that opposes self referentiality is the same spirit that says God is the one who hears the cry of the poor and that No one stands before the righteous judge righteous.
In all things it is God who justifies so “when we think of ourselves as self -righteous we are mistaking because each one of us has our weaknesses, incompleteness, and our lack of wholeness. What then does it mean to justify? We ought to be careful how we are quick to condemn others especially in the face of public scandal, “I am not like that one adulterous”, he added.
The man of God ends his sermon saying that the Lord should grant Christians a disposition of prayer that helps to avoid the sin of self-referentiality.
Below is the sermon by Rev. Fr. Kpanie Addy during mass at St. Mark Catholic Church., Ashongman Estate.
Juliette Y. Manomey