Salvation is free. It should not be sold or bought by money. Many have been sold the dummy that they can easily bribe their way to God. The story of man’s relationship with the spiritual is a very interesting one. It is one that would never cease to amaze even the most fanatical student of comparative religion owing to its depth and complexity.
The more he delves into the murky waters of supernatural knowledge, the more confused he becomes. This is simply because the human mind is very limited in its comprehension of spiritual matters. It is like one trying to swim across the Atlantic Ocean
without any form of life support. If he does not die of exhaustion before long, he would, sooner than later, fall prey to monstrous sea creatures.
But should one discourage the man who is desirous of acquiring spiritual knowledge? Far from it! But caution must be applied here. Why? The average man is easily fascinated by things that appear extraordinary, or beyond the ordinary. This is a natural trait that often propels him to go into any length to seek answers concerning the source of his existence. In his quest for answers, he realizes that there are forces that are beyond his control.
Even though, over time, he has tried through science and technology to proffer solutions to many of life’s challenges, he still discovers that there are many more issues that are beyond his limited human understanding.
Welcome to the spiritual! Religion came as a seeming answer to man’s yearning to discover himself and his place in this universe. Knowing his limitation, he desires to offer worship to a powerful force(s) he reckoned must be in control of all of nature. By worshipping this force (s) and seeking his favour, he wished therefore to be protected from all bodily harm and to have access to abundance of resources needed for his comfort and survival.
In the time past, for instance, he was so overwhelmed by the glory of the rising sun and its domineering power over nature that he readily concluded that the sun must be the most powerful force in the whole of creation and so deserves to be worshipped. Of course that idea has since been punctured.
But even then, we still have people who worship the things created rather than the creator himself. Fast forward to the present! Civilization comes with its huge price. In some of the advanced countries of this world, science and technology have now taken a centre stage in the lives of the people while religion has gradually been relegated to the background.
Also all forms of entertainment like music concerts and major sporting activities like football are now being deified as they gradually top the chart of priorities of their followers. Does this mean that religion is no more relevant? Not so. It’s part of the grand design of the spiritual rulers of the present age to dumb the heart of man, and make him to be estranged from his creator.
Alas! Religion is now a big business venture. Millions of people are fallen as prey to the antics of some of wonder prophets who sell ‘salvation’ to the highest bidder. They claim to have the power to see the future and to solve all your life’s problems.
They promise you instant material success ones you become a registered and tithe paying member of their church. They keep you loaded and so occupied with church activities that you can barely have time for any other activity, not even your family.
Before you know it, the pastor takes full charge of your life. No one can fault him. Your total life style becomes patterned after that of your pastor instead of the Lord Jesus Christ. You are ready to all it takes to be in the good book of your pastor, even if he orders you to live your husband or wife. Is this story familiar to you?
The bible warns us to be careful of wolfs who come in sheep clothing. They come to you with lots of promises, telling you that they can offer you lasting happiness if you join their fold.
They tell you what you want to hear to make you feel good. Unfortunately, they have ruined many homes and many lives. Over time, they systematically take your eyes away from Jesus and unto themselves. If you are in such a spiritual bondage, then this piece is for you. Wake from slumber before it is too late.
Image Credit: abc
Mrs. Chinwe Iloghalu is the President of Catholic Women Organisation (CWO), Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, Victoria Island, Lagos. In this interview with NCR, she speaks on the innovative projects of the CWO in the parish in the two years she has been in office, membership drive and the secrets of successful family life.
What is the membership strength of the CWO in your parish and what are you doing to improve this number?
We have over 120 financial members. We continually evangelise the women in the parish by having our monthly CWO thanksgiving on the same days we have our monthly general meetings.
This enables us drive awareness for the organization. During meetings, we adorn our Lady’s colours of blue and/or white (or our CWO uniforms), in order to ensure we draw the attention of women in the parish to join the CWO.
So far, this has been very successful as we find out that more women want to be associated with the organisation. We also have some outreach programmes such as the Annual Breakfast New Year Meeting aimed at ushering in the New Year. We have done this for two years, consecutively and have recorded enrolment of new membership at such events.
We also employ one-on-one persuasive talks with women in the parish in order to encourage them to join the CWO. We tell them that the organization is to encourage spiritual formation and meaningful friendships among women in the parish while spreading the devotion to our Mother Mary.
The Organisation keeps a concise data base of members and their birthdays.
This has in no small way helped to tighten the bond that exists between our members as birthdays are announced monthly and well-wishes are shared all around. We also celebrate monthly with the birthday celebrants at every meeting by cutting a birthday cake.
What innovative changes have you brought to the Organisation since you assumed office?
I am the pioneer President of the CWO in this parish, and it would be fair therefore to say that there is no immediate yardstick to employ in measuring the changes introduced.
However, since I belong to CWO in my village (CWO, St. Dominic’s Adazienu, Anambra State), I would say that we have introduced spiritual formation through various talks centering on “Lives of Saints” in a bid to get us more in tune with the virtues these saints lived and professed, and to make us realise that we too can become saints.
We have also had talks on Sexual Health, Nutrition, Sex Education in the home, Financial Prudence, Etiquette and Manners for the Catholic Woman, etc.
The CWO has played very strong roles during Annual Harvests/Thanksgiving and Bazaar Sales in the parish. For two consecutive years, the CWO has provided food for our invited guests at the Bazaars in the parish. We are also in the second year of our Parish House Feeding Project. We have also participated actively in the LACCWO women’s empowerment project at the deanery level.
In addition, we have organised two annual pilgrimages to Holy sites in Rome, Assisi and Cascia courtesy of our Matron, Chief Mrs. Katia Ekesi.
With the increasing level of divorce in the country, what would be your advice for couples on how to save their marriages?
My mother would always say that ’A successful home is dependent on the woman of the house…the decision to make or mar a marriage lies solely on the woman” Based on this, therefore, I would advice couples to be very prayerful and to study the Word of God as frequently as possible.
Daily Masses and frequent Confessions are most helpful .We should try to model ourselves after our Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, so as to imbibe the virtues she possesses.
Daily recitation of the Rosary is highly recommended. We should also try to minimize the number of friends we keep outside the
home and make our husbands and children our best friends.
Never discuss your problems with anyone outside the home and lastly, try to be as humble and respectful to our husbands, who have been put in authority over us as the heads of the homes. Proverbs Chapter 31 is a good guide for every Christian woman, where the characteristics of a Virtuous woman are described.
Fertility Care Centers of Africa (FCCAf) has announced it will in November 2015 train in Nigeria more fertility care and medical practitioners to become NaPro Medical Consultants.
The training program will be organized by New Hope Fertility Care Education under the umbrella of FCCAf. Executive Director of FCCAf, Dr Wanda Alli-Balogun made this disclosure to Nigerian Catholic Reporter at the end of FCCAf’s 2nd Annual Scientific Conference held at the Lagos Resource Centre, Victoria Island, on Saturday, 14th March 2015.
According to Dr. Wanda, “the training will make NaPro Technology services more available in Nigeria for growing number of childless couples looking for health care services that work cooperatively with their bodies and respect their ethical values.”
FertilityCare Centers of Africa (FCCAf) is a Non-governmental Organization established and registered in Nigeria in 2012 as a response to increasing demand for the reproductive healthcare that fully respects life, improves marriages and provides for
responsible parenthood. FCCAf offers services in Creighton Model FertilityCare System, a unique model of advanced procreative health.
Fertility Care Practitioners teach couples fertility awareness and NaPro Medical Consultants treat them using principles and protocols of NaProTechnology, which identify root causes of couple’s infertility and other abnormalities and treat them cooperatively with woman’s menstrual cycle.
“One of FCCAf goal’s is to convince the Health Professionals in Nigeria of the value of Creighton Model and NaProTechnology as a well-researched, evidence-based, effective, safe, culturally acceptable systems and to encourage doctors to incorporate it into their daily medical practices. We also want to share with other doctors the results of the NaPro research done in area of
infertility treatment in Nigeria and in other countries,” Dr Wanda stated.
About 60 participants attended the conference, among whom were 35 doctors (Gynecologists, Family Medicine Consultants and General Practitioners) from Government and Private Health Facilities in Lagos.
Also present at the event were Nurses and representatives of the Research and Credit Management firm.
Three main presentations were made at the conference. Naltrexone: Treatment for autoimmune and fertility issues was presented in a unique and innovative manner by Dr Phil Boyle, Director of NaPro Fertility Care Clinic, Dublin and Galway in Ireland and also the President of International Institute of Restorative Reproductive Medicine.
Dr Henrietta Williams, a Gynecologist and Medical Director of Fertility Care Services, Victoria Island, Lagos, presented her stories of the infertile couples who were treated successfully with Low Dose Naltrexone. The presentation was titled Low Dose Naltrexone: Nigerian NaPro Experience.
Dr. Francis Achebe, General Practitioner, Medical Director of St. Margaret’s NaPro Fertility Care Centre, Lokoja, talked about Polycystic Ovarian Disease: Successful Treatment Protocol. He shared with participants the most effective treatment protocols for PCOD. He illustrated the outcome of the treatments by showing Creighton Model charts of couples who received this treatment. Dr Achebe also presented fascinating report on the application of Tocovid in various gynecological disorders including fibroid, adenomyosis, Polycystic Ovarian Disease among others.
He elaborated on mechanism of action of Tocovid in each of these diseases. The use of Tocovid in infertility treatment is not known to most doctors in Nigeria at the moment. Four groups exhibited their products at the conference: Phamatex Nig Ltd, Alpha Pharmacy and Stores Ltd, Carib Health Ltd and FCCAf.
Faith in God
1. Who made you?
God made me.
2. Why did God make you?
God made me to know him, love him and serve him in this world, and to be happy with him for ever in the next.
3. To whose image and likeness did God make you?
God made me to his own image and likeness.
4. Is this likeness to God in your body, or in your soul?
This likeness to God is chiefly in my soul.
5. How is your soul like to God?
My soul is like to God because it is a spirit, and is immortal.
6. What do you mean when you say that your soul is immortal?
When I say my soul is immortal, I mean that my soul can never die.
7. Of which must you take more care, of your body or of your soul?
I must take more care of my soul; for Christ has said, ‘What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and suffers the loss of his own soul?’ (Matt. 16:26)
8. What must you do to save your soul?
To save my soul I must worship God by Faith, Hope and Charity; that is, I must believe in him, I must hope in him, and I must love him with my whole heart.
9. What is faith?
Faith is a supernatural gift of God, which enables us to believe without doubting whatever God has revealed.
10. Why must you believe whatever God has revealed?
I must believe whatever God has revealed because God is the very truth, and can neither deceive nor be deceived.
11. How are you to know what God has revealed?
I am to know what God has revealed by the testimony, teaching, and au¬thority of the Catholic Church.
12. Who gave the Catholic Church divine authority to teach?
Jesus Christ gave the Catholic Church divine authority to teach, when he said, ‘Go therefore, make dis¬ciples of all the nations’. (Matt. 28:19)
The Apostles’ Creed
13. What are the chief things which God has revealed?
The chief things which God has revealed are contained in the Apostles’ Creed.
14. Say the Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Al¬mighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord;
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary;
suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and was buried;
he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven; is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit;
the Holy Catholic Church;
the Communion of Saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body;
and life everlasting.
This Edition’s Questions:
Kindly answer the follow¬ing questions and send your answers to Info@nigerian¬catholicreporter.com.
1. How is the Apostles’ Creed di¬vided?
2. What is the first article of the Creed?
3. What is God?
…You are what you eat
Indeed you are what you eat physically, mentally and spiritually. Man is a tripartite or triune being of spirit, soul (mind) and body. If we want to be up to par spiritually, mentally and physically, we must feed our spirits, minds and bodies with the right diets. Some people live to eat, but we should eat to live. We should not dig our graves with our teeth (what we eat).
In this piece, I am focusing on the mental diet. However, let me mention something in passing about physical diet. Your body responds mentally, physically and spiritually to your food habits.
Your food could heal, cure, elevate moods, improve memory, and make the brain sharper? Food has been discovered to be the greatest natural pharmacy that is available to human beings
Dr. Jay Milton Hoffman wrote a book entitled, “The missing link in the medical curriculum which is food chemistry in its relationship with body chemistry.”
If your biochemistry is messed up, it will affect the functioning of your mind and ultimately your spirit. What you eat and drink and how you combine them, to a large extent, affect your biochemistry.
Now let us turn our attention to mental diet. What is mental food? It is the sum total of all influences that affect the way you think. If these influences are positive, they will help you realize your full potential. If they are negative, they make you go down to the nadir of your existence. In other words, they will be the mental foods that are killing you.
One word actually defines our mental foods: ENVIRONMENT. There are three components of the environment, namely YOUR OBSERVATIONS – what you see around you; YOUR ASSOCIATION – the company you keep; THE TEACHINGS YOU IMBIBE – the books you read, the music you listen to, the movies you watch, the information you get from internet, etc. They will determine your habits, attitude and personality.
Experts agree that the person you are TODAY – your personality, ambition and present status in life are largely the result of your psychological environment.
In order to avoid mind foods that poisonous and so can kill you, do the following:
BE CONSCIOUS OF YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Just as the physical diet makes the body healthy or unhealthy, the mental diet or mind foods make the mind healthy or unhealthy. A healthy mind produces a healthy life. An unhealthy mind produces a defective or mediocre life. Select the environment that will make you first class.
TRANSFORM YOUR MIND FOR SUCCESS
Throw off the many suppressive forces from the environment that suggests that you cannot be the best in your field. Absolutely reject surrendering to defeat or mediocrity. You are what you think you are. If you think you are first class, you are. If you think you are inferior, you are. If you think you are mediocre, you are.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said that, “The ancestor of every action is the thought.” So, if you think first class, you ultimately act first class. If you think inferior, you eventually act inferior. If you think mediocre, at the end of the day you will act mediocre.
ASSOCIATE WITH PEOPLE WHO THINK BIG
Avoid small-thinking people or those who keep saying, “It’s impossible. It can’t be done.” Search out people whose vision align with yours and interact with them.
GET COUNSEL FROM SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE
The Devine Manual says that, “In a multitude of counselors there is wisdom.” So, get counsel from those who have succeeded. If you have to consult those who have failed, find out why they failed and avoid the pit fall.
GO FIRST CLASS IN EVERYTHING YOU DO
You can’t afford to go any other way. In the long run, going first class actually costs you less than going second class. Develop an instinct for quality. People instinctively rate you for quality.
Culled from MANUFACTURING TODAY
Amazing story of children who suffer ailments associated with adults
It is a lifetime assignment for parents and it calls for concern- paediatricians
(This is the concluding part of our health series on diabetic and hypertension in children.)
Cost of managing the sickness
Dr Oduwole noted that it costs between N15, 000 and N18, 000 to take care of children suffering from diabetes every month wondering how many parents can afford the bill going by the economic situation of the country.
“To take care of one child with diabetes, parents would need between N 15, 000 – N18, 000 every month. How many parents can afford this?
A child will need to test minimally his or her blood sugar three times a day. That is roughly 60 strips a month.
This may be up to 100 depending on circumstances the child is, at a given point in time,” she said.
She also said such children can enjoy long life if they have good medical help. “Yes they can reach a ripe old age. What is required is appropriate medical response to issues that may arise and affect the child’s well being. This should always be available as quickly as possible.
“Without gain saying, looking after a child with chronic diseases takes a lot from the patient, family, community and the nation. One child that is not well may affect a whole community in the medical care of the child. It simply drains the parents’ financial strength.”
She regretted that little or no support comes from philanthropists in the country when international agencies have been showing concerns for the victims in the country.
“We have been lucky to get an International body like Life for a Child run by the International Diabetes Foundation coming to the aid of some of the children registered with Society of Paediatrics and Adolescent Endocrinology in Nigeria ( SPAEN). I am the president of the body and that of the Diabetes Association of Nigeria.
“But supply of drugs has been intermittent. The donors could have done more but who will pay the import duty on these drugs?
Why should it be philanthropists from outside Nigeria that are helping Nigerian children. Why can’t Nigerian philanthropist contribute to care of these children and also support medical research in the country so that we may know the peculiar predicaments of our own children.
Problem not as a result of failure in medical practice
Professor Oguntona argued that the challenge is not as a result of failure in medical practice. He averred that: “The problem is not medical, it is nutritional. Nutritionally, there are different types of food in the society that now that we never had. When you were a baby, did you eat noodles? Did you drink so much of soft drinks? What about all these processed fried chicken, meat pie and other junks? Oh!
“Things have changed. The diet has changed. Have you been following a programme in the US that talks about what they add to soft drinks and energy drinks? It is causing a lot of problems there now. When people, especially children take all these, they have long term effect on them.”
Dr Oduwole also said science and medicine have not failed. “In fact it is marching on pretty fast without waiting for us in Nigeria. What cannot be proven exactly is that these diseases were not in existence before now.
“Looking through the literatures, that is researches, there is paucity of information on this. This does not mean that it was not in existence. It may just be that medical personnel were either not looking out for them, or it could be they were being mis-diagnosed or seen but the tests needed to be done to confirm such a diagnosis were not readily available until in the recent times. The fact that the number of people that see paediatricians have increased is also helping to discover this,” she submitted.
Prevention not in sight
Dr Oduwole stated there isn’t really a medical help in place at the moment to prevent children from having the sickness. “It is more of a positive life style change. Checking the weight of children and adolescents and plotting it on a growth chart which will show exactly how the individual is faring is important. This should be part of the routine things people should do when they have the opportunity with medical personnel.
“Checking blood pressure should also be part of the children and especially the adolescents once he or she has attained the age of puberty. Parents should also be aware that puberty is starting much earlier than it used to be before. When it comes to blood pressure in children, “normal” is relative. This depends on three factors: Gender, age and height. A paediatrician, preferably can tell you what’s right for your child, because “normal” is a complicated calculation based on these factors.”
Culled from The Nation Newspaper