Editors Note: All of our Brothers in the Kenyan Region are on their annual retreat this week (31 July – 4 August 2017) at St. Patrick’s Kabula Retreat House. The retreat is animated by Fr. Santulino Ekada, OCD. Each day, one Brother is providing his reflections on the program.
By Brother Deus Saka
Being the third day of the regional retreat, Father Santulino, the retreat animator introduced brothers to another two key virtues of religious living. In the first conference, which was in the morning hours, he introduced the virtue of courtesy. The opening biblical verse was taken by Brother Antony Dindi, who read it carefully to the brothers. According to Father Santulino, courtesy is seemingly a forgotten virtue in our daily lives and therefore there is a demanding call for us to act cautiously at all times. Courtesy goes hand in hand with kindness, consideration, manners, decency, charity among many others and it is one of God’s characteristics. Courtesy serves as a tool that cherishes love and is governed by self-respect, respect for others, and common sense as the major principles. Still, by it we draw people to Jesus. In his development he reiterated that courtesy and gentleness are closely related and that gentleness is none other than doing nothing from selfishness or conceit. Having courtesy is being friendly, reliable, civil, and wider in spirit, grateful and holding dignity. Holding onto the Lord is a prerequisite in religious life because it helps us invite Christ-like qualities in our lives, since Christ is the model of courtesy. In his conclusion, Father Santulino pointed out that genuine courtesy is a splinter from the true cross of Jesus.
In the evening conference, prudence as a virtue was the theme. Proverbs 9:1-18 was the biblical reference. Prudence as a cardinal virtue plays an important role in our struggle for true discipleship. According to Father Santulino, Christians always look at us religious men and women as prudent characters and they expect us to act prudently in our decisions. This poses a challenge to us because each day we are among them in our ministries. The rule of prudence is simple. Never to make decisions in anger, lust, and discouragement or in haste. We hope to live by the same words as brothers in the church.