(This Article is based on personal reflection coming from Congo DR and living with some Wise and experienced Mill Hill Missionaries).
Dear (Catholic) Christians and people of good will as Popes address us in their different letters, we live in a world often troubled by division and conflict, it is essential for us to pause and reflect on our shared humanity. We live in a diversity of uniqueness, each possessing unique gifts, talents, and perspectives. It is through acknowledging and celebrating these differences that we can work together to create a better world for all.
In the pursuit of personal growth and social harmony, we must recognize the wisdom behind our imperfections. It is not an accident that we were not created as perfect beings like angels. Instead, God in His infinite wisdom intentionally created us as imperfect beings, with our own strengths and weaknesses. This deliberate design serves a profound purpose: to foster a mutual interdependence among us.
Allow me to share with you a story—an account narrated to me by a Mzee Priest, Fr. Pöll Adolf during my first mission or MEP (Missionary Experience Program) in Malindi Diocese, precisely in Witu Kipini Parish. He spoke of a time when the communities Giriama, Horma, Waswahili, and others faced great challenges but managed to overcome them through unity and understanding. This story holds valuable lessons that resonate with the message I wish to share.
Fr. Adolf (Alleluia) spoke of a diverse village where people possessed different skills and talents. Some were farmers, others excelled in keeping cattle, and still, others had a gift for storytelling or healing. Each person contributed their unique abilities, and together, they created a vibrant and prosperous community.
However, this harmonious existence was not without its share of conflicts. At times, people became envious of each other’s talents and possessions or felt overshadowed by the accomplishments of the others. It was during one such period of disharmony that the village faced a crisis, to the extent of killing each other and apart from their own caused violence there was also a severe drought threatening their very existence and their farms and the cattles.
In the face of adversity, Fr. reminded the villagers of their inherent imperfections and the need for unity. He urged them to embrace their differences, to recognize that no single individual possessed all the necessary skills to overcome the violence and the natural calamities. Instead, it was by coming together, by bringing their diverse talents and supporting one another, that they would find the strength to prevail.
Inspired by Fr. Adolf’s words, the villagers set aside their differences and collaborated like never before. Farmers shared their knowledge, cattle keepers used their own knowledge, storytellers spread hope and unity, and healers provided comfort to those who struggled emotionally. By complementing each other’s strengths, they transformed their imperfections into a powerful force that saved their community from killing each and facing the enemies and natural disasters together.
This story imparts a timeless message to us all I believe. We, too, are like that diverse village, blessed with unique gifts and imperfections. By recognizing and nurturing these differences, we can create a world where each person’s contribution is valued and respected. It is through this mutual support that we can achieve personal growth, build stronger communities, and ultimately become perfect as a collective.
So, let us embark on a journey of self-discovery, seeking out the hidden talents within ourselves and others. Let us encourage one another to grow, to develop our gifts, and to share them selflessly with the world. By doing so, we honor the divine plan that calls us to embrace our imperfections and complement one another.
As (Catholic) Christians and people of good will, we are called to be beacons of unity, compassion, and understanding. By living out these virtues in our daily lives, we can inspire others to do the same, creating a mindset that will shape a brighter future for generations to come.
May we always remember the wisdom of Fr. Adolf Pöll and the story of the village, for they remind us of our inherent interconnectedness and the power we possess when we work together. Let us embrace our imperfections, celebrate our differences, and strive for perfection as a united and harmonious community.
Placide Elia MHM