AFRICA - A true spirituality of work, not the "religion of prosperity"

Thursday, 2 May 2019 work  


Kara (Agenzia Fides) - "It is time in Africa to develop a true spirituality of work. A spirituality rooted according to the plan and the vision that God wanted for work and the worker", says to Fides Fr. Donald Zagore, Ivorian theologian of the Society for African Missions in Togo. On the occasion of the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, celebrated all over the world on May 1st, the missionary explained that "if it is true that work nourishes, enriches, it is also true that it ennobles, liberates, flourishes and above all glorifies God. Work is a sign of man's obedience to God".
"The Gospel essentially does not show us a model of work based exclusively on wealth, efficiency, production", insists Fr. Zagore, "rather it offers a model of work based fundamentally on the love of God, of neighbor and of creation. It is a model of work that frees man from the prison of servitude and exploitation of all kinds and brings him back to the dignity of his being".
"In an Africa where unemployment is on the rise, the African citizen is exposed and constantly subjected to all forms of exploitation. Sometimes religion is also used as a channel of enrichment and social success. Christian faith has also been polluted, reducing it to a 'religion of prosperity' - insists Fr. Zagore - so there is no need to work, one only needs to be able to manipulate religion and exploit the weakest to make it a source of enrichment without any effort".
In this situation, he adds, "we must have the courage to denounce the opulence and wealth of the alleged 'men of God' who, through religion, live at the expense of the suffering and misery of the faithful". He concludes: "To serve God must never be understood as lucrative work, but as a life spent at the service of the Gospel and of others. Work is a vocation of God and every man must respond to this vocation in the truth of his being". (DZ/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 2/5/2019)