Beyond the Clouds by Fr. Jacob Nampudakam, S.A.C. - Page 71

Europeans…and how many more categories exist among us! For some, these are unconquerable mountains. Yet in one airplane, this doesn’t seem to phase us, and no one is really going crazy. Such debates also exist within the Church. I suppose all Religious Institutes spend a lot of time discussing international and intercultural collaboration within communities. My own Institute has been doing it since long, with a substantial amount of success, too. As I write this note, I am at a meeting of General Superiors from the whole world. A multitude of nationalities are present, and each are equally as enriching when listening to their backgrounds, experiences, and challenges. Learning from each other is an essential part of this meeting. During the celebration of Mass over these days, a number of seminarians were serving. All were from diverse countries, yet being formed together in Italy. The community’s Rector told me it was a good experience; it was possible to do it, provided they were accompanied well. It brought to mind a memory of one of my own visitations, when a confrere was speaking of the importance of linguistic preparation for those coming to his country. While he was rightfully emphasizing a point, he went on bragging without any due respect for those who were coming from different cultural backgrounds. These young men had to make a lot of sacrifices; they never experienced winter, they never felt so lonely in communities where members withdrew into their rooms soon after meals to watch tv. A new language was only one step up the mountain, and how many steps to the pinnacle remained! When I sensed an air of arrogance from his part, I told this elderly member that while a language should be learnt and they must be inculturated well into the new surroundings, no language should be equated to the Gospel; it is only an instrument of communication. Everyone has a language, and let us not exaggerate the superiority of any one in particular. I was quite annoyed by his presumptuous and proud attitude, likewise he was not pleased with me, either. That member- quite famous for his work- has since passed. If he will be remembered, it will be for his testimony of life and the good that he has done 71