“One of the great existential orientations of our world today is to want to ‘anesthetize’ everything. Many Christians in Africa dream of a peaceful life, devoid of all suffering and sacrifices. In practice, we dream of a Christianity insensitive to pain”, explained Father Donald Zagore, Ivorian theologian of the Society for African Missions (SMA), in remarks published June 4, 2019, by Fides News Agency.
“We dream of a human life without affliction, pain, and suffering. This existential approach, purified from all anxieties and penances, also takes shape in the reality of religious experience. And yet, living an anesthetized Christianity leads the individual to become a prisoner of an illusory reality. It is a true spiritual mirage. What the African Church has to show is that there is no true Christianity without the strength and power of the cross, the way to redemption.”
The missionary continued: “All of Christ’s missionary activity, as the Gospels emphasize, from which the Church’s missionary activity flows, embraces the cross. In suffering, in pain, in tears, in disappointments, in misunderstandings, in contradictions the power of the Gospel of Christ is manifested. This is the existential reality of faith and missionary activity to which every Christian, a missionary since baptism, cannot escape. Since there is no missionary activity without a cross, there is no Christian mission without a cross.”
Fr. Zagore concluded: “Anesthetized Christianity that is sold off in the streets, in Africa and other parts of the world, and attracts the masses, does not come from Jesus Christ, but rather from a purely human enterprise, built in an essentially economic dynamic that wants to be a ‘market product’ to meet consumer demand. For this reason, anesthetized Christianity can in no way lead to authentic and prophetic faith and missionary activity.”