Faith Believes Nor Questions How
When I joined Oblate formation as a postulant in March 2011, Fr. Alfred taught us a song which we used to sing and feel good about “Faith believes nor questions how…” From then that was familiar only in a song, but changed on the 18th of June 2019 when I accompanied Fr. Daquin OMI for a home Mass at the home of Florence Kanario Kiambi. Florence was suffering from cancer, her feet were swollen, she straggled to walk and her speech was fading even though she appeared strong. After Mass she said “Father, the evil one has been overwhelmed by the power of Mass”.
A few days later Fr. Daquin left for Congo for his home leave and Fr. Faustin OMI came to act on his behalf. One Sunday morning it happened that Christine a close friend to Florence and a member of our Parish (Irinda Parish) passed by to see Florence on her way to Church for Mass since Florence’s house is just a few miters from the Church, she found out that her health was deteriorating. The only thing she could do was to pray for her, on her arrival to the Church she asked Fr. Faustin to remember Florence at Mass, a request Father Faustin granted faithfully and joyfully.
On Monday morning Fr. Faustin asked me to accompany him to visit Florence in her house and possibly anoint and give her the Body of Christ, “Oh Yes Father!” I said. I called Christine to inform her to let Florence know that we were visiting her later in the day and when the time came we left our house to visit Florence. On our arrival we found her seated, her swollen legs held on another chair, her friend Christine was there with her. Fr. Faustin initiated conversation with Florence and after about half an hour Fr. Faustin asked Florence if she was ready to receive the sacraments of the Anointing of the Sick and the Holy Eucharist, “YES!” she said. Fr Faustin continued, “Florence, Do you know in the olden days and even now there are people who believe that if one receives the sacrament of the anointing of the sick that person is bound to die?” “I know that Father, I believe and trust in the will of God. He is the master of all, He is able to heal me or take me to be with him, I am ready I am ready. May his will be done.” After a joyful conversation, Florence received the two sacraments and you could easily see the joy in her face.
I was touched, the following Sunday when Christine presented Florence’s contribution of Ksh 9,000 equivalent of US $ 90 towards the completion of the Parish Church. Florence’s faith challenged me, that even in her deathbed she still gave herself for Christ and the Church. How many times do I find baseless excuse to try to avoid my Christian Responsibility? Florence’s experience is an example of true witness which we are called to live as Christians sharing in the salvific mission of Christ. A Christ should not find any excuse not to partake in the mission of Christ for that is what a Christian is called to do.
Florence succumbed to cancer at Kiirwa mission Hospital; I was moved to tears on seeing her remains especially having journeyed with her during her last days. We laid her to rest a few days ago, Fr. Cosmas OMI celebrated funeral Mass thus becoming his first funeral to Conduct.
By Phelix Johya, OMI