A plea to all Ba­sotho

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The Secular Fran­cis­can Or­der (Latin: Ordo Fran­cis­canus Saec­u­laris) is a com­mu­nity of Catholic men and women in the world who seek to pat­tern their lives af­ter Christ in the spirit of St Fran­cis of As­sisi.

Secular Fran­cis­cans are Ter­tiaries, or mem­bers of the Third Oder of St Fran­cis founded by him 801 years ago.

Orig­i­nally known as the broth­ers and sis­ters of penance, the Or­der is open to any Catholic not bound by re­li­gious vows to an­other re­li­gious Or­der and is made up of both the laity (men, women and youth) and secular clergy (dea­cons, priests and bish­ops).

Our ma­jor task is to build anew the church of God which is ba­si­cally the souls of all peo­ple. We do this by en­sur­ing the fol­low­ing:

en­vi­ron­men­tal jus­tice: We col­lab­o­rate with ef­forts to fight pol­lu­tion and to con­serve all that is valu­able in na­ture.

So­cial jus­tice: We are com­mit­ted to cre­ate wor­thy con­di­tions of life for all and to work for the free­dom of all peo­ple.

Peace: Secular Fran­cis­cans are called to be bear­ers of peace in their fam­i­lies and so­ci­ety.

In the light of the above, the sole pur­pose of this ar­ti­cle is in line with our work for peace. First and fore­most, we wish to com­mence by giv­ing thanks to God for pro­tect­ing our na­tion against all evil pow­ers to this far. Se­condly, we thank all Ba­sotho peo­ple for pray­ing end­lessly for peace in the past, present and fu­ture.

In­deed, we ex­tend our heart­felt grat­i­tude to in­di­vid­ual peo­ple and groups who prayed per­pet­u­ally for peace for Le­sotho and the en­tire world. Above all, we wish to thank and praise all Ba­sotho peo­ple for not com­mit­ting evil and un­eth­i­cal deeds like those hap­pened dur­ing the po­lit­i­cal in­sta­bil­ity in 1998.

This good be­hav­ior of the Ba­sotho peo­ple was re­alised when the Le­sotho Mounted Po­lice Ser­vice was not able to per­form its du­ties in the re­cent past. We are say­ing to all Ba­sotho peo­ple, “con­grat­u­la­tions, and keep up the good spirit and be­hav­iour”.

We also want to take this op­por­tu­nity to wish all Ba­sotho peo­ple a merry Christ­mas and happy new year of 2015 that are filled with graces and nu­mer­ous bless­ings. In­ter­est­ingly, the New Year makes way for gen- eral elec­tions of the coun­try. In this re­gard, we make a plea with All Ba­sotho peo­ple to pray tire­lessly for peace­ful elec­tions. In our view, Le­sotho can only have peace­ful elec­tions through prayers. Thus, we ought to stop en­gag­ing our­selves in in­di­vid­u­al­is­tic as­pi­ra­tions and pur­sue ac­tions that will help us in build­ing the na­tion for the com­mon good. Most im­por­tantly, we also make a plea with all Ba­sotho peo­ple to work hard for unity of the na­tion by do­ing the fol­low­ing:

To deny ide­olo­gies that in­flu­ence the sep­a­ra­tion of our na­tion on ac­count of party pol­i­tics and or reli­gion.

To ut­ter words and pur­sue ac­tions that are for the com­mon good.

To put Le­sotho and Ba­sotho be­fore ev­ery­thing. To be hu­mane all the time: “Botho — pele” should be our motto.

We also wish to en­cour­age All Ba­sotho peo­ple to go out and vote dur­ing the up­com­ing gen­eral elec­tions of 28th Fe­bru­ary 2015. We ad­vise all peo­ple to vote in the in­ter­est of God, but not in their own in­di­vid­u­al­is­tic in­ter­ests.

That is to say, dur­ing the time of elec­tions, we should put Almighty God in the fore­front and ful­fill His Will. Let us ask him to give us gen­uine po­lit­i­cal lead­ers who pos­sess the fol­low­ing virtues:

Knowl­edge and fear of God: This means that we should vote po­lit­i­cal lead­ers who are in our view, ready to com­mit them­selves to live the Gospel and put God be­fore ev­ery­thing with­out ar­ro­gance.

Obe­di­ence: This refers to po­lit­i­cal lead­ers who are in our view; lis­ten to the will of other peo­ple, since lis­ten­ing to other peo­ple is lis­ten­ing to God.

Pu­rity of heart: We need po­lit­i­cal lead­ers who are ready to ab­stain from all evils and un­eth­i­cal be­hav­iours such as cru­elty, ha­tred, cor­rup­tion and who are ego­is­tic and de­ceit­ful etc.

Poverty: This virtue re­quires a po­lit­i­cal leader who is ready to pledge him­self/her­self to re­duce his/her own per­sonal needs so as to be bet­ter able to share spir­i­tual and ma­te­rial goods with other mem­bers of the com­mu­nity es­pe­cially those most in need.

It should be a leader who is ready to take a firm po­si­tion against con­sumerism and ide­olo­gies and prac­tices which pre­fer riches over hu­man val­ues which per­mit the ex­ploita­tion of the hu­man per­son.

At this junc­ture, we humbly ask ev­ery Mosotho to start pray­ing this prayer of Fran­cis of As­sisi for our na­tional gen­eral elec­tions:

Lord, make me an in­stru­ment of your peace. Where there is ha­tred, let me sow love, Where there is in­jury —par­don, Where there is dis­cord — unity Where there is doubt — faith Where there is er­ror — truth Where there is de­spair — hope Where there is dark­ness — light Where there is sad­ness — joy O Di­vine Mas­ter, grant that I may not seek To be con­soled — as to con­sole To be un­der­stood — as to un­der­stand To be loved — as to love For It is in giv­ing — that we re­ceive It is in par­don­ing — that we are par­doned

It is in dy­ing — that we are born to eter­nal life. MON­A­HENG JOSEPH MAHLATSI (SFO)

MIN­IS­TER, The SECULAR FRAN­CIS­CAN OR­DER OF LE­SOTHO

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