A plea to all Basotho
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