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01.05.2017 16:44:18 7756x read.
Celebrating 40 years of Bro. Ivo as religious. (very late post)

Celebrating 40 years of Bro. Ivo as religious. (very late post)

It was 40 years ago that Bro. Ivo Heatubun took his first profession together with others, among them is Bro. Petrus Paijan who is now working at the Orphanage in Boro, Indonesia. Before coming to Africa Bro. Ivo was in charge of this Orphanage. It was the wish of Bro. Ivo to celebrate his anniversary in a simple way as December is a lean season that affected the life of people especially around Maryview. The Eucharistic Celebration was taken place at the Chapel of the Catholic University, presided by Rev. Fr. Enock Kanjira, the headmaster of St. Pius XII Seminary, assisted by two priests from Catholic University.

 After Eucharistic Celebration we moved to the Brothers compound. We erected two tents to accommodate our guests. It was a good time for all of us especially for Bro. Ivo Heatubun. In his long speech he expressed his experiences living in Malawi since 1992. He concluded that through the hard experiences that affected his life as religious, he learned that as far as relationship with others is concerned, he discovered that the problem was with himself.

He said: “After a long period of struggle, now I discover that the problem is with me and I don’t blame others”. This sentence is so simple yet this is a rich step of discovery that touched the bottom line or foundation of self transformation to a spiritual enrichment. The next step is how to work on the weak spot. This is very important effort to build a good and fruitful relationship between self, others and God. The words “a long period of struggle” can be understood as forty years of struggle as religious brother, while the words: “the problem is with me” is an acknowledgment, acceptance, or awareness, of “own weaknesses”. To acknowledge the weaknesses as well as the strengths is called “humility”. He also said that when he read a letter of congratulation and appreciation from General Council, he read it with tears. After that, he expressed his gratitude for all the experiences. I would like to underline the genuine sharing of Brother Ivo Heatubun with some point from spiritual readings below: True Humility Flows from God Alone: In itself humility is a true knowledge and awareness of oneself as one really is. It is undoubtedly true that if any man could see and know himself as he is, he would be truly humble. There are two sources from which humility springs. The first is the depravity and wretchedness and weakness of man, into which state he has fallen through sin. In some degree he must always be aware of this throughout his life, however holy he may be.

The second source is the overwhelming love and goodness of God himself, at the sight of which nature trembles, learned men are fools and saints and angels blinded. The second is perfect; and that is because it will last forever.(True humility flows from God alone. Cloud of Unknowing no. 13)

 “The way we relate to ourselves governs the way we relate to others. The source of our behaviour lies in our thinking and our feeling. The way in which we relate to ourselves governs the way we relate to others. To what extent does the reality we are living relate to our inner experience? Our mistakes arise from our inability to know the true harmony of things and our continual attempts to impose a false harmony. It has been said that ‘Wisdom is to know the harmony of things: joy is to dance to its rhythm’. Much of our pain and sorrow comes from our inability to dance to the rhythm; instead we hurt ourselves against the restraints of reality, or we try to remove them from our path”. (Gerard W. Hughes, God in All Things. The sequel to God of Surprises. Hodder & Stoughton, London 2004, p. 44)

The relationship you have with yourself is like a blueprint that sets the nature and quality of your relationship with others. Your relationship with yourself will be mirrored in your relationships with others. What you cannot give to or receive from yourself, you will lack the ability to do so with another. (

“uMunthu is a very practical philosophy. It provides values on how we could live our day-to-day lives. It states that we are human because of others. How does this understanding translate into practical terms? Firstly, it means that we need to revisit the attitudes we hold towards others. These revised attitudes will hopefully translate into practical action. The first attitude to cultivate in relating with others is the realization that the way you treat another person reflects, in essence, the way you treat yourself.” (Chiswoza Bandawe, Practical uMunthu Psychology, An Indigenous approach to harmonious living, Montfort Media, 2010, p.26)

 “ Taking Responsibility for What I am : We all carry within ourselves the way we thinks should be. When things are that way, we are at peace. When they are not, as we think they should be, we are upset. Thus what upsets us is not really the events themselves or the person, but our model of what we think things should be. Realize this and we begin to understand that it is within our power to control our own happiness, to be upset when we think we should be upset, to be in harmony when we think such is the proper stand for us.

My upset does not come from outside reality but from my inner conditioning: my principles, my taste and preferences, my traditional structures. These may be very helpful and at times necessary, but it also imposes an attitude that does not have to be. It is within my power to change the way I think, the stance I have, the structures I demand, because they lie within me and come from me.

The lesson to be learned is that nobody upset you. You upset yourself. You have given something or someone permission to annoy you. You have surrendered to something or someone a power over your life. Don't try to shift responsibility for this off yourself on to someone else. You have within yourself the ability to control your own happiness or unhappiness. It is not the other person or thing that harasses you. You harass yourself. We drilled into our minds certain ways to act and do. The thing is to drop the illusion that other people are making me unhappy. They are not. We make ourselves unhappy - and need to shoulder this responsibility. (Fr. Jack O’Leary SJ, summary talk on the last day of retreat with Brothers FIC, Nantipwili, December 1992)

We expressed our appreciation to Bro. Thomas Chikoti and his team who organized this celebration. Once again: Thank you and Congratulation to Bro. Ivo Heatubun and Bro Petrus Paijan for your 40th anniversary of religious life. 

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