A priest of the Catholic Archdiocese of Accra, Rev. Fr. Courage Senam Dogbey has emphasised the need for Christians to seek the face of God and not to be persons merely seeking favours from their Creator.
According to him, Christians must live daily acknowledging the presence of God in all they do.
After three years of serving in God’s vineyard, Fr. Dogbey expresses the need to reflect on what it means to be in God’s presence in a rather unconventional way by writing.
The essence of building a personal relationship with God is the central message of his maiden book entitled “In His Presence”.
He begins with a rather catchy introduction reflecting on the lyrics of Don Moen’s “I just want to be where you are”.
“I have been thinking about what it means to live all of the time in God’s presence. Note that, I am not focusing on the fact that God is always present in my life: He is always with me. But the question is: “Am I always with him?”
To be sure, since God is with me, then I am with him. My wonder is not so much about the reality that God is with me, but about my awareness of it. Am I living each moment with a sense of God’s presence in my life? I want to believe that many of us may have, at one time or another, asked such a question.
It is therefore unfortunate that many Christians today want a “breakthrough” in their material life but not a “breakthrough” in their relationship or walk with God. A good number of Christians attend Church and pray just to seek favors from God’s hands but are not desirous of seeking his face. As Christians, the primary purpose of God for our lives is not to put money in our hands, to heal our infirmed bodies and to cause breakthroughs in our lives but His godliness and character into our hearts”.
About the book
The book, “In His Presence” is Fr. Courage’s maiden publication and could be described as a spiritual work. The six chapter work is designed to accompany the reader instructionally to explore the theme of the presence of God in the life of the Christian.
In the first two chapters, the author lays the basis of the question of the presence of God by examining a number of Biblical texts both from the Old Testament and the New Testament. These chapters show that God always desired to be present in the lives of his people though the experience of this continual presence was sometimes frustrated by sin and disobedience. The Incarnation of Christ was however the one action that definitively established and guaranteed the presence of God in our midst.
The third and the fourth chapters delve into the question of how we might experience the presence of God using prayer as the vehicle for such an experience. Drawing again from scripture and from the writings of the saints and contemporary writers, he leads the reader to explore how prayer leads the Christian to experience God’s presence and further suggests ways in which today’s Christian could grow in the practice of prayer.
In Chapter five, Fr. Courage discusses adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as a unique opportunity for encountering the presence of God. The author is keen on expanding our understanding of adoration beyond the traditional context of the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament to other occasions which provide us the same opportunity, such as during the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Chapter Six, which concludes the work, ends with interesting perspectives on how the experience of God’s presence could be a daily activity, not limited to the parish or the oratory but an experience lived everywhere and principally in the home.
The book titled “In His Presence” will be launched on Sunday, September 2 at the St. Dominic Catholic Church – Taifa at 8am. It comes days after the occasion of the 3rd priestly ordination anniversary of the author and is expected to draw hundreds of friends and family particularly Facebook pals of this affable priest to what could be described as a befitting 3rd anniversary.