One Sunday after the Baptism of his child, I was eating at the home of Masanja, one of the Sukuma people in Nata, Tanzania. His house, a mud hut with a grass roof. His bed, a cow skin on the floor. We ate with our fingers, no silverware. Even while eating I was bitten by some ticks. "Masanja," I asked him, "your wife is a Catholic; your seven children have all been baptized. When will you start to pray?" "Padri," Masanja responded, "I have cows, I have a good wife, many children. I have everything! What else can I pray for?"
"Masanja," I answered, "Did your wife and children greet you this morning?" "Of course!" Masanja exclaimed. I asked, "What would you do if tomorrow morning your son walks right by you without greeting you?" Masanja answered, "If he would refuse to greet me, I’d beat him." "But, Masanja," I told him, "you are that son. You say we are all God’s children; yet, morning after morning you don’t pray, you don’t greet your Father in heaven who gave you all that you have. To pray is more than to ask for something."