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Dunamis: A Catholic Perspective

Iyata Anthony Adikpe


Welcome back friend. Thanks for reading my stuff. I appreciate you. This time we’d be examining the word “Dunamis” as a concept and as a Grace. There’s also a Church named Dunamis by the way. Dunamis means Power (emphasis on the ‘P’). I’ll tell you a Nigerian Catholic Priest’s true life story as he explained what Dunamis meant some few years ago.

There was a strong Catholic man who was devout. He attends to the needs of the Church financially and otherwise. He even bought a car for the Parish Priest. Generosity was his gift. He lost his wife and remarried. Somehow his kids were not baptized yet and he had not come to the Church to register his new marriage officially. The Priest advised him several times to do so but the man kept procrastinating it. Then something happened…

Two of his kids won scholarships to study at a Catholic institution in Canada. The school requested to see their baptismal cards (evidence that they are baptized Catholics) before the scholarships could be sealed. This good man approached the Priest to ‘just help him sign two baptismal cards’ so that he can scan them to the school to confirm his kids’ scholarships. No baptism had been done; how can the Priest give such a directive?

Priest: Ha, Sir, but you know this is not possible now, they are not yet baptized…

Man: Ehn Father my friend, I promise, once they get to Canada, I’ll have them attend baptismal classes and get baptized.

Priest: Okay, if the school allows that they can come without the cards signed by me, fine, but I’m afraid I can’t sign them.

When the Priest told this story, it was not a lightweight on him. His Parish was a small local Church that could not even feed her Priest properly. This man carried the weight of the Church. Even the car he bought the Priest was mostly taken care of through his generosity. How could he refuse such a ‘small favour’ of this man? What happens to his welfare and other financial supports which the Church may need from this benevolent man? He needed more than earthly ethics or moral construct to say NO at this point. He needed Dunamis, Power from the most High God. This is what Dunamis means, Extraordinary Power to do that which ordinarily you could not do, to stand for right when the world is against it.

Some things are greatly distorted in our world today. Suffering is real. People have many challenges that need divine intervention. The temptation is to confuse Dunamis with ‘miracles’. What is needed to bring about miracles is deep and complete Faith in God. As God wills, He gives healing and restoration to all who seek Him. This faith can be expressed anywhere, in any Church or religion.

The Priest concluded his story by pointing outside to his car and saying: “That car outside there is the man’s gift to me, if anything happens to it now, *laughs*, who go buy me another one? But Dunamis helped me do right anyway, so I’m happy”. Dunamis is from God, you need it for the most difficult moments in your life.

God bless. Cheers.