Sunday, August 26, 2012

God Who Grants the Desires of Our Heart

‘Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.’ (Psalm 37:4)

I want to share two experiences here, where God has granted me the inmost desires of my heart. It is not anything material that I mean, but a desire to draw closer to Him.

One of them happened about seven years ago, and though I felt inspired to write and share about it many times, I had put it off – because I was not sure how to include all the details in a readable form, and also whether I would be able to convey the power of the experience in writing. But after the second experience which happened just a few days back, I decided to take time and put both of these in writing, asking the Holy Spirit to guide my thoughts and words. After all, it is He who moves and touches hearts…

1. About seven years ago was a time when I was not fully able to appreciate or understand the real presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. I knew for sure that Jesus was present in the Holy Eucharist, but I was not able to participate fully in Eucharistic adorations, or enjoy His presence during expositions of the Blessed Sacrament. I had a desire, a thirst, for a deeper understanding, and I used to pray for this grace often.

One evening during our vacation in Kerala, a procession from the nearby Jacobite church was passing by our home. Everyone except me was standing outside the front door to watch the procession, and I was busy inside the bedroom, arranging some clothes in the wardrobe. My sister-in-law called out to me and said, ‘Chechy, there is a priest also in the procession, carrying the Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance.’ I said ‘ok’, but still continued on with my work without joining them. After just a couple of seconds, I felt the sudden urge to run outside and join them, which I did.

But when I reached, the priest had already passed our gate, and was proceeding further ahead. My heart sank, but I stood on tip-toes and strained to look ahead. Suddenly, to my utter surprise, the priest took a few steps backwards, held up the monstrance, looked straight in my eye, and made the sign of the cross with it! I was so deeply touched that my eyes filled up with tears of joy. For a few minutes after this, I was still pondering about what it was that made the priest take those few steps backwards, and extend the blessing to me the way he did? The picture of Zacchaeus came to my mind, trying to see Jesus from up the sycamore tree. I realized that today I was the Zacchaeus, trying to get a glimpse standing on my tippy-toes – and Jesus made sure He looked back to give me His blessing. I knew this was a little miracle He did just for me, because He knew of my desire to find Him in the Eucharist. I needed no further evidence that it was truly Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Thank you, Jesus!

2. It was our sixteenth wedding anniversary, and we had decided to go for evening Mass at 6:15 with our three children. Every evening Mass at our church is preceded by rosary and adoration - and during this time a priest would be available for confessions as well. Being our wedding anniversary, I wanted to go for confession before the Mass, and so we started a little early from home.

We reached church at about 6pm, and my husband dropped us in front of the church and proceeded to park the car. We took our place in one of the front pews, and I kept looking back to see if my husband was coming – because my three-year-old wouldn’t let me go from his side unless my husband stayed with him. There were a couple of people waiting in line for confession, and I went and stood there for some time. Then I went outside to look for my husband and saw that he was still near the parking lot, attending a phone call. It was almost time for Mass, and I knew there wouldn’t be time for confession now. So I came back in. The priest also went from the confessional, because he was the one celebrating the Mass that evening.

I took my place in the pew, feeling sad that I was not able to make the confession as I had wished. I tried to console myself thinking that I will request father after the Mass was over- but still I was sad at heart, because my true desire was to make the confession before receiving communion. Soon my husband also joined us in our pew, and the choir started playing the music for the entrance hymn.

The main celebrant, along with the Parish priest, entered the altar to celebrate Mass. As the main celebrant walked to the altar, the parish priest stepped down from the side, walked up to me, and asked, ‘do you want to make a confession?’ Surprised at how this could be happening, I said ‘YES!’ and followed him to the confessional as the entrance hymn was going on.

At the end of the confession, I asked father, ‘Father, how did you know I wanted to make a confession?’ Because I was still surprised and unable to believe that the confession actually happened. Father said he had noticed me going out and coming back in, and sensed that I had wanted to go for confession. I thanked him and told him that it was our wedding anniversary, and that I was standing there feeling disappointed for not being able to have the confession as I had desired… After my confession, father went and joined at the altar to celebrate Mass - the choir was in the last line of the entrance hymn, and it was time for the Mass to start. Perfect timing!

Throughout the Holy Mass I was feeling overwhelmed at the thought that God inspired the priest who was proceeding to celebrate Mass to come to me, and hear my confession! All because Jesus knew and wanted to grant the inmost desire of my heart - which was to receive Him after confession, on this special occasion.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Runaway Bunny

Wonder if any of you have read the children’s book titled ‘The Runaway Bunny’, by Margaret Wise Brown…

It is about a little bunny who wanted to run away. But no matter where he decided to go, his mother was always there - “If you run away, I will run after you. For you are my little bunny”.

I had loved reading this book to my older children (now 11 and 7) when they were smaller, and it was hidden away behind some bigger books in our bookshelf. The other day, 2 ½- year old Joel happened to fish it out and bring it to me to read. As I was reading it to him, the words of Psalm 139 flowed gently through my mind.

‘…Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast….’ (Psalm 139:7-10)

The beautiful, colourful illustrations in the book spoke to me like never before. The little bunny running away to all sorts of silly places; and the mother running after him, going out of her way, taking all the trouble, to reach him and be there – at all of those silly places.

I felt all warm and cuddly – because I could see myself clearly in the little bunny. And my heavenly Father, in the loving mother. It was truly a wonderful feeling, to be enveloped and overwhelmed thus, by the Father’s love.

I searched to see if the book was available online, but all I managed to locate was a link which showed a few of the first pages.

Yet another experience for me to understand our God, who uses every possible means to convey the depth of His love for us. Amazingly enough, this came at a time when I really needed a reassuring hug – and He just knew it! :)

I was surprised at how such an unassuming, small, children’s book, could speak so much to my heart about His love.

What an unconventional way of discovering God! And that’s exactly why I thought I should write it down and share it in this blog!

Praise God!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What a Friend We Have in Jesus!

A little something from my life this week that I felt inspired to share in this blog:

Roshan is now on an official trip to Amsterdam, and two days after he left, my son Daniel came down with fever and a few episodes of vomiting. The vomiting subsided soon, and I continued paracetamol for the fever. My prayer during the fever was that Jesus will be with him, comfort him and enlighten me to take care of him the right way. I didn’t pray that the fever would go away altogether – because, as we know, these sicknesses are all part of our life. He is there to comfort us, and that’s all we need; and I knew He will bring healing at the right time.

But at night, Daniel’s temperature didn’t come down much with the paracetamol – so I stayed up in bed all night, constantly feeling his hot forehead and giving him wet sponges to cool him down till it was time for the next dose. When it was time for a dose of Calpol around 4am, I was feeling very sleepy and tired – so I told Jesus:
‘OK - with this dose, you HAVE TO bring the temperature down. I am too tired to sit up now. I am going to give him the medicine, and go right to sleep – won’t even feel his temperature till I wake up next – so you BETTER do this.’ :)

And I gave Daniel the Calpol, making the sign of the cross on the forehead, and went to sleep - just like I had told Jesus. I could fall asleep easily because I really trusted He would do what I asked for. I woke up after 2 hours, and felt his forehead – it was completely cool, and I smiled to myself and said ‘thank you!’.

The next day, after Daniel was all better, I told Rachel (11 yrs) and Daniel (7 yrs) exactly what I had told Jesus, and they were surprised and amused. They giggled and laughed, and said ‘Can’t believe you talked to Jesus like that!’

We had a beautiful conversation on this then – and that’s what I wanted to share, to show how the Holy Spirit guided my words, so that the children were able to relate to the situation, and understand how Jesus can truly be our friend:

They said,
‘You must be joking – did you really say that? - In that tone, ‘BETTER do it…’ and ‘HAVE TO’..?’
‘Isn’t that quite rude, to talk to Jesus like that..?’
‘Why didn’t you speak politely?’ :)

I told them : I do have a DEEP love and respect and reverence for Jesus, but at the same time, I have a wonderful friendship with Him also – so I feel free to talk like that to Him. And I’m sure He enjoys that too, - see how readily he answered my request? Rather than just seeing Him as a God seated up in the heaven, Jesus really longs to be part of our lives, and He is waiting for us to share our everyday things with Him . And when we start doing that, we will thoroughly enjoy it and our friendship becomes even stronger…. We can go to Him and talk to Him just as we are – happy, sad, angry, sleepy – whatever.

And I told them that they could also train themselves to talk to Jesus everyday, so they would also come to enjoy this wonderful relationship.

Just a few hours before that Rachel had come to me all upset and almost in tears, saying how difficult she was finding it to learn a Hindi story that she had to… So connecting it with this, I told her: instead of just asking Jesus to help you learn it, talk to Him about it – just like you talked to me; and He will give you His words of comfort, and enlighten your mind as to how to handle it.

I could see that the children were really able to understand what I said, and were able to get an idea about the friendship I was talking about.

At the end of it, Daniel giggled again, saying, ‘Amme, but next time you talk to Jesus, speak just a bit more nicely’ !! :)

I am reminded of the song,
‘What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!’

And I realized how important it is to keep talking to our children about Jesus and help them befriend Him, so they can enjoy His presence to the fullest in their little lives - let's help them discover their True Friend!

Thank you, Jesus!

Monday, October 10, 2011


But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. - 1 Peter 2:9

Here is a question - What are the first thoughts that come to your mind when you hear the word Saint ? Here are the thoughts that come to my mind - an exemplary model of Christian virtue, a wonder worker , a person who possesses selflessness and ascetic qualities in his/her character.I am also reminded of all the martyrs,mystics and all those super crazy followers of Christ who have changed the face of the Church and the world in general.

With all these thoughts also comes a realization - I can probably never become like them.When I compare there lives with mine,I realize the difference is just huge...extraordinarily huge.I believe all of you too share my feelings...but yet we know God has called all of us to be saints.One of the biggest roadblocks to sainthood is the desire to do big things for the Lord.Don't get me wrong,its an awesome desire  but the fact in this very mundane life of ours with its cares and worries most of us may not achieve great things for the Lord.So,what shall we do ? Why don't we do this - just do small things for the Lord or as St.Therese said "do small things with great love". Dearly beloved today,lets find God in the mundane.Rather than aiming for really huge things,lets find satisfaction and fulfillment in the things we do daily.Those boring meetings,the tough commute to work,the nosey colleagues - lets find Christ in all these and more.Lets aim to be a saint rather than a Saint.Maybe a saint with a small 's' is not a bad idea after-all. 

Review of a movie poster - ‘Lifeu Ishtene’

This is not a critical review of a movie but rather of a movie poster which in itself gave me so much to write about!

A new Kannada movie released this week called ‘Lifeu Ishtene’ ….. Walking through the streets of Koramanagala (in Bangalore) I could see many posters of this movie stuck at various vantage points and anonymous walls. Kannada movies may have lost their past glory but the current makers are not willing to concede the same and with all pomp and glory promote it as if this is the next Oscar winning movie nevertheless two catch phrases on this movie poster caught my attention. One goes this way ‘Food, Clothes & Girlfriends’ and other says ‘Move on Sucker’. And the synopsis of this movie on one of the review site is this – “Lifu Ishtene is a romantic comedy about how young boys express their love to so many girls. True love happens again and again to them.”

I pity on the movie watchers who are fed with such total crap in the name of entertainment. Having one or two good songs doesn’t make it worth a watch and what really hurts the society is the message that is hardwired into the hearts and minds of people through such movies. A message of desperation, which says that it is perfectly fine to be disloyal to people whom you love in your life for the sake of the other – and as they say that’s how you will experience ‘true love again and again’.

What is true love? And if it’s really true how we can have more truer one in some one else? So what do we do if we really find the true one; turn to the truer one then the truthest one? Just like those words don’t exist so too this rubbish concept. True love is true and that’s it. It works very well in movies since the hero supposedly locks down finally to the girl who is supposedly his real true love (while other guinea pigs are lost in various intervals of the movie) and they lived happily ever after. Oh did they? We don’t know? They don’t make many movies for that phase which involves sacrifices and adjustments… which involves the trueness of love in which self denial is a must… which involves the trueness of sacrifice for your true love ( if you could relate to what Jack did in movie Titanic…he layed down his life for his only beloved one).
Now coming back to the phrase itself – ‘Food, Clothes & Girlfriends’, what an apathy that we have reached this level of cheap thinking. If you don’t find it cheap or close to it then I guess you have been already silently brainwashed. Food and Clothes are commodities which can be bought from our nearby super market at our own will with our own money. So when did they start selling girlfriends as commodities and when did it become a necessity for boys that which we cant live without? Now to make this more insane will any forward looking political party put it in their electoral manifesto – Roti, kapdaa or ladkiya? Gosh – where are we heading? Not only such brainwashings attract people but also entice people to look for the same on the streets and may be in every women they see….Don’t blame the eve teasers – we live in an hypocritical society where eve teasing done by an hero is perfectly acceptable since she is supposedly going to fall in love with him anyway – wah! The end just justified the means ….

Now we need to ask ‘is this all to life? Lifeu Ishtena? (in Kannada – and yes that’s the movie title!!!) ….Absolutely No! Life is much more than these.....may be as I see life is in finding one’s true love even at the cost of losing one’s own life. And some find it totally in God and some in their spouse or in a good friend and in poor & so on…but certainly if we can’t find it in one I doubt we will ever find it in many…. .

Monday, September 26, 2011

Throwing Stones

The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. - Numbers 14:18

First a little bit about me - I follow rules,I mean I don't jump lanes while driving, I don't overtake from the left etc. etc.So,when other people do not follow the rules and I have to suffer because of that, I get majorly pissed-off.

So,here I was last Saturday for my confession.I was the third person in the queue of penitents.The first person had just finished his confession and second person was about to take his place.I was busy recalling my transgressions and asking Lord for mercy and then suddenly it happened. A guy just barged into the queue just in front of me and as expected I went hysterical (but silently ).As it was a house of prayer I could not shout or push the guy out of the line.I got really angry and for some reason all I wanted to do was throw a stone at him.As a true engineer, I began to mentally calculate the correct force,the correct trajectory,the correct spin so that my projectile found its intended target - his head  .As I was soaking up to the rage inside me,suddenly this thought hit me - What if Christ was like me ? I mean what if every time we did something wrong(which is most of the times) He throws a stone at us ? Can u imagine such a situation ? Boy,it would be raining stones left,right and center.We would be surrounded by stones and funny looking people with bumps on their head.

Dearly beloved,isn't it awesome that Christ is not like me ? Isn't it great that He is merciful and slow to anger.Week after week I commit the same sins and crucify Him again & again....but still every week when I show up for my confessions I know that in His goodness and mercy He shall wipe my slate clean.I do not know what kinda personal sins you are struggling with today,but know this - He is still in the business of forgiving and restoring. After-all,He was pierced for our transgressions and wounded for our iniquities.

Fall in love with JC today !!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me - Galatians 2:20

The verse mentioned above is one of my favorites from the Good Book.Since coming to Catholic revival I have always believed that this verse should be the motto of my life, that I should die and Christ should live in me.But even though I would like to say that it is happening in my life,the truth of the matter is that many a times(make it almost all the times ) it is Christ who dies in my life and not me.Here are a few examples from my daily life :

Christ says Rely on Me..............I prefer relying on myself.
Christ says hand me your burdens...............I prefer carrying them myself until my back breaks 
Christ says be holy................I prefer being happy.
Christ says endure all temptations.............I say well if it makes me happy I will do it.
Christ says humble yourself..............but all I seek is honor.
Christ wants me to invest in people and relationships............but before investing I want to know about the ROI.

Well,I can go on and on with the list but I think you get the drift.Dearly beloved,the fact is that every minute of our lives we have a choice to make - either to listen to Christ or to the flesh.If you are on the same boat as me, just take a minute now to reflect on the choices that you make in your day to day lives and ask God for the grace to help you(and me) make the right choices most of the times (make it all the times ).