Tuesday, October 30, 2007

discover Jesus the story teller...

dear friends,
Jesus saw the same things many in Palestine saw during his time. but he could create wonderful stories out of day-today experiences. those were powerful stories, touching and transforming the lives of thousands of people even today...

i am posting a picture with some facts. could you make a story out of it? let me see how many of you have imbibed this charism of Jesus.... come' on, discover, 'Jesus the story teller'...

now the facts.... i met her in the shishu bhavan when i went there for mass. she is known as Rani. she was found abandoned on the road. she was very sick. some one admitted her in st. john's medical college. finally after a few days she reached the hands of mother Theresa sisters. she is scared of men...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Free We'll be

Freewill = God's wonderful way of saying, "Don't blame it on me ever"

Sunday, October 28, 2007

An unusual experience!

Yesterday I went to attend Dony’s sister’s engagement in Begur. After the reception, Sanjay and I were standing in front of the church and saw poor child, about 3 years, crying bitterly. He seemed as though he was crying for help. We went to him and inquired why he was crying. Another child from the neighborhood showed up and told us that he passed motion in his pants and his mother was not around. His pants were dirty from top to bottom. He seemed to have loose motion. The stench was strong.

Sanjay and I looked at each other and we knew we are going to clean him. We motioned him (His Name was Ravi) to come along and he held on to Sanjays hand. We then took him to the toilet behind the church. This toilet was locked some ten minutes back when we wanted to use it. And to our surprise now its was open. We went inside with the child and there was hardly any water in the tap. But soon water started coming in drops. I removed his pants and could not stand the smell but I was strengthened by the thought that it was Jesus whom I'm attending to and I used my hand to clean him thoroughly.

His face lit up and it was so heartening to see him very comfortable and contented. Then next task was to the clean his pants. Sanjay took up that part and I poured water for him. We rinsed the pant that was really dirty. We then took him near his house and put the pant for drying. Our hands smelled really bad and the toilet did not have sufficient water to wash. It was an experience of a life time and I thank Jesus for this exceptional one.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Discovering God in Nature

Dear Friends,

I have been silent for a long time. It was a long silence and I have my favorite excuse of being too busy ... But I decided to break my silence. I have been reading the posts and it has been an experience in itself.

So I felt if I don't give back after gaining so much that would not be right. So all you friends who inspired me through their posts in the blog, this is dedicated to your wonderful sharings.

First I will write about one of the experiences in the Discover program. This happened during the session discover God in Nature.

When we were asked to go out and discover God in nature, I felt very enthused. For me I feel closest to God when I see the beauty of His creation in nature. And the session was early in the morning and my intention at first was to sit some where in the garden and have a wonderful time of being with Him. But I never knew what our wonderful Lord had in store for me that beautiful morning. That is one thing that I have experienced, when we go looking for his footsteps, or in search of his love actively seeking, He gives us Glimpses of himself and experiences of His wonderful love in unexpected and profound ways.

But alas I am too busy to seek him out in the daily rigors of life :-(. Let me stop all my ranting and get into my experience now.

But when I decided to seek Him. The first thing that I saw when I got out was the "Chethy" flowers in full bloom.

Chethy flower
(Picture of a Chethy flower like the one I found that morning)

My first urge was to pass by and find a cozy spot in the middle of the garden where I could enjoy the nature around me and tell my lord in the silence of my heart how much I loved him that morning. But I was not able to pass by those flowers that morning. So I decided to sit by those flowers and find out if God wanted to tell me some thing. I sat on the cement ledge by the side of the Chethy plant and started looking at the flower. In no time He opened my eyes to look at the ordinary flower in a new way.

The first thing that attracted me was the redness of the flowers. Although I had looked at the chethy flower numerous times before, that morning the redness of the flowers evoked a new emotion with in me. Suddenly the redness of the chethy flower symbolized the love of my Lord.

For me the red colour represented the intense love of my Lord. It represented the love with which He poured out His blood for me on the calvary. Its the same love which prompted him to share His body and Blood in the institution of the Eucharist so that I could be one with him. The red represented His love which was passionate, intense, all consuming and self giving. It was new and fresh that morning like the bunch of that freshly bloomed flowers in the morning.His love manifested freshly in those flowers and in my life was there for me to relish and enjoy that morning.

Then I started looking at the flowers more closely. Those flowers each of them although were simple to behold, were individually beautiful and different in their own way. They seemed to me to represent the small and big instances of His love that I had experienced in my life. Each one was different in its own way and yet beautiful. And when all those instances of love combined together in my banquet of life, my life became beautiful and meaningful. Each day of my life, he was there with his bunch of fresh and intense love specially made for me. All through the day he drops a beautiful instance of his love into my day, so that at the end of the day, I am left with a bunch of his love to thank and praise him at the end of the day. I am left with a beautiful bunch which I can leave at his feet before going to sleep enfolded in His arms.

Then suddenly I started notice the gaps between the flowers. The voids which looked dark and empty. As I looked at the individual spaces, they seemed with out beauty, standing out dark and with out colours in between the beautiful red flowers. Suddenly they reminded me of those moments in my life where I could not find the love of my Lord. Moments where I needed the love of my Lord to comfort me, to uphold me, to soothe my pain. But I could not find His love, I could not feel His love. Those moments stared back at me like those voids, dark, ominous, evoking fear. Suddenly God made me take a step back and see the whole bunch of flowers again. Now those dark voids were the ones that gave definition to the individual flowers. Those dark voids added beauty to that bunch of flowers. With out those voids, those gaps, the whole bunch of flowers would have been a red sphere. Because of those voids, the beauty of those flowers were enhanced. They became more defined. It gave me a new insight into those moments of pain, rejection, sorrow, fear, etc. They enhanced the beauty of my moments enjoying the love of my Lord. They gave more meaning to those moments of love. With out those voids in my life, my reunion with the love of my Lord would not be so intense, so precious, so much to be cherished. So for a moment I bowed my head in thanks, my heart brimming with joy for the infinite love of my Lord and the beautiful life he has made much more beautiful for me tan that bunch of flowers.

With that let me finish and say to my Lord I love him and to you my friends you are the visible signs of His love, flowers in the bunch of my life He has given.

Love and Prayers ....

Do we need to set the time & place 4 God to act??

Well! I was just thinking of my experiences of Jesus and would like to share one which really struck me.

This was at the time when I was working in sales in Kerala some 3 yrs back. After a days, hard work, I was tired, drained out and had to travel from Cochin to Trivandrum. It was also a period when i was really struggling in my prayer life, in the sense I never felt like praying and was often away from the Lord.

hmmm.. Well! I got onto a train, took a sleeper coach, even though the distance was not that long and fell asleep instantly. Couple of hours later I got up and to my surprise, found that the train was still at Cochin! as there was some problem on the line. Strangely I did not feel sad. Actually I was feeling very happy. And an important thing happened, I started to experience a lot of joy and happiness suddenly. Now there was no reason for it, but my heart was so light and I started whistling and singing. Thankfully there were very few people in the coach, else they might have thought this fellow was nuts!

Now the reason for me feeling this was awesome is bcos, I had been feeling pretty low during that week, and I was thinking maybe it was time I went for a retreat so that i could experience God again like before. But God just surprised me by letting me experience His Love and Joy that evening in a half empty, coach of a very delayed train!

I guess i don't have to set the place and time to meet God, He does the setting part every moment of our lives. we just have to discover it!

experiencing God in our conflicts...

today's reading for the mass was a difficult one. it talks about jesus bringing division instead of peace! please read luke 12:49-53. how can it be? our idea about jesus is someone nice, not some one who brings conflicts... then why this passage in the gospel?

well, i know one family that became chaotic and lost their peace because of Jesus. their daughter who is pretty, intelligent, brilliant, passed from a reputed institution with reputed post-graduate degree, and employed in a reputed company fell in love with jesus and felt that she has a call to religious life. terrible conflict in the family... even her brother who is a jy could not accept it. even today the family is divided on this issue...

well, jesus became the reason for the greatest conflict among the jews. some wanted to follow him... some wanted to eliminate him. finally the conflict and division ended up in violence - in his crucifixion... even in the early church, there were conflicts. one example could be that between peter and paul, regarding the jewish and gentile christians...

can conflict be part of the kingdom? i believe that conflict is also part of the kingdom. why? because of the above reasons... when we start taking jesus seriously, when we start contributing to his kingdom, vested interests of others can get affected. it can result in conflict and division...

there is conflict and division in the world. there is conflict in the kingdom. then what is the difference?... i believe that the way it is resolved is the difference. the world resolves it through violence, by eliminating the enemy. the kingdom resolves it by forgiveness, dialogue and other values... when it comes to marriage, the world resolves it thru divorce... but we, thru reconciliation...

no disciple is greater than the master... so be ready for conflicts... do not be surprised... especilly when we work together as a team... working together with donny and jacob for the christ college retreat was a challange. we 3 are different. our ideas are different. our approaches are different. the way we function are different. above all we 3 are people with strong openions and ideas. in spite of all this, the retreat was great... but what i cherish most is the fact that we became thick friends thru this program... we can transform our differences and conflicts into God experiences...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

experiencing Jesus in our sinfullness...

dear friends, glad to see many more dicovering God in their daily lives and sharing it thru the blog. it is very enriching. in fact thomson's write up made me write about my experience with the auto driver, sarath. rahul's write up was also good. rahul, i want to affirm you that it is not only in happiness and success that we experience God. we also experience him in our unpleasent experiences.

let me share one of my thoughts in that line. well, there were hundreds of women in palastine during the time of Jesus. but i belieave that more than many of them the woman who caught in adultry had a deeper experience of jesus. probably a life changing experience.

all our sins ARE indeed an opportunity... a wonderful opportunity to experience HIM. there is only one condition, we need to look at him. that is important. why do i say that? i wonder whether that the man who committed adultry with her experience Jesus. why? he did not look at Jesus. probably he ran away or he too would have been there with the crowd to stone her to death... our sins and failures are an opportunity. provided we look at HIM... and praise him for it...

well i have two photos to be attached to my previous write ups. will somebody tell me how to do it?!
love, mathenachan...

Thank Him when u r down?

yesterday, i was feeling completely down and out. When i reached home from work, i was pretty miserable. I saw a book named " Power in Praise" and started reading one of the articles which said about thanking and Praising God for your sinfullness and thanking him for all things that you normally would not. do so.

As i had nothing to loose i decided to do that anyway. I thanked him for all my miserablness and self pity and sinfulness and after sometime it came to thanking about the positives, it seemed I didnt feel miserable anymore. Then i stopped and went for the evening mass. Later in the night i had an opportunity to sit and talk and pray with 2 sets of people, and I should say everything seemed so wonderful. Some of those people had real good experiences of the Lord. I felt so happy!

I never thought that 25 minutes of my heartless thanking (i should say just mere saying aloud thanks just for the sake of it) would turn out so beautiful.

If saying thanks for so dumb things could do wonders in the life of my friends imagine what is the effect of saying thanks with all your heart could do!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

blessed are the poor...

recently i called an auto. i was surprised to see a 2-3 year old kid sitting in the lap of the auto driver. both of them were dressed shably. while he was taking me to the destination, i got into a conversation with him. his name was sarath. the child was his son, surya. since it was a holidy, he could not be sent to school. his mother (sarath's wife) had gone for her usual domestic work. so the father is doing the baby sitting that day - mobile baby sitting.

in between he asked me permission to stop the auto and bought biscuts for his son. i was moved by the intimacy of the son and the father. i asked him, "are you happy?" he told, "yes". i asked, "you dont have a house of your own, you dont have decent clothes, you and your wife have to work hard to have two meals per day, then how can you be happy?" he said, "i have a loving wife and two loving children. we work hard to support each other. what else do we need?".

i have seen very afluent couples leaving their children with some woman (domestic worker) from a slum. why? because career is more important. money is the highest value... i felt so proud of sarath. here is a couple who takes care of their own children, even in the midst of their poverty. blessed are the poor, their's is the kingdom of God... remember, he is neither a christian nor a jesus youth!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Smile worth a 'Kachori'

Hi all Thomachan here ! Hehe ..just kidding ! I had a similar experience as mathachen was narrating,once but ya on a scale lower if you could say so.

The incident is as follows, as usual after my day's work at office I was walking with a colleague of mine to the place where my office bus/shuttle was waiting to pick us. Since we left office pretty early I told my friend on having some chats on the way. wow! thinking of chats ..mouth waters ! On the way we saw Hot-Chips (a famous chat/snacks out-let). I was all eager to hog some. I ordered for a 'Kachori' a favourite snack of mine from north India. As I was digging into it I saw suddenly a poor child standing in front of me stretching His hands. He might have been some 8-10 years old I guess,well I don't know whats special about Him stretching I have seen many doing that but something told me to help Him. Something pushed me to do something for that kid (what it is I can't say,have no previous behavioral history of sacrificing food).I went into the shop asked for another plate;took that plate gave to that kid standing outside the shop and broke my 'kochari' into two and gave Him one half. I wish I could have given Him the entire stuff but He was happy getting something to eat & frankly me too.I donno how much it can fill his hungry stomach but a lot to fill His & mine hungry Souls!

The colleague of mine standing by said in Hindi: "bahut acchi baat hai...aise e karna chaayehai"(its good what you did,one should do it).

Actually I was wondering ,is that small act one of genuine generosity or did it slighlty involve an unconcsious attempt from my side to show off my generosity (to my colleague who was watching me). Would I have done the same thing if no one was watching me? I donno I am wondering ! But whether I was genuine or not I am not sure but what I am sure is that the hungry kid must have been happy for few minutes ! Puttin a smile on His face was worth it !

Imagine next time something similar happens, will I be able to give my entire food/snack ? Hopefully Yes !

silent evangelization...

greetings from mathenachan... recently i was travelling by brindavan express to chennai. i had reservation and 'my own seat'. when we reached katpadi, lot of people entered into the compartment. there was hostility in the air. their were angry comments of more people entering into 'my territory'. i too was irritated.

after a while i noticed an elderly couple, standing and leaning to my head rest. i felt a bit uncomfortable. something within me told me to get up and allow that elderly man to sit down. i had my own justifications not to get up. i had paid for that seat. it was 'my seat'. i ignored that inspiration, and pretended to be sleeping. but i could not go on for a long time. something form deep within me forced me on my feet and i offered him my seat. he was so greatful. but when he sat down, he shared his seat with his wife. what God had united how can man seperate.

standing beside them, i started experiencing a happiness that welled up from somewhere deep within me. that happiness was more powerful than the comfort of sitting down. then i saw people around, looking at me with admiration. "why is this man different from others?" probably that is what they where thinking. after sometime, i saw another man getting up and giving his seat for somebody else... after a while yet another man got up and gave his seat for another...

a few minutes ago what prevailed in that compartment was a culture of selfishness, a culture of fear, a culture of irritation... but within no time i started sensing a culture of concern, a culture of self-sacrifice, a culture of trust, filling the air. i felt the kingdom was breaking forth THEN AND THERE... the kingdom of love, the kingdom of joy...

evangelization comes from the greek word evangelium, which means good news. and The good news is that the kingdom of God is near, IS among us. that day i felt so proud of myself, for becoming an instrumet in the breaking forth of the kingdom... i felt proud of jesus, for persuading me go get up from 'my seat'...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

giving life for others

dear friends, greetings from mathenachan. let me break my long silence. a few days back i discovered a new way of saying homiliy. the reading of the day was about Jesus bringing the widow's son back to life. i was prepared to speak on 'giving life for others' and the mass was with the mother theresa sisters.

as i began the mass, glory a two year old girl stood there right in front of me and started smiling at me. whenever i looked at the congregation, we (glory and me) exchanged a smile(usualy we priests find it difficult to smile during mass). while the first reading was going on, an idea struck me. after the Gospel i took glory in my arms(imagine a priest taking a child in his arms, especilly during the mass with his vestments).

i asked the sisters, "what do you see in her". they said, "we see life in her". then i told them, "tell me her story". one of the sisters narrated her story. when she was one year old her mother died of cancer. her father too was sick and could not take care of her. when all the doors were closed, he left her in front of the devasthana, near christ college.

some people noticed glory crying and she was brought to the sisters. if those sisters were not there, will glory smile, will she experience life...? i felt so proud of those sisters... i felt so proud of the Church... i felt so proud of Jesus... so proud of being his disciple. i concluded my homily by appretiating the marvellous ways they give life for others...