Sunday, 29 June 2008

Another interesting extract from The Clowns of God...

The following is an extract from the novel that I just completed reading, The Clowns of God by Morris West. Here's the outburst of Carl Mendelius while with his friend Jean Marie Barette, the future Pope. A passionate outpouring of his pastoral zeal which somehow ignites in me a spark...
"...All idolatry springs from a desire for order. We want to be neat, like the animals. We mark out our territories with musk and feces. We make hierarchies like the bees and ethics like the ants. And we choose gods to set the stamp of approval on our creations... What we cannot cope with is the untidiness of the universe, the lunatic aspect of a cosmos with no known beginning , no visible end and no apparent meaning to all its bustling dynamics.... We cannot tolerate its monstrous indifference in the face of all our fears and agonies..... The prophets offer us hope; but only the man-god can make the paradox tolerable. This is why the coming of Jesus is a healing and a saving event. He is not what we should have created for ourselves. He is truly the sign of peace because He is the sign of contradiction. His career is a brief tragic failure. He dies in dishonour; but then most strangely, He lives. He is not only yesterday. He is today and tomorrow. He is as available to the humblest as to the highest...
"But look what we humans have done with Him. We have bloated His simple talk into a babble of philosophies. We have inflated the family of His believers into an imperial bureaucracy, justified only because it exists and cannot be dismantled without a cataclysm. The man who claims to be the custodian of His truth lives in a vast palace, surrounded by celibate males - like you and me, Jean!- who have never earned a crust by the labour of their hands, never dried a woman's tears or sat with a sick child until sunrise....
"If ever they make you Pope, Jean, keep one small part of yourself for a private loving. If you don't, they'll turn you into a Pharaoh, mummified and embalmed before you're dead..." (p. 256-257)

Friday, 27 June 2008

Reflective extracts from The Clowns of God

Here are some reflective (and some amusing) extracts from the novel, The Clowns of God by Morris West, that I'm reading these days.

When walking along the corridor of authority it is very easy to forget that Christ was a wandering prophet who slept in caves, and Peter was a fisherman from a lakeshide in Galilee, and John the Precursor was murdered in a prison cell. (Jean Marie Barrette to Carl Mendelius p. 109)

You cannot wrestle with God. He is too large an adversary ... You cannot manage His universe either, only the small garden he has given you. Enjoy it while you can... (Abbot to Carl Mendelius p. 121)

This is my favourite one, atleast so far!:
There is no place anymore for wandering saints... most people prefer a simple religion. You make your offering in the temple and carry away salvation in a package. (Cardinal Drexel to Carl p. 123)

If God chooses to borrow my vagrant voice, he will find the words for me to use. (Jean Marie Barrette to Card. Drexel p. 204)

...enough light to see a divine sense in this mad world. Enough faith to follow the light... and some love to make the darkness tolerable. (JMB to Card. Drexel p. 204)

You were made for better company, old friend. I was born under a falling star. (JMB to Card. Drexel p. 205)

more, as and when I read...

The privilege of choice... less the better!

This morning the Gospel had the leper saying to Jesus, "If you choose to, you can heal me." Was wondering who is giving whom a choice!

Anyway, reflecting further on the theme of the leper 'offering a choice' to Jesus, felt a pang of pity for God. It surely is tough to play God! He certainly has a plethora of choices to make and an equally good number of sources to choose from too! But is it really a great thing to have too much to choose from? I remember an incident in the life of Mother Teresa of Calcutta: She, along with her Sisters, picked up a man on the streets who was on the verge of starvation. Having had nothing to eat for long, he could barely move a limb. Mother Teresa and her Sisters brought him to their place and set before him a plate of rice. Mother recalls vividly how the man passed away just looking at the plate before him. The choice of having food was too much for him.

Blessed are we mortals who do not have too many options to worry about or choose from!

Thursday, 26 June 2008

The two words...

Being in KJC, Bangalore for taking classes for the students of Philosophy, I am reliving my theology days in Shillong! Today had the opportunity to listen to Fr UV Mathew give the goodnight to the community. He narrated an interesting parable of a young monk.

A young monk joined the monastery but was very pessimistic about life and life in the monastery, in particular. The monastery had the peculiar rule that a monk could say two words at the end of seven years of stay there! At the end of seven years, the Abbot asked the monk what he wished to say. "Bed hard," is what the monk had to say! Though a bit startled the Abbot did all he could to make his stay more comfortable and at the end of another seven years hopeful of hearing something positive asked the monk for the two words. "Food bad," is all the monk had to say! The Abbot, a bit dismayed, assured him that he would try to see to it too. Another seven years passed and the monk came with the two words. Preparing himself for something positive, at least now, the Abbot was surprised to hear, "I quit!"

What agony... not of the monk but for those who would have been living with him all those 21 years. His life too would have been an endless litany of grumblings and bile! If only he had said those last two words in the beginning and saved all - including himself - of all the trouble!!

In some sense it is better to quit in the beginning than persevere till the end, only to realise that all along none - including oneself - was ever contended with life and what life offers. Contrarily, what a joy it is to spread optimism and enthusiasm.

Perfect day to start!

Thanks to the 'Musings' of Fr Ivo Coelho, my former Rector, while at Nashik for this inspiration to pen my 'Heartstrings'!!!
Couldn't be a better day than this... for no particular reason. After long having a good break from the regular humdrum of life - a quiet and refreshing one!

Am reminded of one of the SMSes that my good friend Rabbi regularly sends me:

I got into a bus and sat near a young man. He was wearing only one shoe. I asked, "You have evidently lost a shoe, my friend." "No friend," came the reply, "I found one!" It is evident to me, that does not mean it is true!

Perhaps all of us have our own prejudices and plans... may be good to check once in a way, lest plans and prejudices interchange places!!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...