Saturday, 30 August 2008
Friday, 29 August 2008
Thursday, 28 August 2008
And here I am, in the comfort of my office, sitting and philosophizing on their plight!
Sunday, 24 August 2008
Saturday, 23 August 2008
This thought has been strengthened by my little experience with Sr Franceschina, the Mother General of SAPs, who laid down office today. She exudes a sense of grace and confidence that binds you and makes you say, 'Wow'! Last of all, comes the unwilling prayer: 'Lord, not my will but Yours!'
Friday, 22 August 2008
Thursday, 21 August 2008
Wednesday, 20 August 2008
Anyway, what caught my attention yesterday was some other text... not sure if it struck me then! When someone sees the same people everyday, as had happened with him in the Seminary, they wind up becoming a part of that person's life. And then they want the person to change. If someone isn't what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own. Now that's one point, hardly anyone can dispute , especially the last one!!
Monday, 18 August 2008
Sunday, 17 August 2008
And what did Russians do...???
The Russians used a Pencil instead !!!
"If you look at what you do not have in life, you don't have anything""If you look at what you have in life, you have everything."
In other words, "Focus on problem leads to inventions! & Focus on solution leads to discoveries!"
The students answered, "I really don't know unless I weigh it."
The professor said, 'now, my question is: What would happen if I held it up like this for a few minutes?'
'Nothing' the students said.
"OK what would happen if I held it up like this for an hour?" the professor asked.
"Your arm would begin to ache" said one of the students.
"You're right, now what would happen if I held it for a day?"
"Your arm could go numb; you might have severe muscle stress & paralysis; have to go to hospital for sure! Ventured another student", all the students laughed.
"Very good. But during all this, did the weight of the glass change?" Asked the professor.
"No" was the reply of all the students.
"Then what caused the arm to ache; the muscle to stress?" After a pause the professor asked "Before my arm ache, what should I do?"
The students were puzzled.
"Put the glass down!" said one of the students.
"Exactly!" said the professor, "Life's problems are exactly like this. Hold it for a few minutes in your head; they seem OK. Think of them for a long time; they begin to ache. Hold it even longer; they begin to paralyze you. You will not be able to do anything."
It's important to think of the challenges (problems) in your life, but EVEN MORE IMPORTANT to 'put them down' at the end of every day before you go to sleep. That way, you are not stressed, you wake up every day fresh; strong; can handle any issue, any challenge that comes your way! Remember to put the glass down everyday!
Saturday, 16 August 2008
Well there is a real need to strive towards perfection, and it does involve some pain and those involved have to bear the cost. But I think there's also a limit to that pain and cost - even that cannot be made perfect! You cannot be so ruthless, so as to bash on regardless of even the slightest consideration of breaking down a human being - all for want of perfection. Perhaps a good lesson for Salesian educators like me who hanker much for perfection!
Thursday, 14 August 2008
Wednesday, 13 August 2008
It was a nice solemn day without much of fanfare or hypocritical flattery. Happy to have done something for Sarath. He's one of the few guys I appreciate for their sincerity and dedication to the higher principles and values. It is also true that scolding him comes easy - may be the principle of 'weak with the strong and strong with the weak'! Anyway, God bless him with strength and vigour to inspire many more to be like him.
This evening Fr Noel brought to my attention how a simple act of invitation that I extended to a youngster to join the community for the evening Rosary could be a courageous act of evangelisation. Every time I hear my name and the word evangelisation, I feel thrilled. Perhaps because it is not a often heard combination: a Brother and proclamation! That's the reason also I mentioned about being congratulated for evangelising through the web. Frankly speaking, it was a spontaneous invitation, nothing preplanned. Yet I never felt bad neither about inviting her to join nor about her refusing to join us. I guess this is what the Church tells us when it calls us to 'proclaim Christ'. I still remember Fr Ivo telling, 'Our responsibility is to proclaim, not convert. Conversion is the work of the Holy Spirit'!
Tuesday, 12 August 2008
Reflecting this whole day on formation and formation processes, I was reminded of my grounded formation in Gunadala. Looking back the first few months at Gunadala were the most formative days in community living. I'd reached the aspirantate with a very high opinion of those who came there to become priests and brothers. Once there I was in for a rude shock when I observed within the first month that very many boys there, were worse than my school companions whom I'd kept a distance from!!! That brought me back to the earth! Priests and Brothers are after all made of the same flesh and bones like the rest of humanity!
The second experience which kept my hopes and aspirations alive was the celebration of the community day. That was the second time I wept in Gunadala - only this time they were tears of joy and a sense of great fulfillment. The feeling of being together with such a large group was terrific. What we can do as individuals is great and praise worthy, but that what we can achieve as a community focused on a particular mission is something unbelievable.
True that I've learnt much more over the years in the Salesian congregation, but these initial experiences I'll never forget!
Nice to feel better too! I was literally dragging myself yesterday... today was much better.
Sunday, 10 August 2008
I'd like to differ very much. Left to me, I'd rephrase it this way: Naive Religion is for those who are scared to go to hell. Spirituality is for those who've tasted heaven. That reminds me of the Spirituality course that I attended as part of the Diploma Course in Theology, two years ago in Shillong. That was one substantial course, I'd love to take again.I still have the class notes - one of the handful notes that I preserved of my two year study!
Something interesting that I realised during the study of 'Spirituality' was that most often we associate spirituality with divinity while it has more to do with humanity. A holistic understanding of spirituality can be had only on the horizons of humanity and divinity - not in the clouds or heavens alone. Perhaps in secular terms, the word 'integrity' would come closest to describing it.
Saturday, 9 August 2008
By chance heard the song 'Absolutely Everybody' by Vanessa Amorosi on the net today. It really caught my atttention. The music is very lively and so are the words:
Everybody needs a little loving,
Everybody needs somebody thinking of them.
Everybody needs a little respect,
And whatever it takes, I’m gonna get it.
Everybody needs a hand to hold,
Someone to cling to When the nights are getting cold.
I’m no different, I am just the same,
A player in the game.
In the whole wide world.
Every boy and every girl, Absolutely everybody.
Everybody needs a human touch.
I can’t live without it, It means too much to me.
Everybody needs one true friend,
Someone who’ll be there ‘til the very end.
And absolutely everybody breathes,
And everybody, everybody bleeds.
We’re no different, We’re all the same,
Players in the game.
Absolutely, everybody, Everybody, everybody.
Absolutely everybody In the whole wide world.
Everybody breathes, And everybody needs.
Absolutely everybody. Absolutely everybody.
Every boy and girl,Every woman and child.
Every father and son.I said now everyone,
Yes now everyone. Everybody needs a human touch.
Everybody, everybody needs love.
I’m no different, I am just the same,
A player in the game.
Here's another one from Rabbi: I love the light for it shows me the way, yet I endure the darkness because it shows me the stars. How often so many of us wander in the dark, perfectly content to stumble rather than ask for help - even though help sought from God is only lip-help. If only we dare to lift up our eyes to the stars above. If not for the light they cast, at least for the assurance that we're not alone.
As days go by, I'm feeling more confident that life not a tyrant after all. If I can manage a week without most of the amenities and with a General Chapter going on in the campus, I think, I can! Just a matter of organisation and coordination. Of course, prayer is something that I should not miss out on. For the first time, I've been skipping personal prayer continuously for long. But I realise, I'm mastering an art that I've heard from my novitiate days onwards: ejaculatory prayer! Well, if not the sun, at least the stars!
Watched the video of the Rector Major's visit to Togo, Costarica and Bennin this afternoon. Somehow, this Don Bosco is fantastic. God must be still working through him in us all! How then can I explain or understand the magnanimity of our works all over the world. So many works, so many youngsters, so many people, so many projects, ... Gosh! And all this just with perhaps half our efforts. If only we'd put in our whole selves - our complete heart and soul...
Earlier I prayed for rain and now I'm praying for sunshine! I suppose our prayers don't get answered most often because they get annulled by such contradictory prayers. Poor God, how do you expect him to answer everybody when each one is asking just the opposite of what the other has asked! And yet we say, 'God save the world!'
Thursday, 7 August 2008
Tuesday, 5 August 2008
Today, for the first time, I distributed salaries to the staff of the house. I got this idea of inserting a small 'thank you' note into each of the envelopes containing the salary and felt it was good that I did so. However, handing the envelopes was an experience in itself!! I could clearly see emotions and feelings so confused, written all over their faces. There was joy at receiving the money, the sadness of the loan-amount being cut, the anxiety of managing with the cash in hand, the hope of doing something (perhaps purchasing something), the doubt of miscalculation by me.... Gosh! It was all there - none could have missed it! Then there were some who just wouldn't stop perspiring and fretting when the loan repaid did not tally with their account. Only when it was clarified and cleared did a breath escape their nostrils! There was another who practically emptied his envelope within 10 seconds of receiving it: clearing debts in house!
I had the joy of handing over their salaries - implying I had so much of cash in hand. For me the currency in my hand was mere paper. But for them, it was life! It was their sweat and blood - every bit of it precious and life-giving. I know I don't spend money lavishly - some even call me stingy! Yet my monthly expenditure - if I were to calculate ALL my expenses - would be more than the monthly income of some of them. To top it all, it is I who have taken the vow of poverty - and they, have no choice but to live it! I wonder if I'd be able to manage a whole family with what they receive as their monthly salary?
Again, a reflection of what is said by Jean Vanier. Our vulnerable moments are really the moment we achieve something meaningful, or do something beyond our own capabilities. Perhaps this was also the experience of St Paul who says: When I'm weak, then I'm strong.
Sunday, 3 August 2008
For the first time went to see and spend time at Muthangi. Had heard a lot about the place and happenings related to it. However, never felt drawn to it. Today had the opportunity to see the place and spend some time there. As we entered the adoration hall, I said to myself, 'Be open... let not my prejudices prevent the Spirit from working in me.' So I listened to the preaching - and its translation too! I should say, the translator was doing a very good job.
What amused me most was the people who went up to give witness on being called from among the multitude by the preacher by the graces they received. I asked myself: Is the miracle worked before or after their witness? Perhaps the 'miracles' - if one wishes to say so - happen once the people climb up and see the whole multitude thanking the Lord for their cure/healing/special grace.... To go up on stage and witness to something different indeed takes guts. At least you've got to live that 'miracle' for sometime. Anyway, let me not speculate more - Lord, I believe... help my unbelief!
Saturday, 2 August 2008
Friday, 1 August 2008
Slowly getting into the job of managing time and tasks effectively - the time remains the same, the only problem is that jobs keep increasing! Anyway, was at a point when was about to close up everything and just take a walk when I said, 'let me read something'. And then there was this book lying on my table since yesterday, given by Fr Noel - This opened my eyes by C.P. Varkey. Opened a page and read this interesting bit:
My role model is my mother. She escaped from Nazi Germany when she was 17 and came to the US, where she sold dresses and learned to speak perfect English. When my dad died of a heart attack, I saw my mother cry and mourn, and then take over his real estate business. I remember one of her office managers saying, "You can't do this. You don't know anything about real estates." And my mother replied, "No, I'll do it. Teach me, I can do it." I never forgot that: "Teach me. I'll do it." I've done quite a few things in my life. I have produced some smash hit films. I'm the chairperson of Paramount Pictures now. "Teach me. I'll do it." Sherry Lansing (Reader's Digest)
Wow, that's some lesson to learn. Feel bit refreshed ... and inspired!