Monday, 27 September 2010
Anyway God bless this country and its people.
Most of us, on the other hand, want more. We ask for something and when God assures us that what we already have is plenty, we do not listen. When out of His generosity, He grants us something, we say a casual 'thanks' and before long, ask for more. Like the camel and the Sheikh who were travelling in the desert. At night when it started raining, the Sheikh was in the tent and the camel outside. The camel asked the Sheikh to let it just put its head inside. The tent was a small one, but the Sheikh agreed. Soon the camel asked permission to put in its neck too. The Sheikh consented. Then it was the hump and a while later, the camel was in the tent and the Sheikh outside in the rain!!
We are so full of God's bounty but without God; not because He wants to be away, but because we put Him aside (or outside) and keep His gifts near at hand... who knows which of the gifts we need at what time!
Nothing against the Holy Spirit, but I firmly believe that those who really do not even make the least of efforts to understand what they are up to, deserve no concern or sympathy - not even from the Holy Trinity - at least in the field of formation. The best is to gently lead them to the gate and kick their butt off!!
Sunday, 26 September 2010
Any way, God bless him. Just in case you wish to have a look, here it is!
Moreover the stench was so bad that none would approach the body. Four men had to be given money to get drunk and then venture into the lake to drag the body out on to the road. I remembered Charlie uncle. Doing a similar job, of course without drinking, for unclaimed bodies. I also remember the disdain everyone had for Krishna when he died in that road accident. None would come close, leave alone touch him. Just a couple of minutes ago he was a lively chatting young boy, one who had grown up with us in the house, and now with one stroke of life (or death) he was anything but Krishna! The very Salesians whom he lived with and worked for were not willing to even touch his body. Perhaps it was more of anger against them that prompted me to carry the body than love for him. But I always looked at him as 'our boy' even though I'd never met him before. I believe the way we treat our departed is the way we treat other living people too - if not physically, mentally for sure. There can be nothing more humiliating than being totally and absolutely rejected by our own - but the good thing, at least for the other, is that he is not there to feel it!
Another disgusting group of people are the police and mortuary personnel. Nothing would move - not even the dead body - unless each one is paid a bribe, each depending on their position. People do not hesitate, even a bit, to make a profit on corpses!
Things began to worsen when on our way to Vizag to attend the funeral of a diocesan Priest at 1.30 pm, Fr KT, Fr Parish Priest, Fr Wilson and I get the news that the body 'could be' of a missing boarding boy! Now that was serious matter, given the fact that the Parish Priest is the boarding in charge. However, they attended the funeral and we were back in the house by 7.30 pm. By then the body had been fished out of the lake and the police were doing their usual investigations - all in our campus. Things became a bit more complicated when a relative of the boy started acting smart and instigating the father of the boy, who was very calm and sober all along. However, there were enough sensible people to hush him up. A while later the mother reached the place and was inconsolable.
The body was highly decomposed and was smelling badly. I am told by those who carried the body out of the water to the roadside (all heavily drunk) that the parts were all coming apart. Being the second one to see the body, after one of the Brothers first saw and reported the matter to me, I was not affected at all. After having been involved with a much gruesome death case earlier, I was quite calm about things. So I was mostly with the Brothers trying to get them to study rather than get all excited - and later terrified - about this whole affair.
The boy was a tenth standard boy - very careless and unruly (says the Parish Priest). He had a long standing record of running away from the boarding. But how he landed up in the lake, dead, is a bit mysterious. A couple of his companions seem to know something as they were with him a couple of days ago, exactly the time he disappeared. It may be a while before the truth surfaces. Anyway, God bless his soul... and his family.
Friday, 24 September 2010
What I liked best in the movie is its challenge to believe, especially when things are not going your way or worse still, you know that things are not going to be any different than they are. But you believe that not everything will be the same. And great are you if in those distressing moments are able to pray... just say God what you want to say. No big lists of requirements or petitions, just pouring your heart out to God.
I remember Fr Stan telling us during one of his sermons or goodnight talks the simplest definition of prayer: not telling lies to God.
Thursday, 23 September 2010
What I appreciate in him was his desire to quit (hopefully genuine) not because he was asked to leave or anything else, but because he thought it was the right thing to do. He was not keen to carry on any further this pretense of 'wanting to be a Priest'. Good for him and the community as well. I hope and pray that others who are not really happy here and find themselves out of place take inspiration from this Brother and discern their true vocation sooner than later.
The community now numbers 88 (83 students and 5 staff members). God bless...!
It is one thing to talk piously about being at the foot of the Cross, another to carry it, and still another to hang on it.Rightly so! We 'think' we know it well, but when we really are in that place, all 'knowing' evaporates.
Wednesday, 22 September 2010
Within half a century of Hudson's landing, much of the native population had been wiped out by European guns and germs, those who survived retreated inland.The next significant 9/11 is of 1893: the day Swami Vivekananda gave his famous "Sisters and Brothers of America" speech at the World Parliament of Religions at Chicago. A day for celebrating peace and brotherhood through reason.
Vivekananda realised that all spiritual striving is beyond reason, but reason is the only way to get there. For, reason is the greatest gift of the human existence.The other great 9/11 is of 1906: a day when Gandhiji first spoke of Satyagraha at the packed Imperial Theatre in Johannesburg.
In an atmosphere charged with anger and the will to fight, Gandhi dropped an idea that acted like a depth charge. Let us fight disciriminatory laws by refusing to comply - by offering unflinching non-violent resistance. His logic was impeccable. Truth is God and God is love. It follows that a struggle for justice cannot involve hurting one's opponent. Instead, the 'other' in a conflict must be weaned from error by patience and sympathy. In turn, this means cultivating the willingness to examine 'truth' in all its many dimensions. This can only be done by being strong - not physical strength but the strength of truth-force or love-force.What I liked best was the author's intention of drawing our attention to not the incident itself but the attitude with which we recall those incidents. That these ground-breaking events took place, is a fact, but with what outlook and attitude we face today and especially live the events related to these 9/11s is what really matters.
Power of Don Bosco, and the power of story telling and I would also add, the power of Fr Lens!
Tuesday, 21 September 2010
The curse and shameful thing is not that there is corruption, but that it is let to thrive, even when we know our whole reputation and honour is at stake.
And as I always believe, the more the students criticize (and feel free to do so) while you are with them, the better you are doing your job!! I prefer they feel the heat now than 30 years later when they have no chance of doing better!!
Saturday, 18 September 2010
This morning during Mass Fr Louis cited a very inspiring quote:
Where there is passion, talent is created or invented.
I suppose it is the truth. Whenever we are passionate about something, we somehow find the time, talent and the resources to accomplish that what we are really after. Whereas when we are not interested in something, however much talented we may be, the work is never accomplished or complete. The worst I fear is passionless talent! It is as good as a bald man living in the temple town of Tirupati (where most of the population is with a shaved head) having a comb; it is neither useful to him nor to others. The comb in itself, is neither good nor bad, but what use is it to anyone, if there is no real need of it. So too, what great worth is a talent if there is no passion to achieve, be, do, something with it.
Friday, 17 September 2010
As with regards to the next semester, I have a subject with each of the course - that's something I always look forward to, interacting with them in the class, as much as I do so outside it. However, having seen the Brothers style of study and learning habits, I wish to try something different with my teaching style. I want them to learn rather then me teaching and they looking at me with great admiration, while all that I am saying is flying high and well beyond their heads! More of a seminar style with lots of exercises, short assignments, group work and of course, plenty of reading. I do not see any other way to deepen their thinking pattern than this.
On the other hand, I don't think genuine love would debate or ask so many questions!!
For this transformation to happen, there ought to be more than just weeping and wiping of feet. Her private resolve to seek forgiveness - or I don't know if that is what she came to Jesus for - or just seek Jesus' help was accompanied by a public act of repentance. She enters the house of a person, where I'm sure there are only men. She courageously Jesus straight and proceeds to wash His feet and anoint them. She could have very well said that 'interiorly' she has realised her sinful ways and she would change them. But no, she decides to make known to all and does not feel guilty about her act of conversion.
Her private resolve was endorsed - at least by her - by a public expression of conversion. I wonder how many of us have that courage!
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
The moment I knew that the Preacher had no clue what he was speaking, I tried to meditate on what could the 'Cross' mean to me. I was wondering what if Christ was beheaded with a sword or an axe. Would we be having either of them hanging on our walls as we now do with a crucifix? Imagine an axe around our necks and on our walls at home!! Well, I don't think there is anything about the cross - or for that matter, the sword or the axe - but the love and generosity with which Christ embraced the cross. This we need to understand and take to heart, lest we get stuck to the cross, forgetting that Jesus himself the cross long long ago!!
Monday, 13 September 2010
I remember reading and discussing something like this in my theology classes in Shillong (if I am not mistaken with Fr Gomes). But now I forget what answer or 'way out' of this dilemma was given. Hope I'm not kicking off a heresy or some idiotic principle.
Whatever it be, if I'm able to get my fellows to think a little, leave alone think different, then I'm blessed!!!
Saturday, 11 September 2010
This reminds me of the dilemma between the urge to impose one's ideas on others, on the one hand and the need to make oneself acceptable, on the other.
I think it is possible, but the requirement herein, as in the case of botony, is the need for a Guide, one who would direct and point out the strengths and weaknesses and thereby assist. All by oneself, this may be possible but very difficult. But with the aid of some sensible help, it should be easier than doing it all by oneself.
Friday, 10 September 2010
Reflecting in the context of my apostolate here in the Philosophate, I realise I have to constantly make my points clear and convey things (most often not easily taken by the Brothers)... well, I can't help it in a way, after all I'm supposed to be the disciplinarian of the house! But I also realise that when I make efforts to ensure that Brothers see that I'm not one to dictate terms to them and take off for a holiday, leaving them alone to slog it out, I make myself acceptable. There are several ways in which I can win their favour and their attention and when I dish out my instructions or guidelines having done that - even if bitter or difficult - they are better prepared to accept and follow. Firm but reasonable! It works!
Thursday, 9 September 2010
I wonder: Is Vizag too different from Hyderabad or is it that I was not looking for the thing in the right place. Whatever it be, I hope to get one soon. It is another story that Fr KT was trying to make use of this opportunity - again - to convince me to get a cell phone. But I think I'm pretty much clear and decided about that: no cell phone, at least for now.
Wednesday, 8 September 2010
Well on knowing that Fr Rector was away and would be back late in the evening they decided to come tomorrow. Just as they wished me goodbye, an auto packed with people stopped at the seminary gate. Immediately some of those children who did not have cycles, 'disappeared' in what till then was a perfectly packed auto! I just stained a bit to see where exactly did these children manage to squeeze in and I was surprised to see that all the passengers made place for these new entrants. I guess they (every one in the auto, including the drive) were from the same village and they certainly did not mind a few more passengers, and most certainly, not children!
The children were perfectly welcome and on their part were totally at home, even if it meant a tightly packed ride back home!
Tuesday, 7 September 2010
As someone said, ultimately it all boils down to our attitude to life. True indeed.
Those who grumble most are those who have been blest most!! It is only those to whom much has been given, will want more. Those who have something or little will go about life in a contented way. You give them little more and they'll treasure it. You give them something more again and again, then they will start grumbling about it sooner or later.
That's another of the lesson of the Parents' day!
Monday, 6 September 2010
- Never take for granted that what you think is what Brothers think. Or even the other way around. No thoughts match!!
- Never assume that the Brothers have understood every word of what you have said, even if you repeat your instructions thrice. (They have understood/listened to only what they want to understand, or have already decided to think about).
- Never be sure that what you said will be done, for they already have their mind fixed on something. What you said was only affirming what they have been thinking... so they 'think'!!Ex.: "I THOUGHT you said..."
- Never give more than an inch of what you have decided and finalised ... lest you lose every bit of what you have!
Sunday, 5 September 2010
Wednesday, 1 September 2010
But the whole movie is an interesting take on social attitudes towards women, marriage, love and role of men in society. The director Shekar Kammula really has a knack for conveying profound truths in a very simple but clever, convincing and humorous manner. His earlier film, Anand too was a great lesson! So was the latest movie, Leader.