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October 17th, 2012

Your Simple Gesture Could Be Life Saving

Your Simple Gesture Could Be Life Saving

Mark was walking home from school one day when he noticed the boy ahead of him had tripped and dropped all of the books he was carrying, along with two sweaters, a baseball bat, a glove and a small tape recorder. Mark knelt down and helped the boy pick up the scattered articles.

Since they were going the same way, he helped to carry part of the burden. As they walked Mark discovered the boy’s name was Bill, that he loved video games, baseball and history, and that he was having lots of trouble with his other subjects and that he had just broken up with his girlfriend.

They arrived at Bill’s home first and Mark was invited in for a Coke and to watch some television. The afternoon passed pleasantly with a few laughs and some shared small talk, then Mark went home.

They continued to see each other around school, had lunch together once or twice, then both graduated from junior high school. They ended up in the same high school where they had brief contacts over the years.

Finally the long-awaited senior year came and three weeks before graduation, Bill asked Mark if they could talk.

Bill reminded him of the day years ago when they had first met. “Did you ever wonder why I was carrying so many things home that day?” asked Bill. “You see, I cleaned out my locker because I didn’t want to leave a mess for anyone else. I had stored away some of my mothers sleeping pills and I was going home to commit suicide. But after we spent some time together talking and laughing, I realized that if I had killed myself, I would have missed that time and so many others that might follow.

So you see, Mark, when you picked up those books that day, you did a lot more, you saved my life.”

– – – written by John W. Schlatter from Condensed Chicken Soup for the Soul

August 17th, 2012

The Hail Mary of A Protestant

Hail Mary of a Protestant

This is the beautiful incident of a protestant drawing much strength from the prayer of Hail Mary, unknowingly.

A little six-year-old Protestant boy had often heard his Catholic companion reciting the prayer ‘Hail Mary.’ He liked it so much that he copied it, memorized it and would recite it every day. ‘Look, Mummy, what a beautiful prayer,’ he said to his mother one day.

‘Never again say it,’ answered the mother.’ it is a superstitious prayer of catholics who adore idols and think Mary a goddess. After all, she is a woman like any other. Come on, take this Bible and read it. It contains everything that we are bound to do and have to do.’ From that day on the little boy discontinued his daily ‘Hail Mary’ and gave himself more time to reading the Bible instead.

One day, while reading the Gospel, he came across the passage about the Annunciation of the Angel to Our Lady. Full of joy, the little boy ran to his mother and said: ‘Mummy, I have found the ‘Hail Mary’ in the Bible which says: ‘Hail Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou amongst women. ‘Why do you call it a superstitious prayer?’

On another occasion he found that beautiful Salutation of St. Elizabeth to The Virgin Mary and the wonderful canticle. MAGNIFICAT in which Mary foretold that ‘the generations would call her blessed.’ He said no more about it to his mother but started to recite the ‘Hail Mary’ every day as before. He felt pleasure in addressing those charming words to the Mother of Jesus, our Savior.

When he was fourteen, he one day heard a discussion on Our Lady among the members of his family. Every one said that Mary was a common woman like any other woman. The boy, after listening to their erroneous reasoning, could not bear it any longer, and full of indignation, he interrupted them, saying:

‘Mary is not like any other children of Adam, stained with sin. No! The Angel called her FULL OF GRACE AND BLESSED AMONGST WOMEN. Mary is the Mother of Jesus Christ and consequently Mother of God. There is no higher dignity to which a creature can be raised. The Gospel says that the generations will proclaim her blessed and you are trying to despise her and look down on her. Your spirit is not the Spirit Of the Gospel or of the Bible which you proclaim to be the foundation of the Christian religion.’

So deep was the impression which the boy’s talk had made that his mother many times cried out sorrowfully: ‘Oh my God! I fear that this son of mine will one day join the Catholic religion, the religion of Popes!’ And indeed, not very long afterwards, having made a serious study of both Protestantism and Catholicism, the boy found the latter to be the only true religion and embraced it and became one of its most ardent apostles.

Some time after his conversion, he met his married sister who rebuked him and said indignantly: ‘You little know how much I love my children. Should any one of them desire to become a Catholic, I would sooner pierce his heart with a dagger than allow him to embrace the religion of the Popes!’

Her anger and temper were as furious as those of St. Paul before his conversion. However, she would change her ways, just as St. Paul did on his way to Damascus. It so happened that one of her sons fell dangerously ill and the doctors gave up hope of recovery. Her brother then approached her affectionately, saying:

‘My dear sister, you naturally wish to have your child cured. Very well, then, do what I ask you to do. Follow me, let us pray one ‘Hail Mary’ and promise God that, if your son recovers his health, you would seriously study the Catholic doctrine, and should you come to the conclusion that Catholicism is the only true religion, you would embrace it no matter what the sacrifices may be.’

His sister was somewhat reluctant at the beginning but as she wished for her son’s recovery. She accepted her brother’s proposal and recited the ‘Hail Mary’ together with him. The next day her son was completely cured! The mother fulfilled her promise and she studied the Catholic doctrine. After long preparation she received Baptism together with her family, thanking her brother for being an apostle to her.

The story was related during a sermon given by the Rev. Father Tuckwell. ‘Brethren, he went on and said, ‘The boy who became a Catholic and converted his sister to Catholicism dedicated his whole life to the service of God. He is the priest who is speaking to you now! What I am I owe to Our Lady.

You, too, my dear brethren, be entirely dedicated also to Our Lady and never let a day pass without saying the beautiful prayer, ‘Hail Mary’, and your Rosary. Ask her to enlighten the minds of Protestants who are separated from the true Church of Christ founded on the Rock (Peter) and ‘against whom the gates of hell shall never prevail.’

March 21st, 2012

Give Yourself Entirely To Christ

Give Yourself Entirely To Christ

Story: Carry The Entire Jigsaw To God

It was December and Christmas was round the corner. Alvin was very excited because just a couple of days after Christmas he would celebrate his birthday. He was sure of getting at least one gift from his mother. It was Christmas Eve and the festivities began. Alvin got a new dress, a Christmas crib and some Christmas gifts from his Christmas friends but, the elusive birthday gift which he was looking forward to was still a couple of days away.

Finally the D-day arrived and Alvin waited with bated breath trying to guess what his mother would give him this time. Would it be one of those boring cars, nay! not again, may be another soft toy he thought or would it be another story book? The suspense was getting to be unbearable. Finally his mother planted a kiss on his cheek after wishing him and handed over the birthday gift. Alvin could wait no longer; he hurried into his bedroom and quickly unwrapped the gift.

He was amused to find that his mother had given him something totally different this time – it was a jigsaw puzzle. Alvin was supposed to piece the jigsaw together. Try hard as he did, he could not piece the jigsaw together and he spent most of the day running to his mother with the different pieces. Each time he ran to his mother, his mother sent him back and made him bring the entire jigsaw to her so that she could explain it to him and let him try his hand on it once more.

Our life is a wonderful yet complicated jigsaw pieced together very intricately by Jesus and the various pieces are our health, family, relationships, possessions, career, ministries etc. What we try to do when faced with a problem in any of these areas is that we try to pull out that particular piece from the entire jigsaw and take it to God instead of carrying the whole jigsaw to him. To make our life wholesome God wants us to surrender our entire life to him.

Story: Give Complete Ownership To Jesus

A man built a double storied mansion and Jesus came one day and knocked at the door to the entrance of his mansion. The man opened the door for Jesus and welcomed him. He showed him around and before long gave him the best room in the 2nd storey for stay and said “please stay here with me”. The man now felt secure with Jesus having taken possession of his favourite room in the 2nd storey.

Before long he heard another knock and went to open the door. Even before he could open the door properly, he felt somebody sneaking in. He was totally disturbed when he realized that it was Satan who had sneaked in. Satan made a mess of every other room in the building except the one in which Jesus stayed. All the while our man thought that Jesus would come to his aid but when Jesus did not turn up, the man, unable to stand the commotion went to Jesus and sought his help. The moment Satan saw Jesus coming out of the room he ran away. The man asked Jesus “why did you not come to my help?”Pointing to the room in which he stayed Jesus said, “Son you gave me only this room to stay, how do you expect me to interfere with what is happening in the other rooms.”

The man realized his mistake and promptly gave Jesus the whole of the 2nd storey to use. The next morning he heard a knock on the door. Thinking that it might be Jesus calling him he ventured to open the door. Even before he could open the door wide Satan sneaked in and started playing havoc in the rooms on the ground floor. The man tried his best to rid Satan but could not. After a while he lost his patience and stormed upstairs. Everything was calm and quite upstairs.

“Lord, how could Satan come in this time with you upstairs” quizzed the man. Jesus smiled and answered “Son you only surrendered the rooms upstairs to me. You put me in charge of the rooms upstairs and look there is absolutely no problem here. As for the rooms downstairs, I have already told you that I never interfere in anything that is not surrendered to me.” Saying this Jesus put his arms around the person and walked downstairs. Seeing Jesus coming Satan fled the scene. The man now realized what Jesus wanted him to do and promptly gave Jesus the keys to the entire building.

Early next morning he heard a knock at the door. This time though, even before he could answer the door, Jesus answered the door. As usual it was Satan. The man leaned against the door of his bedroom as he overheard Satan saying “Sorry, I didn’t expect you here. How did the OWNERSHIP of this building change?” Jesus answered “The building is my property now it has been surrendered to me; I am in charge, so better get going”. The man was never troubled again by Satan.

—————- —————-

In 1 Peter 5:6-7 St. Peter the apostle says “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that in due time he may exalt you. Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you.” Very often we behave like the man who surrendered one room at a time to Jesus only to find problems in the others. However we never think twice before entrusting our life to total strangers.

In our anxiety to reach the office on time, we are prepared to trust the bus or taxi driver, a total stranger with our life. We are sure that he will take us to our destination safe and sound where as the fact is that being a human he is equally likely to commit a mistake and get us involved in an accident. On the other hand we have Christ who is so sure of everything he speaks and does, and will never get us into any trouble, but, we are hesitant to trust him. What an irony.

Each time you partake of the Holy Mass, offer yourself up to Jesus at the consecration of the bread and wine and listen to him in the person of the priest acknowledging your surrender with the words “This is MY BODY”. You have given yourself up to Christ and Christ has now acknowledged your body symbolizing your life as his own. What has taken place here is a change in ownership. Your body is no longer yours but Christ’s.

What happens a few minutes after the consecration confirms this truth. Your body (read your life with all its problems) has now been accepted and transfigured by Christ into his own body. Just believe that this is the body you receive in communion and you will feel sense and see a world of difference in your day and all that you do that day.

– – – written by Lajan Miranda

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