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November 13th, 2010

Learn To Stand Alone With God

Stand Alone With God

Learn To Stand Alone With God.

There comes a time when you must stand alone.

You must feel confident enough within yourself to follow your own dreams.

You must be willing to make sacrifices.

You must be capable of changing and rearranging your priorities so that your final goal can be achieved.

Sometimes, familiarity and comfort need to be challenged.

There are times when you must take a few extra chances and create your own realities.

Be strong enough to at least try to make your life better.

Then God will call you to make other peoples’ life better and prosperous.

Be confident enough that you won’t settle for a compromise just to get by, but have depth.

Appreciate yourself by allowing yourself to open to the opportunities to grow, develop, learn, nourished because all those moments are God given.

Since God is precious, the chances He gives are also precious.

November 6th, 2010

Children Are God’s Gift

Children Are God’s Gift

After completing the work of creation, God, the Father blessed the first couple entrusting them with a special task, saying: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it…” (Gen. 1:28). The Psalmist, who grasped the content and message of this great invitation, sang beautifully filled with the Spirit of the Lord: “Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them. He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate” (Ps. 127:3-6). A few decades have passed after the spine of the theory of population explosion propagated by the proponents of demography was deplorably broken.

We can see couples who hail from two contrary poles: the first group is those who are devoutly and prayerfully waiting to get a child. They go about in fast, penance and alms-giving from one retreat centre to another, from one charismatic convention to another, from one guru to another, with much hope and longing! Contrary to this is the second category. We can see them line up in front of abortion clinics, government hospitals and even at the door of quacks and primitive doctors! They have not accepted their child as a gift from God, though they got it sometimes as the outcome of their own loose life!

Not long ago we have read a report about tourist countries where the flesh of aborted children is cooked to fill the stomach of those human cannibals who go to tourist resorts and five star hotels! It is not an amazing thing. Centuries before God Himself warned mankind concerning this sort of atrocities: “You shall eat the flesh of your sons, and you shall eat the flesh of your daughters” (Lev. 26:29). “The hands of compassionate women have boiled their own children; they became their food in the destruction of my people” (Lam. 4:10).

Prior to conception the parents should conceive the children in their hearts! That is why the Lord said to Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jer. 1:5). The children, who were given birth in the hearts of their parents before they were really conceived in the wombs, will leap like John the Baptist from the mother’s womb filled with the Holy Spirit! In the life of such mothers also great divine interventions will take place as happened to Mary and Elizabeth! They shall be a blessing. The couple who place their hands every day on the womb during the pregnancy to pray that the child be filled with the Holy Spirit is an excellent example for all couples.

Children have access to the presence of God all the time. The Gospels portray Christ who rebukes the disciples who chased the children who came to him. Our Lord categorically declares that those who do not become like innocent children will not enter the Kingdom of God. To give birth to children and bring them up is a responsible and demanding task. All are called for that. The grace of God is sufficient for success in this great mission. Each child is an indispensable link in the chain of generations. In each child a generation is concealed. That is why God said to Abraham: “I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing” (Gen.12:2). To kill a child is equal to kill a generation or a people! Each child is a link of generations that will incessantly continue until the end of the world. Let this link be not broken, let us not break it.

Children may ask us unanswerable questions, they may criticize us, and they may trouble us. Allow them to grow in their own way. The boy Jesus also troubled the scholars and teachers in the Temple of Jerusalem! At times, the birth of some infant takes away the peace and sleep from parents and others. When Herod heard about the birth of child Jesus he became restless and sleepless. That is why he brutally killed around two hundred infants. Today a similar killing is taking place; only the difference is that today they are killed in the womb.

Like Mother Mary, we should be able to see a savior in every child. Once, a devotee complained to God: “Why are you not giving us a doctor who can give medicine for Aids and cancer?” God replied: “I have sent two men into the world with the proper cure. But their parents did not allow them to see the light”. No child is born accidentally. Children are born with a mission and a task to be accomplished. Those who hinder this, in effect, act against the Divine plan. Sinners who repent should bear the fruits of conversion.

After the first fratricide in human history, God said to the murderer, Cain: “What have you done? Listen; your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!”(Gen. 4:10). On another occasion He said: “And be sure your sin will find you out” (Num. 32:23). But still the merciful Lord gives us a string of hope, saying: “Have you sinned my child? Do so no more, but ask forgiveness for your past sins” (Sir. 21:1). “He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities” (Ps. 103:10). There is no dirt that cannot be cleansed by a bath in Christ’s blood. There is no wound that cannot be healed with the anointing of His blood.

Let us walk towards Him to be anointed with His blood which is the only antidote for all our infirmities and maladies! Let us resolve to side with the unborn innocent children. Let us pray for them. Let us intercede for them so that the Lord of life may save us from the clutches of this culture of death.

– – – written by Bro. Vineesh Joseph

October 28th, 2010

Every Disappointment is an Appointment With God

Every Disappointment Is An Appointment With God

Every disappointment is for an appointment with God.

If you are disappointed, lonely and distressed; be attentive and stay awake, for there will be an appointment at any time – God will hear your cry. Your disappointment is for an appointment with God.

Have you ever come across disappointment that did not give way to an appointment with God while you walked in justice? No, you cannot. Here are few examples from the Scripture, whose disappointments turned to appointments with God, as a result grace and mercy flowed into their lives.

Our Father Abraham had lost all his hope for having a child at the age of hundred and Sarah in her nineties. The Lord appeared to him by the Oaks of Mamre (Gen: 18:1) in a disguised form of three strangers but Abraham realized them at once as the angels of God. ‘It is important to recognize the voice of God, His image and His time of appointment in the midst of our pains, sufferings and troubles of life.’

Abraham was very attentive to God’s voice as he walked in justice and righteousness for a century. As a result his pain for not having an offspring ended in an appointment with God. Though Sarah was incapable of bearing a child, Abraham grabbed the grace of having one at the time of appointment. They appeared to be three ordinary men but Abraham realized God in them which changed his mourning into dancing and his disappointment to a favorable appointment.

Going further we see, Zachariah and his wife Elizabeth, both righteous before God and advanced in years yet, they hadn’t the blessing of having an offspring. It was very inspiring to know that they were still praying for a son and waiting for an appointment with God. It is clear when the angel appeared to Zachariah saying, “Don’t be afraid, God has heard your prayers and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son”. (Luke: 1:13) The example of Zachariah would inspire many childless couple to knock at the Heaven’s door with faith and trust.

It is interesting to note how God arranged for an appointment with Zechariah in the temple while the multitude of people were praying outside, at the hour of incense. Did this appointment take place by chance? No, not at all. It was pre-planned centuries ago. Will He not have such plans and appointments in our case too? Surely, so stay awake! We need to recognize His voice and His image in the midst of our disappointments.

At the time of Jesus there was a chief tax collector named Zacchaeus, who was rich with regard to money but with poor self image (Lk.19:2). Being a tax collector his poor image in the public and his small stature disturbed him and pained him at times. This pain and loneliness led him to seek for an appointment with God. Here Zacchaeus took the initiative and the trouble to climb the sycamore accepting his poor stature. His limitations brought him and his family closer to Jesus. Zacchaeus regained his lost image, confidence and peace of mind at the appointment with God. What about us, do we make our every appointment with God, a source of blessing, peace and joy?

When we are lonely, distressed, troubled and disappointed, it is natural to cry out to the Lord for help. Our God is a living God who is ever attentive to the cry of His children. Often God takes the initiative for an appointment as in the case of Abraham, Zechariah and many of us.

At times God rewards persons who take the first step for an appointment, just as we see in the life of Zacchaeus. In any case if you are disappointed and seeking justice you are sure to have an appointment with God, which would lead you to peace, joy, contentment, healing, success and blessings.

– – – written by Sr. Mercy Pottokaran OSB

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