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July 20th, 2012

Oh God, Help My Unbelief

Oh God Help My Unbelief

I feel God is trying to fulfill some of His promises through me in my missionary life in North-East. When I came away from Kerala as a very young sister my dream about mission was – climb the hills and mountains, cross the rivers and valleys in the name of Jesus and preach His name and heal the sick and bandage the wounded.

Today when I look back I feel Jesus took me in His hand as His humble instrument to fulfill my dream. I worked as a nurse in different parishes and there I felt God used me to fulfill this promise. “And these signs will accompany those who believe, by using my name they will cast out demons, they will speak in new languages they will pick up snakes in their hands and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them, they will lay their hands on the sick and they will recover” (Mk.16:17-18).

Seeking help from God’s girls

On the Feast day of Holy Rosary, on 7th October we the sisters were praying in the morning. Two Hindi men came to the convent and called ‘Gods girls’ (they did not know to call sisters because they were Hindus). ‘Gods girls’ (in their language) and the Superior of the house came out and enquired. They told us ‘you God’s girls please come with us. In our village one lady is about to die after her delivery, for two weeks, she is suffering and the baby is alive. Please come and save. Mother’s condition is very critical. After delivery, for two weeks placenta remains in the womb and the lady was suffering from all kinds of sickness. She is unconscious. Please come, please come’. After hearing all these stories and knowing that the village is 5 hours of walking distance, I was in dilemma.

Only because of their faith in us I decided to go with them having put my trust in God. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic ‘Son, your sins are forgiven’ (Mk.2/5). Another Word of God that strike me was that “If you believe you will see the glory of God’ (Jn.11:40). Therefore I went with them walking through the jungle, climbing the hills and mountains, crossing the rivers and valley. While I was walking it reminded me of the journey of Joseph and Mary to Egypt.

After 5 hours of walk we reached in the village. Though body was weak, mind and heart was open to God. “The prayer of the poor goes from their lips to the ear of God” (Sir.21/5). Big crowds were gathered in and around that house. As I reached there all the eyes fell on me hoping something. Like St. Peter I did not have faith and courage to say “I have neither silver nor gold but what I have I give you, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth stand up and walk” (Act.3/6). Yes, all things are possible for the one who believes. Immediately like the father of that child I too cried out in mind “I do believe help my unbelief” (Mk.9/23-24).

Then in one hand holding Rosary and with the other hand I examined the lady who was unconscious and started the medication. While treatment was going on, sitting with them I prayed like the Prophet Elijah 1Kgs.18/36-37 “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel let it be known this day that you are God in this place, that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your bidding. Answer me O Lord; answer me, so that this people may know that you are Lord”.

The Miracle happens

While I was praying the Rosary I felt Mother Mary telling me that nothing will be impossible with God. After two hours of medication the lady started to move her hand and feet and opened the eye. Next day morning the sick lady improved much and we went back to our house and proclaimed how much Jesus has done for us and every one was amazed and many believed in the name and power of Jesus.

In my missionary life I have always experienced God’s hand working in me. So as I write this touching God experience, with this feeling I say that “they went out and proclaimed the good news every where, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied it” (Mk.16/20).

God has been illumining my path with His life-giving Word. I am grateful to God for the ways that He made use of me to act as His instrument and I am proud of my missionary call especially to this North Eastern part of India.

Oh God, Help My Unbelief!

– – – written by Sr.Agie CMC, Dimapur

July 19th, 2012

Lust is a Sin

Lust is A Sin

Lust – No sins, my children, ruin and destroy a soul so quickly as this shameful sin; it snatches us out of the hands of the good God and hurls us like a stone into an abyss of mire and corruption. Once plunged in this mire, we cannot get out, we make a deeper hole in it every day, we sink lower and lower. Then we lose the faith, we laugh at the truths of religion, we no longer see Heaven, we do not fear Hell.

O my children! How much are they to be pitied who give way to this passion! How wretched they are! Their soul, which was so beautiful, which attracted the eyes of the good God, over which He leaned as one leans over a perfumed rose, has become like a rotten carcass, of which the pestilential odor rises even to His throne.

See, my children! Jesus Christ endured patiently, among His Apostles, men who were proud, ambitious, greedy – even one who betrayed Him; but He could not bear the least stain of impurity in any of them; it is of all vices that which He has most in abhorrence: “My Spirit does not dwell in you,” the Lord says, “if you are nothing but flesh and corruption.”

God gives up the impure to all the wicked inclinations of his heart. He lets him wallow, like the vile swine, in the mire, and does not even let him smell its offensive exhalations…. The immodest man is odious to everyone, and is not aware of it. God has set the mark of disgrace on his forehead, and he is not ashamed; he has a face of brass and a heart of bronze; it is in vain you talk to him of honor, of virtue; he is full of arrogance and pride. The eternal truths; death, judgment, paradise, hell – nothing terrifies him, nothing can move him.

So, my children, of all sins, that of impurity is the most difficult to eradicate. Other sins forge for us chains of iron, but this one makes them of bull’s hide, which can be neither broken nor torn; it is a fire, a furnace, which consumes even to the most advanced old age. See those two infamous old men who attempted the purity of the chaste Susannah; they had kept the fire of their youth even till they were decrepit. When the body is worn out with debauchery, when they can no longer satisfy their passions, they supply the place of it, oh, shame! by infamous desires and memories.

With one foot in the grave, they still speak the language of passion, till their last breath; they die as they have lived, impenitent; for what penance can be done by the impure, what sacrifice can be imposed on himself at his death, who during his life has always given way to his passions? Can one at the last moment expect a good confession, a good Communion, from him who has concealed one of these shameful sins, perhaps, from his earliest youth – who has heaped sacrilege on sacrilege? Will the tongue, which has been silent up to this day, be unloosed at the last moment?

No, no, my children; God has abandoned him; many sheets of lead already weigh upon him; he will add another, and it will be the last…

– – – written by St.John Vianney

July 18th, 2012

Are You Fake or Real?

Are You Fake or Real

After the church collection on Sunday, while counting them I came across a fake currency. I am not sure of its owner, but now it has been given to the Lord, knowingly or unknowingly. If it is knowingly, the person has done a great mistake. God will not accept fake currencies.

I had a thorough check with that fake one. It was the photo copy of the real one. Now everything is possible, still the person who made it was not able to give the real identification mark for that currency. It was missing. Simple people might be betrayed, but once it goes to bank, surely they will identify the fake and the real one. It also might cause one’s arrest.

That day evening I was having a few thoughts in my mind. I judged quickly when I am cheated. Often I act as a fake one in front of God. Seldom am I aware of this nature in me. I have a fake conscience, fake heart and a fake personality. My real personality could have been Jesus’. I am called to holiness. I am called to become another Christ in this world in my words, deeds and thoughts.

At the time of baptism I was also given the light to become the light, by getting strength from the real light. I have been given the identification mark as the child of God, a faithful member in the Church. However I prefer to use the photocopy of this identity. I go for prayer and the sacraments without being aware of its importance in my life. The real identity is being tapped. Often I enjoy going and praying to God like that fake one, without knowing that God will not accept my fake nature.

My conscience is not clear. Although, I claim that I repent and go for the sacrament of reconciliation, in my conscience still remains the fake character which I hesitate to give up. Through that incident, God was teaching me a lesson that instead of judging the one who did it I have to judge my fake nature. I came to conscious about the unreal in me. If God wants to arrest me, embarrass me, surely He could have done it. However He forgives.

St. Paul calls the followers of Christ to imitate him to become a good disciple. God did not create anybody as Xerox copy of His image but created the human being as His own image. To live in that image is imitation. Here one loses the image, like that fake currency. Today there are fake medicines, fake doctors, fake professionals etc. Once they are caught by the civil law, their punishment will be greater. The fake physician might be generous person, but his identity itself shows the person is duplicate in heart, likewise the fake professionals. The fake medicines might be cheaper and easily accessible; but it will not be advisable.

The nature of these fake ones to under-estimate the value of the real one comes from a fake conscience. They might be smarter but not intelligent; they might be cheaper but not curable. As a follower of Christ one cannot be fake but real. We are called to imitate Jesus, but not to fake him through our actions.

There are people who got two ways of life. They follow the world and they try to be close to God. They also give to God, something which they receive from their nature. They can be double tongued, speak sweetly and convincingly. They are like the chameleon able to change their colours. In this scientific world, where the plastic surgery is possible, and few go for it, these people with a cool mind are able to change them.

Even they are ready to go to church. Their intention is not to follow Jesus, but to save their face which they change according to the situation. This is the fake nature in human being, which Jesus will not accept; although one might think that he is not aware of it.

To understand the real nature in one, what can be done? When we counted that money, we checked its colour, printing, the golden (Silver) lines etc. The same way one has to go through the proper test, a heart surgery. The best surgeon in the world is Jesus Christ. Allow Him to cut ones’ heart piece by piece. One might encounter the fakeness attached to one’s heart. Some times it is very hard to be removed, but He will be able to help one who is ready to cooperate with the real doctor.

Again be aware, that there are fake doctors, who might say that it is necessary in today’s world, otherwise one cannot live. But Jesus operates the heart; he will also help to heal it. He also might help you to have a proper test about your senses. One has to wait patiently to get the result, because the senses also can become the fake ones.

The fake currencies may be less, the fake medicines might be less, fake doctors and professionals might be less but fake, and duplicate personalities are much. Am I being counted one among them by Jesus? If so, now on take a decision to discover my true nature. Constant prayer and frequent receiving of sacraments, especially sacrament of reconciliation, can help one to be real.

– – – written by  Fr. Biju Maramkuzhackal SVD

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