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May 7th, 2011

Prayer : Sorry My Loving Father

Sorry My Loving Father

Loving Father
all the fancy words
in the world
expressed in eloquent prose
decorated with emotion
spoken with conviction
cannot compete with a heartfelt
‘sorry’
when all other words fail.

There are times
when we are all too aware
of our limitations
conscious of sin
and the distance it creates between us.
Sometimes ‘sorry’
is all the heart can bear to say aloud.

It is only you
who can read and understand
the language of our hearts
Only you who can translate our ‘sorry’
into the prayer we would have prayed
if we had the words within us.

Then you forgive
and having forgiven
surround us in an embrace of love
drawing us close to your heart
as it was always meant to be.

Thank you, Loving Father
that you listen to hearts
as well as voices
Thank you.

September 15th, 2010

St. John Vianney : The Model Priest

St. John Vianney

As we all know Holy Father Benedict XVI proclaimed “The year of the Priest” on the fest day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 2009 to mark the 150th death anniversary of St. John Vianney. He has exhorted us to reflect deeply on our life and ministry as priests and has encouraged us to strive for greater spiritual perfection.

We can see the exhortation of the Holy Father as a divine intervention, because it is something that is very much needed in the present milieu of globalization and worldliness in which we live. After the second Vatican Council there was an identity crisis especially among priests and religious leaders. We have to accept the undeniable fact that the priesthood today is facing a serious crisis. This is seen clearly in the lack of appreciation and interest for the priesthood and the declining number of vocations, an increase in number of those leaving priesthood and the scandalous lives of priest who have gone astray.

It is an opportune time to recall our initial commitment and fervor when we are ordained, and a time to look deeply into our own innermost personal lives and to see the wonders God has done in calling us to priesthood and in our priestly ministry and to approach the merciful Father in true repentance for all the failures in living our priesthood in fidelity to Christ our High priest.

It is a time for us to remember that “we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who is in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us approach the throne of grace… so that we may receive mercy and grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:15-26). Like St. Paul, we need to acclaim, “His grace is sufficient for me. For when I am weak I am strong and I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.”

We have St. John Mary Vianney, an outstanding model of priestly life and ministry. His exemplary life can inspire and help us to overcome all the challenges that we are facing today and help us to achieve greater spiritual perfection and live our priestly call in all fidelity to the Lord. His priestly life is an answer to what we need today. It is really fitting that the 150th year of his death is dedicated to this wonder model of priestly virtues.

We thank God for giving us this holy pastor for our imitation and sanctification. The simple and humble priest of Ars John Mary Vianney responded to the special call to be a priest of the Church, to be a shepherd like Jesus to his people. He always remains a shining example to all priests and the people of God.

Personal Holiness

First of all his personal holiness was manifested in his day-today life. He was a man of prayer. He spent hours before the Blessed Sacrament. St Paul, call to holiness was really personalized in his life. “You are children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you must shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life” (2 Phil 2:15-16). St. John Vianney became a beacon of light holding on to the Word of God among the people of Ars who were crooked and perverse.

Every Eucharist that we offer, every sacrament we administer and every act of our priestly ministry should draw us to greater holiness. A priest cannot be successful in the work of sanctifying others, unless he aims at his own personal holiness through prayer. Prayer is the nourishment to our souls.

St. Augustine says; “without food the body cannot nourish itself, and without prayer the soul cannot keep itself alive.” For the priest, prayer is the main spring of life and activity.

Priest : A Good Shepherd

St. John Vianney was living a true shepherd life of his Savior and master Jesus Christ. The Word of God became flesh in his life and activity. The shepherd as Gospel tells, must have a deep love for the sheep, know them intimately, lead them towards good pastures, defend them against ravenous wolves or roaring lions and go out to reach for those who stray away for the hold. He formed himself to become like the Good Shepherd.

He was a model of pastoral dedication and commitment. He utilized his energy, talent, patience and all his love for the people who have gone astray lacking Christian faith and morals which was a consequence of the French Revolution. He did all he could in order to help his parishioners. He saw the Lord in his parishioners. He says, “a good pastor, a pastor according to the heart of God is the greatest treasure that the Lord could grant the parish, and one of the most precious gifts of his divine mercy.”

Priest : A Martyr at the Confessional

He spent many hours per day in the confessional in order to reconcile men with God and with one another. “The Cure de Ars is a true martyr of the confessional” (John Paul II). He sought in every way, to help his people rediscover the significance and the beauty of the sacrament of confession.

My dear priests, the year of priest is an occasion to make an introspection into our life as priests. Let us ask ourselves, “Am I really faithful to my call to priestly life? Is my life and example worthy enough to draw people to the Lord? Jesus brought back crowds to the joy of salvation, Do I?”

Let us ask the good Lord to assist and inspire all of us priests to live a good and holy life after the example of St. John Mary Vianney. Let us make use of this God-given opportunity to renew our life and make our ministry happy and fruitful to the people of God.

– – – written by Mar Gregory Karotemprel CMI, Bishop of Rajkot

June 20th, 2010

Godly Dads Video

Godly Dads video clip is given above.

Play the above video explaining all about our dearest Godly Dads. Children, please take a moment to share this special video message with the Godly Dads in your life as a reminder of what a blessing they are to us. And Dads, just read on to know what you can do to fulfill the call.

On Father’s day perhaps the greatest question every husband and father should ponder is “Am I fulfilling my high calling from God to bless my wife and children?”

Today as we open to I Peter 3, we proclaim the incredible duty that God has given to husbands and fathers to bless those around them in their life and family. God’s Word declares that He has chosen husbands to lead their homes and marriages with Christlike love. Jesus showed us how to love by His example to His disciples. Part of what every born again husband and father will stand before Christ’s Throne and explain is how he did at blessing his wife and family with Christ’s sacrificial love.

Specifically husbands and fathers have the opportunity every day to BLESS their children (and wives) in three very crucial ways.

Men, write these down, and ask yourself over the next few minutes, “Am I doing this?”
  • Godly Dads can bless their children (and wives) by their Time invested in them.
  • Godly Dads can bless their children (and wives) by their Lifestyle lived out as a servant.
  • Godly Dads can bless their children (and wives) by their Words of blessing, spoken aloud to those they love.
God will not ask how profitable his company was, how successful his investment strategies were, how well his building projects were, He will say, “I called you to be a blessing—how did you do at that calling?”.

To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.

Download PDF –  How Godly Dads Can Bless Their Children

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