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April 24th, 2015

The Psalm Of A Bishop

The Psalm Of A Bishop

I know, Lord, You are with me. Stand by me.

When I grow old, weak and stumbling
And my strength fails me
When I have run my course,
And I feel just emptiness as a sore

I know, Lord, You are with me. Stand by me.

When those whom I have known and loved
Are no more around with me to guide indeed
When my friends leave me one by one to yonder life
And when I am left in sadness but in deep faith

I know, Lord, You are with me. Stand by me.

When I feel hurt and dejected rightly or wrongly
When insults and gossips pelted on me merrily
When I feel dejected and dismayed selfishly
I turn back to God to ask Him why should suffer so badly

I know, Lord, You are with me. Stand by me.

The world moves on for all on earth rapidly or dimly
The new ones may ignore the old and the grumpy
And all these earthly woes, why bother, will pass away
And I shall be led to you in deep faith and love for you

I know, Lord, You are with me. Stand by me.

I know Lord; you are with me, deep in my heart
With Mother Mary, all the Angels and Saints
Lord, I am never alone, never old, but ever in the heart
Of all my friends, old and young on earth or in heaven

I know, Lord, You are with me. Stand by me.

Lord, I offer you, my ‘Fiat’ kept safe and sound by you I bet
Along with Yours and Mother Mary’s, I offer my tiny dot
With my parents and all my class friends, here on earth or in heaven
To the Glory of the Father, and the Holy Spirit For Ever and Ever, Amen.

I know, Lord, You are with me
Stand by me, Stand by me and Stand by me!

— prayer written by Msgr. + S.Michael Augustine
— Archbishop Emeritus of Pondicherry and Cuddalore, India

February 10th, 2013

20 Tips For A Good Confession

20 Tips For A Good Confession

Here are 20 tips for a good Confession:

1) Examine our consciences regularly and thoroughly;
2) Wait our turn in line patiently;
3) Come at the time confessions are scheduled, not a few minutes before they are to end;
4) Speak distinctly but never so loudly that we might be overheard;
5) State our sins clearly and briefly without rambling;
6) Confess all mortal sins in number and kind;
7) Listen carefully to the advice the priest gives;
8) Confess our own sins and not someone else’s;
9) Carefully listen to and remember the penance and be sure to understand it;
10) Use a regular formula for confession so that it is familiar and comfortable;
11) Never be afraid to say something “embarrassing”… just say it;
12) Never worry that the priest thinks we are jerks…. he is usually impressed by our courage;
13) Never fear that the priest will not keep our confession secret… he is bound by the Seal;
14) Never confess “tendencies” or “struggles”… just sins;
15) Never leave the confessional before the priest has finished giving absolution;
16) Memorize an Act of Contrition;
17) Answer the priest’s questions briefly if he asks for a clarification;
18) Ask questions if we can’t understand what he means when he tells us something;
19) Keep in mind that sometimes priests can have bad days just like we do;
20) Remember that priests must go to confession too … they know what we are going through.

Read more about confession.

December 8th, 2012

Is God Calling Me?

Is God Calling Me

Destinies are sometimes so; they would be incidental and surprising; some are heavy responsibilities, others the anointing to cry out the unpleasing. Some others would be the persuasion to carry His cross and help Him. Dear child, God’s call is so!

I do not know which of these the destiny is entrusted to you. But I know one thing; that, from now on your daily troubles would not be such as the old ones. You would never be watching the old ways, streets and familiar faces that you used to.

If God is calling You

If you are sure that He has called you… then, just keep your ears a bit closer to His heart and listen. Yet again if you could discern that voice, you are never to stay back. What awaits you is not a land of Canaan flowing milk and honey; not a paradise of wealth and pleasure. You may not have the castles of authority.

What you are to see; hearts bleeding, turbulent tides of lamentations unrest, skulls everywhere, crowds that condemn you; there may not be a sleepless mother waiting for you or a woman to embrace you on your journey back home.

When you are soaked under the rain and reach home, there may not be mother with a kerchief; no one to wait for you and share with you hot food. You are alone… Paying ears to the very many troubles and pains of the multitude, you would just be a cloud that is clotted in the air and unable to shrill rain. As you lift the bread in front of the thousands, you will be called to break yourself like it. Yes, my dear child, that is called vocation!

God’s call is so

Abraham – He first called an old man, a man who had to earn nothing at the end of life. He was one who couldn’t even give birth to a child at his fruitful years. He is called and asked to move to a land unseen and unheard of. He couldn’t resist His call nor deny it. Because his name was ‘Abram’; the one destined to be called.

Moses – Another man was called from the burning bush prepared literally like a ‘trap’. It was burning but not consumed. Moses was about to watch that great miracle from a little close circle and then he was called. (Exodus 3). God called him. From that day onwards his life was different; a journey for forty years leading an ungrateful people. He was tempted to stay back many a time. But he was unable to come to blows with the one who called him.

David – We see such call yet again in the first book of Samuel. A poor cattle boy, he was not even counted as worth in his family, the eighth son of Jesse. The greatest prophet of Israel is in search of him with a jar of anointing oil. That day David’s boyhood was over. The oil that poured out from the jar of Samuel, took away the little peace that he enjoyed in his life. My dear child, the ways that he ran through… tears filled nights… worries that he had to suffer. Yes, anointing has a price to be paid; a non payable price. Those are the psalms flowing from the heart which spreads through the 150 chapters.

Samuel – Look at the life of boy Samuel. There was a man called Elkanah in the hilly areas of Ephraim. His wife Hannah. She was barren. But she pleaded with the Lord and earned Samuel; a woman who made a covenant with the Lord. Hannah had promised God to offer her offspring to the Lord, if she is blessed with a child. She kept her promise. As he finished breastfeeding, she offered him to the Lord. A boy in the Temple… let us call him ‘offering.’

His Lord and owner was God Himself. Eli the priest was his guardian. In a cold night in the temple, God called him by name. Not one time, but three times. For the first two times he thought that it was Eli calling. Samuel approached him and asked for the purpose. ‘Did you call me?’ But Eli corrected him. He knew it was God calling Samuel. The call was clear for the third time. ‘Samuel, Samuel…” He responded, “Speak Lord, your servant listens.” Yes, it is called vocation.

Mary – Much more accidental was the call of Mary the young girl. Her father Joachim and mother Annah. Both of them died at her very young age. God is her owner. It is to this young girl that the messenger of the Lord, Gabriel, arrives. Mary was engaged; she never knew the man. That call might have stunned her. What gossips all around? What are the perils on the way…? Her life too was different from that day onwards. It was the call of a young girl called to be the Mother of God.

Mathew was a tax collector. He was called from his field. Peter’s call was not different. He left his boat and net aside and followed him. Another young man was hesitant and requested some time… and he was rebuked. Those who want to follow me must come in time by leaving everything. What an adamant invitation!

Saul – You might have heard of the call of Saul the young man. A man in the opposite team… He too was changed. Saul became Paul. He trusted in the one who called him… that too till death.

A question still awaits… Lord, tell me, what is my call?

“This is just useless as an old piece of paper. It could be thrown out as a worn out shoe. But you are calling me… I do not know for what… that is up to you. Here I am. A broken drum… tattered flowers… a tumbrel with raucous voice. Here I am Lord… you might use me as you wish…”

Download the document guide: Is God Calling Me

– – – written by Santimon Jacob

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