Sunday, March 24, 2013

Palm Sunday

The General Definitory meeting got over on Friday and some definitors began to leave for their visits and Chapters in their areas. It was a hectic and tight meeting where we had a good number of points on the agenda. We were able to approve the work of the Juridical and redaction commissions work on the Holy Constitutions, which will now go to the Vatican for approval. Let us pray that we have the new renewed and updated constitutions as early as possible.
During the meeting we visited the General curia where the renovation work is on. We were given a complete picture of the entire renovation work in the presence of the architect and engineers. It was a learning moment for all of us as they all explained the various process and steps of the renovation. 
Today is the Palm Sunday and the General Minister presided over the Mass with as usual a touching homily. He speaks to hearts and captures the attention of the audience. He has the faithful hanging on his lips. We had a short procession with olive branches. The entire curia community joined the college community where most of the students have left for Easter ministry in various parts of Italy.
I wish all of you a wonderful Holy Week and Holy Easter.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pope Francis Celebrates Eucharist

What a moment! Over a million People from all over the world gathered together in St. Peters square to attend the Mass of Pope Francis. From 7am onwards people began to congregate in the Piazza. The Pope made a round in the square! what a welcome and emotions! People hailing and shouting, Long Live the Pope. The whole ceremony was simplified and more participative. The Choir sang hymns in Latin which lifted the spirit of everyone.Many dignitaries from all over the world were with him. a good and humble Franciscan begining for a Jesuit Pope. 
The vocation of being a “protector”, however, is not just something involving us Christians alone; it also has a prior dimension which is simply human, involving everyone.  It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us and as Saint Francis of Assisi showed us.  It means respecting each of God’s creatures and respecting the environment in which we live. It means protecting people, showing loving concern for each and every person, especially children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think about.  It means caring for one another in our families: husbands and wives first protect one another, and then, as parents, they care for their children, and children themselves, in time, protect their parents.  It means building sincere friendships in which we protect one another in trust, respect, and goodness.  In the end, everything has been entrusted to our protection, and all of us are responsible for it.  Be protectors of God’s gifts!
Whenever human beings fail to live up to this responsibility, whenever we fail to care for creation and for our brothers and sisters, the way is opened to destruction and hearts are hardened.   Tragically, in every period of history there are “Herods” who plot death, wreak havoc, and mar the countenance of men and women.
Please, I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be “protectors” of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.  Let us not allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world!  But to be “protectors”, we also have to keep watch over ourselves!  Let us not forget that hatred, envy and pride defile our lives!  Being protectors, then, also means keeping watch over our emotions, over our hearts, because they are the seat of good and evil intentions: intentions that build up and tear down!  We must not be afraid of goodness or even tenderness!
Here I would add one more thing: caring, protecting, demands goodness, it calls for a certain tenderness.  In the Gospels, Saint Joseph appears as a strong and courageous man, a working man, yet in his heart we see great tenderness, which is not the virtue of the weak but rather a sign of strength of spirit and a capacity for concern, for compassion, for genuine openness to others, for love.  We must not be afraid of goodness, of tenderness!

Monday, March 18, 2013

General Definitory Meeting

One week of the General Definitory meeting got over Saturday Afternoon amidst wonderful l celebrations. We got the news of the New Pope during the meeting. All of us were anxious to know who the New Pope would be. All the Capuchins all over the world were praying for Shean Omaily one of our Capuchins, Cardinal of Boston. When the news was out all were in a festive mood. Some expressed that we are happy that the New Pope has taken our Founder and Father St. Francis name. We would have been happy to have a Capuchin pope many expressed the sentiments. The General Minister has written a letter to the Holy Father expressing the Orders support and prayers.
We begin the second part of our definitorial meeting today. And hope to finish by Friday. keep us in your holy prayers.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

You are always With Me

Today's Sunday Eucharist was officiated by the General Minister who preached an inspiring homily on the Gospel of the Day which spoke about the prodigal son. He said that we have heard many homilies and reflections on this Gospel text but we can never exhaust it's richness. He concentrated on both the sons who were only concerned about things and material benevolence which their Father could give them. They were preoccupied with asking and receiving but never bothered about the mercy and compassion, love and acceptance of the Father. The younger son asking for his share of property and the elder son accusing the Father for not giving a fatling for a celebration with Friends. He silenced him with an answer "You are always with me and what i have is yours". Jesus saying to one of the Robbers at Calavary "Today you will be  with me in Paradise". 
These days of the Lent is Lord is inviting us to be with Him in spirit and Love. Let us not run away from Him into our world which darkened and frightening. He is with us always.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Wonderful Experience

The retreat preached by Br. Luciano from Foggia Province really helped all of us to live our Capuchin charism. Five days of intense of prayer, reflection and medition has uplifted our spirits. The themes dealt by Luciano did touch our hearts and minds. The inner beauty which we have received as the gift from the Lord should not be lost but be enhanced in order to be union with the Lord. He presented the image of Moses, Francis, Padre Pio and Mother Mary who had the beauty of God in them and how they used it to be His instruments in the world. His homilies for the Eucharistic celebrations were well prepared and to the point.
I sang twice the Mantras during the Holy Hour which helped us to meditate well and talk to the Echaristic Lord. The Mantras were very simple and easy to repeat.
The Fraternity in Frascati did a fabulous job in providing good accomodation and symptuous meals. The food was simply awesome. The cooks are really good at their job. The friars did appreciate the food. I had the opportunity to prepare some Indian Chicken Curry and a Mangalorean type of Pork preparation. The Chicken curry and pork got over immediately. it was indeed tasty. The next day morning Indian hand made bread called "Chappatis" were prepared for breakfast. Oh it was inter-continetal food indeed!
Thank You Luciano and Thanks to Guardian Jose who organised the retreat. Thanks to General Minister who preached a heart throbbing and soul searching homily on the last day.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Retreat focuses on "Inner Beauty"

The preacher is animating us very well with his thought provoking and inspiring talks. For last two days he spoke about many aspects about our Capuchin Franciscan and Human life. He is challenging us to live the call without losing the inner beauty which God has placed in each one of us. The following are the points which he highlighted in his talks:
- greatness of man lies in knowing and living the Glory of God
- God refills us with His Glory in order to shine for him in the world
- With our sins God gives us the power to refill once again with His Glory as He did with Adam
- God created me beautiful and good. He wants me to remain beautiful and good always. 
- Thank God for the gift of Baptism which renders us beautiful. Padre Pio cried the whole day and a friar asked the reason for crying. Padre Pio replied saying that he has not thanked God for he gift of Baptism which made him good and beautiful. 
- Through Charity and Love towards God and one another we preserve this beauty within us. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Annual Retreat at Frascati

We began our spiritual retreat last evening in the friary at Frascati. It is cold and very nice climate. A wonderful place for prayer and meditation. The entire General Curia with General Definitory is present for the retreat.
This morning, a Capuchin friar from the Province of Foggia who is a preacher said that as responsible friars you need enthusiasm to serve the Order and to instill that enthusiasm in every friar of the Order. He will base all his talks on the Liturgical readings of the Day. This morning he spoke about the invitation of God to Moses to climb the mountain to be filled with His grace and experience and to descend down to share that experience with the People down at the foot of the Mountain. Moses meets and encounters God in the name of People. People who are close and far away from God. Moses feels as a part of the people of God who are spiritually poor. Moses participates in every aspect of the life of the people especially their stories, history, signs and symbols.
The preacher concluded the talk with four points for our reflection:
1. To search God everyday
2. Minority is necessary to speak of God otherwise we will speak about ourselves rather than God
3. To be available
4. To be in History, to come down to be with one another.
Pray for us and we will pray for you all.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Doctorate In Psychology

On 28th of Feb. 2013 Br. Lawrence SOOSAI NATHAN from the province of Tamil Nadu South, defended his doctoral thesis in the state University of Milano, Italy. I participated along with Brothers Damien and Joseph. Br. Lawrence with full preparations and confident in the subject defended his thesis infront of the panel of 8 professors and a conference hall filled with students and well-wishers. Lawrence is well known counseller in Tamil Nadu and has worked in Anugraha for number of years as a professor. He has studied in Canada and now completed his doctorate in Milano. He has worked hard in researching on the theme. The panel was very much satisfied with his work and so they have given him Summa Cum Laude. Congrates Br. Lawrence. Keep it up. He has been active in the CCMSI conducting the final preparatory course for our brothers. The theme of his thesis is: ALTRUISM AND THE PROMOTION OF INDIVIDUAL AND COMMUNITY WELL-BEING: A CROSS-CULTURAL EXPLORATION. The following is extract from his introduction.

Altruism has been widely explored throughout history within the humanities. However, scientific explorations of altruism emerged prominently from evolutionary biology and social psychology. Recently, positive psychology gave impetus to altruism studies, adopting the specific perspective of well-being promotion. In particular, the theoretical framework of eudaimonia, founded on Aristotle‟s conceptualization of well-being as the pursuit of one‟s diamon (true nature or spirit unique to each person), highlighted the potential of altruism for fostering individual and community well-being. Its emphasis on the essential role of individual‟s contribution to society in the process of realizing one‟s diamon has led to an explosion of altruism investigations.