Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Monday, May 28, 2018
I never saw it coming. A group of us were sipping coffee together, just before a meeting, when out of the blue my friend made a cutting remark that sliced deep into my heart.
I stood there for a few minutes, paralyzed, realizing firsthand why a wound from a friend hurts more than a wound from an enemy (Ps. 55:12-14). That hurtful, stinging comment left me staggering, wondering what provoked such a fierce blow.
Had I misunderstood our friendship? Were we friends or enemies? What do you do when a friend hurts you?
Receiving “friendly wounds” from people who are supposed to love us can break our hearts. Shut us down. Damage our trust. Jesus experienced the same thing with His friends, too. And yet somehow, He continued to love past it.
Since neglected, buried wounds do not heal, it’s important to deal with them. God promises to help us (Ps. 147:3). When we bring our wounds to Him, He can mend our hearts and teach us how to love past our pain. In fact, Scripture provides a lot of Godly wisdom for emotional healing.
5 things to do if you’ve been hurt by a friend:
1. Be patient in prayer.
I’m learning to apply prayer to my emotional wounds often, like medicine. It helps to say this truth out loud: “I believe God can heal every wound.” Since healing occurs gradually, I’m trying to be patient as I pray for my friend and for my attitude.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Rom. 12:12 NIV
Since I’ve been a less-than-perfect friend at times, I need to extend grace. Remembering thatthe one who holds a grudge hurts the most, helps me let it go. Since God overlooks a lot to stay in a relationship with me, I must overlook the faults of my friends, too.
“Bear with each other and forgive one another . . . Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Col. 3:13 NIV
3. Extend an olive branch.
It isn’t necessary to rehash details in order to make peace and move on. Seeking peace may include going to my friend and saying, “Lately, I’ve sensed that there is hurt between us, how can I make it right?” Making the effort to reconcile opens the door for communication and healing.
“. . . First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift [of worship].” Mt. 5:24 ESV
4. Don’t gang up.
When we’re wounded, it’s tempting to recruit others to be on “our side.” Regrettably, I’ve done this, and it does not help. I’ve learned to seek counsel only from someone who isn’t involved. Since Satan loves to pit us against each other, I don’t want to let him break my friendships apart.
“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. . .” Lev. 19:18 NI
5. Expect occasional friendly fire.
The more we care about someone, the more he or she can hurt us. Even in the best friendships, there will always be a little pain—I must accept this as truth. Being shocked by friendly fire only makes it hurt worse. Resisting the temptation to strike back or get even may save the friendship.
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Ex. 14:14 NIV
Maybe you have been hurt by a friend recently, too.
A thoughtless remark was made. A friend was selfish. Irritable. Downright mean. You can view it as something terrible that will always hurt you or as something that God can somehow use for good.
I know how badly wounds from a friend can hurt! Seek God’s face; spend time in His presence. Let His love heal you. Remember, God can create something beautiful out of every wound—even the wound of a friend.
Taken from (ICAN)
Sunday, May 27, 2018
God is not an idea but an experience. To speak of God as Trinity in an abstract way, even finding the most fascinating and convincing arguments, risks not getting anything and taking away from the path of the Gospel. In the first centuries of the history of the Church much has been discussed and deepened to understand who God is as Jesus had shown: God is One and Triune, the only God in three Persons,? Trinity of Persons, the unity of nature, the equality in the divine majesty?. The Creed we profess every Sunday, is the result of a long process of understanding by the Councils that brought together and then also reconcile bishops and Christian communities throughout the world. It really took centuries to arrive at a unitary definition of this profound identity of God the Trinity. And it is that definition of the Creed that we recite.
But the Trinity is not just a concept, but it is primarily a life experience, which is understood precisely in life lived and not so much in a reasoning at the table. The Gospel according to Matthew this Sunday tells us about the risen Jesus who gives the last fundamental instructions to his apostles. And they are instructions that as an address of personal life and as a church are also intact for us today. Jesus sends his disciples, sets them in motion. It is therefore never time to stand still on themselves, it is not time to raise barriers to defense, it is not time to consolidate territorial gains, it is not time to count how many we are in the group and to stand out from others. It is time to go, to create bonds and to baptize. The word is to baptize? it should be understood not as a simple ritual invitation, but in its main meaning, which is to "immerse". Does baptism mean "immersion", and the purpose of the mission of the disciples is that the whole world is immersed? in God, Father Son, Holy Spirit, just as God himself has immersed himself? in the world with Jesus
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
I know when I was provincial minister, the vocation promoters would spend a lot of money in advertising about our way of life in local magazines. The result was not so encouraging but what brought vocations to the Order was our personal meeting and dialoguing with the candidates. The visits to the schools, talks to the students in the parishes did help us tremendously. The invitation to the friars and faithful to pray hard for the vocations has worked miracles in many dioceses and religious congregations. The Lord sends workers in His vineyard and he chooses the right ones and we need to collaborate with the Lord in discerning the candidates through prayer. The Church has always received vocations in all the parts of world….because the Lord is the founder and father of the Church and according to the needs of the Church, the Lord has been sending good vocation to spread the good news and work in the missions.
When God chooses the vocations then our work is to preserve by good formation and accompaniment. The discernment process is not one sided but both the formee and formators have to work towards it. God has chosen us to be His instruments and not we who choose to be. Those who feel that they have chosen to be Priests and religious have always made mistakes and have not been happy in their life. They have abandoned abruptly because he did not choose them. God loves his chosen ones unconditionally and in His encounter with the chosen one He assures His love and guidance. God becomes a constant companion and shepherd.
During these days of choosing the candidates let us keep in mind that it is God who sends these young men and women to follow our way of life. It is our topmost responsibility to take care and nurture these vocations. Let the process of discernment begin with prayer inviting the entire diocese or province to pray intensely. The candidates respond positively and recognize and acknowledge the prompting of the Holy Spirit within them.
Monday, May 21, 2018
Visited Songaon Friary and Parish....here there are 5 friars working in the Parish and school....the school has grown with 700 students and they have sent their first SSC batch for board examinations.
St. James, knowing well our frail human condition, reminds us to choose God over the desires of the flesh and worldly allurements. He encourages us, "Draw close to God and he will come close to you." God wants to give us true happiness but we must be humble enough to give up our sinful behavior. Nowadays in our society, at home and in the work-place, everyone wants to be first. People jockey for promotions and the best assignments, to be given the most recognition. Everyone wants to be the best and the greatest. On the other hand God wants his followers to be the smallest, the kindest, the simplest, the most child-like. This was the example lived by Jesus, his only begotten Son. So if we wish to be like God's Son Jesus, we must choose the path of the lowly, the abject, the poor.In similar fashion, in the Gospel reading, Jesus surprises his disciples when he says that to be first one must make himself the servant of all. Jesus himself taught and lived this path of humility and selflessness. We pray that this could also be our path. Are we ready to walk and live this path, of being small, least and last? Jesus tells us this is the path to being first in God's eyes.The newly built cathedral of Nashik.....the Capuchins have worked here for 10 years and then the Bishop asked us to leave as he wanted his clergy to take over.....
Sunday, May 20, 2018
I am in my province since 16thof May visiting some of my friends and also few fraternities. The provincial minister and secretary are generous enough to take me around to visit the friaries outside Mumbai. On 19thMay we visited Pimpri,Pune where we have a parish with four friars serving the parishioners. This parish has grown over the years and it has been also growing in numbers and spiritual life. The province has always taken care to appoint friars who are pastorally well trained and have good experience of pastoring the people.
The next day we visited our Formation house of Theology “La Verna”. The brothers are all in vacation and the friars too were out. The Rector Brother John Garodi was at home who welcomed us. He gave us a nice dinner and of course I prepared my favorite Prawn curry. It was a good feeling to be in the house as I could not stay earlier after its completion. The brothers study in the campus of JDV run by the Jesuits…
Yesterday early morning we left Pune for Aurangabad, it is one of the fastest growing city. The Diocese is also growing under the new Bishop Ambrose Rebello. The Capuchins have two friaries in the Diocese and the Bishop has offered a new place in the City of Aurangabad. The Bishop has offered about half an acre of land to build our friary. One friar will be Principal of the school belonging to the diocese and two friars will be co-pastors in the parish but all three friars would stay in our own friary which is under construction.
Aurangabad Bishops House and the Cathedral. The diocese has 28 priests and equal number of religious priests. They have many schools and mission stations. The diocese has grown over the period of years.
Friday, May 18, 2018
The feast of Pentecost is being celebrated all over the world with enthusiasm and religious fervor. The Charismatic rallies are being organized and many good souls will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. The most important part of the feast is the calling by the Lord to be his witnesses. Witnesses filled with the Holy Spirit to speak in the name of the Lord, to do what He did, to speak the words, which He spoke…to be witnesses of fraternal, healing and forgiving love. The Witnesses of Jesus’ forgiving Love even to forgive and love enemies.
Witnesses are not frightened when they receive the Holy Spirit…. the witnesses don’t lock themselves in….but being bold and courageous go out to preach….heal, love, build and bring peace and communion. The gifts are not meant to be wrapped up in a nice paper but to be opened and shared…. the spirit of wisdom to guide other, the gift of understanding to bring closer those who have gone away and to counsel those who are groping in darkness and doubt.
The gifts of Holy Spirit will make us restless in order to spread good news. The gifts will take us to those places and people where nobody wants to go and talk to. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are a big instrument in building bridges of love and forgiveness. The Holy Spirit will encourage us to talk and have a dialogue with people who seem to be our enemies. The Holy Spirit will empower us to carry out the mission of the Lord.