Thursday, February 28, 2013

Spiritual Harmony - Fr.Hedwig Lewis

Spiritual Harmony

Hedwig Lewis SJ

The Principle and Foundation and Contemplation to Attain Love are the overture and finale respectively of Ignatius’ orchestration of divine-human movements in the Exercises. The composition is “uplifting” – literally – from “i” to “YOU”.

The P-F begins with what “I ought to desire” – namely, harmony between God, Creation, and humankind. I order my life according to the divine rhythm. I stay attuned to what synchronizes with the divine purpose of my life, and exercise “passionate indifference” to whatever causes dissonance within and without.

The Contemplation is a “symphony” in four movements: God’s gift to me: my birth, family, personality, talents… (I sing of God’s graciousness). God’s self-giving: God’s empowering presence… (I join in the hymn to Creation). God’s ongoing labours… (As co-creator, I strive to create harmony). God’s unconditional self-giving love… (My life is but a song of love and service). The Exercises break into a crescendo in “Take and Receive”.

Like a musical instrument, I surrender myself entirely in the hands of my Maker. I let HIS music vibrate in my memory, understanding and will. I dance to God’s tune! Dance, because my surrender is joyful and liberating. I inspire others to become God’s partners – and dance.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Symposium on Ignatian Spirituality -Sr Leena Dorothy rjm

Symposium on Ignatian Spirituality

Under the able leadership of Fr Shekhar Manickam, the coordinator of Province Commission for Ignatian Spirituality, a Symposium on Ignatian Spirituality was organized at Jeevan Darshan Kendra, Vadodara from 1 to 3 February. The important feature of the Symposium was to share with the members of the Ignatian Family various modules of the Ignatian retreat. There were thirty participants, including nine Sisters from four different Congregations that follow Ignatian Spirituality.

The resource persons were: Frs Lancy D’Cruz (Eco-Spirituality), M.I. Raj (Word of God vis-à-vis human ego), Joseph Mattam (Traditional Ignatian Retreat based on personal experience), Victor Davamani (Ignatian Retreat for laity blended with charismatic dynamics), Ornellas Coutinho (The 19th Annotation – A Retreat in Daily Life) and Lawrence Dharmaraj (Dynamics of spiritual direction). They made very creative, insightful and richly experience-based presentations which were followed by clarifications and interactions.

A substantial amount of time was spent on sharing personal experience of the participants – either as retreatants or as retreat preachers. The common thread of all the sharings was the importance of personal prayer, gift of the Spirit, initiative of God and an interconnected ambience in directing a retreat.

One could confidently say that this symposium has been able to achieve its purpose: to strengthen the bond among the family members and to deepen our common Ignatian heritage. It was an encouraging, empowering and enriching experience as a result of which some of the participants, especially the sisters, felt called deep within to preach retreats in future. We wish them all the best and God’s blessings (Sr Leena Dorothy rjm).

Friday, February 22, 2013

Fr. John and Tommy

Fr. John and Tommy
Fr. John Powell, a professor at Loyola University in Chicago, writes about a student in his Theology of Faith class named Tommy:
Some twelve years ago, I stood watching my university students file into the classroom for our first session in the Theology of Faith. That was the day I first saw Tommy. He was combing his long flaxen hair, which hung six inches below his shoulders.
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long flaxen hairIt was the first time I had ever seen a boy with hair that long. guess it was just coming into fashion then. I know in my mind that it isn't what's on your head but what's in it that counts; but on that day. I was unprepared and my emotions flipped.
I immediately filed Tommy under "S" for strange... Very strange.
Tommy turned out to be the "atheist in residence" in my Theology of Faith course.
He constantly objected to, smirked at, or whined about the possibility of an unconditionally loving Father/God. We lived with each other in relative peace for one semester, although I admit he was for me at times a serious pain in the back pew.
When he came up at the end of the course to turn in his final exam, he asked in a cynical tone, "Do you think I'll ever find God?" I decided instantly on a little shock therapy. "No!" I said very emphatically.
"Why not," he responded, "I thought that was the product you were pushing."
I let him get five steps from the classroom door and then I called out, "Tommy! I don't think you'll ever find Him, but I am absolutely certain that He will find you!" He shrugged a little and left my class and my life.
I felt slightly disappointed at the thought that he had missed my clever line - "He will find you!" At least I thought it was clever.
Later I heard that Tommy had graduated, and I was duly grateful.
Then a sad report came. I heard that Tommy had terminal cancer.
Before I could search him out, he came to see me.
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When he walked into my office, his body was very badly wasted and the long hair had all fallen out as a result of chemotherapy. But his eyes were bright and his voice was firm, for the first time, I believe.
"Tommy, I've thought about you so often; I hear you are sick," I blurted out.
"Oh, yes, very sick. I have cancer in both lungs. It's a matter of weeks."
"Can you talk about it, Tom?" I asked.
"Sure, what would you like to know?" he replied.
"What's it like to be only twenty-four and dying? 
"Well, it could be worse. "Like what?”
"Well, like being fifty and having no values or ideals, like being fifty and thinking that booze, seducing women, and making money are the real biggies in life.”
I began to look through my mental file cabinet under "S" where I had filed Tommy as strange. (It seems as though everybody I try to reject by classification, God sends back into my life to educate me.)
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Lung Cancer"But what I really came to see you about," Tom said, "is something you said to me on the last day of class." (He remembered!) He continued, "I asked you if you thought I would ever find God and you said, 'No!' which surprised me.
Then you said, 'But He will find you.’ I thought about that a lot, even though my search for God was hardly intense at that time. (My clever line. He thought about that a lot!)
"But when the doctors removed a lump from my groin and told me that it was malignant, that's when I got serious about locating God. And when the malignancy spread into my vital organs, I really began banging bloody fists against the bronze doors of heaven.
"But God did not come out. In fact, nothing happened. Did you ever try anything for a long time with great effort and with no success?
"You get psychologically glutted, fed up with trying. And then you quit. Well, one day I woke up, and instead of throwing a few more futile appeals over that high brick wall to a God who may be or may not be there, I just quit. I decided that I didn't really care about God, about an afterlife, or anything like that. I decided to spend what time I had left doing something more profitable. I thought about you and your class, and I remembered something else you had said:
'The essential sadness is to go through life without loving.’
"But it would be almost equally sad to go through life and leave this world without ever telling those you loved that you had loved them. So, I began with the hardest one, my Dad. He was reading the newspaper when I approached him. 'Dad.' 
'Yes, what?' he asked without lowering the newspaper. "Dad, I would like to talk with you". 'Well, talk'. 'I mean. It's really important.'
"The newspaper came down three slow inches. 'What is it?'
'Dad, I love you, I just wanted you to know that.' Tom smiled at me and said it with obvious satisfaction, as though he felt a warm and secret joy flowing inside of him."The newspaper fluttered to the floor. Then my father did two things I could never remember him ever doing before. He cried, and he hugged me.
"We talked all night, even though he had to go to work the next morning.
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Tommy “It felt so good to be close to my father, to see his tears, to feel his hug, to hear him say that he loved me. 
"It was easier with my mother and little brother. They cried with me, too, and we hugged each other and started saying real nice things to each other. We shared the things we had been keeping secret for so many years.
"I was only sorry about one thing - that I had waited so long. Here I was, just beginning to open up to all the people I had actually been close to.
"Then, one day I turned around and God was there.
"He didn't come to me when I pleaded with Him. I guess I was like an animal trainer holding out a hoop, 'C'mon, jump through. C'mon, I'll give you three days, three weeks.'
"Apparently God does things in His own way and at His own hour.
"But the important thing is that He was there. He found me! You were right. He found me even after I stopped looking for Him." 

"Tommy," I practically gasped, "I think you are saying something very important and much more universal than you realize. To me, at least, you are saying that the surest way to find God is not to make Him a private possession, a problem solver, or an instant consolation in time of need, but rather by opening to love.
"You know, the Apostle John said that. He said: 'God is love, and anyone who lives in love is living with God and God is living in him.
"Tom, could I ask you a favor? You know, when I had you in class you were a real pain. But (laughingly) you can make it all up to me now. Would you come into my present Theology of Faith course and tell them what you have just told me? If I told them the same thing it wouldn't be half as effective as if you were to tell it.”
"Oooh... I was ready for you, but I don't know if I'm ready for your class."
"Tom, think about it. If and when you are ready, give me a call."
Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.In a few days Tom called, said he was ready for the class, that he wanted to do that for God and for me.
So we scheduled a date.
However, he never made it. He had another appointment, far more important than the one with me and my class.
Of course, his life was not really ended by his death, only changed.
He made the great step from faith into vision. He found a life far more beautiful than the eye of man has ever seen or the ear of man has ever heard or the mind of man has ever imagined.
Before he died, we talked one last time.
"I'm not going to make it to your class," he said.
"I know, Tom."
"Will you tell them for me? Will you ... tell the whole world for me?"
"I will, Tom. I'll tell them. I'll do my best."
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God's LoveSo, to all of you who have been kind enough to read this simple story about God's love, thank you for listening.
And to you, Tommy, somewhere in the sunlit, verdant hills of heaven--I told them, Tommy, as best I could.
If this story means anything to you, please pass it on to a friend or two.
It is a true story and is not enhanced for publicity purposes.
With thanks,
Rev. John Powell, Professor,
LoyolaUniversity , Chicago

Monday, February 18, 2013

Charitable strides

Charitable strides

More than 6,500 Amdavadis participated in the 11th Annual Motif Charity Walk; helped to raise Rs 44 lakh.

Amdavadis walked and jogged their way to good health on a chilly Sunday and in the process helped raise Rs 44 lakh. More than 6,500 people, from the age of 6 to 60, participated in the 11th edition of annual Motif Charity Walk. 

The 5-km walk and 10-km run was flagged off from LD College of Engineering and passed by B K School of Management, Vijay Crossroads, Helmet Circle, Blind People’s Association and PRL before coming back to LD. 

Chartered Accountant Pushpendra Sisodia said, “Thirty of us have come to participate in this event. This is a great initiative and we want to take this opportunity to set an example for youngsters. Bringing about social awareness is very important.” 

The beneficiaries of the fund raised this year would be Jivdaya Charitable Trust which helps injured stray animals and birds, Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust that supports victims of social injustice in rural areas, Prabhat Education Foundation that nurtures children with special needs and learning difficulties and Special Olympics Gujarat Charitable Trust which empowers people with intellectual disabilities. 

CEO of Motif Inc Kaushal Mehta said, “This year, we had 60 corporates supporting us, which is a record. It is indeed heartwarming to see this kind of awareness among the people.”

The director of the Unteshwari Sammilitalayam - a centre for and with the disabled persons, Fr Girish expressed his joy at Motif Charity walk “Indeed, I, in a small way, am part of this process of making our fellow brethren to commit for a noble cause. What a joy to walk with all”! 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Six point programme - Fr.William

Six point programme

Members of the Sadbhavana Forum have recently returned from Assam where they had gone for relief work which not only included but also concentrated on reconciling the two warring groups: the native Bodo and the migrant Muslims. The objective was to find a lasting solution to the extremely complex and politicized problem haunting the state and to restore peace in the affected region. The youth volunteers after much reflection on the situation to which they were the eye-witnesses for a month have come up with the following six-point programme: 1. Translate into Bodo the autobiography of Gandhi (Satyana Prayogo) and print 500 copies to be distributed and promote its reading in the region. 2. Revive the primary schools that have simply collapsed by providing necessary teaching material to the children of both the groups studying in the affected area. 3. Start a few centres in the villages for Bodo and Muslim poor women in order to provide them with earning opportunities. 4. Construct fifty houses for the homeless of both the groups in close collaboration with Jamaate-Islaami-Hind that has come there and wanted to build houses only for the affected Muslims. 5. Exchange programme for the youth: twenty five Bodo and Muslim youth will come to Gujarat for a month to stay with Hindu and Muslim families and mingle with the youth of both the communities 6. Two Gujarati youth volunteers belonging to Vishvagram to stay for a year in Assam in order to further the reconciliation mission initiated during the relief work period.

The six point programme involves much finances for which Sadbhavana Forum relies on the generosity of all men and women of good will in Gujarat who would like to be the messengers of peace and reconciliation among their suffering brothers and sisters in Assam. (Fr William)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Zankhvav Melo

To view the Annual yatra of the parishners of Zankhvav Mission , kindly click the you tube link above.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Fr.Lopez de Pariza

To view the talk of Rev .Fr.Pariza about his missionary life in India, Kindly click the you tube icon above.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Spiritual linguistics- Fr.Hedwig Lewis

Spiritual linguistics

Take” and “receive”, in the prayer that sums up the Exercises, are not a play on words. Ignatius was very discerning in verbal usage. Each of these verbs contains within itself a unique spiritual dynamic and significance.

Ignatius observed levels of commitment [Classes, Degrees] in individuals. An enthusiastic beginner in the spiritual life, in an outburst of devotion, implores God to “receive” all he is and has. However, given his lack of spiritual understanding and experience, his “all” is defined. It does not include attachments apparently good in themselves (people, possessions, pursuits). As his first fervour diminishes, he gradually steers away from his God-ward direction, and becomes increasingly drawn to his self-satisfying attachments.

For spiritually mature persons, the “all” is refined! They radically surrender the steering to God. They let God “take” complete control! “Take” emphasizes their total disposition towards God’s actions, even when these entail God’s stripping away “all” their attachments, including the justifiable ones. It is an unconditional offering. “Take” comes before “receive” so that the commitment remains focused on God, and the self-giving is long-lasting. When God takes ALL, my EGO dies; and empowered by his Love and Grace, I rise!