My dear friends in the Lord,
A number of heartburns are caused by misunderstandings and thus affecting our ministry. Belief that truth has just one face seems to be a major cause of misunderstandings and frictions. Jainism speaks of Anekaantvaad, Syaadvaad. According to this theory, there are seven different ways of looking at reality. The well-known story of visually challenged persons trying to describe an elephant from the perspective of which part of the body of an elephant they touch, gives a lesson in understanding this theory of multiple perspectives. Just because I am right (from my perspective), does not imply that the other is, by that very fact, wrong. S/he too could be right from her/his perspective. Willing to Listen to the other, intending to understand the perspective of the other may solve a number of problems of community living and ministry. This does not mean there is no absolute truth. It only means that I may not have come to that absolute truth. Understanding this, trying to see things from others' perspectives is the need of the hour. I pray that we learn this art and thus avoid unnecessary heartburns that affect us as individuals and as communities and as a result affect our ministry too.
November is the month when we remember our ancestors, those who have gone before us. We look at them, first from God's perspective, thanking God for these saintly persons on the 1st day of November, and then on the 2nd, we look at them from our perspective, human perspective, where we see ourselves as unworthy of God and ask God's pardon for their sins and offences. We do so for all our Jesuit companions on 5th and 6th November, respectively.
This is the right time to think of our own death. We long for life. There is an innate desire in each one of us to become immortal. As someone has said, if you want to keep looking at good things of this life, donate your eyes! Our body is a gift of God. We can donate that body or body-parts to ensure a more wholesome life for someone else. I take this opportunity to remind everyone of a document brought out by JCSA in 2007, "Document on Health". Besides giving tips of healthy living, it encourages everyone to donate body/parts. Those who wish to do so may get in touch with NGOs like Sadvichar or hospitals in their area. Those who wish to donate their body/parts are requested to give details to the Socius.
By the time you receive this, I will be in Phesama, Nagaland, for the biannual meeting of JCSA. Do keep our Assistancy in your prayers. On 13th Nov, I leave for Rome, via Spain for the Colloquium of newly appointed Provincials. Do keep me and our Province in your prayers.
May the feast of Christ the King impel us to spread the joy of the Good News as per the contexts and needs of all wo/men of this world. A. M. D. G.