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2 September 2019

Good News to the Poorly Spirited

What could be the good message for the drooping spirit, the depressed, the sorrowful?
If I announce freedom to the oppressed will they be liberated? 
what is the freedom to be announced.
Normally they are to be neglected, or to be used and exploited.

To know that there is great goodness in them is the good message.
this message is the good news for them.
What else is the Gospel?

If they see the treasure of goodness in them,
they will not curse in their bitterness,
will not seek revenge in their oppression.

30 August 2019

Oil of Gladness and the foolish virgins

For the foolish virgins in the Gospel, it had become a habit to go from one business centre to another to buy oil. They were not merely foolish.

Those who were ready had received the Word in their hearts. The Word was becoming an overflowing fountain. They had hope being sprouted.They were not desperate to run around traders. In their littleness they hear divine melody. they love justice and hate wickedness. So they have the oil of gladness within them.

21 August 2019

Mary was most highly rewarded


Mary was highly favoured,
She was highly rewarded,
She was most highly rewarded.

She sings:
            “My soul magnifies the Lord, …
            The Lord has done great things for me…”

Mary was highly favoured
            She was highly rewarded,
            Was it the merit of her actions?
            or of attitudes, or of faith?
            “Behold the handmaid of the Lord,” she had said,
            She became what she was created for.

Mary was highly rewarded
            She was born full of grace,
            gratuitous grace that began a new creation.
            Blessed above the patriarchs,
            for she would show the deepest faith.
            Blessed above the prophets,
            for she would give the Word to the world.
            Blessed above the apostles,
            for she was sent to be the mother of the incarnate Word.
            Blessed above the martyrs,
            for her life was a pure offering.
            Fullness of grace,
           and most honourable merit!

Mary was most highly rewarded!
            Mother of the Word incarnate,
            Mother of us all.
            In the Word she was born,
            she became what she was created to be.
            In the Word we too were born,
            She helps us to be what we are created for.
            We too will be rewarded and honoured,
            united with the Blessed

15 August 2019

Devotional Worlds

We may be creating our own devotional world. We cannot practice Christian hope being in a private devotional world. Christ himself lived prayerfully, but never closing himself in a devotional world. Present day spiritual leaders seem to encourage people to bind themselves such private devotional worlds both as an individual and as a particular community. They remain with fixed believes, ideas, perspectives and are somehow not ‘permitted’ to dare for an encounter with a different idea, belief or perspective. Attempting that would be seen as being dishonest with the devotional patterns. In fact, only in such encounters they get a context of correction and modification if needed. 

One gets lost giving into some given patterns of practices within a closed devotional world. What do these private devotional worlds have to offer to the struggles and conflicts of the generation of today? Do these devotions have rooms to place these struggles? They do not formulate constructive symbols to involve the lives of this generation, instead, suggest myths and symbols that do not encounter their lives. As a result, their life and devotion/spirituality go in diverse paths and that in itself remains a conflict within; a spirituality or devotional life one follows which does not know the real concerns of one’s life. 

Instead of a formulation of meaningful devotion, the closed private devotional world takes up a moralising (and often condemning) mode to meet the issues. Practices and customs become something meaningful and fruitful only when one can find oneself in a life path. Devotional worlds remain external to oneself seemingly offering some comfort and consolation whereby one nails oneself beliefs and practices that makes oneself in line with the devotional world. Many of the empty and sterile forms of devotional practices simply deny reality whether it be personal realities of oneself, of the community, or social or cultural phenomena. Instead they tend to promote self-righteousness and condemn others. 

They learn to be happy in a comfort within the smoky shades which they learned to call as piety. It is really alarming about a generation when they are deeply interested in religious activities and pious practices, but are struck down when faced with a struggle whether spiritual, emotional, or social. In fact, people in a devotional world encourages to deny or neglect the real conflicts. Having Christ in our hearts, we are to walk through the struggles and conflicts, with truth and humility, and courage and compassion. Christ should be there as the interior strength instead of being an ideal, principle, or an object of devotional practice. 

We need to be enabled to understand the truth within the struggles and conflicts, and dialogue with them. The symbols and myths within devotions that become easy solutions, interpretations, and part of religious imaginations do not provide such apt realisation or proper understanding. Conflicts and challenges are not something that should be denied or neglected. They are the real crosses that are to be embraced with responsibility. Only there we can find Christian hope, and offer Christian hope to the world. 

Real devotions would seek truth of the living situations, and might reformulate practices that can bring transformation in our attitudes and responses. True devotion is not afraid of such transformations. It is very crucial to reflect whether our devotional practices and religious imaginations (the way we imagine about God, heaven, blessing, life…) intent to make a Christ-formation happen in our person and communities, or, rather, we simply look for pleasing God expect favours for our private world. The answer may show why people are often in a ‘worry and hurry’ within devotional practices. They are found within their devotional bubble-world. It is easy to create a devotional world, because it is about performance. There we wear masks, and are secured with the righteousness that our following of devotions offer. There is lot of space for hypocrisy too. To safeguard one’s own devotional wall itself becomes a serious concern. It does bring about an absence of Christ-presence and so a timely Christian presence. 

It is easy to create a devotional world, because it is about performance. But a pious and loyal heart cannot limit to performances. It does not see the need for worried doings to please God, ensure protection, cause blessings etc, because it has known Christ. Though it takes up crosses it has hope – devotion is to be the reflection of that relationship and hope. 

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Good News to the Poorly Spirited

What could be the good message for the drooping spirit, the depressed, the sorrowful? If I announce freedom to the oppressed will they be l...