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KSJ Writers' Forum February 2016


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KSJ Writers' Forum February 2016

  1. 1. January 2016
  2. 2. February 2016February 2016 Writers’ ForumWriters’ Forum0202 EDITORIALEDITORIAL Vishwas Misquith SJVishwas Misquith SJ he individualistic people of our modern times crave for power and wealth. TSafeguarding of their own interests becomes the priority in life. This process leads to selfishness, creating alienation and fragmentation in the society. Selfishness also causes violence and destruction of both humans and nature. Thus peace and harmony in a society are lost. In this context, the hearts and minds ravaged by war and violence long for the reconstruction of their lives. Now the success of building a peaceful society depends on 'reconciliation'. This reconciliation can be a healing balm to put the past of violence and war behind them and to look forward to a life with harmony. According to Kriesberg, the term Reconciliation refers to a n “ A m i c a b l e relationship established after a rupture in a relationship.” So, it is important for a healthy relationship, to go beyond the cycle of revenge. On the other hand, Montvilk sees Reconciliation as an active participation of both the perpetrator and the victim. According to him, Reconciliation is a process of contrition on the part of the 'perpetrator' and forgiveness from the 'victim'. Thus it is being proactive, seeking to create an encounter to share feelings and experiences with a viewtocreatearelationship. Reading signs of the time, GC 35 in its decrees had made special mention of reconciliation with God, with one another and with creation. It cites globalisation as the cause of division in society, though it has its own laudable positives. GC 35 makes special reference to the issue of poverty. Although globalisation has lifted many poor from the poverty line, it has still created a huge gap between the rich and the poor. So the GC calls us to see the world from the perspective of the poor, to act with and for them so that right relationships are re-established. Besides that, it reminds us to restore right relationship with creation. As it is destroyed in the name of development, we need to pay keen attentiontoit. F i n a l l y , “ t h e response to these situations must come from our deep faith in the Lord who calls us to work with others for the kingdom of God, for the establishment of right relationships among people and with creation.” (GC 35 Decree 3) It is a call to all of us to understand the need for a peaceful and harmonious society, and the way forward is Reconciliation. Let us come to terms with our past that is filled with violence, war and destruction, in ordertohaveabetterfuture.
  3. 3. 40 DAYS OF LENT40 DAYS OF LENT Ryan Rodrigues SJRyan Rodrigues SJ prescribes fasting and abstinence on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. There are however a few exceptions to this rule, one such being pregnant women. Fasting from food can help us. It can fill us with compassion for those who are hungry, especially for justice in our world of today. It brings us closer to God and helps us to feel one with the millions who suffer in the world for lack of food each day. Lent is a time to feel one with those who are the face of the suffering Lord in our midst. When one thinks of Almsgiving, the verses from Matthew 25 do cross my mind.Almsgiving is a fruit of prayer. It inspires one to reach out to the needy, the poor, the homeless, the sick, the naked, the widows, the orphans and the downtrodden, the last, the least and the lostofsociety. In several places in his letters, St Paul uses the imagery of an athlete. It appeals to me as a fitting analogy especially during this Lenten season. Let us run the race, being steadfast in our love for God and press on towards the goal that is Christ. In order to discover, to go deeper and be in touch with our spiritual selves we have to work hard and train ourselves like an athlete for the simple reason that we are today, more than ever, in cultures that are anti-gospel and often individualistic. Consumerism, Hedonism, Relativism and the like are the norm of the day. In thiscontext,weneedtore-orientourselves. What is my Lenten spirituality? How do I want to live differently this Lenten season? Let us slow down a bit, search for what is God's will for us, forgive one another, ask for forgiveness from God, rethink our priorities and pray for the crucified people.HaveafruitfulLent! 0303 Writers’ ForumWriters’ Forum ierreTeilhard de Chardin once said, “We are not human beings having a spiritual Pexperience but spiritual beings having a human experience.” St Augustine of Hippo remarked as well, “Our hearts are restless, O God, and they will never find rest until they rest in you.” These are some spontaneous thoughts that cross my mind when I think of the season of Lent. 'Quadragesima' in Latin stands for the fortieth day. It was in the Council of Nicea in 325AD that the Latin Church fixed the number of days for Lent to be forty. Since then for the Catholic Church, the days from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday marktheLentenSeason. L e n t i s a t i m e o f pilgrimage. It is a time to return to, renew and refresh one's relationship with Christ and with God. Lent is a time when the Holy Mother Church invites us in the words of Prophet Joel to, 'come back to me.' Lent calls us to turn away from evil and turn to the Lord, to prepare for the Messiah who will come again, rising triumphantly from the dead. As Christians this is our hope and this is what welongfordeepinourhearts. Lent prescribes to us three important ways in which we can set right our relationship: prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Many of us follow pious practices of spending time with Jesus along the Way of the Cross during the Fridays of Lent.These prayer experiences ought to help us to build right relationships with God, with ourselves, with one another and with creation. Some others do give up certain food or even fast for spiritual purposes. For all persons, aged fourteen to sixty, the Church February 2016February 2016
  4. 4. 0404 Writers’ ForumWriters’ Forum ecently I received an inspiring message. It read – '2give and 2get is easy but it is hard Rto 4give and 4get'. Later as I thought deeply and I felt that when compared to other things reconciliation is more challenging and necessary. Reconciliation includes giving, receiving, forgiving, experiencing forgiveness, forgetting painful memories, healing them and living a happy life. Our human nature is prone to make mistakes. Little misunderstandings, some verbal fights, baseless prejudices and unkind deeds spoil our relationships very fast. But healing of these wounds is notthateasy.Itneedstruereconciliation. Reconciliation requires humility, courage, generosity and selflessness. When I joined the Prenovitiate, I came across people of different interests, opinions and temperaments. I found it hard to adjust with all. I u s e d t o h a v e c o n s t a n t misunderstanding with my companions. Because of my stormy relationship with some I didn't like community life. In the novitiate, my novice master advised me to settle all misunderstandings before going to bed. Initially I felt this is not possible for me. It so happened that one day during games I had a heated argument with one of my companions. From that moment he was angry with me and he didn't even look at my face. I too was upset and felt it was his mistake. The whole evening, I was not at ease. Finally I took courage and went to this person, that night itself to be reconciled on the matter. I knocked at his window, called him out and asked pardon for what had happened. Immediately he too started speaking nicely and said `sorry.' Both of us accepted our mistakes and decided to forget the matter. After this incident, small arguments and fights didn't take me much time and energy to settle. This gave me the hope that reconciliation is not so difficult. When we are humble, open, forgiving and understanding, everythinggoesonsmoothly. Reconciliation does not pertain to relationship with humans only. Reconciliation needs to be done with God, oneself and nature also. To have such reconciliation we have to keep various things in our mind. I would put them as different Re's: Reconsider: Most of the time we make decisions and judgments instantly. We even defend them when something wrong happens.The patience to carefully consider our actions again and take appropriate steps can prove very helpful in buildingrightrelationships. Restore: It is very easy to destroy or create harm to nature and others. When it comes to restoration and putting things right, we take the back foot. We tend to delay and make no efforts. But with the passage of time relationships become sour. Hence restoration process must be donewithoutdelay. Reason out: The scriptures say 'Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you' (Mt 7:12). We preach a lot about this golden rule but hardly practise it. So instead of expecting others to be good to us all the time, we have to be reasonable inthinkinganddoingour part. GIVE AND RECEIVEGIVE AND RECEIVE Ovin Rodrigues SJOvin Rodrigues SJ February 2016February 2016
  5. 5. 0505 Writers’ ForumWriters’ Forum The dark cloud had covered my sweet soul, Letting into it a deep loneliness and desperate pain. The gushing tears rolled down my feeble cheeks proving my innocence, And completely disfigured my wrinkled face with their thick water. Oh! What a terrible pain it was! I could feel as if death was knocking at the door of my soul. Where is love? Where is compassion? And, where is mercy? Does it truly exist in your hearts? If it does, why then do you behave so cruelly to my sensitive life? I don't understand, because I am a leper with a kind heart, Desiring to live my life to the full. Why then do you spoil my freedom by hurting my inner peace? Whenever I recall my rejecting parents and my near and dear ones, My heart at once breaks into a thousand pieces and it weeps till it's satisfied. If you were in my place, what would your response be? Would you be arrogant or merciful? At least from now on, can you be my hands and feet? If you be, Then I'll remain faithful to you to my last breath. I AM HURTI AM HURT Sunil Kumar SJSunil Kumar SJ Relieve: We carry many burdens of unforgiveness, misunderstanding and prejudices in our hearts. This way we make other's and our life miserable. How nice it would be when we forget the painful past and relieveourmindsof allnegativethoughts! Renew: Renewal should be part of each one's life. We have to change for the better. Each day we have to strive to build right relationship with God, others, ourselves and nature. It would be good if we die to our old, rigid and conservative self and be filled withrenewedvigourandzeal. Reconciliation is to be received, relished, regarded, resonated, revived and rendered. We are in the season of Lent. This is the Jubilee Year of Mercy. I think it is the right time for us to reflect on and recollect our unhealed experiences and work on them. True reconciliation will surely help us to enjoythemercyandloveof theRisenLord. GIVE AND RECEIVEGIVE AND RECEIVE Ovin Rodrigues SJOvin Rodrigues SJ February 2016February 2016 Contd. from pg. 04Contd. from pg. 04
  6. 6. In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we cannot forget the role of dialogue for reconciliation among peoples, with God and with nature. This is an essential condition for the peaceful coexistence and the unity willed by God (Gaudium et Spes, 24, 29; Lumen Gentium, 9, 13, 42) and re-established by Christ (Gaudium et Spes, 78). Dialogue is fundamental for the Church, which is called to collaborate in God's plan with its methods of presence, respect, and love towards all persons. For the Church, dialogue is based on the very life of God, one and triune. God is the father of the entire human family. Christ has joined every person to himself and the Spirit works in each individual. (Redemptor Hominis, 13). Dialogue is also based on love for the human person as such, who is the primary and fundamental way of the Church (Redemptor Hominis, 14). This friendly relationship among believers of various religions is born of respect and love for one another; it presumes the exercise of fundamental freedom to practice one's own faith completely and to compare it with thatofothers(RedemptorHominis,12). But we know from our experience that dialogue is not an easy thing. Religion itself can be made an instrument and become the excuse for polarization and division. In the current world situation, to engage in dialogue means learning to forgive, since all the religious communities can point to possible wrongs suffered through the centuries. NEED FOR DIALOGUENEED FOR DIALOGUE Barthalome SJBarthalome SJ 0606 Writers’ ForumWriters’ Forum n fact, today no one can fail to see the importance and the need of interreligious Idialogue for all religions and all believers. One of the important elements that unify Christianity and the other religions is the common “human existence” shared by all their entire adherents.All of us share a common human nature. This structure of human existence is common to all human beings whether they are Christians, Muslims, Buddhists or Hindus or anyother. The existence we need to focus on here is that human beings are created in the image and likeness of God.Therefore as children of God we are all related to one another and are mindful of others. The human person is not simply a part of a large cosmic mosaic. On the contrary, the human person is the most active, self- reflective agent under God. As free subjects and responsible agents of their lives, human beings experience the need to create relationships with other human persons. The Individual person is a social being.According to the Old and the New Testaments, human existence is to bealovingcoexistencewithotherpersons. We Christians are commanded by God to love our neighbor. “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:18) And just as Jesus' existence is one in the service of others (Mark 10:45), so must every person's lifebeacoexistenceof service. February 2016February 2016
  7. 7. tensions and difficulties, as well as the growing interdependence in all sectors of society necessary for living together, for human promotion, and above all, for pursuing the demands of peace. All this will render a dialogical style of human relationships and this is all the more urgent today. At a deeper level, persons rooted in their own religious traditions can share their experiences of prayer, contemplation, faith, and duty, as well as their expressions and ways of searching for the Absolute. This type of dialogue can be a mutual enrichment and fruitful cooperation for promoting and preserving the highest values and spiritualideals. God never ceases to reconcile persons to Himself by the work of His Spirit. The Church relies on the promise made by Christ that the Spirit will guide it in history towards the fullness of truth (John 16:13). For this reason it goes out to meet individuals, peoples, and their cultures, aware that in every human community are found the seeds of goodness and truth, and conscious that God has a loving plan for every nation (Acts 17: 26-27). The Church therefore wants to work together with all in order to fulfil this plan, and by doing so recognize the value of the infinite and varied wisdom of God andcontributetotheevangelizationofcultures. Let us therefore turn to Christ; let us learn from him how to behave with others.Thus in him we will live the merciful love of the Father, who through the Spirit invites all to be reconciled in Christ and to bereconciledamongthemselves. 0707 Writers’ ForumWriters’ Forum As the human sciences have emphasized, in interpersonal dialogue one experiences one's own limitations as well as the possibility of overcoming them. A person discovers that he/she does not possess the truth in a perfect and total way, but can walk together with others towards that goal. Mutual affirmation, reciprocal correction, and fraternal exchange lead the partners in dialogue to an ever greater maturity which in turn generates interpersonal communion. Religious experiences and outlooks can themselves be purified and enrichedinthisprocess ofencounter. The Church, however, feels itself called to dialogue principally because of its faith. In the Trinitarian mystery, Christian revelation allows us to glimpse in God a life of communion and i n t e r c h a n g e . Therefore every follower of Christ, by reason of their human and Christian vocation, is called to live dialogue in their daily life, whether they are in a majority situation or in that of a minority. They ought to bring the spirit of the Gospel into any environment in which they live and work - that of family, social, educational, artistic, economic, or politicallife. The dynamics of human encounter with people of other faiths should lead us Christians to listen to and strive to understand that which other believers communicate to us in order to profit from the gifts which God bestows so generously. Socio- cultural changes in the world, with their inherent Contd. from pg. 06Contd. from pg. 06 NEED FOR DIALOGUENEED FOR DIALOGUE Barthalome SJBarthalome SJ February 2016February 2016
  8. 8. Amith D'Souza SJAmith D'Souza SJ friendsinrealityaswellasonFacebook! One day, all of a sudden, I realized that he had not spoken to me for the past two days. But I kept quiet, thinking that he might need some time by himself. But shortly I discovered that he was speaking to all the community members except me. I wanted to find out the reason for his behaviour. Soon I got to know the reason through another friend of mine. Since I did not dare to speak directly with him, I thought of sending him an e- mail to ask for forgiveness. But my ego did not allow me to do so. I n m y p r a y e r , m y consciousness used to poke me to go and reconcile with him and he would forgive and accept me. But I would decline, saying, “Why should I go and be reconciled with him? Is that a worthy reason to fight with a friend? Why should I speak to him? Am I not able to live without him? Will he speak to me, even if I go and speak with him? Why are you irritating me? Every day he prays twice as much as I do. Tell him to go and reconcile with me.” But my consciousness did not give up. It was constantly urging me to reconcile with him. Out of frustration and anger, I gave up my prayer. My whole life began to move downward. I lost interest in everything, even in food. I lost my self-esteem and felt that no one wants to live with me in this world. I began to live a life of isolation and meaninglessness. Days of anger turned into months andyears. 0808 Writers’ ForumWriters’ Forum re you coming for his funeral mass?”askedPrajwal,oneof myfriends. AI did not respond to him. He continued, “Why were younotspeakingtohim?” Since I was already annoyed hearing this question so many times from my friends, I vented all my frustration on him and said, “I do not know. I do not know anything. Ask him. And I warn you, I do not want to hear this questionagain.” Why am I not speaking to him? The reason was, one day I had fooled him in front of our superior. From then on we became enemies, we, who were once considered to be the best friends in our community. I do not remember when did I first spoke to him. But I do remember the incident which made us good friends. It was at a solo singing competition in our community. All my friends sang very well. It was my turn to sing. As I finished the first sentence of the song 'Jesus fire in my heart', I saw my friends holding their hands on their stomachs and laughing aloud as if they were watching a Charlie Chaplin's movie. But he did not laugh. Since I could not continue any further, I came back and sat on my chair. There were tears in my eyes. In the evening, he came to me and said, “Do not feel sad about what happened in the afternoon. I will help you to sing.” Since then we became good QUICK TO TIE THE UNTIED RELATIONSHIPS QUICK TO TIE THE UNTIED RELATIONSHIPS February 2016February 2016
  9. 9. MARY, QUEEN OF MERCYMARY, QUEEN OF MERCY Nithin Coelho SJNithin Coelho SJ She asked all present there, 'Would you show mercy to a friend? To your near and dear one?' All sounded in one voice, 'yes.' 'But would you do it to a stranger?' 'No', the voice echoed in the court. 'Why this distinction?' she challenged. 'For he does not deserve mercy!' She smiled, 'then he requires it most.' For that murderer her merciful heart leaped, No wonder she is the queen of mercy. 0909 Writers’ ForumWriters’ Forum Not long ago there lived a queen, Miss Universe she would be, If she lived in times of ours. Yet it was not her beauty, That resounds in people's heart. But it's her merciful heart. One day it leaped so high, And made it clear to all, That she is the queen of mercy. That day her son's murderer, Was to be sentenced to death. But she was on the throne , To declare her mercy on him. Her judgment sounded immature, Many doubted her sound mind. She realized what's in the air. Now I am standing before him. He is sleeping before the altar and in the coffin. What should I do now? Should I shout at him or reconcile with him? How can I tell him that he was my best friend and that I really loved him? I have wasted so many years without speaking to him. I am about to lose even the mereopportunitytoseehim. Dear friends, let this not happen in your life. As a helpless creature in this world, I implore you that here and now you reconcile with your community members and friends. And say to them that you really love them, no matter how grave the reason for your fight must have been. Have the humility to say sorry because it will help you to brighten your own life with the greatest gift of the human person in the world. Please do not lose this gift as I lost one. Do not follow your ego but the God of your true consciousness, who tells everyone to reconciletoeverybodyandeverythingintheworld. QUICK TO TIE THE UNTIED RELATIONSHIPS QUICK TO TIE THE UNTIED RELATIONSHIPS Amith D'Souza SJAmith D'Souza SJContd. from pg. 08Contd. from pg. 08 February 2016February 2016
  10. 10. that the breaks of my car failed. We fell down the slopeandinthattragicincidentIlostmyconscience. When I woke up, I couldn't move due to the severe injuries. How shall I explain that horrible experience? My dear wife and my lovely daughter were no more. I cried out loudly. It was very chill that night. I was alone crying, shivering and suffering with pain. Soon I heard the footsteps of a man and I cried out for help. The man came running and lifted me, nursed my wounds with some leaves and covered my shivering body with his old shawl. Very soon he found some help on the road and admitted me to a hospital. He was with me till the end of the treatment, leaving aside all his work. When I felt better, I wanted to thank that person. Not very long after I was treated did I come to know that he was of a low caste and a poor man. My eyes were filled with tears. I always had mistreated people who were poor and of low caste. My eyes were opened at that moment and I understood that all of us are human beings. I understood how we can live together sharing and caring for each other. From then on I've reconciled myself with all. Reconciliation is helping me to becomeabetterhumanbeing. RECONCILIATIONRECONCILIATION Pruthvi Rodrigues SJPruthvi Rodrigues SJ 1010 Writers’ ForumWriters’ Forum t was a time for Christmas celebration when I saw a gentleman gathering the poor and giving Ithem clothes, money and so on. When I met him personally he narrated a beautiful incident of his life. Mr Mohan was a Brahmin, damn rich. He never used to like people who are poor or of a low caste because he believed that they are born that way for the sins they have committed in the present or in the past life. He hated them. And he narratesthestory... It was in the month of January that I wanted to go for a tour with my small family. In accordance with my wife's wish we decided to go to Koppa, the K a s h m i r o f t h e Chickmagalur district. From Mangalore, we decided to travel via Agumbe Ghat which was a new place to my wife. It was evening around 6 that we began our journey so that next day in the early morning we could go to the beautiful estates. Usually in the mornings there will be mist spread over the tea plantations. It's a heavenly experience. My daughter was very happy and was singing as we started off. It was my first experience of riding in the Ghat area. It was dark and I was very cautious in my driving. However, it was God's wish February 2016February 2016
  11. 11. THE CHURCH: A CENTRE FOR RECONCILIATION THE CHURCH: A CENTRE FOR RECONCILIATION Sandeep Gonsalves SJSandeep Gonsalves SJ 1111 Writers’ ForumWriters’ Forum hat is the Church? The answer to this question today differs from the one our Wearly Christian brethren gave and lived. Thanks to the “Pope Francis Effect” spreading like wildfire, renewing the meaning of the Church in st the21 century. “The church is not a theological classroom. It is a conversion, confession, repentance, reconciliation, forgiveness and sanctification center, where flawed people place their faith in Christ, gather to know and l o v e h i m better, and learn to love others as he designed.” These words of This is why in the Scripture Jesus says, “So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you,leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.”(Mt 5:23-24). It is basically love that pushes people to reconcile and the result of reconciliation is love that overflows. The famous verse in Luke 6:36 invites us to, “Be a p a s t o r , strongly back up the renewal of the Church in the current world. Isn't this what Christ intended His people, the Church,tobe? Paul David T r i p p , merciful, just as your heavenly Father is merciful.” Pope Francis is shouting aloud these words from Rome, but how much of it are we putting into practice in our home? Recently I heard of a priest refusing to bless a new house, just because the family had not paid the “annual due”. A certain Fr. Principal denies admission to college to a vegetable vendor's son. Some years ago a parish priest fined a parishioner for not joining the protest which the parish had organized. These are a few facts. I would not be wrong if I say, day by day instances of this kind are increasing in the Church. How much are w e collaborating with God's plan or at least how much do we understand what the Pope is saying? Playing cymbals in front of a donkey) I think this old Kannada saying is very applicable to many of us. If we don't agree, then why do so many lay people appreciate the Pope, but can't say the same thing about their local Parish Priest? Are we becoming more like our Heavenly Father? Or are we swimming smoothly with the current of the fascinating world? What about the long years of training we receive in our seminaries? These are not just my questions, but the questions asked by literate and illiterate people in our ministry places and elsewhere. February 2016February 2016
  12. 12. FORGIVENESS STRENGTHENS US FORGIVENESS STRENGTHENS US Sunil Kumar SJSunil Kumar SJ “If the Church isn't a center for reconciliation,how canwecallitaChurch???” As Fr. Joe Mannath SDB says, the people who come in contact with us should learn more from our way of life than from the courses and workshops we conduct. Let our life example lead people towards the way of reconciliation. “Hard work is the only means for genuine success”; likewise, “mercy is the onlymantrafor reconciliation.” 1212 Writers’ ForumWriters’ Forum Most of the religious cannot be disturbed during their siesta; we also find it difficult to humble ourselves and be reconciled with the members in our community. Are we really merciful? Our mission is to reconcile broken families, and the broken humanity; but pitifully most of us are ourselves broken people, unable to reconcile or heal others. We never see in the Bible or elsewhere, where God says, “Don't pray to me while I am taking rest,” or “First you pay what is due to the temple and then ask for any grace.” But most of our parishes and institutions seem to hang an invisible board contrary toGod's plan. orgiveness is our radical decision to let go our feelings of resentment, frustration, anger For revenge towards a person or group that has hurt us. Forgiveness is an exclusively personal choice. No priests or parents can compel us to do so. Forgiveness is challenging. To ensure that it is genuine we not merely discard our negative emotions but also acquire positive and m o t i v a t i n g ones. P r a c t i c i n g forgiveness becomes its own reward; it heals us and restores in us a sense of well-being. We no longer remain prisoner to self-esteem and a good personal image. Finally, through forgiveness we imitate Jesus who bore His cross for the sins of humanity.Through forgiveness we give ourselves permission to feel the v a r i e t y o f emotions evoked by the offence. Let us put a definitive end to the blame-game. Let us forgive ourselves and others as God forgives us - unconditionally. THE CHURCH: A CENTER FOR RECONCILIATION THE CHURCH: A CENTER FOR RECONCILIATION Contd. from pg. 11Contd. from pg. 11 Sandeep Gonsalves SJSandeep Gonsalves SJ February 2016February 2016
  13. 13. “Reconciliation means to know, accept and love the difference in others” “Reconciliation means to know, accept and love the difference in others” PEARLSPEARLS 1515 Writers’ ForumWriters’ ForumJANUARY 2016JANUARY 2016 SujayDanielSJSujayDanielSJ