Week Anthony de Mello II – The greedy sons

De Mello was was born in Bombay, British India on 4 September 193, ordained into the Jeesuit priesthood in March 1961 He died from a massive heart attack in New York,
In 1998, 11 years after de Mello’s death, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the leadership of its Cardinal-Prefect, Joseph Ratzinger] (who later became Pope Benedict XVI), conducted a review of de Mello’s work and released a lengthy comment expressing their theological concerns. While the group showed appreciation for many of de Mello’s writings, some positions were found to be “incompatible with the Catholic faith”.
I decided to dedicate the 3 weekly posts to him. And I will write to Pope Francis to ask the cancellation of Ratzinger’s Notification
He is the author of all texts below

There was once a hard-working and generous farmer who had several idle and greedy sons. On his deathbed he told them that the would find his treasure if they were to dig in a certain field. As soon as the old man was dead, the sons hurried to the fields, which they dug up from one end to another, and with increasing desperation and concentration when they did not find the gold in the place indicated.

But they found no gold at all. Realizing that in his generosity their father must have given his gold away during his lifetime, they abandoned their search. Finally, it occurred to them that, since the land had been prepared they might as well now sow a crop. They planted wheat, which produced an abundant yield. They sold this crop and prospered that year.

After the harvest was in, the sons thought again about the bare possibility that they might have missed the buried gold, so they again dug up the fields, with the same result. After several years they became accustomed to labor, and to the cycle of the seasons, something which they had not understood before.

Now they understood the reason for their father’s method of training them, and they became honest and contented farmers. Ultimately, they found themselves possessed of sufficient wealth and no longer to wonder about the hidden hoard.

Week Anthony de Mello I

De Mello was was born in Bombay, British India on 4 September 193, ordained into the Jeesuit priesthood in March 1961 He died from a massive heart attack in New York,
In 1998, 11 years after de Mello’s death, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the leadership of its Cardinal-Prefect, Joseph Ratzinger] (who later became Pope Benedict XVI), conducted a review of de Mello’s work and released a lengthy comment expressing their theological concerns. While the group showed appreciation for many of de Mello’s writings, some positions were found to be “incompatible with the Catholic faith”.
I decided to dedicate the 3 weekly posts to him. And I will write to Pope Francis to ask the cancellation of Ratzinger’s Notification
He is the author of all texts below

“Perfect love casts out fear. Where there is love there are no demands, no expectations, no dependency. I do not demand that you make me happy; my happiness does not lie in you. If you were to leave me, I will not feel sorry for myself; I enjoy your company immensely, but I do not cling.”

“”Ž”I have no fear of losing u, for you aren’t an object of my property, or anyone else’s. I love you as you are, without attachment, without fears, without conditions, without egoism, trying not to absorb you. I love you freely because I love your freedom, as well as mine.”

“As soon as you look at the world through an ideology you are finished. No reality fits an ideology. Life is beyond that. … That is why people are always searching for a meaning to life… Meaning is only found when you go beyond meaning. Life only makes sense when you perceive it as mystery and it makes no sense to the conceptualizing mind.”

“These things will destroy the human race: politics without principle, progress without compassion, wealth without work, learning without silence, religion without fearlessness, and worship without awareness.”

When the Good Lord was creating mothers

EM PORTUGUES AQUI> Personagem da semana: A mí£e
EN ESPANOL AQUI > Personaje de la semana: La madre

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by Erma Bombeck

When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into his sixth day of “overtime” when an angel appeared and said:
“You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.”

And the Lord said, “Have you read the specs on this order?

* She has to be completely washable, but not plastic;
* Have 180 movable parts… all replaceable;
* Run on black coffee and leftovers;
* Have a lap that disappears when she stands up;
* A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair;
* And six pairs of hands.”

The angel shook her head slowly and said, “Six pairs of hands… no way.”

“It’s not the hands that are causing me problems,” said the Lord. “It’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have.”

“That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel.

The Lord nodded.
“One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, ‘What are you kids doing in there?’
“Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn’t but what she has to know.
“And of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say, ‘I understand and I love you’ without so much as uttering a word.”

“Lord,” said the angel, touching His sleeve gently, “Go to bed. Tomorrow…”

“I can’t,” said the Lord, “I’m so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick
“…can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger
“… and can get a nine-year-old to stand under a shower.”

The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. “It’s too soft,” she sighed.

“But she’s tough!” said the Lord excitedly. “You cannot imagine what this mother can do or endure.”

“Can she think?”

“Not only can she think, but she can reason and compromise,” said the Creator.

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek.
“There’s a leak,” she said. “I told You were trying to push too much into this model.”

“It’s not a leak,” said the Lord. “It’s a tear.”

“What’s it for?”

“It’s for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride.”

And the Mother was created – a work of genius.

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In the Huelgas Monastery

 

Sister Begona Miguel of the Huelgas Monastery says;

“San Juan de La Cruz teaches us that silence has its own music; it is silence that enables us to see ourselves and the things around us.

‘I would like to add that there are words that can only be said in silence, odd as that may seem. To compose their symphonies, the great geniuses needed silence – and they managed to transform this silence into divine sounds. Philosophers and scientists need silence.

‘In the monastery, at night, we practice what we call The Great Silence.

‘In the absence of speech we can understand what lies beyond.”

Faith shows us that we are never alone

Faith shows us that we are never alone.

Transformation helps us to love the mystery.
And when everything seems dark, and we feel alone and helpless, we won’t look back, for fear of seeing the changes that have taken place in our soul. We will look ahead.
We will not fear what happens tomorrow, because yesterday we had someone watching over us.
And that same Presence will remain at our side.
That Presence will shelter us from suffering.
Or will give us the strength to face it with dignity.
We will go farther than we think.

We will seek out the place where the morning star is born. And we will be surprised when we get there how much easier it was than we had imagined.
 
 
taken from THE MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA

The Singing Tree

 

A reader of my books met me at an afternoon book-signing in Bilbao, in the Basque Country.

“You always speak of symbols,” she tells me, “I want to show you a symbol that you have never seen.”

The next day she picks me up at my hotel.

“I don’t know how this started,” she says, “but legend has it that an old Jewish alchemist claimed that these trees could sing. The mayor of the town said that if he could not prove what he claimed, he would be killed. Ever since then, every year a tree sings in Soria, symbolically saving those who feel that everything is possible.”

We reach Soria and go to a square. Little by little, people begin to gather and all of a sudden a complete band with all their instruments climbs the gigantic bi-centenarian elm tree in the middle of the square. Each musician occupies a branch.

Under the command of an invisible wand, a tree sings in Soria.

Defeat is for the valiant.

Defeat is for the valiant. Only they will know the honour of losing and the joy of winning.
I am not here to tell you that defeat is part of life: we all know that. Only the defeated know Love. Because it is in the realm of love that we fight our first battles – and generally lose.
I am here to tell you that there are people who have never been defeated.
They are the ones who never fought.
They managed to avoid scars, humiliations, a sense of helplessness, as well as those moments when even warriors doubt the existence of God.
Such people can say with pride: ‘I never lost a battle.’ On the other hand, they will never be able to say: ‘I won a battle.’
Not that they care. They live in a universe in which they believe they are invulnerable; they close their eyes to injustices and to suffering; they feel safe because they do not have to deal with the daily challenges faced by those who risk stepping out beyond their own boundaries.

Defeat ends when we launch into another battle. Failure has no end: it is a lifetime choice.

 
 
taken from THE MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA

John and the Visions of Hell

 

“Perhaps Jesus sent some of His apostles to Hell to save souls,” said John, “even in the worst of torments, not all is lost.”

The idea surprises me. We are chatting in one of the few bars in Los Angeles. John is a firefighter, and today is his day off.

“Why do you say that?” I ask.

“Because I have experienced the same torment here on earth. I enter buildings in flames, see desperate people trying to get out and have often risked my life to save them.

“I am just a particle in this immense universe, forced to act like a hero in the middle of fire and despair. If I, who am no one of importance, can manage to act in this way, imagine what Jesus can do!

“For sure, some of His apostles are infiltrated in Hell, saving souls.”

8 important points about life

taken from a post by Gina Senarighi. To read the full post, CLICK HERE

Today let’s look at eight beautiful Life Changing Lessons to learn from the inspirational author, Paulo Coelho. Notice how beautifully these lessons align with the data on what actually makes people happy long-term.

We are all here for a purpose.
“No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it.”
“Everybody has a creative potential and from the moment you can express this creative potential, you can start changing the world.”

The only thing standing between you and your dream are your fears.
“Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.”
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

Mistakes are part of life.
“When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.”

Do not seek love outside of you.
“Love is not to be found in someone else but in ourselves; we simply awaken it. But in order to do that, we need the other person.”

When you change, the whole world changes with you.
“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”

Mind your own business.
“Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”
“We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.”

Nobody’s responsible for how you feel or don’t feel.
“In love, no one can harm anyone else; we are each responsible for our own feelings and cannot blame someone else for what we feel.”

Embrace your authenticity

“You must be the person you have never had the courage to be. Gradually, you will discover that you are that person, but until you can see this clearly, you must pretend and invent.”
“If you want to be successful, you must respect one rule – Never lie to yourself.”

Change

Those who think that the mountains don’t change are wrong: they were born out of earthquakes, are eroded by wind and rain, and each day they are slightly different, even though we do not notice that change.

The mountains change and are pleased: ‘It’s good not to be the same all the time,’ they say to each other.

Those who think the trees don’t change are wrong.
They have to accept that they will be bare in winter and clothed in summer.
And they reach beyond the place where they were planted, because the birds and the wind scatter their seeds.

The trees are glad. ‘I thought I was just one tree and now I see that I am many,’ they say to their children springing up around them.

One question persists as we take our first steps along the path: ‘Will my decision to change make other people suffer?’

But if you love someone, then you want your beloved to be happy. You might feel frightened for him initially, but that feeling soon gives way to pride at seeing him doing what he wants to do and going where he always dreamed of going.

 

(taken from the book “Manuscript found in Accra”)

April 23, Viva Saint George!

200px-Stgeorge-dragon

It is likely that Saint George was born to a Christian noble family in Lod, Syria Palaestina during the late third century between about 275 AD and 285 AD, and he died in Nicomedia. His father, Gerontius, was a Roman army official from Cappadocia and his mother, Polychronia, was from Palestine. They were both Christians and from noble families of Anici, so by this the child was raised with Christian beliefs. They decided to call him Georgius (Latin) or Geōrgios (Greek), meaning “worker of the land”. At the age of 14, George lost his father; a few years later, George’s mother, Polychronia, died.Eastern accounts give the names of his parents as Anastasius and Theobaste.

Then George decided to go to Nicomedia, the imperial city of that time, and present himself to Emperor Diocletian to apply for a career as a soldier. Diocletian welcomed him with open arms, as he had known his father, Gerontius “” one of his finest soldiers. By his late 20s, George was promoted to the rank of Tribunus and stationed as an imperial guard of the Emperor at Nicomedia.

In the year AD 302, Diocletian (influenced by Galerius) issued an edict that every Christian soldier in the army should be arrested and every other soldier should offer a sacrifice to the Roman gods of the time. However George objected and with the courage of his faith approached the Emperor and ruler. Diocletian was upset, not wanting to lose his best tribune and the son of his best official, Gerontius. George loudly renounced the Emperor’s edict, and in front of his fellow soldiers and Tribunes he claimed himself to be a Christian and declared his worship of Jesus Christ. Diocletian attempted to convert George, even offering gifts of land, money and slaves if he made a sacrifice to the Roman gods. The Emperor made many offers, but George never accepted.

Recognizing the futility of his efforts, Diocletian was left with no choice but to have him executed for his refusal. Before the execution George gave his wealth to the poor and prepared himself. After various torture sessions, including laceration on a wheel of swords in which he was resuscitated three times, George was executed by decapitation before Nicomedia’s city wall, on April 23, 303.

Saint George’s tomb in Lod, Israel

Source: Wikipedia

The path of nature

But the day will come when Fate knocks on our door. It might be the gentle tapping of the Angel of Good Fortune or the unmistakable rat-a-tat-tat of the Unwanted Visitor.
They both say: ‘Change now!’ Not next week, not next month, not next year.
The angels say: ‘Now!’

We always listen to the Unwanted Visitor. And we change everything because he scares us: we change village, habits, shoes, food, behaviour.
We can’t convince the Unwanted Visitor to allow us to stay as we are. There is no discussion.

We also listen to the Angel of Good Fortune, but we ask him:
‘Where will this lead?’ ‘To a new life,’ comes the answer.

And we feel proud of ourselves. And we are praised because we refuse to change, continuing, instead, in the direction Fate has chosen for us.
Wrong.
Because the correct path is the path of nature, which is constantly changing, like the dunes in the desert.
 
 
taken from THE MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA

Who is the most powerful master

One of Yu’s disciples was talking to a disciple of Rinzai:

– My master is a man capable of doing miracles, that is why he is respected by all his pupils. I have seen him do things far beyond our capabilities. And your master? What great miracles can he do?

– My master’s greatest miracle is that he doesn’t need to display any great wonder, in order to show his pupils that he is a wise man – was the reply.

 

Another name

A man said to a friend:

‘You talk about God as if you knew him personally, down to the colour of his eyes. Why do you need to create something to believe in? Can’t you live without that?’
His friend replied:

Do you have any idea how the Universe was created? Can you explain the miracle of life?’

 

‘Everything around us is the result of chance. Things just happen.’
‘Exactly. Well, “Things just happen” is merely another name for God.’

 

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Radicalization of young people

Recently, I was invited by the Unesco, to write a text about the radicalization of young people

I recognize in this text the feeling of powerlessness that grips me when I start to think about the current problems of the world, specially the bleak future that lies ahead for many children across the globe.

I think though that one has to be alert and see that all the problems we face have a common root: our selfishness, our fears.

To me, it seems that the only possible escape out of this cycle of violence is to act in our individual scale. In my case for instance: to write is my best possible weapon against the indifference, against the violence.

In Moses’ footsteps

By Paulo Coelho

Rabbi Zuya wanted to discover the mysteries of life. He therefore resolved to imitate the life of Moses.

For years, he tried to behave like the prophet – without ever achieving the results he hoped for. One night, tired of so much study, he fell into a deep sleep.

God appeared in his dream:

– Why are you so upset, my son? – He asked.

– My days on Earth will end, and I am still so far from being like Moses – answered Zuya.

– If I needed another Moses, I’d have already created him – said God. – When you come before me for judgment, I will not ask whether you were a good Moses, but who you were. Try and be a good Zuya.

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What is funny about man

By Paulo Coelho

A disciple asked Hejasi:

– I want to know what is the most funny thing about human beings.

Hejasi said:

– That they always think crooked: they’re in a hurry to grow, then lament their lost childhood, and soon loose the money they need to keep their health.

“They are so anxious about the future, that they neglect the present, and thus live in neither the present nor the future.

“They live as if they were never going to die, and die as if they had never lived.”

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Love: concentrate and dissolve

There’s a motto in Alchemy: “Concentrate and dissolve”.

As you may know alchemists would, through laboratory studies, try to distill the mercury from the sulphur and then refine the mercury until it converted into gold.
This quest would lead them to the Philosopher Stone (which was the solid component) and the Long Life Elixir.
All the process of distilling is based on this very simple motto: concentrate – meaning extracting the essence – and dissolve – meaning mixing the essence with something else.

Many disregard that through this routine, alchemists were also training their patience and thus transforming their perception of the world.

I think you can apply this same motto to love: in order to preserve love’s freedom, one has to be able at the same time to dive into its essence and to share it with others.

Only he who gives up is defeated

We look around and say to ourselves: ‘I survived.’ And we will be cheered by our words.

Only those who fail to recognise that inner strength will say: ‘I lost,’ and be sad.

Others, even though they are suffering because they were defeated and feel humiliated by the things the winners are saying about them, will allow themselves to shed a few tears, but never feel sorry for themselves.
They know that this is a merely a pause in the fighting and that, for the moment, they are at a disadvantage

They’re aware of being under tension, of being afraid. They consider their life and discover that, despite the fear, their faith is still alive in their soul, driving them onward.
They try to work out what they did wrong and what they did right.

They take advantage of this moment of defeat to rest, heal their wounds, devise new strategies and equip themselves better.

Then the day dawns when a new battle knocks on their door. They are still afraid, but they have to act, either that or remain for ever lying on the ground.
They get up and face their opponent, remembering the suffering they have endured and which they no longer wish to endure.
Their previous defeat means that this time they must win, because they don’t want to suffer the same pain again.

But if victory is not theirs this time, it will be the next time. And if not the next time, then the time after that. The important thing is to get back on your feet.

Only he who gives up is defeated. Everyone else is victorious.
 
 
taken from THE MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA

St. Joseph’s Party 2015

Thank you for the video, Oliver and Yan!

Afraid To Change

We are afraid to change because we think that, after much effort and sacrifice, we know our present world. And even though that world might not be the best of all worlds and even though we may not be entirely satisfied with it, at least it won’t give us any nasty surprises.

When necessary, we will make a few minor adjustments so that everything continues the same. We see that the mountains always stay in the same place. We see that fully-grown trees, when transplanted, usually die. And we say: ‘We want to be like the mountains and the trees. Solid and respectable.’

Even though, during the night, we wake up thinking: ‘I wish I was like the birds, who can visit Damascus and Baghdad and come back whenever they want to.’

Or: ‘I wish I was like the wind, for no one knows where it comes from nor where it goes, and it can change direction without ever having to explain why.’

The next day, however, we remember that the birds are always fleeing from hunters and other larger birds, and that the wind sometimes gets caught up in a whirlwind and destroys everything around it.

It’s nice to dream that we will have plenty of time in the future to do our travelling and that, one day, we will.Dreaming carries no risks. The dangerous thing is trying to transform your dreams into reality.

taken from THE MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA