SANGATI Don Bosco Magazine | Province of Panjim (INP)
April - Jun 2019 | Volume - 12 | Issue 02
The Power of Hope
SANGATI Don Bosco Magazine | Province of Panjim (INP)
Editor Joaquim Lobo, sdb Editorial Team Francis Xavier, sdb Jason Pinto, sdb Layout & Cover Design Joaquim Lobo, sdb Cover Photo Joaquim Lobo Consultants Fr Felix Fernandes, sdb (Provincial) Fr Clive Telles, sdb (Vice Provincial) Fr Francis Silveira, sdb (Economer) Distribution Lazar Vaz Printed at James Arts Crafts, Sivakasi Published by Boskon Communications Don Bosco M G Road, Panjim, Goa 403001 Ph : 0832 2221986
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Editorial We are a people of hope because our character is formed by perseverence even in suffering which produces great hope (Rom 5: 3-5). The power of hope is such that we cannot live without it even for more than a second, points out Anthony Da Silva SJ in his well articulated cover story ‘The Power of Hope’. If we are alive today then it is because we have hope, and because we have hope, we have nothing to fear. “Neve lose hope, never give up”, says Valentine D’Souza giving personal testimony from his life as ‘Hope makes thigs Happen’. Chirs Valentino SDB takes inspiration from Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning”, to convey the message of ‘Hope in time of despair’. Sharlain Menezes presents to you young Lyndon Cardoso, a bundle of hope, positivity and cheerfulness. His story will move you and question you about you attitude towards life. Jason Pinto SDB and Fr Alex D’Mello stress on the Church, the people of God, continuously getting renewed by the Holy Eucharist and offering hope to others strengthened by the example of Jesus our salvation. Citing the example of the Titanic ship, Sr Melissa D’Souza FMA appeals to ‘Never underestimate God’ as He is all powerful and the origin of all hope. You will find in this magazine rich matter to ponder on, many stories of hope that will inspire you. So grab your copy, read, reflect and live in hope. Joaquim Lobo, sdb This is a Salesian Panjim Province Magazine, and is directed towards the Salesian works in the regions of Sindhudurg, Goa and Karnataka. For private circulation only.
COVER STORY Anthony Da Silva SJ
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Experience teaches us that not all our hopes are fulfilled right away; many hopes may seem doomed or dashed to the ground. But hope we must. The power of hope illumines our path forward.
Colonel Sanders, the founder of the worldwide Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), chain of restaurants, tells his story of hope. He struggled in his youthful years to make ends meet, he says. He had very little money and barely survived. But his undying hope was that someday his mouth-watering chicken recipe would become a blockbuster, and he a millionaire. After 1009 initial rejections by various restaurants, Colonel Sanders finally got his first acceptance. After that first successful YES, Colonel Sanders never looked back again. He revolutionized how millions in the world would relish his chicken dishes. KFC, has now become a globally accepted, finger-licking chicken food for the young and old alike. The Colonel’s hopes transported him to a great success in life.
SO WHAT IS HOPE?
HOW DOES HOPE WORK IN LIFE?
During the very dark days of the struggle against racist apartheid policies in South Africa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of Cape Town, once said, “hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness”. The darkness of racism had spread all over South Africa in the last century and the Black people were made to suffer immensely. However, great Black leaders like Archbishop Tutu, Nelson Mandela and others refused to lose hope in their struggle for freedom and equal rights. They were the light of hope in the darkness of racism and injustice. They finally led the people of South Africa successfully to freedom and democracy in the early part of the 21st century.
In life we are continually faced with choices and decisions. Unfortunately, we never know at the start, what the exact outcome of our decisions will be. Will the outcomes be pleasing or displeasing to us? Will they bring fulfillment or disappointment? In spite of the uncertain outcome we “hope for the best”, and take the plunge. Ultimately, hope becomes the vehicle to transport us through life.
They say that a “man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only for one second without hope”. (C.J. Peterson Reflection on Hope). Hope is an emotion all of us experience. We hope for good health, we hope for success, we hope for good friends, we hope for wealth, we hope for happiness etc. Hope is one of the main emotional vehicles to transport us through life. Because we have hope we have life!
Hope is built on our expectations and desires. Therefore, hope anticipates future successful outcomes; these in turn motivate us to succeed. In general, what we desire strongly seems more likely to happen, our hopes tend to be fulfilled!
From hope spring other life-energizing positive emotions, such as courage, self-confidence, happiness etc. These positive emotions help us cope with our daily challenges in life. The positive way of thinking of a person of hope tends to change the person’s outlook on life. Pessimism, self-doubt or depressions are given less space to sink deep roots in the lives of the hope-filled. Nurturing hope requires patience and willpower. We have to change our mindset in the direction of optimism and a “can do”
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attitude. Such a mindset triggers proactive and positive actions which in turn transform our situation and makes hope flourish in daily life. Moreover, a hopeful person tends to be a happy and grateful person, consequently, more open to change and improvement. Therefore, hopeful people work hard to ensure that things get better for themselves as well as others. Lastly, hopeful people reach out to others for help and support in their lifeâ€™s struggles. They understand that together with others they can build a better future. HOPE IN THE BIBLE Ultimately, hope is built depending on our trust in God and ourselves. We hope because we trust in Godâ€™s promises to us, and in His faithfulness in delivering them. God always delivers! It is this kind of hope which penetrates doubt and darkness and illumines our path forward. From Sarah (the wife of Abraham)
in the Old Testament to Elizabeth (the mother of John the Baptist) in the New Testament, God rewarded these childless but hope-filled women with children. After His promise of a Messiah, God rewarded the hopeful people of Israel many thousands of years later, with the birth of Jesus, the Messiah. A characteristic of Christian hope is a measure of certainty or confidence that something will come to pass because God has promised it will come to pass. May be not always are the wishes or hopes of the people fulfilled according to their expectations, but the hopeful have confidence they will be according to the plans of God. They anticipate Godâ€™s loving promises. Thus, in a way faith and hope are inter-related and at times even overlap. CONCLUSION Hope is not something we are born with. It is something we have to cultivate over a lifetime of experience and challenges. Self-reflection can be a great guide and teacher to making us hopeful human beings. Reflecting on the good things that happen to us, being grateful and a p p r e c i a t i ve of them builds a positive mindset and a hopeful future! The writer is a Jesuit priest and works at Xavier Centre, Porvorim, Goa
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THE END OF INDIA? Chris Valentino SDB
in the time of
Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning” is a brilliant book that invites us to resist the defeatism of easy despair by trying to find meaning when we are no longer able to change a particular situation or when we are challenged to change ourselves. How do we reconcile this with the fact that we are perhaps in a deep mess, that cannot be overcome or perhaps we are in such a deadly rut that there is no great escape in sight! 6 SANGATI
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We as a nation, as a democracy, as a developing superpower and as a chest-thumping citizenry, are controversially, incomprehensibly and astoundingly living in an epoch of utter uncertainty, chaoticity and worrisome despair. Casting a furtive glance even, at the current socio-political context of India coloured by superficial nationalism, banal and horrific foibles as a collective of peoples, is so very depressing. Oftentimes, one wonders [if at all one does] as to how can we be so ignorant, so stupid, so damnably and irrevocably spiralling into the vortex of doom, plumb down the depths of self-induced ruin while braying from the roof-tops of being the world’s largest democracy of the people, by the people and for the people! Is this what Kushwant Singh called “The End of India”? The most pertinent question that should then arise is ‘how did we get into this mess in the first place, followed by where do we go from here and how? For in trying times as these, with varying levels of despondency, anxiety, angst, dread, and despair, caught up as it were in a “Catch 22” or within the “Stockholm Syndrome” or ‘between the devil and the deep blue sea’ there seems to be no futurability in sight. The suicidal tendencies of our democracy seem unstoppable, unending. The systemic ruin thanks to the structural violence continually promoted by the power structures doesn’t even allow us to ponder whether a better future is possible from the chaos of the present. We are one happy people busy playing ‘Raja aur Runk’ or ‘Captor and Victim’, with most of us blissfully ignorant or feigning ignorance that we are indeed on the verge of the abyss, just waiting to plunge down over-the-edge with the ground beneath our feet disappearing ever so rapidly. Are we a people caught up in the throes of ‘the illusion of the powerlessness of the people’? Are we a people suffering from collective
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depression, which is increasingly becoming a very common pathological mental condition of our times, either genetic, hormonal, traumainduced or are we just overwhelmingly giving in to the ‘temptation to despair’? The renowned anthropologist Margaret Mead once remarked, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Can we then, in these despairing times, buoyed by pragmatic hope, build collective awareness leading to broad-based collective action powerful enough to redeem ourselves of the socio-political ills that we have called upon ourselves? It was the ever optimistic Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi who said, “When I despair, I remember that all thru’ history, the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it – always!” Can we be people of resurgent hope in hopeless times? Can we be the beacons of light dispelling the darkness of despair? Can we light the fire and keep alive the flame of hope for ourselves and for our children? Yes we can. Yes we will. Yes we have to – for you and for me and for the entire Indian state… Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “Love In the Time of Cholera” inspires us with this [adapted & paraphrased], “Hope becomes greater and nobler in calamity and then hoping in the time of despair, is an act worthy of sainthood,” while George Eliot reminds us, “what we call despair is often only the painful eagerness of unfed hope.” Long Live India… Long Live the Indian Democracy… Let my country awake! Chris is a Salesian priest, passionate about Christ, peace, youth and media.
NEVER GIVE UP Valentine Dâ€™Souza
Makes Things Happen Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.â€? - Romans 12:12 Last May was unusually hot and humid. And so, I preferred to spend the sultry afternoons sitting in the airy balcony overlooking a garden dotted with coconut trees, and rice fields in the background.
In the years long ago, the fields would be full of men and women getting the fields ready for the plough. The fields were cleared of leaves, weeds and rubbish. The hum of activity was a joy to behold. But alas these days the fields
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lie unattended, bereft of people, except for a few lazy cows sitting in the shade of a tree. The tree itself stood forlornly in the summer heat having shed much of its leaves in a desperate attempt at conserving moisture. My eyes fell on a coconut tree nearby on which a pepper plant clung stubbornly for support and then I saw the big red ants build their nest by curling the leaves into a cone. On a whim, I picked up the water hose and sprayed the cone open with a jet of water and ants and eggs fell out in a heap. But the ants were not outdone and came back with a vengeance. I received a few bites in return and so I went for them with the water hose. A couple of rounds and then I lost interest and fell back to lazing on the low easy chair. When I woke up after an hour or so, the ants had finished building a big nest using the leaves of a Chikoo tree nearby. A good lesson learnt in â€œNever losing hope and giving upâ€?. In the same month, we also began our preparations for the approaching monsoons. A part of the preparations involved cutting down an old mango tree whose branches threatened to fall and break the incoming electrical power line. What I did not know then, was that many little creatures had their homes in the hollows of that old tree. When the tree fell to the ground, it destroyed the nests of many little birds. How sad they looked sitting on the neighbouring power line as they surveyed the destruction of their homes. The Oriental magpie robins were part of the group who lost their nests just before the rains. There was a lot chattering among this group of little birds and soon they went about the business of building new nests because they knew that rainy days were soon approaching. To and fro they darted carrying twigs and straw in their little beaks. The Bombax tree nearby provided plenty of silk cotton fibre since the pods had
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burst and the silk cotton fibre lay strewn on the ground. In a few days they had built their nests in a Jambul tree and I was happy to see them chirping merrily as they recounted to each other how they had made a quick turnaround of a hopeless situation. Twenty five years ago, I was diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa. It causes progressive loss of night and peripheral vision. I had already started experiencing the effects of the onset of the disease as I began stumbling down staircases and banging into low furniture. The more I read about the disease, the more I got depressed. I knew I had to change my lifestyle, change my job and adapt to the new situation. Change, is never easy but hope makes things happen. I took voluntary retirement from my job and began a search for a new one. In a monthâ€™s time, a friend of mine asked whether I would be interested in looking after his business in Goa. The job entailed looking for software development projects in the field of Industrial Automation using Siemens Automation Systems. I was happy to take up this offer because the job provided me with a driver and now I could be mobile and travel! During the years with this company, I travelled all over Goa, meeting people in different industries and getting acquainted with different industrial processes. I have realised never to lose hope. There are opportunities in the worst scenario. We only have to work to make things happen. The writer is the president of ADMA in the Salesian Province of Panjim
UNSINKABLE Sr Melissa D’Souza FMA
Do Not Underestimate On June 1, 1911, the Irish News and Belfast M o r n i n g N e w s contained a report on the launching of Titanic’s hull. The article described the system of watertight compartments and electronic watertight doors and concluded that Titanic was practically ‘unsinkable’. The Shipbuilder magazine published an article the same month on the White Star Line’s sister ships Titanic and Olympic. The article described the construction of the ship and concluded that Titanic was practically unsinkable. “God himself could not sink this ship!” This quotation, made famous by Cameron’s film, is reputed to have been the answer given by a deck hand when asked if Titanic was really unsinkable. Whatever the origin of the belief, there is no doubt that people did believe Titanic to be unsinkable. It was the beginning of the twentieth century and people were having more faith in new
God science and technology than in the power of God. They believed that science in the twentieth century could and would p r o v i d e a n s we r s to solve all problems.
But, the great Titanic sank in the early morning of April 15, 1912 in the North Atlantic Ocean, four days into the ship’s maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City…only to prove that what we deem impossible is possible for God. We surely cannot underestimate the power of God. Very often, we mortal beings who cannot even hold our breath for more than a few minutes tend to think that things are in our control; that we can manage by ourselves; that we are indispensable and that we know better than God. The outcome of the recent elections have shaken many, have disturbed a few and have led a few to lose hope in a positive and bright
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future. They all speak about the ‘Aache din kab aayenge?’ This reminds me of an interesting anecdote I read some years ago which did leave a deep impact on me. It is a story of a couple who went on a long awaited holiday on a cruise ship. It was a fulfillment of their dreams and they wanted to enjoy each moment of the journey. One afternoon, while the husband was out on the deck, his wife was sitting in their cabin reading a book. He came along and asked her why she sat inside instead of coming out on the deck to enjoy the cool fresh air and see the deep blue ocean. Immediately she pointed out to the small glass window in the cabin that faced the sky. “Can’t you see dear”, she said “there are dark clouds in the sky. It is going to rain heavily”. He laughed aloud and said, “You come out with me just for a minute and see the sky from the deck”. Reluctantly, she went out with him. But what she saw, surprised her greatly. The sky was as bright and blue as ever with only a very tiny patch of black in the far distance. She realized that from the cabin window she saw only that small black patch. She felt embarrassed about the conclusion she had drawn looking at the sky from her little window and later spent the entire afternoon and evening with her husband on the deck. Does this have any message for me and you? Of course it does…Very often like the lady in the story, we too look at the dark patch and fail to see the brightness that surround it. The present scenario of our country makes us wonder what is in store for us. Don’t you think that this is the perfect moment to trust our unknown future to a known God? Think of the great saints, especially the founders of congregations. Their life itself is a powerful testimony that God can indeed do the impossible. Take the example of Don Bosco. He completed his last trip throughout Spain looking for money to finish off the Church of
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the Sacred Heart in Rome. Don Bosco, bowed down by age and hard work, went on to the altar to say Mass in this great completed temple. It was time for the consecration. The priests who were standing alongside him saw him break down and cry. Don Rua is worried: “Don Bosco, what’s the matter?” And he, in between sobs, could only answer: “When I was nine years old, the Madonna had said to me - in God’s good time you will understand. And now, looking back over my life, I now really and truly understand; I understand everything”. God accomplished in this humble man what He wanted to…a congregation that has now spread throughout the world. The Bible gives us many instances in which we see the power of God made manifest. Right from the birth of Jesus which cannot be comprehended by the human mind to His miracles and death on the Cross, we see evident God’s power and glory. The great man Saul, thrown down from the horse is another testimony of God’s greatness. The Holy Spirit is alive and active in the world. There are miracles happening in every part of the world. We just cannot afford to underestimate the power of God. Germany Kent puts it beautifully, “With God, you are stronger than your struggles and more fierce than your fears. God provides comfort and strength to those who trust in Him. Be encouraged, keep standing, and know that everything’s going to be alright.” When we trust the power and love of our great God, will we truly find joy in every single situation of our lives. Life will no more look bleak and dull, but we will begin to see the silver lining in every dark cloud. Sr Melissa is a Salesian nun of the Mumbai Province, working at Caranzalem, Goa
THE YOUNG Sharlaine Menezes
HOPE IN FOCUS:
Smile Please !
Lyndon is now 24 years, and has a grand smile and heart, while being a package of unlimited talent and energy! Presently, he is pursuing his degree of Bachelors of Physical Education at Don Bosco College, Panjim. 12 SANGATI
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Q1. What is the story that changed your life forever? October 8th, 2013, I was in my hostel room with a leg ligament injury and I could not lift my bucket for a bath. I kept in an immersion rod and went out to see friends over for dinner. We ate and joked together and the mood was nothing but jolly. We suddenly witnessed a short circuit and friends immediately switched off the immersion. They then left, and I got on a call with my cousin. Thereafter, I got ready for a bath, and thinking that the rod would be of no harm since off, I let one hand dive into the bucked. Little did I know, I was going to be flung to a corner because the electric current flew from my left hand to the right, instantly burning the entire skin as the rod sunk into it. Six seconds in, I lost all consciousness. Such incidents lead to nothing but death, but I was lucky enough to gain consciousness and with my lower body paralyzed, and the rod still into flesh that was now open enough to see bones, I crawled to an altar outside my room. In minutes, my colleagues swarmed around me to only take me to a hospital. I was rejected by many and finally got into a clinic. After many major surgeries later on, I have my hands amputated but am alive and normal.
Q3. What did you first do and think of after recovery? The minute I stepped out of the hospital, I knew I wanted to go back to College and Play Futsal. I went right to Chowgule College to pursue a BSc in Geology while bettering my futsal skills. Q4. What are you doing now and why? At the time of my accident, I was studying to become an Aeronautical Engineer, then on,
Q2. How do you relate to a journey of ‘Hope’? While at St. Johns Hospital, Bangalore, I felt low about everything. However, I do remember being told, if it were not for the Wooden Rosary around my neck, I would have had my body and organs burnt. That’s where I felt lucky and hopeful to a new beginning. My recovery was speedy only because of the positivity around me; My family, friends, new acquaintances with students and nurses of the campus. I built a new family there. Everything made me stronger for each day I woke up to, for 3 months in that bed. I was terrified of my life after recovery and regretted the fact that I could not be a Pilot anymore, but I never gave up on life, never on myself.
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pilot. Of course, my dreams shattered due to unfortunate circumstances but now I am pursuing my career in Physical Education and National Futsal Games, while I have also started my own company of Tours and Travels. Futsal and Sports in general have always been my forte and so I follow the path. I have worked for a Travel and Tourism company and gained knowledge of the business to only stand on my own feet in the line. Q5. What are your biggest Achievements? It was very recently I was noticed by the Goan Futsal Association coach Joe Rebello who got instantly impressed with the commitment and the skills to my sport. I have won quite a few local tournaments while also representing Goa at Jaipur. I won the second best ‘Goal Scorer’ and won two years in a row at Senior Nationals with my team for Futsal. I’ve also managed to bag the third place at Para Nationals for Table Tennis.
believed in me in a way that brought me to be independent. Q8. What would be your message to the youth of today, especially those in times of trouble and despair? If you’re alive, you have nothing to worry about. Everything in life, bad or good, is a passing phase that only helps you grow. If doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger. Simple. I believe that one should never give up. Just gain the right support, do not fear opening up and seeking help. Do not fear failures. Be inspired and be an inspiration. Also, smile please! The writer is a Mass Communication student of Don Bosco College, Panjim, who writes to create awareness in society esp. among the young.
Q6. How do you feel after 6 years from the incident? I’ve learnt not to give up, to always hope and be positive. Through thick and thin, I remember to keep a smile on my face. I have friends, family and a career. What more do I need? I see no stop to me and my energy. Through my days in the hospital, I did not shed a single tear, but only retained a smile. That is my biggest motivation. I drive, play, eat…I do it all! Of course, I cannot yet put my buttons and shoe laces. Q7. Who has been your major driving force? My parents without a doubt. They have always stood by me and for me and most importantly 14 SANGATI
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CULTURE OF TRUTH Sarita D’Souza
HOPE Unmasking the Falsehood We are o f t e n faced with situations w h e r e f a l s e statements are used to present a version of a situation. Whether it is in our day-to-day
is important that all the facets of an issue are b r o u g h t to light to enable a better quality and depth of conversation and to become better versions of ourselves:
conversations or in respect of ‘fake news’, are we able to discern between falsehood and truth? If yes, do we choose to let it pass or do we choose to intervene and present another point of view? If we agree that ‘truth’ means ‘bringing everything to light’, and we believe in the value of ‘truth’, this calls for open, issue based conversations on the daily challenges that we are faced with which includes our health, relationships, work and even on religion and politics. While such conversations may not always result in consensus or agreement, it
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• In our personal relationships, do we bring everything to light? Or do we tend to gloss over such conversations with the tendency to shift blame? • In sports, do players and athletes disclose everything when there is a ‘foul’ or a dispute? Or do we have umpires and referees and technology like ‘VAR’ faced with the responsibility to bring everything to light because the participants cannot or will not do so? • In a sale, if everything was brought to light, the ‘positives’ and ‘negatives’ of the product/
service would be presented, along with an evaluation of competing products/services. The salesperson would also address the potential customer’s financial position in enabling the sales decision. Do we hear any negatives of the product/service in a sales pitch?
perception and not on bringing everything to light. The barrier is the self-centeredness of every person. When ‘self’ dominates the quest for truth in any matter, then bringing everything to light is impossible: ‘the whole truth’ will not be revealed.
• When addressing a legal dispute, do lawyers present full data of both the evidence that supports their client’s position as well as that which negates it?
As self-centred people, we allow our personal bias to impact every issue which leads to false conclusions. We do not bring anything to light that will expose us, even if it means twisting or hiding relevant facts.
• When faced with issues concerning religion, are we able to discover the truth about inner workings, personality c l a s h e s , dealings and actions of our spiritual leaders and members? • In the recently concluded g e n e r a l elections, did we find any speech, debate, discussion or interview in which all the perceived positives and negatives of a subject under consideration were presented? Most politicians have mastered the art of ‘spin’ as the usual way of distorting the other party’s point of view, while placing their own positions in a more positive light. Bringing everything to light is definitely not a feature of politics. Determining the truth is a daunting task when bringing everything to light is avoided. When truth is viewed as being limited to ‘my truth’ or ‘your truth’ we are focusing on creating a
Louis Dembitz Brandeis (1856-1941), an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, said, ‘Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.’ and ‘The most important political office is that of the private citizen.’ If we learn from this, it is imperative that in all our dealings, private or public, we focus on bringing everything to light. In dealing with public matters, it is particularly important that all facts are brought to light instead of only focusing on creating or manipulating public perception.
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What is involved in bringing everything to light? • Sharing of all facts, not only of those that lead to a biased conclusion; • Openness with regard to personal prejudices and biases; • No concealment of aspects of the subject under discussion; • Curiosity and eagerness to discover everything related to the subject; and • Decisions are based on a consideration of all facts, not feelings or personal preferences. Today, when our approach is to not bring everything to light, how do we begin to understand and acknowledge that bringing everything to light is the regular routine for truth to be determined? It is in this context that we can learn from Pope Francis’ message on the occasion of the 52nd Social Communications day on 24th January, 2018, in respect of ‘fake news’: ‘Fake news’ is ‘false information based on non-existent or distorted data meant to deceive and manipulate the reader/receiver of the news’, which relies on a manipulative use of social media and social networks. Fake news is often relied on to further specific goals, influence political decisions and meet economic interests. It grasps people’s attention by appealing to stereotypes and common prejudices and exploiting emotions like fear, anxiety, contempt, anger and frustration. In order to affirm the value of ‘truth’, it is imperative to discern and unmask the falsehood that we are faced with. How do we unmask the falsehood? • Enable people: Pope Francis lauded the efforts to create educational programs that will help people interpret and assess information
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that is provided and enable them to take an active part in unmasking falsehoods instead of unwittingly contributing to the spread of disinformation. • Responsible media and thought leaders: Pope Francis calls for a journalism of ‘peace’ but not the ‘saccharine kind of journalism’, i.e. journalism that is truthful and opposed to falsehoods, rhetorical slogans and sensational headlines. He calls for ensuring the accuracy of sources and protecting communication as real means of promoting goodness, generating trust and opening the way to communion and peace. This message could be extended to all those among us who contribute to developing and shaping thoughts of others. • Institutional and legal initiatives: Pope Francis approves of legal and institutional initiatives aimed at developing regulations for curbing ‘fake news’, which includes the work of technology and media companies in coming up with criteria for verifying the personal identities concealed behind several digital profiles. • Change our attitudes and behaviours: ‘The truth will set you free’ (John 8:32) offers a spiritual freedom from the lifestyle of habitual falsehood and sin. Accordingly, we learn from Pope Francis that the best solution to falsehood is people: who are not greedy but ready to listen, who make the effort to engage in sincere dialogue so that the truth can emerge; who are attracted by goodness and take responsibility for how they use language. At a time when we are often confounded by fake news and falsehood, we can draw inspiration from the new rendition of a traditional prayer of St. Francis de Sales, the patron saint of journalists, given by Pope Francis:
Lord, make us instruments of your peace; Help us to recognize the evil latent in a communication that does not build communion; Help us to remove the venom from our judgments; Help us to speak about others as our brothers and sisters; You are faithful and trustworthy; may our words be seeds of goodness for the world: Where there is shouting, let us practice listening; Where there is confusion, let us inspire harmony; Where there is ambiguity, let us bring clarity; Where there is exclusion, let us offer solidarity; Where there is sensationalism, let us use sobriety; Where there is superficiality, let us raise real questions Where there is prejudice; let us awaken trust; Where there is hostility, let us bring respect; Where there is falsehood, let us bring truth. Amen.
With focus on education, legal issues and governance, the writer enjoys working with individuals and organizations towards enhancing their effectiveness.
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LOOKING AHEAD Danuska Da Gama
Give Me While they say change is the only constant, I’ve begun to believe that to live life, hope is the only constant. From giving us goals, generating positivity and more, it often does good to us, while it can also result in the opposite. And though it isn’t an emotion, it is still a driving force- a coping resource when despair sets it. The meaning of hope is ‘a feeling of trust’, ‘an expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen’.
HOPE ! continued and will continue for the next five years. “With a glimpse of the last five years, I voted for change. And I had hope, that the people’s mandate would be respected. However, what I didn’t hope for, which happened is that this hope would be played with, in ways I still don’t understand,” says a senior citizen to me, implying tampering of EVM machines, which
Today, a month after the election results have been declared, I am hopeless. Yes, because not only has my trust been deceived, but an expectation that was echoed by the diverse people across the subcontinent- was muzzled, or manipulated. We all hoped for change, and, somehow, everything else changed, but then those who boasted and presented their hope of remaining in power-
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has been reported and spoken about openlyyet nothing happens. And while ‘Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present’, the hope in the youth of today. The youngsters are our agents of change. And somewhere through all this political fury that’s impacting our lives, I somewhere believe, that- we ought to find hope and peace in such a hopeless condition. “We can’t live in fear and give up, and believe that wrong will be done to us at any cost. We have to be fearless, like our forefathers who fought the Portuguese, and like the martyrs who laid down their lives for the country,” says a young student.
Just recently I came back from Youth Boxing Nationals, first time utterly dejected, not for myself but for a lowly, financially weak but hardworking boxer who was cheated of her medal in the quarter final bout. In the quarter finals, the 11th standard girl from Porvorim was all charged up, after winning two previous bouts, ready to bash her opponent and bring home a medal. The girl who has been practising for the last four years impresses everyone. She might have not started fiercely and watched her opponent’s technique.
And thus, I derive some inspiration from there. And move on…creating hope among people in small ways- empowering, creating awareness, helping them uplift themselves and those around them.
And when the coaches told her to go all outthat’s what she did. Everyone around gave me congratulatory glances even before the result was out. The coaches were ecstatic. However, she lost (read: was made to lose) 3:2 to the girl from UP. We cried foul, but something similar like in the election process, protests can’t be made.
But, then life is a continuous struggle, where we give up hope and live aimlessly, more than we live with happily and positively. And that takes me back to an incident that happened recently, which got me to reflect and learn about life, again.
For me, it was a medal lost for Goa; the first youth national medal for women. But, for Tanisha Chawhan, it was the end of her hope. I couldn’t look her in the eye, for I had told her you give your best and no one can deny you of your medal.
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A medal won would not just mean fame and a sense of achievement, but she lost a golden opportunity to get into the national camp where she stood a chance of representing the country. It meant, her father had to toil hard to pay for her food and equipment, which would otherwise be taken care of, and not because she didn’t do her best, or hoped and trusted that her boxing well would be enough to make her win and the five judges wouldn’t defer from rules to choose a winner. “Sorry ma’am. I will try harder next time,” she said as I went to hug her at the end of the day. And that again rekindled within me hope, that I lose often as an adult, but find it among the youngsters of today. She made me realise that there can never be end of hope. But, each time hope deceives, there is a strong hope that finds it way in every sphere of life. Jeremiah 29: 11 says: “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Qu’ran 3:139 reads: “Do not lose hope, nor be sad.”
Also, noted Indian philosopher of the past, Swami Vivekananda once stated, “Do not wait for anybody or anything. Do whatever you can. Build your hope on none.” And thus regardless of our religious ideologies or path, the only way forward is- hope. Let’s hope that people will have a change of heart, will think of the big picture at all times. Let’s have faith in ourselves, as that is the start of many good things to come, and once you start…there is no stopping until the expectations and desires are fulfilled. And that could also mean, giving up hope to reach that goal, but look to achieve that same goal, using a different direction. Thus, let us be hopeful about ourselves, and infuse in our lives positivity to wade through tough times, political instability, communalism and yet, remain humane and live a fruitful life. The writer is a journalist and a teacher, loves to write about society, folklore and culture.
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THE CHURCH Jason Pinto SDB
REVISITING SPE SALVI Pope Benedict XVI's Encyclical on
CHRISTIAN HOPE A retired man who volunteered to entertain patients in nursing homes and hospitals went to one of the local hospitals. He took his portable keyboard along with him. He told some jokes and sang some funny songs at the patients’ bedside. When he finished, he said, in farewell, “I hope you get better.” An elderly gentleman grumpily replied, “I hope you get better, too with your entertainment.” We live in a time of uncertainty, despair and confusion. The people around us, the situation in which we are, our sad past can all lead us to pessimism, pain and regrets. However, Christian life is more than agony and sadness. The story of Christianity is a story of hope. A hope that enkindles the darkness of all times. It was about ten years ago that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote his encyclical address to all the faithful – Spe Salvi, on the Christian virtue of hope. The full form in Latin is “SPE SALVI facti sumus” which means ‘in hope we were saved’. In our world today, this encyclical on hope is still relevant. What are the Key Points of this Encyclical? In this encyclical Pope Benedict XVI reminds us that since salvation is our ultimate goal, we can always live in hope. However, we should 22 SANGATI
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not take it for granted. It is something which we need to work for and cooperate with grace. There is an intrinsic relationship between faith and hope. In this regard he mentions about the life of St Josephine Bakhita. She was born in Sudan and sold as a slave at the age of nine. She took solace in God and was finally released from this human bondage. Her life today is a model for all those who live in despair and sadness. He also gives the example of how in ancient Rome new converts found hope in Christianity and they began to live their newly accepted faith. The former Pope then gives an elaborate exegesis of the famous text from Hebrews on faith linking it with hope – “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). In his own words, “Faith is not merely a personal reaching out towards things to come that are still totally
absent. It gives us something. It gives us even now something of the reality we are waiting for, and this present reality constitutes for us a “proof” of the things that are still unseen. Faith draws the future into the present, so that it is no longer simply a “not yet.” The fact that this future exists changes the present. The present is touched by the future reality, and thus the things of the future spill over into those of the present and those of the present into those of the future (SS 7).” In the next paragraphs the former Pope calls in for modernity and Christianity for an introspection and also suggests that both need to dialogue with each other to renew themselves. By the use of reason we need to find ways to be redeemed. Faith helps us to reach this goal. Thus in a way, he bridges the gap between faith and reason. Benedict XVI’s conclusion is that we need God, otherwise we remain “without hope.” A Christian Response Benedict acknowledges the role of science in the modern world. It can contribute greatly in making the world and humankind more human. However he also warns that it can even destroy. In this regard he also accepts that modern Christianity is too much concerned with the individual as well as his/ her salvation. He emphasises that “it is not science that redeems us: we are redeemed by love.” In this sense, it is true that anyone who does not know God, even though he may entertain all kinds of hopes, is ultimately “without hope.” For a Christian the Kingdom of God is the better world which you and I seek, he adds. He then suggests settings for learning and practicing hope. He identifies four settings – Prayer, Deeds of Service, Suffering and God’s Judgement. Out of these four, prayer
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and suffering have a deep impact on us. Prayer is an important weapon to combat despair. “Prayer is the school of hope.” He tells about Christian suffering as something perennial. There will always be suffering, we need to acknowledge this fact. However God never abandons us. The beautiful quote, tell God not how big your problem is, but tell your problem how big your God is, aptly summarizes this idea. The encyclical ends with entrustment of the whole human race to Mary, the star of hope. Hope-givers and God-seekers After this brief reading of the encyclical I put forward before the readers just two tasks. The first is to be a hope-giver and the second is to be a God-seeker. As a hope-giver we are invited to bring hope to the hopeless, beginning with myself. This would mean listening to the other, being one in their suffering, giving a word of encouragement in despair, consoling the one in sadness, giving optimistic view-point to the pessimist, spending time with the one in need, sharing resources, gifts and talents with the less privileged, strengthening the weak,
understanding the one in pain and the like. Sometimes, even a short SMS or a WhatsApp message can work wonders. These can help to lift another person’s spirit high. A small thoughtful deed of ours can change their world. As a God-seeker we are called to be persons who see the hand of God in each and every situation, the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the joy and the sadness, the success and the failure, the happiness and the sorrows in life. To be a God-seeker, would mean that we discover God’s presence and His intervention in our daily life and to find all our hope in Him even in the worst of situations and circumstances of life. In a world which we sometimes term as “hopeless” let us strive to be people who are “hopeful.” We need to live in “Hope” and give “Hope.” This is the summary of our faith in God and the summary of God’s faith in us. Just as we hope in God, God hopes in us. Let us live up to this Hope.
The writer is a Salesian priest studying in Rome.
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CHRISTIAN LIFE Fr Alex D’Mello
Introduction There is a famous proverb that says, “while there is life, there is hope”. Life without hope is considered to be lifeless living. There is yet another saying about the hope. It is said, “man can live without breathing for five minutes but without hope, he cannot live even for a second”. These sayings have profound meaning. We begin to understand that the virtue of hope is a guiding force for a man to live on this earth. It helps him from discouragement. It sustains him in times of abandonment. It opens him for eternal happiness. It preserves him from selfishness and dark forces. In another words, hope keeps man alive in the world which is gradually leading to despair. Hope is a guiding force not only in our secular
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life but also in his spiritual life. If the hope is so important for our living, then we need to be the people of hope and communicate it with others especially to those who are in despair. Biblical Models of Hope The Bible is called the book of hope. We have many examples of people who were filled with hope in the bible. Among them, Father Abraham in the Old Testament and Mother Mary in the New Testament stand tall. The Catechism of Catholic Church adheres both of them as the models of faith and hope. Abraham displayed amazing hope in God. He believed in God and left his country and kinsmen in search of promised land; he waited for Sarah to bear his son even though they had reached their ripe age; he showed readiness to sacrifice his son Isaac even though he was his heir. In all these instances, Abraham transmitted hope to his wife, son and all his kinsmen. Mother Mary also showed great example of hope. Mary said yes to God’s plan because she knew God would never let her down so she chose to be the mother of God even though she was not married. With the same hope, she visited Elizabeth who was in her advance stage of pregnancy. At another stage, Mary gave hope to the people in Cana when they ran out of wine. Mary also gathered all the dispirited disciples after the death of her Son. She believed in her Son. Abraham and Mary became model of hope because they communicated hope to others. The Church Liturgies are signs of Hope The Christians are called the people of hope. Our hope is firmly founded in the resurrection of our Lord. We are taught by the Church the same hope through our prayers. The Church also celebrates hope in our liturgical celebration. We will briefly look at some of our prayers and liturgies to understand it. We had one of the memorial acclamations in our
old English Roman missal, that is, “Christ has died, He is risen and He will come again”. It gave a summary of our Christian belief. The church teaches us that Christ will come again. This belief is so deeply rooted in our liturgies that the liturgical year is opened with the theme of second coming of Christ, the season of Advent. Christ will come again is nothing but our hope. It teaches us to desire inheritance in the kingdom of God where we will experience eternal life as our happiness. Every Christian therefore is asked to be prepared to meet the Lord. During the Eastern night vigil, a priest carries burning Easter candle in the midst of darkness. The Easter candle light symbolizes Christ. The priest proclaims three times: This is the light of Christ and all respond to him, Praise be to God. The candle light becomes the sign of hope. It enlightens the Church. The same Easter candle lights up all the baptismal candles of newly baptized children of God bringing hope of salvation in their lives. These liturgies give us hope that we are saved by Christ. The Eucharist: Prayer of Hope The Eucharist is the highest form of prayer in the life of the church. The Eucharist is the prayer of people who are waiting. They are waiting for the Lord to come. Therefore, I find the Eucharist is the best example of celebrating hope. We find first direct reference to hope is in the Nicene creed. It is sad that we often forgo Nicene Creed because it is long. It is interesting to note that the Nicene Creed ends with beautiful words of hope. It says, “I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.” We find some more references to hope in the Eucharistic prayers. Specially the first, the third and the fourth Eucharistic prayers. Once again we are familiar with the second Eucharistic prayer hence rarely notice the mention of hope in the Eucharistic prayer. Towards the end of these
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prayers, we pray for the departed brothers and sisters but we conclude it with the hope that we may enjoy forever the fullness of God’s glory with our departed brothers and sisters. We have yet another prayer of hope immediately after the prayer “Our Father” in the communion rite; the priest says deliver us Lord from every evil and he ends the same prayer with the following words, “we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ”. All these prayers in the Eucharist addressed to God in the hope of Jesus’ Second coming. Apart from these regular references to hope in the Holy Eucharist, we have masses for reconciliation and for the dead. The prayers of collate, over the gifts and post communion
are made to fill the faithful with hope in their difficulties. Conclusion We have seen how important the hope is for the human being to live in this world. The church having known this truth, it communicates
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hope through its prayers and liturgies as Christ himself communicated it by his resurrection. Abraham and Mary communicated hope in their lives therefore they became the model of hope in the whole of salvation history. The early Christians were also filled with hope and transmitted hope to the people in need. This became the good news of Jesus Christ, that is, Christ is our hope. God wants us to communicate Christ- the hope in the world which is full of miseries. We can communicate Christ, the hope, through our lives. The church invites us to live by hope and thus become hope for others. May Christ bless each one of us to be the hope to hopeless.
The writer is the director of the Family Commission and the Judicial Vicar in the diocese of Sindhudurg.
AN INSTRUMENT Aliester Dâ€™Souza SDB
The Sweetness of Hope
He had walked a long way unto the mountain. He had been walking from Misery, a town on the coast, where he lived among the people one in simplicity and poverty. He did not belong there but to the city of Abundance where milk and honey ran through the faucets
at street-corners. Ten years ago, to his parentsâ€™ displeasure, he gave up the successful family business and decided to imitate his God. That brought him to live and work, with and for those in Misery.
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He lived a good life, worked with the poor and sought the alleviation of Misery. He played with the children, talked to the youth and listened to the elders. Most people were simple fisher folk. He was there, helping them mend their nets and sort fish, breathing the salty sea breeze. Ten years he has been there! And now he is tired. The people in Misery continue in their old ways, it seems. There is not much change since he first saw it a decade ago. The people loved him but it seemed that all his work has been wasted. That was not what he wanted. That was not for what he left the familiarity of his kith and kin and the prosperity of his hearth and home. He wanted to take his grievance to his God who had a reputation of speaking to his chosen on mountains – at least that what the scripture said. From the coast, through the forest and now up the mountain, the journey began to get tiring. The afternoon sun did not make the climb any pleasant. He was exhausted but he was determined. And then he heard the unmistaken gurgling of a brook. He decided to quench his thirst and rest awhile. He walked towards the sound and there he saw a sun-silvered stream snaking downward chuckling and chortling as it flowed over glistening rocks. Beside it were trees with luscious fruits and refreshing shade. Seated on a stone in the shade legs dipped into the cool clear water – having drunk the same moments ago – he felt relaxed. And his thoughts returned to the purpose of his journey. Where is the Kingdom of God? Where is peace? Corruption, calumny and communal clashes…the whole lot of evil on this place. It has become so tiring to turn the other cheek, to walk the extra mile and to wash the feet of the people – they were getting muddy too often. This God was not making sense in Misery. His ways didn’t seem to be working out. He had come to Misery to make the world a better place. He had left Abundance for something more…
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His inner-ranting was interrupted by a change in the flow of the water. The water became calmer; the gurgling, chuckling and chortling subsided to a whisper. As his awareness heightened, he heard a strange yet familiar voice from the waters: ‘My son, where are you going?’ ‘To meet God’, said he decisively and yet feeling stupid that he was answering a river. But in these moments of loneliness and desolation, this was a respite from the monotony. ‘Why have you come so far? You could have met him wherever you came from. God is everywhere.’ ‘I’ve read that He usually meets people on the mountains and in silence and solitude. There is a lot of hustle and bustle in the streets down there. I wouldn’t be able to have met Him there.’ ‘And what do you bring to your God?’ ‘Complaints, aches and pains. His ways do not seem to work. I am tired, tired of doing good to others. All that I do in His name according to His commands seem so futile. I left my home to make the world a better place, but look at me – I have lost all hopes.’ ‘Oh, the aches of frustration and the pains of broken dreams. Well, I have been here long enough – since thousands of years – much before people settled on the coast. And I too, from the very beginning, have set upon a mission in this place.’ ‘A mission? And what would that be?’ ‘A few hundred meters from your village along the coast, you would know, I merge into the sea.’
‘Yes, I do know that.’ The voice of the River paused for a while and said, ‘I have always wanted to make the waters of the sea sweet every time I let my water flow into it.’ ‘What!’ He exclaimed incredulously and then burst out laughing. ‘Why do you laugh, my son?’ ‘How silly of you to hope for something so impossible. The waters of the sea can never be made sweet. The sea is so vast and you are just a stream, a mere sweet drop in the infinite saltiness. You have just wasted your waters all along. Until now, I thought that I was foolish enough to hope of changing the world. But then, look at you. You must be out of your mind to think that you could make a difference even if you haven’t managed to do it for thousands of years.’
‘Yet’, said the River genially, ‘I haven’t given up hope for thousands of years while you have. The God who gave you your mission gave me mine, and I believe that He would make the sea taste sweet: His is the work, I am just an instrument. While faith in my mission is seen in the wasting of my sweet waters to the sea, it is my hope in Him that keeps me going even though the sea continues to be salty every time I meet it. For I know that one day sweetness will prevail.’ The walk back to the coast was surprisingly slow. The renewal that he experienced was so refreshing yet he pondered much while he walked. Eventually, he reached Misery again and familiar sights greeted him. Nothing had changed. And yet, he was happy. As he passed by a house, a woman offered him a piece of fish she had been roasting. It tasted good. He walked on till he reached the sea. The long walk had made him tired and it was as if the waters were inviting him. He waded in, and as he did so something about the water felt s t r a n g e . Instinctively, he tasted some. It was sweet.
The writer is a Salesian Brother of Mumbai Province doing his practical training at Don Bosco Lonavla.
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SELF DISCOVERY Monce C Abraham
For The Dark Nights Be grateful for your darkest nights, for you are on the way to find who you really are. We’ve all been there: That point in time where all seems lost, nothing seems right and the world seems to come crashing down all around you.
an opportunity to look beyond the immediate pain/ scenario, and choose to go deeper inside, identifying what’s important (for you, and other stakeholders) and ‘focusing’ and more importantly, ‘taking’ the next step forward, whatever that might look like.
Whilst being pushed by pain to the darker side of despair is natural, as long as one is internally convinced that one has not done anything ethically or morally wrong, if one were to get aware and focus on the bigger picture (whatever ‘big picture’ means for you, and yes, this practice may take time, and that’s ok), what might look like despair is also
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Know that you will be faced with the possibility to either submit to the situation (not a bad thing under some exceptions: sometimes we have no other way to go, and thatâ€™s ok), or have a part of your character revealed to you, which chooses not to do so. Sharing personally, I remember the instance when I was taking up my first Ultra Marathon (50 Kms) within my first year of attempting long distance running. Hardly mid-way, 25 Km in, I acquired a muscle pull in my right leg. Now this was a time when I was again representing an organization and running the Ultra Marathon as a Child Rights Champion (I was additionally carrying a Flag the entire 50 Kms to ensure representation plus so that the event pictures could be used by the Organization). Faced with the decision to either call it quits and fly back home to New Delhi, India or stay in the game; I decided otherwise and covered the rest 25 Kms hopping the course, going through the jogging motion a bit too, to mimic normal running and engage the muscles so as
to lessen the pain. I eventually took 7 hrs 22 min 44 secs to finish my first Ultra Marathon, having spent 4.5+ additional hours on just the second 25 Kms lap. In my second year of long distance running, I attempted a 100 Km Ultra marathon and given my lack of preparation at that level (I had trained as per a 24 Hour cut-off plan, whilst the cut-off time was actually 18 Hours : a gap of 6 whole hours), I had to choose to quit at the 75 Km mark, and settle for a 75 Km Finisher medal. I was not particularly proud of how I had gone about preparing for this attempt and the lack of basic homework, but enough time was spent reflecting and important life lessons were learnt the hard way. Having said this, both times, I came to learn about incredible parts of self, which I would have never come in touch with, had I not undergone the experience of radically attempting to go beyond my then perceived limits. * As of today, as I recuperate from a Slip Disc acquired in 2018 (way too much physical activity, way too little rest, in a period as less as 3 months), it has somewhat currently limited my ability to question whether I would be able to take up any meaningful p h y s i c a l challenges such as Ultra
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Marathons, summitting Mountains, Iron Man, Ultra Man Challenges etc in the years ahead. If there is anyone who has done so, or have examples on that front (without risking mobility and serious injury), you are welcome to reach out to me across my Social Media channels. If not, I will simply route all this internal energy to other meaningful channels. Character is built, but by summitting one mountain at a time. It is for these very reasons, that we must but be grateful for the challenges that come our way, for how we respond and meet these challenges head on, keeps taking us closer to who we are meant to be, whilst laying to rest other aspects
of us (worrying, anxiety, lack of self-worth etc) which don’t serve anyone in the long term. As Haruki Murakami would concur, “Pain is inevitable: suffering is optional”. So don’t despair, and don’t be sad (for at least too long, perhaps?) the next time ‘tragedy’ befalls. After all, we’ve all been there: That point in time where all seems lost, nothing seems right and the world seems to come crashing down all around you... How else are you ever going to find out what magnificence you hold inside you? Monce is a founder & Chairman, THEV Consulting. Link to original post: https://www.monceabraham.com/be-gratefulfor-the-dark-nights/
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COMPLETE PICTURE Vinay Silva
Your Suffering can be Redemptive!
When you are troubled and afflicted, then is the time to gain merit. You must pass through fire and water, before you come to refreshment. - Thomas A. Kempis (Chapter 22, The Imitation of Christ) A Purpose of Purification In the process of growing spiritually and getting closer to the Lord, there could come a
time when God may want to do a particular work of purification in a person, in order to remove whatever attachment, wrong attitude or false expectation is hindering his journey to holiness and into divine plans. This is when, in His Sovereignty, God permits a painful situation or a suffering to arise, only to achieve a greater good.
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He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. – Jn 15:2 Even in cases when it is clearly the work of Satan or due to one’s negligence or sin, it will still have a redemptive purpose. Without permission from the all-knowing and allpowerful God, Satan cannot cause any damage whatsoever. God can draw goodness and benefit out of EVERY situation, however tragic and hopeless it may seem to be. My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when you are punished by him. For the Lord disciplines those who he loves, and chastises every child whom he accepts. – Heb 12:5-6 Every pruning process is painful. It is a type of a ‘moulding’ which God gives us for our greater good, so that we can enjoy a closer relationship with Him. The Word of God tells us that we need to ‘endure trials for the sake of discipline’ (Heb 12:7), that ‘it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil’ (1Pet 3:17) and that ‘whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy’ (Jam 1:2). If one is sincerely wanting God’s graces and depends fully on the strength that He provides, along with the desire that ‘God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ’ (1Pet 4:11), then the outcome is only a greater intimacy with Jesus and a joy beyond words! Co-operating with God - Your attitude matters! “Now I really rejoice when something does not go as I wish, because I see that the Lord wants our trust. That is why in the loss, let us praise God as if we have everything. – Mother Teresa [Ch. 1, Come be my Light]
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When one is in affliction of any type (physical, emotional, spiritual), a choice is given to the ‘sufferer’. One can choose to be stubborn like the Israelites in the desert, who missed out on God’s healing graces; or choose to be like Job, whose first reaction when he heard of the various calamities which struck him was to humbly turn to God and worship Him (Job 1:20-22). For a redemptive outcome, the sufferer has to prayerfully abandon himself into the arms of the Father in true poverty of spirit. Mother Teresa chose to face deep pain with trust, surrender and an unwavering desire to please God. This is what led to her deeper intimacy with Jesus and fruitful service to the poor. It is important to realise during these times, that one’s acceptance of problems in a resentful manner will not only block the divine graces from flowing, but will also be an aid to Satan’s plan for causing further damage. There could be times when it is felt that the Almighty has let you down and perhaps caused your pain, or kept silent when you needed Him the most. Here in these situations, lies an opportunity to truly walk by faith and not by sight (2Cor 5:7, Hab 3:17-20). Benefits of Suffering It is good for us sometimes to have troubles and adversities: for they make a man enter into himself, that he may know that he is an exile, and not place his hopes on anything of this world. - Thomas A. Kempis (Chapter 12, The Imitation of Christ) By being in a prayerful state, suffering can bring about many invaluable benefits, especially that of purification of the soul. The results are a deeper repentance of past sins, a more empowering prayer life with a stillness of heart, less judgemental attitude, more compassion, more love for enemies and an ease to forgiveness, more fruitful work of
evangelisation and one also becomes a better witness in society. A transformative outcome of more humility and gratitude, and detachment from many things also takes place. Above all, a greater intimacy with Jesus can be experienced and a more profound understanding of the work of redemption on the Cross and the eternal life. These wonderful benefits, among others, can be experienced more easily and fruitfully through the combination of pain and prayer. We also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. – Rom 5:3-5 God has a divine plan for everything that we go through. He will not allow difficult situations to happen without planning a greater good. Even if Satan has caused immense and irreversible damage, the tables can be turned. Victory and restoration through Jesus is definitely oncoming, but only if we cling to Him and rely on His grace. If we willingly co-operate with the Holy Spirit, God uses each trial and tribulation in our lives as a piece in a jigsaw puzzle to finally frame up a beautiful picture of His Holy Will for each of us.
is very much aware of every minute detail. In a way probably unknown and unfelt, the Lord journeys with the suffering soul. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; and when you walk through fire, you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy one of Israel, your Saviour. – Is 43:2-3 In turbulent times, to be still and know with deep conviction that He is God (Ps 46:10) and to trust wholeheartedly that He knows best is a challenging call of the hour and very difficult. When the right attitudes are in place and if one is truly desirous of receiving the spiritual benefits of the suffering, only then can the Lord do what is needed and pour forth the blessing.
We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. – Rom 8:28
God is faithful and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing, he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it. – 1Cor 10:13
A Test of Faith and Trust When things are not understood, when answers are not provided and when no consolations or graces are experienced, the test of faith becomes more intense, more painful and in turn, more redemptive and more advantageous. God
The good news is that God has already provided the ‘way out’. This way out is the invitation to reflect deeply on Jesus’ Passion and Suffering. By uniting one’s suffering to that of Jesus on the Cross, a person not only receives healing and restoration, but also participates in God’s
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redemptive work. This may sound absurd and crazy; and yes, it actually is. Here then lies something at the heart of Christian faith – the unexplainable beauty of entering into the Paschal Mystery! “Lose yourself on the Cross and you will find yourself entirely.” These are words of St. Catherine of Siena. The meaning of this bold statement is indeed worth digging into. The resurrection of Jesus could not have happened without His crucifixion and death in the first place. This is turn, led to His Ascension and the Descent of the Holy Spirit, which is given to us to lead us to eternal life. By His life, death and resurrection, Jesus has purchased for us the rewards of this eternal life. Having such a glorious gift bestowed on us, how can we neglect doing a sincere reflection and meditation on the Passion of Christ! Rather than deviate from the topic of Christian Suffering, we need to unite our sufferings with those of Christ and share in them. Without pain and anguish, this ‘uniting’ is not possible. Rejoice as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed.... For if we have been united with Jesus in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. – 1Pet 4:13, Rom 6:5 In the Cross of Christ, not only is the Redemption accomplished through suffering, but also human suffering itself has been redeemed. – St. Pope John Paul II [19, Salvifici Doloris] St. Paul rejoiced in his sufferings only because he knew that the Church would benefit from his distress (Col 1:24). Traumatic and painful seasons in our lives are indeed times of grace. By intentionally orienting our thoughts to the
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Cross and reflecting on how we are redeemed for all eternity on a personal basis through the shedding of Jesus’ blood, and by uniting our pain to His, we become sharers in His suffering and more intimate with Him than ever before! This is a mystery that has to be experienced to be understood. The choice to do so is left to the sufferer. The wonderful consequence is that we can identify more closely with being true children of God through the Holy Spirit within us.
... and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ - if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. – Rom 8:17 By his passion & death on the cross, Christ has given a new meaning to suffering; it can henceforth configure us to him and unite us with his redemptive passion. - CCC 1505 Times of pain moves a person interiorly to approach the foot of the Cross of Jesus with a deeper sincerity and thirst for the Living Water, Jesus Himself. It is here that one can receive divine healing and true inner peace. A dimension of being intimate with the Saviour is now experienced. This intimacy, in turn, pushes the pain to the background. An inner transformation and purification takes place along with a touch of inner freedom. Though the pain may not go away, a redemptive outcome can be achieved. This is the joy of
Christian suffering which, in turn, leads to the wonderful outcome of personally experiencing the power of Jesus’ Cross and Resurrection. Along with St. Paul, let us also exclaim with confidence: I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. – Rom 8:18 A few quotes from Catholic saints: If you put a ripe branch of grapes in the wine press, it yields a delicious juice. So too from the press of our suffering flows a wine that nourishes and strengthens the soul. All sufferings lose their bitterness when one suffers in union with the Lord. – St. John Vianney Trials and tribulations offer us a chance to make reparation for our past faults and sins. On such occasions, the Lord comes to us like a physician to heal the wounds left by our sins. Tribulation is the divine medicine. – St. Augustine of Hippo. Why must we suffer? Because here below, pure Love cannot exist without suffering. O Jesus, Jesus, I no longer feel my cross when I think of yours. – St. Bernadette My dear children, without our suffering, our work would just be social work, very good and helpful, but it would not be the work of Jesus Christ, not part of redemption. – St. Teresa of Kolkata [Ch. 10, Come be my Light] Let us be aware that some of the greatest of achievements in the lives of saints came about only through pain. The wonderful work of Mother Teresa was the fruit of her sharing in Christ’s Passion through a very painful
interior darkness. The moving poetry of St. John of the Cross was written when he was put into prison. The conversion of St. Ignatius, which later resulted in the founding of the Jesuit Order, came about when he was shot in his leg during battle, leaving him injured for life. While the possibility of ‘wasted pain’ is definitely something to be aware of, it is certain that the redemptive reward of our pain starts off with turning to God in prayer. The treasure is out there. Seek it and you will find it!
Prayer: O Lord, I give to you all that I am going through. Thank you, Lord, for these difficult times and afflictions. Use them in my life for my further purification and for your glory. I unite my pain with yours on the Cross. Help me to truly offer up my sufferings for those of others. Help me to get to the foot of the Cross. Have mercy on me, a sinner. Wash me with your Precious Blood. Sanctify me, O Lord, cleanse my body, mind and soul. Purify me, and make me whole. Jesus, remember me, when you come into your Kingdom! The writer is an architect from Bangalore and actively shares God’s Word through writing and in small groups. He is presently serving a 2 year commitment with Emmaus Catholic Volunteers.
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GOD IS LOVE Ashford Menezes
Everybody wants love, wants to be loved and most times we are all seeking love in things, places and people, the idea of love, that we have, is more than just a euphoric feeling, we want love to be tangible, we want love to be something that we can hold on too, quite literally. At the end of a rough day, we’d ideally turn to our object of affection, like a book or our vehicle, or food or maybe a person you are close to, now in its entirety it is not wrong, but the problem arises when we place our self into the addiction of that tangible love, assuming that it is this, that will fill us and the void we’re feeling. And this cycle does not end there, it continues to move from one object to the other, it moves from one relationship to another till we find ourselves at the end of road with no where to go, we find ourselves weary of this journey because its not leading us anywhere. We’re often told and somewhere deep down we ourselves know there is something bigger than all of creation, we know there is a creator who has created us along with the world, we know there is a God, but do we really know who God is? Have we really sought and searched God in all the sincerity of our hearts? Have we turned to God for the love we seek and the void to
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be filled? Objective love comes with a shelf life and subjective love is often motivated by reason, which why is there is so much of hurt in the world today, there is so much of misunderstanding and there is no trust, which why is one of the greatest institution of marriage is on a downslide, and to quote Archbishop Fulton Sheen on this subject, He says, “In all human love it must be realized that every man promises a woman and every woman promises a man that which only God alone can give, namely, perfect happiness. One of the reasons why so many marriages are shipwrecked is because as the young couple leaves the altar, they fail to realize that human feelings tire and the enthusiasm of the
honeymoon is not the same as more solid happiness of enduring human love. One of the greatest trials of marriage is the absence of solitude. In the first moments of human love, one does not see the little hidden deformities which later on appear.” If it is only God that gives perfect happiness and fulfillment that no other gives why is it that we are not seeking God and seeking everything else? The answer to this is; we do not really know God; we only have an idea of who is and most times this idea is built on the perceptions and assumption we have about God, which is far from the truth of who God really is. The truth is that God is love and how do we know that, the word of God says in 1 John 4:8 “Whoever does not love, does not know God, for God is love”. There are many scriptures to quote God’s love but lets look at the world from a real life perspective; we all know there is good and evil, we all acknowledge the concupiscence deep within our human self. If you break the law and are convicted of the same, you will have to serve the punishment, it could be 5 years, 10 years or sometimes even lifetime imprisonment and in some grave cases, it is the death. When on earth if you are convicted for a crime, let alone strangers even family and friends cannot and perhaps wont serve
the sentence for you. But what if you’re told someone is ready to take up the sentence for you. How would you react? You would at first be elated that you’re going to be free and then when it dawns on you that, the person who is not guilty of any crime is being punished for your crime, you quotient of happiness will come down, but it will also make you realize that this person loves you so much that he/she is willing to die for you, and that will move your heart for that person, that you will not want an innocent person to be punished for something that you did. In the spiritual context, this is what happened; In Genesis 1:26 then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” We often find it very difficult to share, but in the larger context, even when there is sharing we like our exclusivity, and we would not want
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anyone trying to be like us let alone imitate us. Take for example, you go to a party or you’re out and you meet a person, who is wearing exactly the same outfit as you are, there is a very high possibility that you would not just be uncomfortable but would also want to cringe, at the fact that the person is almost like you. If you alter this perspective and you look at your child, you would in everyway want your child to be like you, unless you are a criminal serving a sentence in prison, and this want comes from love that you have for your child. Likewise, God has made us and as his children He would want us to be like him, therefore He made humankind in his Image and likeness, and that is Love. Now love is not a contract or an option, it is more than a feeling; it is a commitment that has to be lived day in, day out and this is best spelt out by St. Paul in his letter to the Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.” It is because of this love that God has for us, that He exchanged our sentence with his Son’s life, for God’s love is unconditional and sacrificing, it is love that only gives; it is pure and holy love, free from any motives or desires, in the mystery of the trinity all three persons in God are Love and the word of God says this about God the Father in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” Jesus loved his father so much that he couldn’t deny his fathers will to bring back his people. And this meant that Jesus would have to take human form, suffer and die here on earth to serve our sentence. Jesus loved us so much that he gave himself up to be mocked, humiliated, and crucified. This is the same Jesus; who on one word calmed the sea, who
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cast out demons and healed the sick. The same Jesus took our place on the cross; because he loves us. And in doing so, he leaves us with his commandment in John 13:34 “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” Before Jesus ascended into heaven, he promised the apostles the Holy Spirit, and on Pentecost the Holy Spirit descended on them and they were ready to go preach God’s word, it was not easy, but neither was it impossible because the spirit gave them the gifts to preach, teach and heal the sick, but most importantly the Holy Spirit bore in them the fruits as in Galatians 5:22. By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness. Everything about God begins and concludes with love, it is by love that He made us, it is by love that He saved us and it is by love that He calls us to be his children. Why is it that we are still hurting when we have a God who loves us so much? If only we knew God, we would know love, love that is not propagated by motives and reason, but love so pure, unconditional and whole that it is willing to give itself up for the sake of us. So, if you’ve been searching for love in the wrong places, things and people its time you took a step back and searched for God; for God made us to love us, and in the words of St. Augustine our hearts will never find rest, until they find their rest in Him. Ashford Menezes is a Creative Media Professional with interests in Filmmaking and Anchoring. You can read more of his writing on his blog www.mirroredreflections.in
WORLD IS ONE Joanne D’Souza
Love is Universal Hate is Personal
There are unlimited definitions to explain the meaning of love. This is because it is such a universal concept and feeling, meaning that everyone knows it and can feel it. Whether the love you feel is for a place, person or thing it is all classified under the same term ‘Love’. Many feel that love is a binding force and a cohesive energy which brings families and communities together. In the aftermath of the recent elections I was surprised to witness the hatred and anger towards the minority communities across all social media networks. It could be in the form of posts, articles or even comments but the evidence of growing intolerance is present. This kind of hatred has given room for growing fear among the minority communities and this fear is divisive and an unstable force. Why do we hate? There are many complex reasons but following are some of the factors to help us understand hate and hopefully work towards change. 1) Fear of the ‘the other’: Hatred is driven by two key emotions of love and aggression: One love for the in-group—the group that is favoured; and two, aggression for the out-
group—the group that has been deemed as being different, dangerous, and a threat to the in-group. 2) Fear of ourselves: The things people hate about others are the things that they fear within themselves. This phenomenon is known as projection, a term coined by Freud to describe our tendency to reject what we don’t like about ourselves.
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3) Lack of self compassion: Self compassion means that we accept the whole self. If we find a part of ourselves unacceptable, we tend to attack others in order to defend against the threat. If we are ‘okay’ with ourselves then we can see the others behaviour as about ‘them’ and respond with compassion. If I kept hate in my heart for [another], I would have to hate myself as well. It is only when we learn to hold ourselves with compassion that we may be able to demonstrate it towards others. 4) It fills a void: when hate involves participation in a group, it may help foster a sense of connection and camaraderie that fills a void in one’s identity. He describes hatred of individuals or groups as a way of distracting oneself from the more challenging and anxietyprovoking task of creating one’s own identity. 5) Societal and Cultural Factors: If we live in a war culture where competition is a way of life, we are taught to hate the enemy which means anyone different from us, which leaves little room for vulnerability and an exploration of hate through empathic discourse and understanding. In our current society, one is more ready to fight than to resolve conflict. Peace is seldom the option.
Once you learn to love yourself you can extend this love to you family, friends and then total strangers. Love is all about taking action and has the ability to change the world. A simple act of saying hello or smile is an expression of love. Let us look at people with compassion henceforth and try to understand that different people have different belief templates, and that most bad guys don’t think of themselves as bad guys; most of them, too, think they are doing the right thing, the noble thing. Even when they aren’t, they — like you — are flawed human beings, shaped by billions of variables, many of which they had little control over, that may not have provided them with the luxury and the comfort to do the right thing at each and every moment in their life. Pope Francis in his address on August 15, 2014 says, “And the path of love is simple: love God and love your neighbour, your brother, the one who is close to you, the one who needs love and so many things.” Joanne is a Physiotheraphist and an ADMA member of the Salesian Province of Panjim.
In comparison Love is the driving force of all positive human interactions on the planet. The expressions of Love are kindness, joy, inner peace, patience, self-control, compassion, forgiveness, understanding, tolerance, happiness, serenity, tranquillity, acceptance, passion, ecstasy, generosity, gratitude, empathy, courage, etc. Love can be expressed in an intrapersonal way and it can be expressed interpersonally. If we truly want to change the world we must start off by changing ourselves. The most important thing is to learn to love yourself, forgive yourself for all your mistakes and accept who you are.
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GET INVOLVED Diana Charles
The Opposite of Love is not Hate... it is Indifference
One of the most basic instincts that all living beings have is the fight or flight responseâ€Śto survive. Love, Hate and Fear are some other Primal Instincts. Thanks to Evolution over the centuries, these instincts are still with us today, though may not be in the exact same form. Individually or combined, they drive
everything we think and do and in todayâ€™s complex world they tend to express themselves in infinite ways. Among all of these base instincts the one that is most characteristic of humans is, Hate. Animals tend to resort to Attack or withdrawal
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to survive. Humans resort to Hate. Much of this hate comes in the form of the written word, speeches and in its extreme formâ€Śphysical violence. Once upon a time Hate was on a leash, occasionally getting loose, but now it seems to have slipped its bonds and is running untethered and free. One can see instances of this on social media, on the news, on political platformsâ€Śliterally everywhere. The voices calling for peace and concord are disparaged, derided and quashed under an avalanche of ridicule as being out of touch with reality and anachronistic. We have moved from the Authoritative to the Authoritarian voice and many revel in it. Insist it is the order of the day. When there is a shooting in America in a school, what does the US President see as a reasonable solution? Arming the teachers. He actually believes that this is a viable solution? Are we adding one more role for the teachers and what message is that sending out to a generation of young students? Should we complacently allow this to become the new normal? How much more desensitized are we trying to make the human race? Some years ago seeing a few SCUD missiles burst during Desert Storm would make us cringe. Now we have become so inured to pain and suffering we can actually watch visuals of the destruction of Aleppo over our evening mealâ€Śshake our heads and go back to our mundane lives.
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Politics in many countries has become a Hate Sport. Fake news abounds and since it benefits those who create it and spread it, it does not look like it will be going away anytime soon. We have seen that social networking sites which were started primarily to connect people are now making enemies of those very same people. The chasm has never been so wide and deep and the public is caught in this crossfire. Very few know how to distinguish between fact and the fiction and have given in to the popular narrative of the present. Distinguishing between fact and opinion is a critical thinking skill that very few have. Few schools teach it since it has not been considered as important as getting high grades in Math or Science. Now, Kerala has introduced it for the first time as a part of their curriculum
from the academic year 2019. Hopefully it will be picked up by some other states too and students will learn to analyse what they read or hear and arrive at their own conclusions. Some are us are looking for leaders who will lead us to the Promised Land where
the proverbial milk and honey flows. But do we really need to look that far? In almost every walk of life we can find these leaders in our own neighbourhoods. You can easily recognize them with their giving nature, warm hearts and a vision of a united world. The teacher who runs a school for underprivileged children, the auto driver who offers free fare to all cancer patients, the student who teaches his maid’s children after school hours, the community which comes out on a holiday and cleans an entire beach, the lawyer who fights pro bono cases for the poor, the doctor who dispenses free medical care to his patients, the Sikhs who come out on the streets to help those in need whenever there is a calamity, the journalist who writes the truth, the Sikh who rushes to disaster areas to dole out food and medical aid, the nuns who look after the dying in hospices…, there are any number of heroes all around us who are doing their bit to help to mitigate the suffering, paying no heed to caste or religion or class.
The opposite of love is not hate, it is INDIFFERENCE. When we turn a blind eye to what is happening around us we help to fuel the hate and the situation. It is the need of the hour to engage in whatever way we can, big or small to make that little bit of difference to the community around us. The divide between the haves and the have nots is accelerating and we cannot but understand the frustration of the latter. About 25% of our population do not have even the basics and live a hand to mouth existence. Can we be indifferent and say we have nothing to do with it, when we see it all around us? The French and Russian revolutions are prime examples of what happens when the rich live within their own bubble and do not care about the poor. Is it only the Government’s responsibility to try to bridge that divide? India has one of the highest, underpaid labour forces in the world. Paying an honest wage to those who work for us, giving them sick leave, paid maternity leave or speaking up for those
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who we see being exploited are small ways in which we can pay it forward as individuals, show we care and move out of our bubble of indifference. Being part of drives or a volunteer to reduce illiteracy (Each one teach one or Teach for India), to clean beaches and other public spaces, to spread awareness about various diseases, protection of the environment, etc… there are so many ways that we can move away from just complaining about a situation to helping solve it. In a limited capacity too there are many ways that we can help to show that we care. In our places of work for example… something very small, like trying to consume less power. Switching off fans, lights and ACs when not in use… It would help this overburdened Earth save on some of its resources. It is widely quoted now that the next World War will be fought over water. People in India are already dying because of water scarcity in many parts of the country. Huge fights break out in water lines because taps and wells are drying up. Right now some of us are able to afford to buy water tankers and have a 24 hour water supply which we slosh around, washing our bathrooms with liberal amounts of water, running too many washing machine loads and taking long showers. When we do all this, do we sense the plight of those who do not have access to even a bucket of water a day? Do we try to do anything in our own capacity to cut down on personal consumption so that there is enough for all? How many of us try consciously to reduce our carbon footprint at home and at work? When we live in our own blinkered world and do not have an opinion about anything it generally means that we just do not care. Having an opinion means caring about an issue. Those who care, make things happen...
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they incite change. They turn up at protests, they write about it, they debate it, they influence others around them, they get down low and get their hands dirty. Remember the Chipko movement or the Narmada Bachao Andolan? Or even India against Corruption? Indifference is like the rejection slip you got from a publishing house that did not understand your soul which you poured into your book or the teacher who sniffed at your glorious art work and wrote…Needs Improvement. Indifference causes most of the issues in this world to grow and become indefatigable. A young child washed up on a beach, his family fleeing the civil war at home. Not my concern. Tribals displaced from lands they were staying on for centuries…not my problem. Equal rights for women…I am a man, why should I bother. I am not saying here that we should care about everything…it would drive us crazy if we got involved in too many issues. But there will be some issues that our hearts are close to. We may be followers of one political party or another, we may be liberals or conservatives, we may be religious or atheist, we may be men or women, but at the end of the day we are all human, hopefully humane and caring for our fellow men and women is our duty. If that caring leads to action, then this world would be a much happier and better place for us all to live in. “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ― Anne Frank Diana is an ex Principal and a freelance journalist.
RELAX PLEASE Nandini Cardozo
What is anger? We all feel angry at times – it is part of being human. Anger is a normal, healthy emotion, which we might experience if we feel: • attacked • deceived • frustrated • invalidated or unfairly treated
It isn’t necessarily a ‘bad’ emotion; in fact it can sometimes be useful. For example, feeling angry about something can: • help us identify problems or things that are hurting us • motivate us to create change, achieve our goals and move on
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• help us stay safe and defend ourselves in dangerous situations by giving us a burst of energy as part of our fight or flight system Most people will experience episodes of anger which feel manageable and don’t have a big impact on their lives. Learning healthy ways to recognise, express and deal with anger is important for our mental and physical health. When is anger a problem? Anger only becomes a problem when it gets out of control and harms you or people around you. This can happen when: • you regularly express your anger through unhelpful or destructive behaviour • your anger is having a negative impact on your overall mental and physical health • anger becomes your go-to emotion, blocking out your ability to feel other emotions • you haven’t developed healthy ways to express your anger
Not everyone expresses anger in the same way. For example, some unhelpful ways you may have learned to express anger include: • Outward aggression and violence - such as shouting, swearing, slamming doors, hitting or throwing things and being physically violent or verbally abusive and threatening towards others. • Inward aggression - such as telling yourself that you hate yourself, denying yourself your basic needs (like food, or things that might make you happy), cutting yourself off from the world and self-harming. • Non-violent or passive aggression - such as ignoring people or refusing to speak to them, refusing to do tasks, or deliberately doing things poorly, late or at the last possible minute, and being sarcastic or sulky while not saying anything explicitly aggressive or angry.
It feels like there’s a ball of fire in the middle of my chest that blurts its way straight out of my mouth and burns the people around me.
My brain goes blank and I absent-mindedly release my anger through physical violence towards myself or objects around me. I don’t realise how destructive I’ve been until immediately afterwards.
What is unhelpful angry behaviour? How you behave when you’re angry depends on how well you’re able to identify and cope with your feelings, and how you’ve learned to express them.
If you find you express your anger through outward aggression and violence, this can be extremely frightening and damaging for people around you - especially children. And it can have serious consequences: it could mean
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you lose your family, job and get into trouble with the law. In this case it’s very important to seek treatment and support. But even if you’re never outwardly violent or aggressive towards others, and never even raise your voice, you might still recognise some of these angry behaviours and feel that they’re a problem for you. For example, you turn your anger inwards and self-harm or deny yourself food. I internalise anger and punish myself by selfharm. According to a study conducted by the Harvard Medical School, close to 8 percent of adolescents display anger issues that qualify for lifetime diagnoses of intermittent explosive disorder. Anger issues aren’t limited to teens, and it’s important to understand anger symptoms, causes and effects if you suspect you are, or someone you know is, suffering from an anger disorder. What Are the Types of Anger Disorders? Individuals who have trouble controlling anger or who experience anger outside of a
normal emotional scope can present with different types of anger disorders. Different experts have published contradicting lists of anger types, but some widely accepted forms of anger include: • Chronic anger, which is prolonged, can impact the immune system and be the cause of other mental disorders • Passive anger, which doesn’t always come across as anger and can be difficult to identify • Overwhelmed anger, which is caused by life demands that are too much for an individual to cope with • Self-inflicted anger, which is directed toward the self and may be caused by feelings of guilt • Judgmental anger, which is directed toward others and may come with feelings of resentment • Volatile anger, which involves sometimesspontaneous bouts of excessive or violent anger Passive Anger People experiencing passive anger may not even realize they are angry. When you experience passive anger, your emotions may be displayed as sarcasm, apathy or meanness. You might participate in self-defeating behaviours such as skipping school or work, alienating friends and family, or performing poorly in professional or social situations. To outsiders, it will look like you are intentionally sabotaging yourself, although you may not realize it or be able to explain your actions. Because passive anger may be repressed, it can be hard to recognize; counseling can help you identify the emotions behind your actions, bringing the object of your anger to light so you can deal with it. Aggressive Anger Individuals who experience aggressive anger
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are usually aware of their emotions, although they don’t always understand the true roots of their ire. In some cases, they redirect violent anger outbursts to scapegoats because it is too difficult to deal with the real problems. Aggressive anger often manifests as volatile or retaliatory anger and can result in physical damages to property and other people. Learning to recognize triggers and manage anger symptoms are essential to dealing positively with this form of anger. What Causes Anger? A leading cause of anger is a person’s environment. Stress, financial issues, abuse, poor social or familial situations, and overwhelming requirements on your time and energy can all contribute to the formation of anger. As with disorders such as alcoholism, anger issues may be more prevalent in individuals who were raised by parents with the same disorder. Genetics and your body’s ability to deal with certain chemicals and hormones also play a role in how you deal with anger; if your brain doesn’t react normally to serotonin, you might find it more difficult to manage your emotions.
with anger in a positive and healthy fashion. Constant irritability, rage and anxiety are possible emotional symptoms. If you feel overwhelmed, have trouble organizing or managing your thoughts or fantasize about hurting yourself or others, you could be experiencing an anger disorder or another issue. Physical Symptoms of Anger-Related Problems Strong emotions often bring about physical changes to the body, and anger is no exception. Letting anger issues go unaddressed can put your overall health at risk. Some physical symptoms of anger-related problems include:
What Are the Signs of an Anger Management Problem? Losing your cool from time to time doesn’t mean you have an anger management problem. Mental health professionals look at trends in your behaviour, emotional symptoms and physical symptoms to diagnose an anger disorder. Emotional Symptoms of Anger-Related Problems You might think the emotional symptoms of anger-related problems are limited to anger, but a number of emotional states could indicate that you are failing to deal
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• Tingling • Heart palpitations or tightening of the chest • Increased blood pressure • Headaches • Pressure in the head or sinus cavities • Fatigue Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Anxiety Unresolved anger issues lead to anxiety, which can have long-term effects on your life. Immediate effects of anxiety might include dizziness, rapid breathing, nausea, muscle pain, muscle tension, headaches, and problems with concentration and memory. Such symptoms can make it difficult to perform routine tasks and can add to generalized anger about life. Long-term anxiety can pose dangerous risks to your physical and emotional states. Individuals who suffer from long bouts of anxiety can be at a greater risk for strokes. Serious memory loss, chronic sleep disorders and relationship issues can also develop. Before your anger and anxiety wreak havoc with your entire life, find out what you can do to stop the cycle. Depression and Anger Depression and anger go hand in hand and can cause a revolving cycle that’s hard to break. Lashing out in anger can lead to alienation and feelings of guilt, which can lead to depression.
Long-term depression can make it difficult to handle emotions, increasing the likelihood of anger outbursts. Often, the only way to break this cycle is to seek professional help. Dual Diagnosis: Addiction and Anger Drug and alcohol addictions can decrease your ability to deal with anger. It’s important to seek treatment options that deal with emotional and physical issues related to your disorder. A treatment program that addresses anger without dealing with addiction leaves you vulnerable to emotional issues in the future. Likewise, attending a group to discuss your addiction without mentioning your struggle with anger makes it likely you’ll use drugs or alcohol to deal with emotional pain in the future. Getting Help for Anger-Related Problems The first step to taking control of your life is to seek help for your anger-related problem. Treatment resources include inpatient facilities, outpatient programs, individual and group therapy, and medication. Learning about anger symptoms, causes and effects will help you address your disorder in a healthy and positive way.
The writer is a school counsellor. She loves working with young and strives to make a difference in their lives.
April - June 2019
BENAULIM FATORDA LOUTULIM KAKATI ODXEL DABOLIM OROS KUDAL PARRA PALIEM PANJIM SIRSI
100% SSC results for 17 years
Don Bosco Oros has continued the tradition of cent percent results for the 17th year in a row. A total of 100 students appeared for the SSC Examination 2018-19. Out of the total, 71 students passed with Distinction and 29 students with First class. Congratulating the top achievers Suyash Mayekar with 96.40%, Phoebe Sonawane with 96% and Komal Rane with 95.80%.
Prof. Mohini Naik of DBCE is an Exemplary Mentor of change
For long the Panjim Province has been dreaming of a formation house in Goa. Now, finally this dream has become a reality with the PreNovitiate in Loutolim. On June 10, 2019, thirteen pre-novices were formally inducted into the pre-novitiate by manner of a solemn Rite of Initiation at the hands of the Provincial, Fr. Felix Fernandes.
Atal Tinkering Lab (ATL) is an initiative by NITI AYOG, Atal Innovation Mission, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA. Under the ATL Prof. Mohini Naik was assigned as the “Mentor of Change” by NITI AYOG for St. Xavier’s higher secondary school at Mapusa, Goa. Mentor of change is an opportunity to contribute towards nation building by mentoring young innovators and empowering them with the 21st century skills of critical and design thinking, collaboration and latest technologies.
Feast celebrations in honour of St Dominic Savio held at Don Bosco Institutions
April - June 2019
PINGULI QUEPEM SHIRVA KELMBET SULCORNA SUTGATTI TRASI TUEM CORTALIM HONNIHALLI TIVIM
Summer Camp at Bogmalo
Don Bosco provincial house organized three days of summer camp at Bogmalo. The camp was held in the campus of the church for the children of the parish from May 1-3, 2019. These three days of camp was conducted by Fr. Marvin Vaz and Bro Trevor with the help of the youth group members of the parish.
GLORY Film Cast Interacts with Don Bosco College Film Club
Don Bosco College Film Club in its inaugural session for the academic year 2019-20 witnessed the presence of Konkani film ‘Glory- Go for the goal’ cast on June 29. Renowned Goan actors Rajesh Pednekar, Sachin Surlikar, Salil Naik, Shinde, Fermino Goes, Samiksha Karmarkar Harji, Rishabh Kakodkar as well as producer A. Durgaprasad, executive producer Salgaonkar, and Director Tinky George, who was also the chief guest of the function, graced the occasion.
Student of Sutgatti exercise their voting rights
Don Bosco High School, Sutgatti students exercised their rights in a democratic way voting for the best candidate with a great vision for the future of the school and the students.
Summer Camp at Vasco by Past Pupils of Don Bosco
Don Bosco Past Pupils, Mormugao Unit in collaboration with St Andrew’s Parish, Vasco da Gama organized the Annual Summer Camp on the theme ‘Holiness through Cheerfulness’ from May 5- 10, 2019. Savio Messias was the chief guest for the inaugural and Fr Camilo Dias for the concluding ceremony. Fr. Vicky D’Souza SDB, Br. James Marcus SDB, Br. Benson Po, A. P. Athayde, Alfwold Silveira, Dr. Martin and team, Gemma Fernandes, Dhanwanthi Furtardo and Jovito Lopes were the resource persons. The young past pupils of Don Bosco ensured that there was never a dull moment in the duration of the camp.
Installation of PPC members at St Francis Xavier Church Tuem
On the solemnity of The Holy Trinity on June 16, 2019, the parishioners of St Francis Xavier Church, Tuem witnessed the installation of the new members of the Parish Pastoral council (PPC). 31 members took the oath before the entire Eucharistic assembly. After the mass the PPC members had a meeting in order to elect the Ex-officio members for the term of 3 years. The elections were moderated by Fr. Jose who was invited as the external observer.
Recollection for the Salesian Family at Odxel
Fr. Lino Lopes, Parish Priest of Kudal conducted a half day recollection at Don Bosco Provincial House, Odxel on April 7, 2019. The main topic of the recollection was forgiveness, confession and sincere return to the Lord. April - June 2019
SOUTH ASIA NEWS
Salesians appointed as Members in the Department of Sports and Youth Affairs, Government of Meghalaya
In the order by the Governor of Meghalaya his Honorable Tathagata Roy, No.SYA.134/2014/156 issued on 27th June 2019, two Salesian priests Father Anthony Kharkongor SDB; the Delegate of Youth Commission of the Province and Principal of St. Anthony’s High School along with Father Michael Makri SDB, the Director of Don Bosco Youth Centre and Don Bosco Media Network has been inducted as official members in the Department of Sports and Youth Affairs of the Government of Meghalaya, India. The order of the governor has directed the members to oversee the implementation of all the youth programmes in the State including International Youth Cultural Exchange Programme. It may be mention here that the Youth Policy of the state is also a handiwork of these members. Meghalaya will host the National Games in 2022, the presence of these two Salesians is definitely a positive signs that the government in Meghalaya is interested in the all round development and holistic formation of its youth.
Father Savio Silveira SDB appointed as the new Provincial of the Salesian Province of Mumbai
On the last day of the second week of the summer plenary session of the General Council, Fr Angel Fernandez Artime, Rector Major, with the consensus of the other members of the Council, appointed Fr Savio Silveira as Provincial of the Province of India- Mumbai (INB) for the six-year period of 2019-2025. Fr Savio Silveira will assume office on Thursday, 12 September 2019. The installation ceremony will be during the Eucharist at 18:30 hrs in the Shrine of Don Bosco’s Madonna, Matunga, Mumbai. Father Maria Arokiam Kanaga will represent the Rector Major at the installation of our Eleventh Provincial.
April - June 2019
Mother Teresa Sisters chaplain for 40 years passes away
Mother Teresa Sisters’ chaplain for 40 years, the oldest Salesian in Kolkata province and lone Italian missionary in Kolkata died on 9 June 2019 in a Kolkata hospital. He was 98 years old. His funeral was held on 14 June at the historical Marian shrine at Bandel. Fr Rosario Stroscio was one of the 460 overseas Salesian missionaries who came to India since 1906. He had arrived in India in his teens in 1939. He had been staying at Auxilium Parish Kolkata for the last 40 years. To honour Don Bosco’s vision of Salesian presence in India, he led the building of a magnificent shrine to Mary Help of Christians, known as Auxilium church. He was much loved as an affectionate pastor and respected for his piety. On 18 May the parishioners had celebrated his 98th birthday. Fr Stroscio had been the first national president of the Indian chapter of the Marian Movement for Priests, serving several terms from the 1970s. A former professor of History at Salesian College Sonada and Provincial of the Kolkata province (1967 to 1972).
Verona Don Bosco wins a medal at “Global Innovation Award 2019”
The “Wemit” project created by the students of the “Don Bosco” Institute of Verona - or the “Space Washing Machine”, as it is popularly called was judged the world’s second best invention of the year by the judges of the “Global Innovation Award”, an award sponsored by the big companies of Silicon Valley. The result of the ingenuity of the “iDB Tech-No-Logic Team” of the “Don Bosco” of Verona, the project has thus achieved a new success, after one recorded last April at the world science and robotics competition, the FIRST*LEGO League World Championship.
Condolences for death of Mother Antonia Colombo, FMA Mother Antonia Colombo, of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA), who led the FMA Institute as General Superior for 12 years (1996-2008), passed away on July 1, in Sant’Ambrogio Olona (VA). The Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, with all the General Council and on behalf of the whole Salesian Congregation, offers their most heartfelt condolences to the FMA Institute for the death of Mother Antonia, in union of prayer and hope in the Resurrection. 56 SANGATI
Emperor of Japan confers Order of Rising Sun to card. Raffaele Farina
During an emotionally moving ceremony held yesterday, Thursday 27 June, at the Japanese Embassy to the Holy See, the Salesian Cardinal Raffaele Farina, archivist and librarian emeritus of the Holy Roman Church, was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, gold and silver star, conferred by the Emperor of Japan.
Culture Prize to Indian Salesian Fr Abraham Kavalakatt There was a large audience last Wednesday, June 19, at the Consulate General of Italy in New York, for the awarding of Indian Salesian Fr Abraham Kavalakatt with a Plaque of Merit from the “Pantheon Foundation”. The prize was awarded to him for his voluminous book: “Wonderful ways of God. The teaching of the Church on the salvation of non-Christians.” April - June 2019
The Mother Teresa of the Prostitutes
Can we really forgive? Ask Elise. She was born in Sweden. A victim of violence and sexual abuse as a child, she ran away from home, got trapped into prostitution, and ended up addicted to alcohol and pills. Today, thousands of people call her “The Angel of the Prostitutes of Malmskillnadsgatan”, one of the streets of central Stockholm. Others call her “The Mother Teresa of the Prostitutes”. Elise Lindqvist spends nights offering support and comfort to women working as prostitutes on the streets in Stockholm. She has been doing that for over 20 years: mothering them and reminding them there is a life beyond the street.
Catholics, Anglicans welcome news of Card. Newman’s canonization date
Pope Francis announced that Cardinal John Newman and four others Giuseppina Vannini, Mariam Thresia Chiramel Mankidiyan, Irmã Dulce Pontes and Marguerite Bays, will be canonized on 13 October at a Mass in St. Peter’s Square in Rome. Newman, a former Anglican priest who became a Roman Catholic in 1845 and eventually a Cardinal, is regarded as one of the most influential figures in Catholicism.
April - June 2019
WORLD NEWS Holocaust survivor who forgave Nazis dies age 85
Eva Kor, Romanian, who survived horrific medical experiences during the Holocaust and later called for forgiveness of Nazi perpetrators, has died at the age of 85. She was on one of her annual visits to Poland where she gave tours of what was the death camp at Auschwitz.
Filipino chosen as first Asian head of the Dominicans
Filipino priest, Father Gerard Francisco Timoner III was elected Master of the Order of Preachers, or the Dominican Order, on Saturday, during the ongoing General Chapter of the order in Biên Hoà, Vietnam. For the first time in the history of the worldwide Dominican Order, an Asian has been elected as head. The 51-year old Filipino priest is the 87th successor of St. Dominic of Guzman, the Spanish priest who founded the order in 1215. He will hold the post for nine years.
Italian Bishops’ Conference donates one million euros to South Sudan
Eight years after independence, South Sudan is still suffering from one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. Italy’s Bishops have renewed their commitment to assisting the people of South Sudan. The Italian Bishops’ Conference (Conferenza Episcopale Italiana, “CEI”) announced a donation of one million euros “in favour of the people of South Sudan.” It is the fourth consecutive year that the Conference has dedicated a portion of the “eight per thousand” funds to providing emergency aid, as well as sustaining income generating activities, rebuilding, and supporting reconciliation processes throughout the country.
Myanmar Church’s tree-planting drive in the spirit of “Laudato Si”
More than 200 Catholic Church workers and young people joined in a tree-planting event in Myanmar, in a show of responsibility for protecting the environment in the spirit of the Pope Francis Encyclical, “Laudato Si” on 6 July. Cardinal Charles Bo, the Archbishop of Yangon and chief minister of Yangon Division, Phyo Min Thein were part of the group.
MESSAGE OF RECTOR MAJOR Ángel Fernández Artime SDB
Three stoles, three wonderful stories and a heart that doesn’t forget I want to carve into my memory and yours the inestimable value of every human encounter, however brief or lengthy, deep or quick it might be. If it is a human encounter, it is always special and we have to make it special. We will have a much better life if we live it this way. My dear friends and readers of the Salesian Bulletin, I’m delighted to meet you again in this monthly appointment that we have in the magazine that Don Bosco founded and loved so much. Through the Salesian Bulletin Don Bosco wanted to make known the good that was being done in our Salesian houses, especially in the Salesian missions; as he also hoped to find many who would want to help him carry out his mission among the young. I’d like to share with you a simple reflection about two things that happened to me during my visits with Salesians around the world.
It marks the priest’s distinct dignity and consecration as one who is to serve the People of God; it brings to mind the sweet yoke of our Lord, the obligations of the priestly office, and it symbolizes in some way the sheep whom the Good Shepherd bears on his shoulders. The protagonist, in each case, is a stole. Certainly, I need to begin by explaining what a STOLE is since not all our readers may be familiar with this term. The stole is the distinctive element of the liturgical vestments that the priest wears. The priest puts it over his shoulders, behind his neck, and lets it fall down past his belt.
In recent months, I was given three stoles that hold great significance.
The stole of an anonymous woman The first stole was given to me during the feast of Mary Help of Christians, May 24, at Valdocco. It’s a beautiful stole, handembroidered with gorgeous gold thread, which had to have taken hundreds of hours of work. A April - June 2019
lady devoted to Mary Help of Christians and to Don Bosco wished that it be worn for the celebration of Holy Mass and in the great procession of Mary Help of Christians that evening. It had been made with great sacrifice, simply, and with such great generosity and so much love for the Madonna. I celebrated the Eucharist wearing that stole, and I prayed in the procession with that stole, offering all the prayers of the thousands and thousands of people who were there, and my own in particular, for that woman (whom I didn’t know because the gift had been made anonymously), whose heart overflowed with love for the Help of Christians and with faith in the Lord.
The stole of the youths under bombardment I received the second stole at Damascus, Syria, on an afternoon when hundreds of boys and girls were gathered in the oratory. We celebrated Holy Mass that afternoon with more than a hundred young university animators. At the end of Mass, believing ardently that peace was near, just at the moment when we released a white dove as if to say to everyone that they could rejoice for peace, some mortars fell very close by. So that afternoon those wonderful young animators, with solemn faces and a faith that they really lived, gave me a handsome stole on which was embroidered in
Arabic, “Remember us whenever you celebrate the Eucharist.”
The stole of the young prisoners I received the third stole a month ago, during my visit to Mato Grosso in Brazil. At the end of a meeting with the young, one of the teachers gave me a stole bearing on its back, written with indelible ink, the first and last names of the 56 young people in our Salesian house. These aren’t young people with just any story. They’re young ones who are sentenced to what once was called juvenile detention, a reformatory; they’re young people deprived of their freedom, because of some offense, who after a hearing have been entrusted to us. They couldn’t come to our meeting, but they’d sent me the stole with their names, asking that I not forget them and promising that they in turn would remember me. I can assure you that every day I remember them at the Eucharist. I believe I believe heartily in the attunement and communion of hearts. I believe strongly in prayer, especially when we pray for others. Praying for others is an expression of true love, whether we know them or not, people who come to dwell in our hearts at the moment that we remember them. In these years, I’ve come to understand ever more clearly why Pope Francis implores us with insistence to pray for him.
That’s why I want to leave you this testimony of the precious value of these three stoles. I want to carve into my memory and yours the inestimable value of every human encounter, however brief or lengthy, deep or quick it might be. If it is a human encounter, it is always special and we have to make it so. We will have a much better life if we live it this way. I want to etch into our minds how faith succeeds in moving hearts and wills. I have seen this everywhere in my journeys around the Salesian world. I want to state for the record that every day I understand better what Don Bosco wrote to the boys at Valdocco when he was far away from them. He called them “thieves.” Yes, that’s what he called them: “You’re all thieves,” he said and then he added, “because you’ve stolen my heart.” It’s so beautiful to feel that one’s heart can be stolen freely and in a very oblative way when it seeks only the good of other persons. I bless you all, and I promise you that the next time I put on one of these stoles I’ll also remember you, with whom I have shared the profound meaning they have for me. Don Angel
The Power of Hope INSIDE SANGATI 1. Editorial ... pg 2 2. The Power of Hope - by Anthony Da Silva SJ ... pg 3 3. Hope in the time of Despair - by Chris Valentino SDB ... pg 6 4. Hope makes things happen - by Valentine D’Souza ... pg 8 5. Do not underestimate God - by Sr Melissa D’Souza FMA ... pg 10 6. Hope and smile please - by Sharlaine Menezes... pg 12 7. Hope: Unmasking the falsehood - by Sarita D’Souza ... pg 15 8. Give me hope - by Danuska Da Gama ... pg 19 9. Revisiting Spe Salvi - by Jason Pinto SDB ... pg 22 10. Communicate Christ the Hope - by Fr Alex D’Mello ... pg 25 11. The Sweetness of Hope - by Aliester D’Souza SDB ... pg 28 12. Be Grateful for the dark nights - by Monce C Abraham ... pg 31 13. Your Suffering can be redemptive - by Vinay Silva ... pg 34 14. Know God, Know Love - by Ashford Menezes ... pg 39 15. Love is Universal, Hate is Personal - by Joanne D’Souza ... pg 42 16. The opposite of Love is not hate ... but Indifference - by Diana Charles ... pg 44 17. Anger and Mental health- by Nandini Cardozo ... pg 48 18. Salesian Province of Panjim News ... pg 53 19. Salesian South Asia News ... pg 55 20. Salesian World News ... pg 56 21. Church World News ... pg 57 22. 3 Stoles, 3 wonderful stories - by RM Ángel Fernández Artime SDB ... pg 58