Thursday, February 26, 2015

A SHOWER OF FLESH

A SHOWER OF FLESH

                 A young man was riding his bicycle along a road in an Indian village, early in the morning. A speeding car hit the cycle and there was a shower of pieces of fresh flesh all around. The cycle fell into a bushy ditch by the side of the road. People rushed to the scene of the accident. Everyone was moved by the gravity of the accident. The driver stopped his car and was speechless as the helpless victim appeared to have been reduced to a heap of bleeding flesh. Women cried aloud. Someone called the police and their vehicle reached the scene.
                 Suddenly a policeman observed that the bicycle in the ditch was moving upwards slowly. He reached the spot and was surprised to see a person trying to push the bicycle up from the ditch. A young man came out of the ditch and was identified as the person who worked in the hotel nearby. On questioning, he told that he was the cyclist who was hit by the car and flung into the ditch along with his bicycle. He had only minor injuries. The people were confused about the origin of the scattered pieces of flesh.
                 The cyclist replied, “That was from the basket strapped to the carrier of my bicycle. It contained pieces of meat I was carrying to the hotel from the slaughterhouse.”  The basket was obviously shattered by the crash and the pieces of meat spread as a shower and were scattered all around, frightening everyone.
                 A moment of misunderstanding or misinterpretation may be very disastrous and may lead to erroneous or dangerous conclusions.               
                 It is wrong to draw conclusions until we know all the facts. His Grace the Most Rev. Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan and former Head of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church, once remarked humorously, “Three unmarried girls are responsible for most of the troubles in the world. These miscreants are: Misunderstanding, Misinterpretation and Misrepresentation.” Because these three words start with ‘Mis’, they were described humorously by the Metropolitan as ‘Miss’ troublemakers.
                 Prejudice, discrimination, racism and judgement by external appearances have plagued humanity for centuries. Such biased judgements do not reflect truth or reality. God does not show partiality or favouritism. St. Paul teaches, "God judges everyone by the same standard" {Romans 2:11}. God expects us to behave like Him. We must use intelligent interpretations and just judgement to arrive at sensible conclusions and wise decisions.

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© By: Prof. Dr. Babu Philip, Darsana Academy, Kottayam-686001, Kerala, India ( Former Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India), Prof. Mrs. Rajamma Babu, Former Professor, St. Dominic's College, Kanjirappally,  Leo. S. John, St. Antony's Public School,  Anakkal, Kanjirappally and Neil John, Maniparambil, Ooriyakunnath, Kunnumbhagom, Kanjirappally Kottayam-686507, Kerala, India.  For more moral stories, parables and anecdotes for students, catechists, teachers and preachers, kindly visit our web-sites:
                         This is Story No. 329 in the second site. Please click ‘Older Posts’ at the bottom of a page to read previous stories and click 'Newer Posts' at the bottom of a page to read newer stories in these sites. Please click on a word in the 'Story Themes' to read stories on that theme.

Monday, February 16, 2015

VALUE OF A WHEELCHAIR

THE VALUE OF A WHEELCHAIR

                   This story was narrated by Rev.Fr. Mathew Naikomparambil,V. C., the renowned charismatic preacher and dedicated evangelist of Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor, near Potta, Kerala, South India.
                   A partially paralysed person had to spend the major part of his life on a wheelchair. He required the assistance of others for his basic needs. But he suffered silently without any complaint and dedicated his sufferings to God for the salvation of sinners.
                  Once he saw a huge crowd of saved souls marching towards the pearly gates of heaven. He learned that his sufferings on earth had come to an end and he has finally entered the eternal happiness of heaven. Looking at his feet, he was surprised to find that he was still on his wheelchair, slowly moving towards the gates of heaven. He was in confusion. At the gate, he met God. He asked God, “My Lord, I had hoped that the sufferings on earth would end after death and then we would reach a heaven of endless happiness. But why am I still left on my wheelchairs?”
                  God happily told him, “Look at the large number of people who have reached heaven. All of them were saved by your silent sufferings in the world, which you endured without any complaint.” He was happy that his sufferings could save so many souls. But he repeated his doubt to god, “That is a good news, but kindly tell me why I am left to suffer here also. Why am I still on my wheelchair?”   
                  God answered with a smile, “Son,that is because you are still alive. You have to suffer more to be able to reach here. What you saw now was only a vision to enlighten you. It was meant to teach you the real value of your sufferings.” Suddenly he opened his eyes and realized that it was only a dream or a vision. He resolved to accept and endure his sufferings with greater love for the sanctification of sinful souls.
                  While declaring Sister Alphonsa as a Saint, Pope Benedict XVI said, “She suffered herself to heal the suffering of others”. That was a great tribute to this loving soul.
                  We must accept the sufferings and pain of life with the spirit of sacrifice.  In life, troubles, suffering and failures may fall on us. Let us not worry about them or feel helpless or hopeless. We should not let the troubles defeat us or bury us. Let us use every failure as a stepping-stone and not as a stumbling-block. 
                  Our life is like a boat, sailing through the sea of the world. We may be threatened by the tempests of troubles, tribulations and temptations. But we can sail safely if our faith is strong. God has control over the forces of nature. He may give us tests and trials so that we may grow further and stronger, but he never abandons us during hard times. God is with us in our joys and tears throughout our life.
                  Jesus said, "Whoever does not take up his cross and follow in my steps is not fit to be my disciple" {Matthew 10: 38, Luke 14: 27}."If anyone wants to come with me, he must forget self, carry his cross, and follow me" {Matthew 16: 24, Mark 8: 34, Luke 9: 23}.

                  St. Paul says, "I consider that what we suffer at this present time cannot be compared at all with the glory that is going to be revealed to us" {Romans 8: 18}.
                  The famous hymn of Sadhu Kochukunju Upadeshi (Evangelist M. I. Varghese) in Malayalam, “Dukhathinte paanapaathram- Karthavente kayyil thannaal…” in the Malayalam language may be translated thus and sung in the traditional tune:
“If my Lord offers a chalice
Full of worries into my hands,
I will accept it with pleasure
And sing ‘Hallelujah’ with thanks.
My father will never offer
Anything that is harmful I’m sure.
He may give me moments of pain
Still He loves me beyond measure!”
                  These spontaneous words of the great evangelist, when he witnessed the unexpected demise of his beloved son (Samuel Kutty) continue to instil faith and consolation into millions of believers during moments of pain and grief.
                  A flute is made by harsh treatments of natural bamboos. The
steps involve cutting, shaping, drying and perforation. It is said that adversity is the best university to perfect our personality.
                 We must accept the sufferings and pain of life with the spirit of sacrifice which Jesus displayed in his life and death
                 Before Christ, the cross was a sign of sin and shame. His sacred sacrifice made the Cross the sacrament of salvation and the symbol of victory over sin and death. It is a sign of success and source of strength to us to lead a life of sacrifice, service and suffering. The Passion of Christ preaches the painful path to paradise.
                  A poet teaches the difference between pessimism and optimism thus:
"Two men looked out from prison bars;
One saw mud; the other saw stars."
Let us choose to look up to Heaven and rejoice in the Lord!


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© By: Prof. Dr. Babu Philip, Darsana Academy, Kottayam-686001, Kerala, India ( Former Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India), Prof. Mrs. Rajamma Babu, Former Professor, St. Dominic's College, Kanjirappally,  Leo. S. John, St. Antony's Public School,  Anakkal, Kanjirappally and Neil John, Maniparambil, Ooriyakunnath, Kunnumbhagom, Kanjirappally Kottayam-686507, Kerala, India.  For more moral stories, parables and anecdotes for students, catechists, teachers and preachers, kindly visit our web-sites:
                         This is Story No. 328 in the second site. Please click ‘Older Posts’ at the bottom of a page to read previous stories and click 'Newer Posts' at the bottom of a page to read newer stories in these sites. Please click on a word in the 'Story Themes' to read stories on that theme.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

AN EXPERIMENT WITH TRUTH

AN EXPERIMENT WITH TRUTH


                       A lady came to a store with a cold storage facility and asked for a dressed chicken. The shop keeper searched in his freezer and found that only a single chicken was left. It weighed one and a half kilograms. He carried it to the lady and told her its weight and the price. She thought for a moment and said, “I need a larger one. Please give me one weighing at least two kilograms.” The shopkeeper decided to fool her. He carried the chicken back to the freezer, pretended to search within it and returned with the same piece. He told her, “You can have this larger piece. It weighs two kilograms.” The lady thought for a while and said, “OK, I will take it. But as I expect a few visitors today, I can’t take a risk. Please give me the other piece also - the one you replaced in the freezer just now.” The shopkeeper was lost for words.
                        The commandment against stealing prohibits dishonest business practices, cheating, evading of taxes, refusing to repay debts, plagiarism and keeping unauthorized property.
                       We should speak only the truth. When words are manipulated to get our own way, even deviating from truth and righteousness, we go wrong. Jesus taught us, "Just say 'Yes' or 'No' - anything else you say comes from the evil one" {Matthew 5: 37}.
                       Honesty is the best policy. It is a good rule that we should be faithful and truthful in every action - both big and small. 
                       A true Christian should not tell a lie even if telling the truth may cause loss, suffering or pain. We should not tell a lie even if telling the lie may give us money, power or pleasure. St. Paul advises, "No more lying, then! Everyone must tell the truth to his fellow-believer, because we are all members together in the body of Christ" {Ephesians 4: 25}.
                      “Lying is an ugly blot on a person’s character, but ignorant people do it all the time. A thief is better than a habitual liar, but both are headed for ruin. A liar has no honour. He lives in constant disgrace.” {Sirach 20:24-26}. “Honest people will lead a full, happy life” {Proverbs 28:20}. Jesus said, "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" {John 8: 32}.
                        The Bible reminds us, "The Lord sees everything you do. Wherever you go, he is watching" {Proverbs 5: 21}."The Lord sees what happens everywhere; He is watching us, whether we do good or evil" {Proverbs 15: 3}.


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© By: Prof. Dr. Babu Philip, Darsana Academy, Kottayam-686001, Kerala, India ( Former Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India), Prof. Mrs. Rajamma Babu, Former Professor, St. Dominic's College, Kanjirappally,  Leo. S. John, St. Antony's Public School,  Anakkal, Kanjirappally and Neil John, Maniparambil, Ooriyakunnath, Kunnumbhagom, Kanjirappally Kottayam-686507, Kerala, India.  For more moral stories, parables and anecdotes for students, catechists, teachers and preachers, kindly visit our web-sites:
                         This is Story No. 327 in the second site. Please click ‘Older Posts’ at the bottom of a page to read previous stories and click 'Newer Posts' at the bottom of a page to read newer stories in these sites. Please click on a word in the 'Story Themes' to read stories on that theme.

New Year Greetings


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

FISH AND FROG

FISH AND FROG


                      A boy in a south Indian village wanted to make an aquarium at home. He cleaned a wide-mouthed glass jar and layered some washed sand and gravel into it. He also planted some aquatic plants in it. He filled it with water and went to the stream near his residence. Using a coarse towel he collected a few small fishes from the stream and transferred them to his jar. He maintained and fed the animals with care and affection. He spent a lot of time watching the graceful movements of the animals swimming by the lateral undulation of their large and flattened tail.

                      A few days later, he observed tiny outgrowths on either side of the animals. They grew like legs. Later an additional pair of projections appeared which grew like hands. Later the long tail shortened and appeared like little stubs. The boy was filled with wonder and sought the opinion of his father about the unusual changes in his pet fish.

                      The father explained to him that the animals he collected were not small fishes but small tadpoles in the larval stage in the life cycle of a frog. He explained the appearance of legs and hands and the disappearance of the tail as the visible signs of metamorphosis. Soon the froglets reached full maturity and jumped out of the jar.  The boy watched with wonder how his pets jumped away in search of a new land. His father consoled him and used the occasion to tell him about the inevitable end of human life. “We too will die one day and move away with a transformed body from this world to our real abode in heaven to meet our creator, the loving God.”

                      Life after death is a reality. In the heaven of happiness reserved for the righteous, we will meet our loving Lord who created us to be with Him forever. St. Paul teaches about life after death, “I consider that what we suffer at this present time cannot be compared at all with the glory that is going to be revealed to us” {Romans 8: 18}. “What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts forever” {2Corinthians 4: 18}. “What no one ever saw or heard, what no one ever thought could happen, is the very thing God prepared for those who love Him” {1Corinthians 2: 9; Isaiah 64: 4}.

                      It reminds us that we have only a limited time on earth in the joyous journey to heaven. God guides us throughout this travel through His teachings in the Holy Scriptures. If we proceed with a firm faith in God, we can overcome difficult situations and make this journey of life joyful and fruitful. 

                      King Philip of Macedonia had appointed a servant in his palace, with the duty to meet him every morning and greet him with the words, “Philip, remember that you must die.”
                     'Death' is the Damocles' sword for all mortals. Death often appears unexpectedly. At every moment of life, we must be prepared for this impending end. Life is short and all worldly riches and luxury have to be left behind when we die. They give only a temporary joy. Sinful indulgence in worldly pleasures may lead to everlasting agony in a hell of horror.
                      It is said that when we are born, we cry and the people around us rejoice. When we die, people cry, and, if we are saved, we rejoice! Calvin Miller said, “Death is but a temporary inconvenience that separates our smaller living from our greater being.” Sir Walter Scott said, “Is death the last sleep? No, it is the final awakening.” Leon Jaworski stated, “Death for the Christian is a turning off the light because the dawn has come.”

                      At his deathbed, Alexander the Great instructed his close associates to leave his hands hanging free on either side of the coffin during his royal funeral procession. That was to teach the world that he could carry nothing with him on his final journey.
                      Man’s way leads to a hopeless end while God’s way leads to an endless hope. Let us plan ahead for the unavoidable departure from this world. Let us remember that it was not raining when Noah built the Ark. Death is the universal equalizer. Everyone is equal before death as death comes to all - great and small {Job 3: 13-19}.
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© By: Prof. Dr. Babu Philip, Darsana Academy, Kottayam-686001, Kerala, India ( Former Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India), Prof. Mrs. Rajamma Babu, Former Professor, St. Dominic's College, Kanjirappally,  Leo. S. John, St. Antony's Public School,  Anakkal, Kanjirappally and Neil John, Maniparambil, Ooriyakunnath, Kunnumbhagom, Kanjirappally Kottayam-686507, Kerala, India.  For more moral stories, parables and anecdotes for students, catechists, teachers and preachers, kindly visit our web-sites:
                         This is Story No. 326 in the second site. Please click ‘Older Posts’ at the bottom of a page to read previous stories and click 'Newer Posts' at the bottom of a page to read newer stories in these sites. Please click on a word in the 'Story Themes' to read stories on that theme.