Friday, February 6, 2009


A child happened to see in his house, a large number of sweet candies in a glass bottle with a narrow neck. He eagerly put his hand into the bottle and clasped a candy. He could not remove his hands from the bottle as he was reluctant to open his hand. He was worried and cried aloud. His parents came to him and asked him to open his hand and pull it out of the bottle. But he did not co-operate because he feared that he would lose the candy if he opened his hand. He tightened his grip on the candy and continued to cry. The parents tried their best but he would not listen to them. When all attempts failed, they thought that the only option to save the child was to break the bottle. But they feared that it may wound the child. They summoned their nearest neighbour, who was a doctor, to arrange medical care in case of an accident.

The doctor heard the story. He was very wise and clever. He asked them not to break the bottle till he arrived. The Doctor came soon. He opened his bag and took out a large candy in a very attractive packet. He offered it to the child. The child was delighted. He opened his folded fist readily, removed his hand from the bottle and grabbed the new, larger candy. Every one was happy. They appreciated the ingenuity of the Doctor and thanked him.

Like the child in this story, we may have to be ready to leave out smaller pleasures to gather greater goals. When we clasp worldly interests we fail to open our hands to receive the bliss of heavenly happiness.

St. Ignatius Loyola used to repeat the following verse to St. Francis Xavier whenever they met in the campus of the University of Paris: “Will a person gain anything if he wins the whole world but loses his life? {Matthew 16:26}. These words transformed St. Francis Xavier completely, gave him a new vision and mission and made him a great saint and missionary.

St. Paul declares, “But all those things that I might count as profit I now reckon as loss for Christ’s sake. Not only those things; I reckon everything as complete loss for the sake of what is so much more valuable, the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord. For His sake I have thrown everything away; I consider it all as mere refuse, so that I may gain Christ and be completely united with Him”{Philippians 3: 7-9}.


By: Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India.

This is story No.105 in this site. Please click ‘older posts’ at bottom of page to read previous stories.

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