Monday Musings

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The Spider Mark

A Tibetan story tells of a meditation student who, while meditating in his room, believed he saw a spider descending in front of him. Each day the menacing creature returned, growing larger and larger each time. So frightened was the student, that he went to his teacher to report his dilemma. He said he planned to place a knife in his lap during meditation, so when the spider appeared he would kill it. The teacher advised him against this plan. Instead, he suggested, bring a piece of chalk to meditation, and when the spider
appeared, mark an “X” on its belly. Then report back.

The student returned to his meditation. When the spider again appeared, he resisted the urge to attack it, and instead did just what the master suggested. When he later reported back to the master, the teacher told him to lift up his shirt and look at his own belly. There was the “X”.

By Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP on 18-11-2017
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Gratitude is the Best Attitude

Nobel Peace Prize winning writer and social worker Albert Schweitzer wrote: “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep “gratitude” of those who have lighted the flame within us”. Gratitude is one of the fundamental traits of being human. All what we are and what we
own are gifts and blessings from God. The air that sustains us, the water that refreshes us, the food that nourishes us, the shelter that protects us, the sun that shines over us, the rain that enlivens us – all these are but God’s
blessings. Our life itself has its origin and end in God Almighty.
And so it is to Him that we owe our gratitude first. In the story of healing ten lepers, Jesus asked the question: “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” (Lk 17:17-18).We need the help, support and encouragement of our parents, siblings, teachers, mentors, leaders, soldiers, doctors, nurses, friends and even unknown persons for our survival and growth in this world. Can we ever forget to thank them for their role and influence in our lives?
Henry Ward Beecher says: “Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.” Thanksgiving Day, as a harvest festival, is celebrated in many cultures and countries around the world.  Family members and friends get together to enjoy the bounty of the harvest and thank God for all the gifts and blessings. However we need not wait for a 'Thanksgiving Day' to thank God and our benefactors. If one has a grateful heart, it expresses itself in gratitude every day, every moment.“For each new morning with its light,For rest and shelter of the night,For health and food, for love and friends, For everything Thy goodness sends”.- Ralph Waldo Emerson.

By Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP on 28-10-2017
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Work at chance.com

A jobless man applied for the position of the ‘office boy’ at Microsoft. The HR manager interviewed him and said, “You are appointed,” and asked for his E-mail ID. The man replied,”But I don’t have a computer, neither an
E-mail.I’m sorry”, said the HR manager, “If you don’t have an E-mail, that means you do not exist. And the person, who doesn’t exist, cannot have the job.”
The man left with no hope at all. With only $10 in his pocket, he did not know what to do. He then decided to go to the supermarket and buy a ten pounds tomato crate. He sold the tomatoes in a door to door round. In less than two hours, he succeeded to double his capital. He repeated the operation three times, and returned home with $60. The man realized that he can survive this way, and continued the tomato business every day. His money kept on doubling and shortly, he bought a cart, then a truck, then he had his own fleet of delivery vehicles.
The man slowly became one of the biggest food retailers in the US. Then, to secure his family’s future, he decided to have a life insurance. He called an insurance broker, and chose a protection plan. At the end of the conversation, the broker asked for his E-mail. The man replied, “I don’t have an Email”. The broker asked curiously,”You don’t have an E-mail? Yet you have succeeded to build such an empire. Can you imagine what you could have been if you had an E-mail?
The man thought for a while and replied, “Yes, I’d be an office boy at Microsoft!” (We have withheld the real
names).

By Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP on 16-10-2017
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Love Redefined

Ramesh was back at the Ashram after a short home visit. He reported before Guruji.
“Tell me son, could you apply any of what you had learned here? Could you learn something new? Could you experience your growth?” Guruji asked all these in a row.
“Well Guruji, back in the village people are suffering due to the ongoing war. No sufficient food……not enough grocery…not enough work also,” replied Ramesh.
“Oh! It is certainly bad news. What happened to them?” Asked the Guruji again.
“The war is continuing. I wish if I also could have joined the army and destroyed the enemies, who attacked us.” Ramesh replied.
After a small pause the Guruji gently spoke with a smile. “My son, this is why a man in the village is considered thrice blessed than a hermit in the forest. The villager always fights with the reality of the day, still holding tight all his spiritual aspirations. Remember that they did not feel for a fight as you did.Here you learned to love everybody…and there….even you interpreted love to be destruction of your enemy. Patriotism is not hating your enemies; it is but loving the mother land with gratitude and compromising with everybody.”

By Joseph Mattappally on 14-10-2017
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Spirit of Sharing

One evening when the sun was setting in the horizon, I noticed a rare occurrence outside the windows of my room. Two black crows flew into one of the branches of a Neem tree that stood tall. One of the crows carried a piece of flesh and it began eating it while the other crow sat watching. After sometime the crow that was eating the meat stopped, looked around for a while and then passed the remaining piece to the one that was sitting and watching! The second one took it and started eating while the other sat watching.

The incident would seem simple and insignificant to an ordinary onlooker. But a more curious observer could draw a lesson or two from the behaviors of those birds – lessons in harmony, spirit of sharing, patience, peaceful coexistence and concern and care for one another. One notice that there was no quarrelling over the piece of flesh, no animal instinct at work, no snatching away and no restlessness on the part of either of them. If we learn to care and share, be patient and trust in the goodness of the other like those birds, our world would be much better than what it is today.

Yet, what we see around us is precisely the opposite: impatience, mistrust, selfishness, greed, quarrelling, fighting, wasting and destruction of the natural resources. There is so much hunger, poverty and famine in the world. The solution to these could be found on the branches of that Neem tree.

By Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP on 02-10-2017
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Count and Pray

The thumb is nearest to you. So begin a prayer remembering those closest to you.

The next is index finger, the pointing finger. Remember all those who point their fingers at you; they could be teachers, doctors, parents and administrators. Pray for them.
The next finger is the tallest finger. Remember our leaders and authorities who shape the Nation and the Society, thus giving protection and a supporting environment. They need greater wisdom and more Divine support.
The next finger is the ring finger. This is our weakest finger; piano teachers know it. It reminds us of the weak; all those who need help and or are in some sort of trouble/pain. Pray for them.
There is the little finger left. It is the smallest of all; place ourselves there in relation with God and everything else. Put your own needs into proper perspective and be able to pray for yourself more effectively.

By Admin on 29-09-2017
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The Vision of an Unknown Netizen

One of the most important lessons you can learn on your road to success is that failure is not a final destination, but rather a place you pass through on your way to achieving your goals. Remember these points:
1. There is only one road to Success City

2. The road to Success City passes through Failureville

3. People are so afraid of driving through Failureville and they never begin their journey. So what does this mean in the real world?

It means that failure is not the opposite of success as many people assume; on the contrary, failure is an important part of achieving success. In fact, it is usually through the process of trying and failing that we learn the lessons we need, in
order to ultimately achieve our goals in life.

My favourite  quote regarding the relationship between failure and success comes from the legendary basketball player Michael Jordan:  “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to
take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”
When you understand the fact that success lies on the other side of failure you will be much better prepared for the journey that leads to achieving your most important life goals.

By Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP on 14-09-2017
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Inner Strength

A ruthless Chinese general in Tibet would mercilessly kill all the Buddhist monks and destroy their places of worship. All the monks would flee when they heard he was coming. One day he arrived at the gates of a well-known monastery.  The general was pleased to hear that all the monks had fled. However, an officer reported to him that in the inner courtyard
there remained one solitary monk. He strode off into the cloister and went right up to the monk who was sitting there peacefully and meditating. “Don’t you know who I am?” shouted the general. “Without blinking an eye, I can run you right through with my sword”. The monk gently, but firmly responded: “Don’t you know who I am? Without blinking an eye, I can let you run me through with that sword”.
Nothing, not even the fiercest sword, can frighten us or destroy our inner peace if we discover and recognize the presence of God in us. Our inner strength comes not from the swords and guns, but from the power of God who resides in us. We can withstand and endure the persecutions of any sort if we trust in Him who is the source of life.

By Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP on 29-08-2017
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It’s You

One day when all the employees reached the office, they saw a big notice on the door in which it was written: “Yesterday the person who has been hindering your growth in this company passed away. We invite you to join the funeral in the room that has been prepared in the gym”. In the beginning, they all got sad for the death of one of their colleagues, but after a while they started getting curious to know who was that man who hindered the growth of his colleagues and the company itself.

The excitement in the gym was such that security agents were ordered to control the crowd within the room. The more people reached the coffin, the more the excitement heated up. Everyone thought: “Who is this
guy who was hindering my progress? Well, at least he died!” One by one the thrilled employees got closer to the coffin, and when they looked inside it they suddenly became speechless. They stood nearby the coffin, shocked and in silence, as if someone had touched the deepest part of their soul.

There was a mirror inside the coffin: everyone who looked inside it could see himself.

There was also a sign next to the mirror that said: “There is only one person who is capable of hindering your growth in this company: it is YOU.”

By Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP on 16-08-2017
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Suicide – The Common Killer

Suicide has become a common killer today. Reports suggest that nearly 1 million people worldwide commit suicide each year. And
those who attempt to commit suicide number anywhere from 10 million to 20 million annually. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for people 10-24 years of age. Suicide is the process of purposely ending one’s own life. In some societies suicide attempt is considered a crime. However, in most cultures and religious traditions, killing oneself is considered negative, immoral and
even sinful. It also brings far reaching repercussions and untold grief, guilt and shame to the immediate family and friends of the one who killed himself/herself.

People today develop suicidal tendency, as they identify themselves with a materialistic society where success is measured in terms of recognition, wealth and power. When these are threatened or denied, they lose meaning for life. Real or imagined losses can trigger suicidal thoughts, especially among the youngsters. Break up of a relationship, loss of a friend or a family member, some mental illness, extreme disillusionment with oneself for some failure in life, monetary losses, poverty, etc., can lead a person to taking his/her life. Human mind is a delicate faculty and it does not need much to lose its balance, especially if it is not trained to be strong and happy. However, most cases of suicide are preventable by taking effective precautionary measures. Those who undergo stress and emotional struggles due to failures and losses as well as those with mental illness need strong support system. They need to have someone like a trusted friend, a parent, a sibling, a counsellor, a spiritual advisor to talk to and share their
concerns. If they show some warning symptoms, it is important to prescribe professional treatment.

The best and most effective preventive system for suicide is a happy and united family. This, of course, is not to deny the
suicide incidents among people who live with strong family ties. It is possible that even while living in an intact family, one can lose hope and meaning for life. However today there is no better system in existence than a family that shares, supports, encourages and prays together. It is in and through family that children learn the values of life, faith in God, spiritual practices and hope for life which are essential for a happy life.

God is the author of life. He alone has the right to take life away in the manner and time he decides. Through belief in God we
understand that life is precious and it is worth living.

Suicide is an act of self centeredness. Taking away one’s life is in a way running away from others and showing disregard for their
feelings and needs. Conversely, to be other-centred, to be sensitive and helpful to others and to be involved in the affairs and problems of the society are sure insulations against suicidal tendencies.

A person with good habits such as wholesome reading, sports and personal prayer are less likely to harbour suicidal thoughts ever in life. “The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be
greater than our suffering.” Ben Okri, Nigerian Writer.

By Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP on 05-07-2017