Weekly Reflection

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4: 6).

Prayer could be a very interesting encounter. It can sometimes be very difficult, dry and uninteresting. It is made worse when what we have been praying for does not seem to come through. Prayer is a journey. It needs perseverance and faithfulness. Many saints, monks and hermits would share the same experiences about prayers. With the hope that this helps us, I like to share with you what I call the 4 Ps of prayer:

“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them … Then how come each of us hears them in his own native tongue … we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues” (Acts of the Apostl

The inexplicable outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles on the day of (First) Pentecost made manifest in the gift of tongues is an event with deep sublime meanings. The wonderful expression of witnessing and testimony in different tongues points to our diversity and differences; the understanding by all in various languages and the common message that was heard demonstrates our unity in diversity. We may be different but the message of the Gospel is one. We share one faith, one baptism, one bread and one cup.

“When we walk without the cross, when we build without the cross and when we proclaim Christ without the cross, we are not disciples of the Lord. We are worldly.” (Pope Francis)

The Christian life is a journey with the cross, of the cross and in the cross of Christ. We have to embrace it freely with love as part of our identity. We identify with the cross through self-abnegation, suffering, illness and sickness, setbacks and challenges, obstacles and failures. Life without the cross is life without Christ. Jesus says: “If anyone is willing to come after Me: let him deny himself and take up his cross every day, and follow me” (Luke 9: 23).

“Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is good... Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough t

When we allow our sense of “Good” to be guided by the principles of the Gospel of Christ and the right sense of justice and we allow these to direct the course of our thoughts and actions towards all then certainly the world is set on the journey towards the much needed peace. But when it is otherwise, we may be heading towards relativism and absolute chaos. As Christians, we need to be guided by what Christ teaches at all times: “Love your neighbour as yourself.”

“When we walk without the cross, when we build without the cross and when we proclaim Christ without the cross, we are not disciples of the Lord. We are worldly.” (Pope Francis)

The Christian life is a journey with the cross, of the cross and in the cross of Christ. We have to embrace it freely with love as part of our identity. We identify with the cross through self-abnegation, suffering, illness and sickness, setbacks and challenges, obstacles and failures. Life without the cross is life without Christ. Jesus says: “If anyone is willing to come after Me: let him deny himself and take up his cross every day, and follow me” (Luke 9: 23).

"It is an injustice and at the same time a grave evil and a disturbance of right order to assign to a greater and a higher association what lesser and subordinate organisations can do." ... Pope Pius XI

The Principle of Subsidiary as expressed by the Holy Father in 1931 is still the missing ingredient in our modern day organisations, corporate bodies, politics and even in the Church. When power is concentrated at the centre, when the boss thinks he is the only one with the right thinking brains, when the executive arm prefers commands and orders to dialogue, when the Church leaders believe that Church mistake privilege for a right; they all fail to recognise the gifts of others and worse more they devalue and render redundant those innate abilities that the others possess.

"When you judge someone you have no time to love him"... St. Mother Theresa of Calcutta

Our responses to others are largely determined by how we feel about them; what we think about them and what we claim to know about them. Sometimes too we relate with others based on what we have heard about them from others. If we rely on these to form our parameters of relationship, we may end up living on prejudices and stereotypes of others. These shot the doors of our heart from getting to know the real person. They blind us from realising the positives in the other; they prevent us from unveiling the values in them.