In India many vehicles wouldn't stop for a red light especially at night unless a cop is around. But the same Indians follow these road rules rather when they are abroad. In Thailand even a taxi driver would stop the car at 2 am for a stop signal. And no honking!!!
2) Brother Juniper was a very generous and caring Franciscan. So he gives away things to the poor when he shops for the community. The Guardian or superior warned him that with his vows he can't do that. One day a stern command was given to the Brother. Without permission he can't give away anything.
From Fr. Tony Kadavil's Collection:
1: The Winners: Upon until 1987, only eleven horses had won the coveted Triple Crown in Thoroughbred racing. What is it that makes some horses winning thoroughbreds? Why is it that some horses have more speed, strength and stamina than other horses? Essentially, of course, these traits have to come from within the horses themselves: from their own inner capacity and from their inherited gene structure. Still, it seems that they also need help from outside. To become champions, they need the help of expert trainers and skilful jockeys to activate and develop their inner powers. It is the same with us. Born human, we have within us capacities to love, learn, choose, work and so on. But we need the help of parents, teachers and friends to activate and develop these capacities so that we can reach our full human potential. That is why we need the Holy Spirit and why Jesus promised to send Him to us: “I will ask the Father and He will give you another Paraclete – to be with you always; to remain with you and be within you.” (Albert Cylwicki in ‘His Word Resounds)’2: "I would obey the commandments of God." When Jimmy Carter was running for President of the United States, one of the more vivid moments in the campaign passed by almost unnoticed. One Sunday morning, candidate Carter had been worshipping at the Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia. When the service was over, he exited the church into the swarm of press encamped on the church's front lawn. Cameras whirring, video lights glaring, microphones thrust forward, the media mavens moved in for interviews, pushing themselves to think of clever questions to ask a Presidential candidate on the way out of a Southern Baptist Church. Suddenly, a reporter, probably with a stroke of luck, shouted out a question that genuinely mattered: "Mr. Carter, suppose when you are President, you get into a situation where the laws of the United States are in conflict with what you understand to be the will of God. Which will you follow, the laws of the state or the commandments of God?" Carter stopped, looked up, perhaps with the Spirit gently whispering the lyrics of the Gospel into his ears, he turned toward the reporter and replied, "I would obey the commandments of God." Alert aides, alarmed by this candor and unnerved by their candidate's near-treasonous remark, hurriedly whisked him away from the press and into a waiting car. Carter the politician should have avoided the question, or hewed closely to the law of the land, but Carter the Christian was open to the Holy Spirit Who encouraged him to give an honest answer.
3: A multimillion dollar airplane, running out of fuel: In 1991 an Air Canada flight ran into big trouble. Passengers were enjoying an in-flight movie on the Boeing 767 when the jumbo jet's massive engines abruptly stopped. At first only those without earphones on noticed anything. However, soon it was apparent the jet was in trouble. The pilot came on the speaker system and announced that Flight 143 would be making an emergency landing in a nearby aerodrome. The 69 people on board were trapped in an agonizingly slow but inescapable descent to earth. For several minutes a desperate silence hung over the cabin. Then fear gave way to screams of anxiety as the landing neared. All the latest technology could not keep the jumbo jet in the air. What had happened was this. The electronic digital fuel gauge was out of order. So the flight crew had depended on the figures given them by the refuelling crew before takeoff. But someone on the refuelling crew had confused pounds with kilograms. Therefore, eight hundred miles short of its destination, that mighty jet simply ran out of fuel and was forced to make an emergency landing. Fortunately no one was injured. A multimillion dollar airplane, headed in the right direction, but running out of fuel – that's what's happening to a lot of people today. They have everything in life going for them -- a new car, a wonderful home, a good education, and a good job -- and one day they wake up out of fuel. At the center of their lives there is emptiness. They don't know why they are living. There is nothing outside of themselves to live for. Don't let that happen to you. Jesus tells us that the power for successful living comes from God. It is the promised gift that Jesus offers us. "Peace be with you," he says. "My peace I give to you, not as the world gives you. Let not your hearts be troubled, believe in God, believe also in me."
In the Footprints of Loneliness, the Servant of God Catherine DeHueck Doherty (d. 1985) wrote:
Loneliness is a terrible thing, and we must do something about it. It is here that tenderness, gentleness, and understanding helps us to live… Gentleness and tenderness assuage loneliness and make it possible to disappear…Tenderness is the ability to be present, extending the warmth of my heart to your heart.
Roald Amundsen, the great Norwegian explorer who discovered the South Pole took a homing pigeon with him on his trip. He told his wife that if he reached the end of the world, he would release the pigeon. His wife sat for hours, all alone in their big house looking up the sky for the promised pigeon. One day she looked out the bedroom window and saw the pigeon circling in the sky above. “He’s alive!” she cried, “My husband is alive!” (Munachi, cssp)
A sailboat got caught in heavy seas. A rogue wave flipped the boat over. The heavy keel righted the boat, but there was heavy damage. A SOS brought the Coast Guard (CG). The seas were so rough the CG ship could not rescue the crew. So, it placed itself as close as it could to the sailboat. The CG protected the sailboat from the brunt of the 10 foot waves. Finally they made port.
The Holy Spirit plays the same relation to us. He takes the brunt of our troubles. He not only lives inside us but also He walks beside us. He brings us into port. (Unknown)
He begins by making the statement; If you love me, you will keep my commandments.? Jesus teaches us to view commandments in a new way, that was different than how the first followers had been taught by the Pharisee Commandments are not merely a list of behaviors to be followed or avoided out of duty. Commandments are to be lived as an act of love. If we love someone we do what pleases them. This love moves us to do things we might not want to do, and even things that we might see as being difficult or a sacrifice. Jesus calls us to look at the commandments through the prism of love and to live them out of our love for God. (Killian Lock, OSB)
1. Andrew Greeley:
John's Gospel obviously displays a much more developed theology then the three synoptic gospels. However, it was still written early in the so-called sub-apostolic time. The remarkable fact is not that there is a strong theological slant to it. Rather it is surprising how relatively early in the history of the early Church a strong Trinitarian perspective has emerged. The trajectory towards Nicea and the other early councils has already been set, thought he elaborate explanations have yet to appear. Associated with God even by the time of St. John are Jesus, and the Father, and the Paraclete, the advocate, the teacher, the protector, the guarantor of the peace that Jesus has given. Already we have hints that God is a community of relationships, that there is so much knowledge and love in God that the knowledge and love explode into distinct personages.
This truth is revealed to test our faith, not to provide theologians with raw material for their speculations (though there is nothing wrong with that), but to dazzle us with the brightness of God's glory, the power of God's knowledge and the passion of God's love. The use of the word "spirit," a translation of the Hebrew word Shekenah hints at a maternal protection in God because the word is feminine in Hebrew - and was used in Hebrew folk religion as the name of Yahweh's consort. St. John had no thought of such matters, yet the gender of the noun might well be part of the meaning "in front of the text."
Once upon a time back in the last century there was a young woman from Ireland who had lost her parents and all her family. Some kind people wrote to their relatives in America and said we have this fourteen year old orphan here who is very bright and very pretty and very hard working, We don't want her to go to the orphanage because she won't have any opportunities there to develop her talents. Would you eve consider hiring her as a servant girl. You'd have to pay her way over on the boat, but she'll work for nothing until she earns her fare. You won't go wrong with her.
So the Americans who could afford a serving girl, but never had one and weren't altogether sure what they would do with such a person talked about it and said, well, what have to lose. So they sent the fare for the boat and the train. And waited for the young woman to come. She sailed from Kinsale.
The last she saw of Ireland were the twin spires of the church as they faded into the background. Weeks later, sick and thin and exhausted, she arrived in the city where her master and mistress lived. They took one look at the poor child and said, Dear, we don't need a servant, but we have room for another daughter. When they brought her home the other children hugged her and said, hooray! We have another sister. With their help she grew up to go to college and university and become very successful and was a great credit to those who took her into their family. (The Trinity is a family into which God has invited us).************
One of the best newspaper cartoons of all time is Calvin and Hobbes. One day Calvin and Hobbes come marching into the living room early one morning. His mother is seated there in her favorite chair. She is sipping her morning coffee. She looks up at young Calvin. She is amused and amazed at how he is dressed. Calvin's head is encased in a large space helmet. A cape is draped around his neck, across his shoulders, down his back and is dragging on the floor. One hand is holding a flashlight and the other a baseball bat.
"What's up today?" asks his mom."Nothing, so far," answers Calvin.
"So far?" she questions.
"Well, you never know," Calvin says, "Something could happen today." Then Calvin marches off, "And if anything does, by golly, I'm going to be ready for it!"
Calvin's mom looks out at the reading audience and she says, "I need a suit like that!"
That's the way many of us feel as we see the news and deal with life. Sometimes this world seems quite violent and people seem to be at each other's throats. A suit like that would help, so we can say with Calvin, "Whatever may come my way, I'm going to be ready for it! Bring it on!"
Well, I don't have a suit like Calvin's to give you this morning, but I do have word for this morning: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
There is a defining phrase in that statement. One that tells us what kind of peace it is that Christ gives us. Listen to it again and see if you can pick it out: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." The defining phrase is: "Not as the world gives." Do you see how that defines God's peace? The world promises peace through the rule of law. Law and order is the only way for a society and a people to experience peace and law and order must be kept by the aggressive use of force. That's the only way that the world can bring about peace.
But here is how Jesus will give you peace. If you obey his word He and the Father will come to you and make a home with you. Right in your heart. Not by force but by choice. They will abide in your heart bringing peace. The world's peace is peace through strength. The Lord's peace is peace through surrender.
___________________________These days the sight of an enormous white ship floating into exotic ports is commonplace. The cruise ship industry is huge - almost as large as the horizontal skyscraper ships that serve it. Like huge hotels turned onto their side, these glowing, white behemoths dot the oceans. They are the twenty-first century's "white whales."
But before the commercial cruise lines ruled the deep, there were other big white ships that traveled the seas, ships that purposefully put themselves and their crews in harm's way. Naval hospital ships, appropriately designated as "haven class" ships, often offered the closest, most accessible care to wounded troops during World War II and the Korean War. One of those ships was aptly named the "U.S.S. Consolation," a floating hospital capable of caring for over 800 patients and housing a host of medical professionals. These "white whales" offered the best medical treatment possible under hostile, combat conditions. Although hospital ships were painted white and were emblazoned with a red cross to advertise their non-hostile identity, their close proximity to battle zones did not ensure their safety. The business of saving lives is always hazardous duty . . . without hazard pay.
The U.S.S. Consolation served as a hospital ship from 1944-1955. It offered healing and comfort to the wounded in both World War II and the Korean conflict. The "Consolation" was decommissioned in 1958, but instead of being sold for scrap or made into a floating museum the Consolation was reborn in 1960 when it was turned over to a newly formed civilian service organization - Project Hope. "HOPE" was the acronym for a civilian medical volunteer service organization - ""Health Opportunities for People Everywhere" (today think "Doctors Without Borders"). In short, the "U.S.S. Consolation" got a new coat of white paint and was re-named the "S.S. HOPE" - a name that was painted in huge red letters across her bow. For the next fourteen years that "HOPE" floated across the seas of the world, pulling into ports from Malaysia and Indonesia to South America and the Caribbean, bringing hands-on medical care to whomever needed it, offering medical training for any and all local care-givers, and extending medical education to families to help them keep healthy.
What a different image from a cruise ship( aka hangover ship) - a hope ship. Instead of a light-blazing, music-blaring, hangover-bringing big white party ship, every time the "S.S. HOPE" pulled into a new port its mission and message spelled out simply four big letters: "H.O.P.E"
The clear declaration of hope is what 1 Peter's letter is all about. Hope in Christ... _______________________C. S. Lewis on Love
To love at all is to be venerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin or your selfishness. But in that casket--safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable...The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers...of love is Hell.
C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves, Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1960, p.169.
___________________________God Surprises the Hopeless
When Christopher Columbus was sailing to the new world his hired sailors were threatening mutiny. The voyage was long and hard and there was no land in sight for weeks. One day Columbus saw an encouraging sign. Floating on the ocean swells was a small tree branch. The branches' leaves were green, indicating that land could not be far away. The green branch gave the sailors enthusiasm and a renewed hope. Soon after its discovery land was sighted from the sailor in the crow's nest.
When all seems hopeless God has a way of surprising us and being present, even in the loneliest places. It is not God who is absent but we who have ceased to believe in a God who loves us more than we love ourselves.
Keith Wagner, Who Said Loving Others was Easy?
______________________________When Doubt Sets In
Years ago I read something rather odd: "The reason mountain climbers are tied together is to keep the sane ones from going home." Whoever said that was playing with us a bit, for we know mountain climbers are tied together to keep from getting lost or going over a cliff. But there's another piece of truth here. When things get tough up on the mountain, when fear sets in, many a climber is tempted to say, "This is crazy! I'm going home."
The life of faith can be like that-doubts set in, despair overwhelms us, and the whole notion of believing in God seems crazy. Jesus knew his disciples would have days like that. So he told them we're tied together like branches on the vine-or like climbers tied to the rope-tied together by the Spirit, to trust in one who is always more than we can understand, to keep us moving ahead on the journey of faith, to encourage us when believing seems absurd. "I will not leave you orphaned," said Jesus. "I am coming to you."
Barbara K. Lundblad, I Will Not Leave You Orphaned
_______________________Always Alongside Us
A student named Steve Winger from Lubbock, TX was taking a challenging class in Logic. The course and teacher were known for exacting and demanding exams. The final exam was looming, and the professor mercifully told the class that each student would be permitted to bring in a single 8 x 11 ½ inch sheet with as much information as they could put on that one sheet for help during the test. On exam day, each student came to class clutching their precious pieces of paper with as much information as possible. Some students had crammed lines and lines of font so tiny and so numerous onto that single sheet that you had to wonder how they could read it. But Steve walked in with a single blank sheet and a friend who was a senior student and who had an 'A' in logic. Steve bent down and placed that single, blank sheet of paper on the floor next to his desk. His expert friend stood on the paper.
The professor noticed the extra body in the room and asked what he was doing. Steve piped up, "You said we could bring in whatever we could fit on a single piece of paper for help on this test, well, this is my help and he can fit on the paper!" He had followed the instructions to the letter and was the only student in that class to score an 'A' since he had his expert friend standing alongside him.
The Holy Spirit is like that friend, standing alongside us, supporting us, and guiding us.
Adapted from an unknown source, Staff, www.Sermons.com
____________________________I'm Not Allowed to Cross the Street
A little boy was riding his tricycle furiously around the block, over and over again. Finally a policeman stopped and asked him why he was going around and around. The boy said that he was running away from home. The policeman asked why he kept going around the block. The boy responded, "Because my mom said that I'm not allowed to cross the street."
The point is clear--obedience will keep you close to those you love.
Michael Green, Illustrations for Biblical Preaching.
____________________________Martin Luther on Love for Christ
As usual, Martin Luther said it so well: "But, as Christ said earlier, it all depends on whether you feel and find that you love this man [Jesus]. For if you truly believe this, then love will be there, and your heart will be moved to say: 'Christ, my dear Lord, has done so much for me. He has reconciled the Father to me and shed his blood for me. He has fought and defeated my death and given me all his possessions. Should I not require this love? Should I not thank, praise, honor and serve him with my life and my goods? If not, I should be ashamed that I am a human being.'
"Therefore Christ declares: 'Sincere love for me is part of a true Christian.'" When you believe in Christ, when you live with him, love and good works just naturally flow. They come from living together with Christ; his good influence just rubs off on us.
Mark Ellingsen, Preparation and Manifestation, CSS Publishing Company
Mee Spousler of the Mount Hope United Methodist Church, in Aston, PA., tells how she was trying to put her three-year-old son to bed for a nap.
When she was unsuccessful, she put him in her bed and laid down with him to encourage him to rest. She fell asleep, but he didn't. When she woke up, she saw him sitting on a chair at the end of the bed, and asked, "Luke, what are you doing?"
"I'm playing God," he replied."Playing God?" she asked.
"Yes," he said. "I'm watching over you while you sleep."
Children understand more than we do sometimes. God IS watching over us. Jesus gave that promise here in talking about the coming of the Holy Spirit. Not only will God watch over us but through the presence and reminder of the Holy Spirit, we will be reminded of what it means to "Love Jesus and keep his commands." And God will help us to create the environment of love, grace, faith and security that we need for our homes today. Our challenge is to listen to the Holy Spirit and to trust Christ.
Billy D. Strayhorn, If You Love Me....