Friday, September 24, 2010

The question of I

I don't know if you're one of those persons who their real underestimate to those around them thinking that we are of little or no value to those around us.  Many seem to think that their input is not necessary for something to happen....meaning "they can do it without my help" or "I'm not that important for the implementation of the project".

This is especially so in an organisation where we sometimes tend to sit back and allow others (with seemingly more drive than us) to do all the work.  It can also happen that we would then criticise their initiative as not being enough or incorrectly executed. The reason for this is that we tend to centre far too much on ourselves. We often can be prima donnas in every respect.  Our ego commands us rather than we command it. 

The problem is that we are too preoccupied with ourselves.  The question is "I"!  But think about it this way. 

My keyboard sometimes malfunctions and "I" doesn't always come out at all and it replaces it with "x".  So, xf X think X am not xmportant and decxde to drop out or wxthdraw my support of somethxng, then thxngs mxght seem so dxfferent.  X could, of course, explaxn that sxnce X am extremely txed up wxth my job or other thxngs, responsxbxlxtxes etc, X can always say that my txme xs not as avaxlable as X wxshed.  So, though X have fulfxlled my general oblxgatxons on thxs occasxon X cannot possxbly help out. And, surely, no one would notxce the absence of one man, rxght!

But as you mxght have already notxced, xf one key xsn't workxng well on my keyboard - although the other 46 stxll work OK - xt makes all the difference. Sometxmes xt seems to me that our organxsatxons are lxke my keyboard. But, you see, to be effectxve the group needs the active partxcxpatxon of every person.   

So the next txme you thxnk you are only one person and your effort is not important or needed, remember my keyboard and say to yourself, "X am a key person and X am needed very much. X am a VXP, a very xmportant person!"

Sunday, September 19, 2010

What if you were one of them?

Have you ever stopped to think what would have happened to you if your mother would have decided not to give birth to you and she aborrted you?

Where would you be today?

What would you have lost from life had she taken this step?

It is, in fact, a situation we rarely think about because our psyche seems to think that once we're alive and kicking then that isn't really our problem...because we made it!!   But do think about it for a while as I tell you about one of the world's greatest - and much loved - singers, Andrea Bocelli. He nearly didn't make it as he himself admits that his mother was recommended by her doctors to have an abortion to terminate her pregnancy since it would have been better for the child since he/she would probably be born with a severe disability.  

Luckily for him, his courageous mum and dad, Alessandro and Edi, refused that advice and he was born in 1958. He was brought up with a lot of love and was not blind from birth but lost his sight aged 12. Yet he was also brought up to love music and with great efforts he reached the highest levels we know him for today. In 1994  he returned back to his Catholic faith o his birth.  

Yet Bocelli says that what his mother did should be an example for other mothers. So that they would not abort their child even if the pregnancy was not trouble-free or if the child was going to be born with some disability or other, even if severe.  If this was to have been his case then we would have lost a great singer of calibre who can often be heard also singing praise to God and to His Blessed Mother. 

But back to my question: What would have happened to you if your mother aborted you?

I suppose that God only really knows the answer to that question.  What I know for sure is that you would have made a bee-line to God's arms right away and are, in all probability, now singing His priases.  "Let the little children come to me" said Jesus.  God wants them to be with Him too and He loves them with an especial love.....though I don't think He meant to have them around Him through an abortion!! 

May we all look at the gift of life that God breathes into us as the greatest gift He can give us because through it we are given the opportunity of taking our life in our two hands and making something out it which He hopes will be on the lines of what He has planned for us. But if we don't, then He will definitely be doing His utmost to bring us back to the fold. 

What a wonderful God we believe in. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Are you Jesus?

A group of travelling salesmen were attending a conference somewhere in America. They had all had promised their families to be home for supper. But as conferences go, this got prolonged and finished miuch later than expected. They all arrived late at the airport in one big hurry. They ran up to the check in with their tickets and baggage and ran through their corridors of the airport to their flight’s Gate.
At one point, unwanting to, one of them stumbled into a fruit selling stall and knocked down a basket full of apples that, obviously, ran all over the place. But being late he continued to run to the plane, without even looking back at what he had caused. They all arrived at the gate and managed to board it….all except ONE.

This one had noticed what had happened at the fruit stall and suddenly felt a pang of compassion for the girl at the stall. He told his friends to continue to their flight but to tell his wife that he would be on the next flight since he wasn’t sure he would now make it in time.

He returned to the terminal and found the apples spread all over the place. He was more surprised to find that the stall girl was blind. And she was crying. She was on her knees trying to find the apples, invainly searching for them. Many people were passing her by but no one stopped tohelp. No one cared or had time for her.

The businessman knelt down near her and started to put the apples in her basked and helped heer to reorganise her stall again. As he did this he realised that his friend’s accident had actually spoilt quite a few apples so he pulled out his wallet and told ths girl “Here’s a hundred Euro for the dame we caused you. Are you alright now?”

The girl smiled and nodded in the affirmative. He added: “I hope that didn’t spoil your day”. He bid farewell and started walking to the flight gate. But the girl called out to him: “Sir…” she cried out. He stopped and turned to look at her blind eyes. “Are you Jesus…?”

He stopped. Immobile. After a while he managed to continue walking to his flight with this burning question in his heart.

“Are you Jesus…?

And You? Do people you meet confuse you with Jesus? After all, isn’t this our destiny? The world would be so much better if we all became a bit more like Jesus to the point where we would not be able to tell the difference. Let us therefore make the effort to become more like Him who matters and ask ourselves in every situation: “What would Jesus do?”

Let us not remain blind in the face of his great love for us. If wish to get to know Him then we must act and live with His words. He left everything and carried us - you and me – up Calvary and paid for our salvation with His blood.

Let us try to live our lives as if we honestly believe that we are really worth the price He paid for us. Let’s start now……read on if you feel you wish Him to bless you…..

Friday, September 3, 2010


He remembered her well.  A short frail woman in her late Sixties, always  with  a  slight smile on her  face.   Never  complaining.   Never giving him the impression that she had a hidden secret.

It now shocked him to read her obituary in the newspaper.  He had barely  realised who it was that he was reading about.   Then  it came  together in his mind.   Yes, he remembered her well.   Even though  he had barely met her for long a year before.   Yet  that brief  encounter, or rather, those brief encounters, had  somehow left an indelible mark on him.

He  had  met her quite by chance, on the flight to  the  mountain town  of Lourdes, in the French Pyrenees.   She was  going  there with  her  husband for the first time to  visit  this  miraculous place  where  the Madonna had appeared so many times  during  the late days of the last century.

He  was  going  there too.  Yet while hers was  probably  more  a  visit of the religious kind, his was mixed with more of a dose of curiosity   than  the expected, inbred Catholic  feeling  of  his upbringing.

His  stance in life had never been too religious yet there was  a place  for religion in his heart.  He had been fascinated by  the stories of Lourdes, of the prophesies that had already come true, of  the miraculous waters that flowed there, of the  inexplicable cures  that many medically incurable sick people  had  witnessed.

If  you were of the religious kind you could say that  there  was still  hope  for  him.  His curiosity was the  result  of  strict education under the priests.  And this probably had also been the reason for his cooling off in the face of religion.   Now in  his middle  age  he had decided to go to Lourdes to see  for  himself what this was really all about.

Perhaps  religion  had, after all, been getting back at  him  for ignoring  her all these years.   As he read the paper  today,  he began  realising  that perhaps his too had been a  pilgrimage  of sorts, a search for something beyond his immediate comprehension.

The woman in the wheelchair had also gone there for a reason,  an opportunity to be conjoined with the Blessed Virgin she loved  so much in prayer.   She had put her faith in Her long before.

Her husband though had a different idea altogether.  He knew  her secret, a secret she herself didn't even know.  Her time was fast running  out.    He knew the real reason why she was  feeling  so tired,  why she at times had slight faints or dizzy spells.   She put  these down to the wear and tear of old age.  Instead it  had been clearly diagnosed as the modern scourge, cancer.

Her husband never told her.

Now they were together in Lourdes and if he had perhaps  secretly  hoped for a miracle, in reality he prayed that the last remaining time she had with him would be peaceful and, yes, why not, sweet.  He  had  been  really spoiling her these years, and  if  she  had caught on to what could be really wrong with her she never showed it, keeping up the impression.

The others in the group travelling with her had immediately taken to her friendly ways.  She quickly became their darling too, more so  once  they'd been let in on her secret.

That was how the younger man had met her and her husband.

Every  evening  as  they participated in  the  lengthy  religious activities, the flambe procession and the praying at the Virgin's shrine, she had had to be wheeled around.  The walking and standing was just too much for her.  She was not chairbound though for the rest of the day, as long as she took things easy.

Most  people  in the group had somehow allowed themselves  to  be roped in to help wheel her around. It gave them a sense of importance,  of doing something worthwhile.  The right thing to do  in Lourdes.  Yet it also opened the door for the younger man to join in  and to get a feel of also doing something  worthwhile.

This  simple  act had even got him in among the  privileged  few, right  up  in the front of the celebrations.  And  he  liked  the resulting feelings and thoughts of what he was doing.  

Yes  this place was somehow getting to him albeit in a very  fine and sophisticated way.  True, the tranquility of the ambience and the  religiosity that fell thickly all around, like a thick  fog, couldn't help but envelope him and leave some sort of effect.  Yet he was worried because he did not feel exceptionally  prayerful  as  he  thought a good pilgrim should.   Was  the  curiosity element  winning through, blocking any chance for the message of Lourdes to sink in?

But, in contrast, the little help he was giving the woman in  the wheelchair seemed to really leave a stronger mark.  It was such a simple,  automatic  act. Not one of compassion, nor one  of  deep caring for thy neighbour.   It was just a simple friendly act.

In the months that followed his visit to the holy French town  he had  completely forgotten all about the woman in the  wheelchair.   He  had even come to the point of practically doubting  if  there was  any real religious accomplishment from the visit,  although, admittedly,  as  a relaxing holiday it was just what  the  doctor ordered.  A total, different break from the stresses of work.

Now  her obituary brought these memories flooding back  into  his mind.   They  fell on him suddenly, heavily.  A  thunderstorm  of thoughts and nagging doubts.  Even though the impressions of this woman were fading in their detail he suddenly started to  realise their real impact.

He  remembered  some  words he had read in  Lourdes.   "Stop  the machines  and become quiet.  Let God be God in us, through  love. Sometimes we feel good, other times we remain dry:  the  essential is to remain faithful and open our heart".

Digging  out some leaflets he had brought back with him, he  read further words of comforting wisdom.  "There are pilgrims who come to Lourdes and while their intention in approaching the sacrament of reconciliation is good, nevertheless they need to be aware  of what they are going in order not to triviliase the sacrament.  It is  not  a thing to do but rather a very personal  moment  to  be lived in a relationship of love with God".

And  elsewhere, "Many come in search of hope, to  recharge  their batteries,  to experience  a deep communion  of  fraternity  and prayer  with others.  Despite their fatigue resulting from  their  stay they return home full of light..."

Then he knew.  The trip was not in vain after all.  The seemingly dormant  seed had suddenly burst out of its musk.   The  obituary notice was the final spurt.

(Originally written: 1997)

The Last Word?

Make yourself at home here, come back and read some of the older cappuccino posts too, relax, reflect.... and comment if you wish....there's a comment button at the end of each post!
I hope to see you again in a few days time. Enjoy.