Volume 1 No. 11 June 24, 2011
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|Table of Contents|
|This Sunday's Gospel reading,
as prescribed by our church, has one of the difficult
sayings of Jesus. When we think of Jesus, we think of
him as the Prince of Peace, someone on whom we can leave
all the anxieties and other difficulties in life. In
today's Gospel, Jesus tells us that he did not come to
this world to bring peace but to bring sword. It is
tough to reconcile it coming from a savior who has told
Peter when he struck the Chief priest's servant that
"those who use a sword will be consumed by the sword."
We have nearly a dozen articles explaining this paradox as well as what Jesus expects from His disciples. Our lead article in this Journal is on abandoning our ego. Jesus, who told his disciples that they need to follow Servant Leadership, requires that we need to humble ourselves and abandon our ego or self before we can become his true disciple. It is an excellent article by the Primate of the Coptic Church.
A companion article looks at Christians in the early days of Christianity and the sacrifices they had to undergo following Jesus' commandments. It is clear that when we become Christians, we need to be transformed. We become different persons. We become role models. We become examples to others who want to follow us. Like we explained in the last Journal, we become lights that reflect the glory of Jesus. Are we?
We now pick on the series on Prayer we left out a few weeks ago. In the article, 'Prayer: We Need Desire, Time and Quiet', Bishop George V Murray SJ expands on how to pray. In this connection, it is relevant to point out a recent exhortation by Pope Benedict XVI on Christian prayer:
Mother Angelica explains Repentance. Jesus and John, the Baptist, started their ministries by telling people to "Repent, the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand." Mother asks, "What stands in the way of my becoming another Christ? Christ is within me, waiting for me to let Him shine forth. What dark clouds stand between Christ and me, preventing my neighbor from seeing God's Son?" The answer is our sins. We need to repent and become a new creature.
One of the reasons why marriages fail is due to high expectations according to Chuck Colson. It’s all-too-common today for brides and grooms to seek to have all their needs met in the person they are about to marry. Certainly, marriage does satisfy many of our needs, but “at best it does so partially and imperfectly. At some point, our marriage partners will always let us down.” Are we wrong to seek personal fulfillment in our spouses?, the author asks. Read how spirituality can help in this area.
We will also be talking more about this in our future editions.
We have a beautiful wedding prayer by Max Lucado that can be prayed by all couples.
Enjoy the Malankara Salad and the other articles on health and inspirations too. Enjoy the summer.
|This Sunday in Church|
|Bible Readings for This Sunday|
Second Sunday after Pentecost
|Sermons for This Sunday|
|We have greatly expanded our Sermon Resources. The sermon collection now includes general and classical sermons. This will give a broader appeal to the Gospel Reading for the week. We also added bible commentaries for the bible reading to facilitate study and meditation. Please check it out.|
|Sermons for the Second Sunday After Pentecost|
This Week's Features
"In the most difficult circumstances of
life, there is often only one source of peace. The Prince of
Peace, Jesus Christ, extends His grace with the invitation,
'Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will
give you rest' (Matthew 11:28)."
Donald L. Hallstrom
The Lord shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve.--Isaiah 14:3
To-day, beneath Thy chastening eye,
O Lord, who art as the Shadow of a great Rock in a weary land,
who beholdest Thy weak creatures weary of labor, weary of
pleasure, weary of hope deferred, weary of self; in Thine
abundant compassion, and unutterable tenderness, bring us, I
pray Thee, unto Thy rest. Amen.
Grant to me above all things that can be desired, to rest in
Thee, and in Thee to have my heart at peace. Thou art the true
peace of the heart, Thou its only rest; out of Thee all things
are hard and restless. In this very peace, that is, in Thee, the
One Chiefest Eternal Good, I will sleep and rest. Amen.
Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord; and our heart is restless
until it rests in Thee.
by Pope Shenouda III, Coptic Orthodox Church
Danger of the ego:
The ego may lead a person to perdition, for the Lord Christ says, "He who finds his life will lose it." (Mt 10: 39) It is very dangerous indeed to focus on oneself and try to be greater and exalted, feeling righteous, great, and wise in one's own and the others' eyes (Job 32: 1; Acts 12: 21- 23; Prov 3: 7), all of which the Lord warned against.
The ego is a mother sin bringing forth many other sins.
It is the first sin in the world, and the sin by which Satan fell when he said in his heart, "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God … I will be like the Most High." (Isa 14: 13, 14), by which also he tempted our first parents to fall, saying to them, "You will be like God" (Gen 3: 5).
The ego reminds us of the sin of Jonah the Prophet.
Jonah feared his word fall if the people of Nineveh after warning them of the destruction of their city repent and God have mercy upon them! Jonah was exceedingly displeased and angry (Jon 4: 1). That also was the fault of Job: righteousness in his own eyes (Job 32: 1). The same applies to wisdom:
"Do not be wise in your own eyes." (Prov 3: 7)
Some people are not willing to listen to any counsel, trusting their own mind and good judgment of every thing! We should not lean on our own understanding as the Scripture commands us in (Prov 3: 5) and says, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." (Prov 14: 12; 16: 25)
Results of the ego war:
1. When the self becomes the focus of one's interest, confining one's thoughts to one's future life, position, dignity, opinion, or person, the self turns into a goal, comprising all one's works, sayings, and behavior. The word "I" prevails over all one's talk!
2. Self love may extend to self-praise, making a person lose humbleness and fall in the love of vainglory, by which he will not be able to blame himself for anything, but will rather attempt to justify himself in everything. He may not even bear a word of reproach, seeing himself righteous, and wants to be righteous in the eyes of the others, seeking their praise and feeling joy at that. For all this the Lord said:
"If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me" (Mt 16: 24)
"He who loses his life for My sake will find it" (Mt 10: 39) and also to be His disciple one ought even to hate one's own life (Lk 14: 26).
[Jesus said]: "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If
you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not
belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the
world hates you. … If they persecute me, they will persecute you also. If they
obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. --John 15:18-20
What is a Christian? In the Letter to Diognetus, dating back to the second century, an anonymous writer described Christians:
If you are a believer, the Bible commands you "…not [to] conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…" (Romans 12:2). And you can expect the world to hate you as a result (see 1 John 3:13). Continue to be sanctified by the truth of God's Word and be in the world but not of it (see John 2:15).
Pray that God would empower you to always be set apart, even when the world hates you, so that others can see the difference Jesus has made in your life.
Source: Senior Living Ministries
by Bishop George V Murray SJ
Previously, I wrote about the importance of prayer and how prayer is “passing over and coming back.” In other words, in prayer we pass over into the presence of the Lord, spend time with Him and then come back to our everyday existence, but come back changed: more alive to God, more eager to do His will, more courageous in living our faith. With this column, I want to help you understand how to pray.
Of course, there are many types of prayer, including saying the Rosary in common or participating at Mass. But here I want to talk about what is called contemplative prayer. This type of prayer requires three dispositions: desire, time and quiet. First we must desire to be in the presence of God. For St. Ignatius of Loyola, desire was the engine that made prayer possible. God deeply desires to be one with us because He created us and loves us. That desire took flesh in Our Lord Jesus Christ, who came among us as God’s Word. To see Jesus is to see the Father. To talk with Jesus is to talk with the Father. Jesus desires to communicate God’s love and forgiveness to us, but in order to receive the Lord we must want Him in our lives and open our hearts to welcome Him. That is what I mean by desire: a longing to be with the Lord.
During the season of Advent, we often repeat in our music and prayers the refrain: Come, Lord Jesus. That was the great expression of the early Church as it looked with hope to the return of Jesus. That petition, “Come Lord Jesus,” is the best way to start our prayer as we put aside all distractions and peacefully wait for the Lord to be with us.
Second, in order to pray, we must have time or, perhaps better said, we must make time. All of us live busy lives with many demands on our time. If we are wise, we ourselves learn to make decisions about how we will spend our time rather then to allow events to determine our schedule for us. Take a look at your daily schedule. On what do you spend the most time? Usually, we spend the most time on what we believe to be important, whether or not it truly is. I believe that there is nothing more important that being with the Lord. Consequently, once we desire to be with the Lord, we must set aside time to communicate with Him. I would suggest at least 30 minutes a day.
Third, to pray we need quiet. Not only do we lead busy lives, we also lead noisy lives. If we want to pray, we have to turn off our televisions, radios, iPods and cell phones. We have to find a place and time in our homes or stop into a church or chapel where we will not be distracted and, thus, will be able to hear the Lord as He speaks to us.
Once you have the desire to be with the Lord and have made time and are in a quiet atmosphere, then open the Bible to one of the Gospels. Read a passage, for example, the story of the Annunciation or the Parable of the Lost Sheep. Listen carefully to the words you are reading. Use your imagination to put yourself in the scene and then listen to what God is saying to you. Allow the Lord to speak to you, comfort you, guide you and then come back from your prayer filled with the Holy Spirit.
Let me add two final words. If a passage from the Scriptures does not speak to you, move on to another passage. But do not feel that you need to read multiple chapters of the Bible at one setting. Stay with a passage and allow it to flow over you as if it were a gentle stream of water. Also, remember that the evil one is always trying to pull us away from God. He will try to convince you that God is not listening and your prayer is worthless. Resist that temptation. God is always present to us. He always listens and He gives us what we need, not always what we want.
Prayer is not difficult if we have desire, time and quiet. In fact, it is very rewarding. It gives us great peace of mind and peace of soul to be in communion with the Lord as we walk On the Road to Jerusalem.
by Mother M. Angelica
As I begin to realize God's tremendous love, I feel a need to return that love—a desire to be washed clean of everything within me that is not like God. I look at the perfect image of the Father, Christ, and realize I am not like Him. The resemblance is faint and I want it to be more perfect.
What do I do—what stands in the way of my becoming another Christ? Christ is within me, waiting for me to let Him shine forth. What dark clouds stand between Christ and me, preventing my neighbor from seeing God's Son?
For a few moments let us compare ourselves with Christ I am proud; I attribute everything I do to myself, my talents, my success, my works, but Jesus gave credit to the Father for all His work. He said, "The Son can do nothing by Himself" John 5:19 so I will radiate Christ by acknowledging all the good in me as coming from Jesus. (Pause)
I am critical; I find fault with my neighbor, misjudging his motives, but Jesus said, "If there is one of you who has not sinned, let him be the first to throw a stone." John 8:7
I am fearful: I fear death, loneliness, sickness, failure and the future. but Jesus said, "Do not let your hearts be troubled, I am going now to prepare a place for you" (Jn. 14:1) "Come to Me...and I will give you rest" (Matt.11:28) so I will radiate Christ by acting upon His Word and having assurance He will take care of me. (Pause)
I find it hard to forgive and forget, but Jesus said, "If you forgive others their failings, your Heavenly Father will forgive you yours, but if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive you your failings either" (Matt.6:14-16) so I will radiate Christ by being the first to forgive and show by some gesture of reconciliation I have forgotten. (Pause)
You have just compared your actions with the actions of Jesus. Now for a few moments give the Spirit the opportunity to take away your inner burdens and disturbing memories, those feelings that keep you from fully radiating Christ. Close your eyes and take Jesus by the hand. Look at whatever disturbs you but look at it through the eyes of Jesus. See with His eyes; love with His Heart; and forgive with His Mercy.
Scripture Readings (Read prayerfully)
"Come now, let us talk this over, says God. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." Isaiah 1:18
"I myself taught them to walk; I took them in my arms; yet they have not understood that I was the one looking after them. I led them with reins of kindness, with leading-strings of love. I was like someone who lifts an infant close against his cheek; stooping down to him I gave him his food. How could I part with you? How could I give you up? My heart recoils from it—My whole being trembles at the thought." Osee 1:18
"They had left in tears, I will comfort them as I lead them back; I will guide them to streams of water, by a smooth path where they will not stumble. Their soul will be like a watered garden, they will sorrow no more. I will change their mourning into gladness, comfort them, give them joy after their troubles, refresh my priests with rich food and see my people have their fill of my good things. Jer. 31:9
"I did forget you for a brief moment, but with great love will I take you back. In excess of anger, for a moment I hid my face from you. But with everlasting love I have taken pity on you, says God, your Redeemer." Isaiah 54:8
In a 1999 film titled “Music of the Heart,” a character named Roberta begins a relationship with a man named Brian. At one point, Roberta—whose husband had left her—asked Brian a question: If you ever met a woman who fulfils your needs better than I can, would you leave me for her?”
Brian’s answer: “Theoretically, yes.”
June is the traditional month for weddings, and in my view, every engaged couple ought to watch this film, and discuss it with marriage advisors in their church. As Robin Phillips notes in an article titled Generous Love, it’s all-too-common today for brides and grooms to seek to have all their needs met in the person they are about to marry.
Certainly, marriage does satisfy many of our needs, Phillips writes, but “at best it does so partially and imperfectly. At some point, our marriage partners will always let us down.”
Are we wrong to seek personal fulfillment in our spouses? Of course not. The problem is that, in expecting our marriage partner to meet all our needs, we are seeking fulfillment in the wrong place. No mere human can possibly meet all our needs. Only God can do that.
Phillips quotes Augustine, who said in his Confessions, “Seek what you seek but not where you seek it.” Interestingly enough, the Bishop of London made the same point in his outstanding homily during the recent wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
As the bishop noted, “As the reality of God has faded from so many lives in the West, there has been a corresponding inflation of expectations that personal relations alone will supply meaning and happiness in life. This,” the bishop said, “is to load our partner with too great a burden.”
And when we do this, it’s not surprising that we are often tempted to move on to someone else whom we think can do a better job of meeting our needs. This is why we must ground both our lives and our marriages in Christ. When we do this, “a deeper type of love can kick in,” Phillips writes -- a “generous love rooted in the other-centeredness of Christ.”
Again, quoting the Bishop of London’s marriage homily: “Faithful and committed relationships offer a door into the mystery of spiritual life in which we discover this; the more we give of self, the richer we become in soul; the more we go beyond ourselves in love, the more we become our true selves...In marriage we are seeking to bring one another into fuller life.”
Are you on the verge of getting married? What are your expectations of your spouse?
|The Wedding Prayer|
by Max Lucado
Excerpted From 'Shaped by God' Copyright (Tyndale House, 1985, 2002) Max Lucado
By Dr. Ben Kim, DrBenKim.com
Are you confused about what enzymes are and what they mean to your health? This article explains the roles that three different types of enzymes play in maintaining your health.
Enzymes are special compounds that serve as catalysts in almost every biochemical process that takes place in your body. Many enzymes require the presence of vitamins and minerals to function optimally.
Today, we know of more than 5,000 different types of enzymes that are relevant to your health; these enzymes can be grouped into three categories: metabolic enzymes, digestive enzymes, and food enzymes.
Metabolic Enzymes and Health
Every cell in your body utilizes metabolic enzymes to carry out basic, everyday processes. Put another way, you use metabolic enzymes to think, talk, breathe, move your body, and carry out immunological functions, including those that neutralize and eliminate unwanted materials, such as pesticides and tobacco smoke.
Digestive Enzymes and Health
Your body produces more than 20 digestive enzymes that help you digest the foods that you eat. Most of these enzymes are produced by your pancreas, and are secreted into the top region of your small intestine - this is where the bulk of nutrients in the foods that you eat are broken down into small-enough components to be absorbed into your bloodstream.
Food Enzymes and Health
Food enzymes are found in raw foods – foods that have not been wet-cooked at 118 degrees Fahrenheit or beyond, or dry-cooked at about 150 degrees Fahrenheit or beyond. At and beyond these temperatures, food enzymes are deactivated and are no longer useful to your health.
A practical general rule of thumb to determine if what you are eating has been cooked at a temperature that has deactivated food enzymes is this:
If you can eat wet or dry food at its highest temperature (while being cooked) without burning yourself, then food enzymes are active and can help your health.
How do food enzymes promote good health? Food enzymes, including amylases for digesting carbohydrates, proteases for digesting protein, and lipases for digesting fats, help you digest food in your mouth, esophagus, stomach, and small intestine.
Your body produces these enzymes as well. The more food enzymes you eat, the less your body needs to produce them to allow for efficient digestion of everything that you eat.
If you don’t get a substantial amount of food enzymes through your diet, your body has to work to produce what you need for optimal digestion.
Put another way, a diet rich in food enzymes can promote your best health because it reduces your body’s workload; a diet that is deficient in food enzymes puts significant strain on your digestive organs, mainly your pancreas; this strain can lead to premature breakdown and degeneration of your digestive organs and compromise your overall health.
How to Make Sure that You Get Enough Food Enzymes for Optimal Health
How can you ensure optimal intake of food enzymes through your diet? By regularly eating raw foods that agree with you. Raw vegetables, herbs, fruits, and nuts and seeds soaked in water, when eaten in appropriate amounts and chewed thoroughly, provide your body with food enzymes that promote optimal digestion and good overall health.
For extra insurance, you can take a whole food supplement that contains live food enzymes - our green food formula contains a comprehensive combination of food enzymes that I regularly recommend to people who have significant challenges with their digestive systems; the enzyme and probiotic formulas in our green food mixture is what makes it a highly effective nutritional supplement for people with long histories of GI challenges.
Another way to ensure adequate intake of food enzymes is to drink a fresh vegetable juice every day.
If you regularly eat baked goods like bread and crackers, you can dramatically increase your food enzyme intake by learning how to make enzyme-rich varieties with a good dehydrator.
By increasing your intake of food enzymes, you can expect to experience improved digestion, more energy, and even normalization of your body weight; interestingly, people who are overweight often find that they lose weight when they increase their intake of food enzymes, while people who are underweight typically gain healthful weight when they eat an enzyme-rich diet.
by Dr. Jacob Mathew
3 cups broccoli florets
3 cups cauliflower florets
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar or red wine vinegar or lemon juice
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Spices: chilli powder, ground nutmeg, clover, turmeric powder - to taste
Herbs for garnishing: Cilantro, basil leaves, Origano leaf, Parsley, mint leaves - a few leaves each for garnishing. You can vary these depending on availability. Chop leaves into smaller pieces
2 Tablespoons sunflower seed kernels
Toss the broccoli, cauliflower, cheese, onion and raisins in a salad bowl.
In a cup, mix the mayonnaise and vinegar/lemon juice well. Now add the spice mixture and mix well. Now add the olive oil and mix.
Add the mayonnaise mixture to the broccoli mixture in the salad bowl and mix until well coated. Chill, covered, for 1 hour. Garnish with the herbs and sunflower kernels just before serving.
1. Drink plenty of water.
11. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their
journey is all about.
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