Volume 1 No. 33 October 6, 2011 If the Journal is not displayed properly, please click on the link below (or copy and paste) to read from web
Table of Contents
In Kothamangalam, the feast of
Dhukrono for our Patron Saint
Yeldho Mor Baselios has just concluded. As in the past devotees
flocked to Kothamangalam for the perunnal; many of them walking
several miles in pilgrimage to seek the saint's intercession.
Baselios Church, Ohio will be concluding the festivities this
weekend in Ohio.
October 4 is also the day we remember St. Francis of Assissi. I can never get over his prayer, "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace," which is a perennial favorite prayer of just about everyone I know. It is the best example of our submission to God just as Jesus taught us, "Thy will be done."
Andrew Murray's lesson this week is about using the Gift of Holy Spirit. Jesus spoke of the Spirit as the promise of the Father, the one promise in which God's Fatherhood revealed itself. The best gift a good and wise father can bestow on a child on earth is his own spirit.
We also have a superb devotional based on Isaiah 55:8,9. This passage from the bible gives me goose bumps every time I hear it, " For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." If we can remember this verse, we can understand why God sometimes seem to take too long to answer our prayers. God is different than us. God's mercy is boundless. Man's thoughts are of time, and God's, of eternity. Man's thoughts are of self, and God's, of the creatures of His hand. Man thinks of what he can get, and God, of what He can give... You must read this devotional and, especially, the confession at the end. Read it often. It is a gem.
To people in the Northern Hemisphere like those in the United States, this month marks the advent of the autumn season. The days get shorter and the sunlight is replaced by darkness. People get depressed, especially those who are susceptible to Seasonal Affective Disorder. To Bonnie Gray, this is the best time of the year. Why? We are often too busy in summer to enjoy. Things slow down when the leaves start falling. "Just as Autumn brings the beauty of falling leaves, going outdoors frees us to shed busyness and draw closer to God and each other. When we take the time to leave the four walls where we make a life, we give ourselves permission to stop and enjoy the life we've been given." It is a great article.
Bill Gates gave a speech at a High School about eleven (11) things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings, created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world. This short speech should be posted in every school or in kids' bedroom. Make sure that your kids read it.
Finally, we have an update on the epic program 'Catholicism - A Journey to the Heart of Faith' produced by Father Robert Barron and his team from Word in Fire Ministry to be shown on PBS and EWTN. We have a list of PBS stations that carry the program in USA. We also have excerpted from a fascinating interview with Robert Barron. Who knows? May be one of these days, our (Syrian Orthodox) church will also embark on producing a series like this to show the outside world our rich heritage and liturgy. Our liturgy, which is the best in the world, in my opinion, is a closely held secret within our church.
May the intercession of Baselios Bava be with us.
This Sunday in Church
Fourth Sunday after the Feast of Holy Cross
This week's Gospel reading is from St. Luke 16:13-18.
Jesus continues his discourses in bringing out the insincerity of Pharisees. Earlier he had talked accumulating wealth. No man can serve two masters. If your heart is on worldly things, then it is hard to serve God. Pharisees worked hard to show to people that they are good; however, their hearts are filled with evil. God knows our hearts.
Because this part if tied up to the earlier discourse about serving mammon (worldly things), our bible analysis and commentary includes Luke 1-12 as it provides the necessary background information to this week's passage. Luke 16:9 is an especially harder verse to understand.
Please study the commentaries, gospel analyses and sermons here:
This Week's Features
|Inspiration for Today|
"Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." St. Francis of Assissi
"Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim
"He will not share His glory and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever." Bob Dylan
"Show me one who loves: he knows what I mean." St. Augustine
"With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26
"Jesus talked to us as individuals" Jim Vicevich
St. Baselios Yeldho, Maphriyono of the East (AD 1685) - Kothamangalam Bava
Dhukrono of Baselios Bava was celebrated this year on October 3 at Kothamangalam Cheriapally and in other churches around the world. St. Basil's Syriac Orthodox Church (Baselios Church), Ohio - the Kothamangalam Cheriapally of North America - will be celebrating the event on October 9 with HE Yeldho Mor Theethose, Archbishop and Patriarchal Vicar of the Malankara Archdiocese of the Syriac Orthodox Church in North America. We invite faithful from far and near to come and take part in the festivities. Details at http://www.baselios.org/ You can sign up for request for intercessions online free of cost.
Maphryono Mor Baselios Yeldho was born in a village called kooded (now known as Karakosh) near Mosul in Iraq where Morthsmooni and her 7 children suffered martyrdom. At a very young age he joined the Mor Bahnan Monastery and become a monk. In 1678 he was consecrated Maphryono (Catholicos) by the Patriarch of Antioch Moran Mor Ignatius Abdul Masih I. In 1685 at the age of 92, the holy father started the difficult mission to India at the request of Mor Thoma II of Malankara who informed the Patriarchate about the unpleasant situation of the Church here. The saintly Maphryono was accompanied by his brother, two monks and an Episcopo (?), but only three of them is believed to have reached Malankara. The saint expired on Saturday afternoon on 'Kanni 19' (Malayalam Calendar), 1685 and was entombed on the very next day in the sanctuary of Mor Thoma Cheriapally, Kothamangalam. Though the holy father had lived in this land for only a few days, his name has spread far and wide leaving a lasting mark in the history of Malankara Syrian Church. The mission undertaken by the saint was fulfilled to a large extent by his faithful associate, Metropolitan Mor Ivanios Hidayatullah (entombed at Mulanthuruthy Marthoman Church).
The Sacred tomb of the holy father is a great solace for many; large groups of pilgrims, irrespective of caste and creed come to the church every day seeking his intercession and more particularly on annual feast days and also on every Saturdays. A great number of miracles are happening by the intercession of the holy father. It is a common practise among the parents to name their long awaited sons as ‘Yeldho’ and ‘Basil’, who they believe will be protected by the saint like a guardian angel. Dhukrono of St. Baselios Yeldho Bava is celebrated in the Mor Thoma Cheriapally with spiritual grandeur every year on October 2 and 3 and this feast is popularly known as 'Kanni 20 perunnal'. Fulfilling the wishes of multitude of faithful, the Holy Church in 1987 included the name of the holy father in the 5th Tubden (Holy diptych) along with the names of Patriarch St. Ignatius Elias III and St. Gregorios of Malankara.
Annual Feasts of the Holy Father ('Kanni 20 Perunnal')
Dhukrono of the saint is celebrated in the Mor Thoma Church (Cheriapally) at Kothamangalam with spiritual grandeur every year on October 2 and 3 and is popularly known as "Kanni 20 Perunnal". Groups of pilgrims, irrespective of caste and creed come to the church every day seeking his intercession. And multitudes of devotee’s participate in the feast. Moreover, on all Saturdays, Holy Qurbono on three altars is offered in the church with special prayers beseeching the saint’s intercession. Through the years, the MarThoma Church at Kothamangalam, where the Saint is entombed has became a symbol of communal harmony. In remembrance to the instance of guiding Mor Yeldho Bava to this church by a Nair (Hindu) Youth, his successors are still given the privilege to hold the traditional lamp of the church and lead the 'Rassa' (Church procession) to the church on the festival day of the saint.
Read full biography of Baselios Bava in syrianchurch.org
Also at St. Basil's Syriac Orthodox Church website at:
Tens of Thousands of Pilgrims filled Kothamangalam in 2011
Catholicose Aboon Mor Baselious Thomas I, Patriarchal delegate Mor Severious Malke Murad, Metrapolitians of Holy Church, Rembans & Priests led the Prayers & functions held here. Tens of Thousands of pilgrims were given warm welcome by Church at Kothamangalam.
Lesson 7: 'How much more the Holy Spirit' Or The All-Comprehensive Gift
|[Editor's Note: Here is this week's lesson from the book, 'With Christ in the School of Prayer' by Andrew Murray. This book is a very important reference book on intercessional prayer, something Orthodox Church believes in greatly. Murray skillfully describes the role of the Holy Spirit within the church and exhorts Christians to use the blessings God has given us. This book is a guide to living a life as a temple of the Holy Spirit. If you have missed the earlier lessons, please read them in Malankara World.]|
The Holy Spirit is therefore the gift we ought first and chiefly to seek.
In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord had already given utterance to His wonderful How Much More? Here in Luke, where He repeats the question, there is a difference. Instead of speaking, as then of giving good gifts, He says, How much more shall the heavenly Father give The Holy Spirit? He thus teaches us that the chief and the best of these gifts is the Holy Spirit, or rather, that in this gift all others are comprised The Holy Spirit is the first of the Father's gifts, and the one He delights most to bestow. The Holy Spirit is therefore the gift we ought first and chiefly to seek.
Because ye are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
The unspeakable worth of this gift we can easily understand. Jesus spoke of the Spirit as the promise of the Father the one promise in which God's Fatherhood revealed itself. The best gift a good and wise father can bestow on a child on earth is his own spirit. This is the great object of a father in education to reproduce in his child his own disposition and character. If the child is to know and understand his father; if, as he grows up, he is to enter into all his will and plans; if he is to have his highest joy in the father, and the father in him, he must be of one mind and spirit with him. And so it is impossible to conceive of God bestowing any higher gift on His child than this, His own Spirit. God is what He is through His Spirit; the Spirit is the very life of God. Just think what it means God giving His own Spirit to His child on earth.
Or was not this the glory of Jesus as a Son upon earth, that the Spirit of the Father was in Him? At His baptism in Jordan the two things were united, the voice, proclaiming Him the Beloved Son, and the Spirit, descending upon Him. And so the apostle says of us, Because ye are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. A king seeks in the whole education of his son to call forth in him a kingly spirit. Our Father in heaven desires to educate us as His children for the holy, heavenly life in which He dwells, and for this gives us, from the depths of His heart, His own Spirit. It was this which was the whole aim of Jesus when, after having made atonement with His own blood, He entered for us into God's presence, that He might obtain for us, and send down to dwell in us, the Holy Spirit.
Lord, make me am instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Saint Francis was born in Assisi, Italy in 1182. He lived and preached a life of poverty and love of God to all men. He founded the religious Order of the Franciscans; with St. Clare, he founded the Order of the Poor Clares; and the Third Order for lay people. He died in 1226. St. Francis is remembered on October 4.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Mercy is an attribute of God, an infinite and inexhaustible energy within the divine nature which disposes God to be actively compassionate. Both the Old and the New Testaments proclaim the mercy of God.... If we could remember that the divine mercy is not a temporary mood but an attribute of God's eternal being, we would no longer fear that it will someday cease to be. Mercy never began to be, but from eternity was; so it will never cease to be. It will never be more since it is itself infinite; and it will never be less because the infinite cannot suffer diminution. Nothing that has occurred or will occur in heaven or earth or hell can change the tender mercies of our God. Forever His mercy stands, a boundless, overwhelming immensity of divine pity and compassion....
And it is not enough to believe that He once showed mercy to Noah or Abraham or David and will again show mercy in some happy future day. We must believe that God's mercy is boundless, free and, through Jesus Christ our Lord, available to us now in our present situation. (The Knowledge of the Holy by A. W. Tozer)
Man's thoughts are of time, and God's, of eternity. Man's thoughts are of self, and God's, of the creatures of His hand. Man thinks of what he can get, and God, of what He can give.
The natural inclination in Christian living is to act on the impulse of a good idea. Not every good idea is from God. Sometimes good ideas get in the way of God ideas.'
Where does your inspiration come from? The vision of the transfigured Christ inspired Peter: "O Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters - one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah" (Matthew 17:4). Our natural impulse is to do something good for God and suggest it to Him.
The tendency of the well-meaning person is to prepare a plan to do some good idea, and then pray, "Jesus, this is my plan. It is a good plan. It hurts no one, and I want it to please You. Lord, please bless my plan." It is plan, then pray.
So many of our ideas are impetuous. They are not what the Lord wants to do. They do not resemble in any way the things which concern Him. We have good ideas, but they are not God ideas. His agenda and our agenda conflict. We want to build Him a shelter but that is not what He wants.... When Peter, James, and John heard the voice of the Lord . . . they abandoned their inventive-but-self-made idea. The presence of the Lord magnified, and His holiness brought them to their senses. Jesus gained their attention, not by subduing them with a stem scolding, but by magnifying His presence until all the genius of their human ideas was bleached out by His refulgent face.
When they abandoned their good idea and fell facedown before the Lord, He could work with them again....
When you and I abandon our good idea and fall to our face before me Lord, then He will come and touch us, too. When we pursue our own plan He cannot use us. We must abandon our good idea and fall facedown before Him. Then He will be able to use us again. Then He will reveal what He is doing - a God idea.... It is pray, then plan. Through prayer, Jesus instructs of His plan, a God idea.
Prayer removes the impulse of the good idea, the good idea born of human ingenuity but not of God. Pray, then plan. It is the habit of the surrendered saint. (From Walking with Christ in the Details of Life by Patrick M. Morley)
God's knowledge and wisdom are far greater than man's. We are foolish to try to fit God into our mold--to make his plans and purposes conform to ours. Instead, we must strive to fit into his plans.
We should form our plans with submission to the higher purposes of God. (Barnes' Notes)
Let men pray that they may be divested of self, and may be in harmony with heaven. Let them pray, "Not my will, but thine, O God, be done." Let men bear in mind that God's ways are not their ways, nor His thoughts their thoughts; for He says, "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
"The dealings of God with His people often appear mysterious. His ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts. Many times His way of dealing is so contrary to our plans and expectations that we are amazed and confounded.
We do not understand our perverse natures; and often when we are gratifying self, following our own inclinations, we flatter ourselves that we are carrying out the mind of God. And so we need to search the Scriptures, and be much in prayer, that, according to His promise, the Lord may give us wisdom.
I asked God for strength that I might achieve.
I got nothing I asked for - but everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among all people most richly blessed. --Anonymous
Prayer: So often, God, I don't understand why your ways are not my ways. But I wouldn't want it any other way.
Because He is so much greater than we are, we can trust Him though we do not understand everything which happens.
Source: www.abible.com - Devotional onIsaiah 55:8,9
|'Catholicism' - An Epic Series on Christianity to be Aired on PBS|
Last week we told you about the epic series on Christianity,
'Catholicism - A Journey to the Heart of Faith' produced by Father
Robert Barron and his team from Word in Fire Ministry to be shown on PBS and EWTN. To check the list of stations carrying the show and the time
To learn more about the series and an interview with Father Robert Barron watch this program on You Tube.
The interesting part comes after 20 minutes. There is a trailer about the program and clippings. Here are some excerpts from the interview:
What was the high point in the filming?
For me, it was the Holy Land. It was the first time I had ever been there. Being in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher was overwhelming. Out of reverence and the religious excitement of being there, I knelt down. Our cameraman filmed that and used it in the series.
Another highlight was visiting Uganda. I teach a number of African students and asked them where I should go to see Catholicism in Africa. All of them said I should go to Namugongo, Uganda. There, on June 3, they have a massive liturgy and procession for the martyr Charles Lwanga and companions on the site where he was burned at the stake.
To see 500,000 African Catholics come with this giant procession of priests and bishops was overwhelming. In the video, I use the line about the “blood of the martyrs being the seed of Christianity,” and the camera pans back to show this massive gathering. That was an emotional highlight for me.
What distinguishes the non-Western side of the Church?
The energy, the color, the commitment. We went to all these great places throughout Europe, and our cameraman, who was Lutheran, would say, “Another empty church.” The churches in Europe are beautiful, but they are empty of people.
Suddenly, there you are in Africa or Poland, and the churches are full of people attending Mass and going to confession. We sent film crews to Brazil and the Philippines, and the churches were jammed with people there as well. There’s a vibrancy and a liveliness in these places.
What do you hope to accomplish with the series?
I think of it as concentric circles. I’m interested in getting fallen-away Catholics — the second-largest religious group in America — to see it and be reminded of the beauty and the truth of Catholicism. I’m also interested in educating the Church.
People can use the series and study program in RCIA programs, adult formation, retreats. And I’m interested in the wider culture. We’re really thrilled that it will be on PBS to get to the wider culture.
Secularism is just wrecking people’s souls and telling them that all of their happiness and joy is to be found in this world. I want the series to reflect the transcendence of life and to speak of a higher reality.
I’m ambitious. I want the series to reach inside and outside the Church. When the cardinal gave me this mission to do Internet outreach, I envisioned this as a kind of crown jewel.
by Bonnie Gray
Fall is my favorite time of the year.
Summer is so bright and intense, I wake up feeling obligated to go somewhere and do something. People often ask, "What are your plans for the summer?" There is pressure to have an exciting destination in your back pocket.
Fall is more my style. It gets darker sooner and everything slows down. It’s the perfect time to be outside too, if you ask me. Take hiking. There’s a lot less dust and it's quieter, except for the sound of a crunchy trail blanketed with falling leaves. It’s hard to beat.
Just as Autumn brings the beauty of falling leaves, going outdoors frees us to shed busyness and draw closer to God and each other.
When we take the time to leave the four walls where we make a life, we give ourselves permission to stop and enjoy the life we've been given.
Secret to Simplicity
Fall is the ideal time to enjoy the simple things in life, because the secret to simplicity comes from our ability to rest.
The breeze is just crisp enough to take our breath away, with the sun reflecting leftover warm summer rays against the amber colors of fall.
Just as Fall brings beauty and comfort, going outdoors frees up pockets of relational opportunity.
We make room for God to speak to us apart from productivity. We remember how great it feels to laugh, smile, or just enjoy some quiet with others.
Being outdoors in the Fall reminds us that we can rest, because God is our rest.
We see God's artistry in the randomness of acorns starting to carpet nature's floor. We hear the soothing sounds of waves that sing to a Creator's rhythm. We look up to drink in an overflowing painted canvas of sky, bringing a breeze of musty leaves mixed with soil and sand.
We can't help but ask ourselves: Can God make beauty out of my life too -- even if the pieces look random?
God's word tells us yes.
Stop and Enjoy
Rest. Isn't that what we really crave down in our tired bodies and over-analytical minds?
We first see God in the Bible working hard for six days. Then, God takes an entire day off to stop and enjoy His work.
Isn't that what we do when we encounter nature? We stand still at a sunset. We freeze our steps as a bird darts across a hiking trail, and somehow our body knows beaches are for lingering.
Rest is the finale of a workweek.
This is hilarious/brilliant…for the connoisseurs of English language!
We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
If the plural of man is always called men,
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Then one may be that, and there would be those,
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
Let's face it - English is a crazy language.
We take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes,
And why is it that writers write, but fingers don't fing,
Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend?
If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?
Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English
We ship by truck but send cargo by ship...
And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language
And in closing..........
If Father is Pop, how come Mother's not Mop.???
(Source: Prem Puthur, IIT - Patelian Forum)
by Bill Gates
This should be posted in every school or in kids' bedroom.
Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about eleven (11) things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings, created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.
Love him or hate him, he sure hits the nail on the head with this!
Life is not fair - get used to it!
The world doesn't care about your self-esteem.
You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school.
If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss
Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity.
If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault,
Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring
So before you save the rain forest
Your school may have done away
In some schools, they have abolished failing grades
This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance
Life is not divided into semesters.
Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually
Be nice to nerds.
With over 6000 articles and hundreds of links to outside resources covering all aspects of Syriac Orthodoxy that are of interest to Family, Malankara World is the premier source for information for Malankara diospora. In addition to articles on spirituality, faith, sacraments, sermons, devotionals, etc., Malankara World also has many general interest articles, health tips, Food and Cooking, Virtual Travel, and Family Specific articles. Please visit Malankara World by clicking here or cut and paste the link on your browser: http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Library/default.htm
Malankara World Journal Subscription
If you are not receiving Malankara World Journal directly, you may sign up to receive it via email free of cost. Please click here: http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/Library/Register/news_regn.asp
You can contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Malankara World Journal Archives
You can contact us via email at email@example.com
Thank you for your help and support.
Malankara World Journal is published by MalankaraWorld.com http://www.MalankaraWorld.com/
Copyright © 2011 Malankara World. All Rights Reserved.