Category Archives: Life

BORN FREE

Look around and reflect ,

Who can stop you

From thinking,

speaking and

Doing the right thing ?

Can any law stop

You from loving

Even your enemy

Who may one day

Become a friend !

Yes and my soul ;

Can any man destroy

That which God holds

In his loving arms !

Our Creator who gives life and also sends to hell fire

So am I willing to see that

My soul is meant for an eternal goal,

Eternal joy or eternal slavery

Heaven or hell!

Perfect love casteth out fear

Love always overcomes hate!

Love gives life !

Then you and I are truly FREE!

Oh Carole !

‘May I write a blog on you” I asked Carole  Viegas when she visited me a month ago. Her immediate response was, ” I’d rather you don’t ” More like, I enjoy being the person who I am, and do not want any publicity.

On Friday 19th July 2019,  I had attended the Eucharist and was due to visit the housebound with Holy Communion. As I commenced on my rounds, I thought of a few questions I would ask Carole on my visit to her home. …mainly for the intended blog on her,

I reached the neighbourhood and realized   something was amiss at the Viegas household. I went up to her home. The silent group of people assembled with her husband Gerry, was enough to signal that Carole had already departed to her heavenly home. 

Carole was always more concerned about Gerry’s health, both being cancer survivors. However she displayed tremendous courage and joie de vivre. Her daughter Gayle mentioned “ Mum was quite upset when first diagnosed;  but I encouraged her to be brave and battle it out. And she did heed that advice to be positive, and outgoing as before.  In fact her peaceful departure while asleep, was certainly a victory for her. It was more heart related , rather than the cancer.”

Two days before her demise , I met her in the neighbourhood. She was  returning from  the  Bombay Institute for the Deaf and Dumb , where she worked to get donors involved.Her initial involvement was with the Board of the Institute. It was also her 75th birthday the previous week and I was so happy to wish her well. She lived life to the fullest.

In our Village of Matharpacady, she was one of the most active residents. She was President of the Holy Cross Committee. We did not realise that The  Holy Cross Feast on 1st May 2019 would be her last. We will miss the Meetings at her home before and after the feast. She also served as an animator of the Parish Zone 8 and earlier on the Parish Council of Rosary Church. But her notable contribution in the Church was her passion to sing in the choir. You could never miss seeing Carole for the mass choir, specially at the main feasts of Christmas and Easter. Most of all when people needed a choir for a funeral,  it did not matter who it was..she would always pitch in to help in the matter.

Her special attribute was to be an ‘Encourager’. I say special, as she made it a point to find something good to say about any service done by people. Being a  beneficiary of it myself, I know how she has impacted many. Carole was very loving and  had no malice. She always strove for unity and went out of her way to overcome any differences. She could connect with people of all ages. At meetings she shared her opinion without ruffling feathers .

I remember the early family days, when Carole’s home was full of life. There were parties, and songs floated into the night.  She and Gerry were good dancers. I think their jive was so relaxed that it looked as easy as ever.  An important event earlier was the celebration of their Golden Wedding . It was a very joyous occassion and well attended. Yes indeed , she was richly blest.

I was amazed to see the church filled beyond capacity at her funeral mass. She had touched the lives of so many, who came specially to bid her farewell . Carole’s granddaughter Keira sang a beautiful hymn ‘Be Not Afraid’ , to reiterate that spirit of courage. Eulogies flowed from her children , grandchildren , and extended family. Her grandchildren Maya and Neel, recalled how she told them stories of the yesteryears and always encouraged them in their endeavours. Ignatius read out a message from her cousin Rosalind. Jordana her godchild, spoke lovingly about Carole. Even her former office colleague Marisa, shared some beautiful memories of her.

Her son Garth mentioned that this was a celebration of her life well lived.  Yes , and the family did followup with this emotion at the end of the day. They bid her farewell that night the way she would have wanted , with joy and song.

Farewell dear Carole…… May you rest in eternal peace with our Heavenly Father.

Through the Storms

WALKING WITH MY LORD

My Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has  been a pillar of strength and peace, during the past 6 months of a rollercoaster ride. The storms of life blew over but his presence was enough to see me through this phase.

Between September and November 2018 , I drove to Goa several times with Anjean, to prepare for our daughter Annalize’s wedding, Goa being  the venue.

However in November I began to have a throat problem , which did not get cured with antibiotics . As the problem persisted , I consulted a specialist who observed a small mass on the tonsil during the oral examination. Subsequently , he advised that a biopsy be done, which led to the early diagnosis of Non Hodgekins Lymphoma.  Dr Jaquie was very helpful at  the Hinduja Hospital, from  that first instance as well as during my regular hospital visits for the chemotherapy later.

In November I also got a shock to know that my investments with our trusted broker were in jeopordy , as his business had failed. His promise to repay everything , would remain a promise until he hoped to recover,  by merging his company with a bigger firm, in the near future.

I was diagnosed on 13th December 2018 , and  Annalize’s wedding was scheduled for 27th December 2018. The doctor calmed  us ,  specially Anjean and Annalize,  and mentioned that the early diagnosis was very helpful and the cancer could be treated and cured ( a blessing indeed).  He advised us to celebrate the wedding and commence my treatment soon after.

However due to the urgency and financial duress, I was constrained to take loans to meet with these challenges.

My son Ralph , was a big help at this stage. He had  come down from London for the wedding. All my family  proceeded to Goa which was the venue . He stayed back to help me with my visits to  the hospitals and so much more. I admired his steadfast approach , not knowing that he was quite upset himself.

Our celebrations in Goa went off very well.  The Lord had given me a total acceptance of my health condition. I took part wholeheartedly in the celebrations. My family too got over the initial shock and all went well .

We returned  to Mumbai on 1st January 2019 and my treatment commenced on 2nd January 2019.

For every  session , I was admitted to the hospital , to be administered the drugs. The specialist doctor and his team, and the nursing care, was excellent. The after effects of the chemotherapy, were at times very painful. Surprisingly  during  3 specific  occasions Romeo Fernando, leader of  the Community of the Good Shepherd,  telephoned me.  He  prayed  fervently with me , pleading of the  Lord for my healing ;  and with God’s grace  I was relieved from pain. His intercessory group prayed regularly for my healing. I cannot forget  my mentor Ken Knoecker ( Elder of the Servants of the Word) , for all the  prayer and support extended to me, during this time.   I also discovered , the aspect of sharing my suffering with the Lord, and interceding for others.

Members from my Community (Community of Jesus: Light of the World)  and the local Church and Communities ( Sword of the Spirit Communities)  from far and near  prayed for me. There was an outpouring of love as members regularly telephoned or visited me,  and also prayed with me.  People who I hardly knew as well as old friends,  assured me that they were praying for my healing and visited me.

My eldest daughter Karen with her family  from UK, specially changed their flight schedule, ( which involved a fresh ticket) to be with us for the first session. Subsequently my son Ralph took time off , for one month from his job in London ( while working from home) to be with us in Mumbai for the next sessions. Annalize too spent more than a month later and finally Larissa was with us in May.

I was administered 6 cycles of chemotherapy from January to April, and after the 4th cycle , the petscan showed that I was clear of cancer. Praise and thanks to God!

This was a time of great restoration and renewal. I had plenty of time to pray and read scripture. Importantly  , Ambrose  our community member brought Holy Communion for me daily, which was a source of healing and kept me positive and courageous.

Aroon willingly took up responsibility to lead the Community of Jesus: Light of the World , in my absence during these months. His numerous visits were an indication of a brotherly tie, which I deeply cherish.

I also saw bonds of brotherhood within my extended family being renewed. My two elder brothers, Allwyn and Gerald who are doctors, and my niece Joanne (also a doctor) , reached out to me in significant ways.

Anjean cared for me so well .  Diet and medicines were constantly monitored. So I came through these months peacefully.  Dane, a young man from the Youth group , was kind enough to drive us to the hospital on several occasions . Some of my community members also took time off to be with me at the hospital. But Anjean was my constant companion.

In the meantime , help poured in from various sources. I am truly overwhelmed at this support.

God showed me His love , through these brothers and sisters.

He also assured me that His provision is enough

A few days ago , when again  I experienced a setback, I was assured by the following words from scripture:

‘Give  us this day our daily bread ‘( Matthew 6:11)

( on further reflection and study, I was led to believe that daily  bread is for daily sustenance and not to accumulate wealth. Bread also signifies the Eucharist ,which is life giving.)

A little further :

‘ No one can be slave of two masters; he will either hate the first and love the second, or treat the first with respect and the second with scorn. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.’ ( Matthew 6: 24)

Matthew 6:25-34

‘ Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,  what you are to eat and what you are to drink, (Matthew 6:25a)………..‘But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.’ ( Matthew 6: 33)

Isaiah 55: 1-3

‘ Oh, come to the water all you who are thirsty;

Though you have no money , come!

Buy corn without money, and eat,

and, at no cost , wine and milk.

Why spend money on what is not bread,

your wages on what fails to satisfy?

Listen, listen to me, and you will have good things to eat

and rich food to enjoy.

Pay attention , come to me;

listen, and your soul will live.

listen , and your soul will live.’ (Isaiah 55: 1-3)

The Lord has revealed his love and care so much more during these days. He is truly my Saviour  and Healer and I can trust in his provision daily.

For this I say “Thank you Lord”

And “ thank you” to every person who has reached out to me.

Anjean was my constant support
Taking Annalize to the altar on her wedding day
With Ralph

THE PRESENT

 

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The blur of the past

Sustains the present

So I presume,

A storehouse of

good memories

And junked failures

 

Pray

Are these stepping stones

To a bright future ?

Can we bask

only in success;

And dismiss failures ?

 

Who can fathom the future

Except the One who is Timeless

His Presence sustains

Past, Present and future

A Gift to be cherished

Forever

 

He is the Alpha and  the Omega

The beginning and the end

Who holds us in the palm

Of His Hands;

Do  I trust Him?

Now ?

 

Combat or surrender

 

‘For God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of  power and love and self control.’ ( 2 Timothy 1:7)

‘In Him we live and move and have our being.’ ( Acts 17:28)trekking

 

Times of change,

Challenges abound;

Do I fear?

 

At any age,

I hear of

Courage with a C

 

But there is a C

Cancer which oft

may counter Courage

 

 

How do I face it?

Fight or flight ;

Combat or surrender

 

The only way I see it,

Trust in His Spirit

Of power , love and self control!

 

He is ever near,

Holds us in his loving arms,

As a Father to a son

 

Am I willing to share this pain

With him on the cross

As  grace in abundance  flows

 

Accept with courage

And when unbearable

Surrender

‘into your hands, Lord’

 

And take each day as a gift

Not forgetting

‘To live is Christ and

To die is gain ‘

 

I am assured that its better to  surrender into His loving arms at all times, as

‘In him we live and move and have our being’ (Acts 17:28)

 

An Arrival.. New Life

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The date 19th September2018 is very significant.
I was thrilled to get the news of the arrival of my 3rd grandchild on 19th September morning .
I met with my sharing group of our community for our monthly meeting that evening. We shared on the 3rd chapter of Colossians .
The 2 themes were how we look at the old self ,which we were and how we become the new self, literally with new clothes.. how do we discard our old ways ,
Quote: ‘But now you must get rid of all such things- anger , wrath, malice, slander, abusive language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in the image of its Creator. (Colossians 3:8-10)
and live with lives of compassion.
Quote: ‘As God’s chosen one’s, holy and beloved clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive . Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts , To which indeed you were called in the one body.’(Colossians 3:12-15)

After the round of sharing… we concluded that there were areas where change had taken place and some where we still needed to change. Anger, and patience were some common themes .
But we realised that we are all work in progress , requiring The Master’s help at all times.
One of us beautifully shared that in the end , it is love that helps us to see others in new ways ….
Quote : ‘Love is patient; love is kind; love is not an proud or boastful, arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable, or resentful,; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth. It bears all thing , believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.’ (1Corinthians 13:4-8)
The inability to love leads to poor relationships and further many more pitfalls to sin .
Jesus came that we may rise to new life ….
We start with a clean slate ,when we acknowledge our sinfulness and the need for forgiveness and to forgive others .
I was thrilled to get the news of the arrival of my 3rd grandchild on 19th September morning .
He is such a chubby and healthy baby boy.
As I was shown his pictures , and was told his name to be given:
This struck me:
1. He is being named Daniel Michael ….surname Jordan
Daniel is my favourite prophet of the biblical times…. why ? Because he was courageous and spoke for the truth .
Michael is the name on both sides of Daniel’s parents family tree….and of course Michael is also the angel to fight against evil .
2. When a child comes into the world, the little one comes with a clean slate….This is new life.
We can also start with a clean slate in life no matter our past failings .
John 3:16
‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son , so that everyone who believes in him ,may not perish but may have eternal life.’
Think about it , every day is an opportunity to start afresh……

Why slow down

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My favorite cup

Years ago I remember reading a comic strip with some humour to it…Slo Jo was a cowboy, who faced the Ketchup Kid…. It was not the usual gunfight however. Here the test was on who could down the burger faster…    The Kid finished his burger rapidly….and then  watched Slo Jo relishing his burger with Ketchup   , taking his own time… the lesson for the Kid… , enjoy the burger…what is the hurry?

I think , many of us are immersed in work, and have a problem of time… we  become busy, stressed and worry about work to be done…

I am sure we all had coffee/tea breaks..but was it like the Ketchup Kid or like Slo Jo

Often the best moments are when  one actually savours the moments either alone or with friends.

I have tried coffee from  roasted coffee beans ground and filtered…. with a dash Sheridan .

……slowly like Slo Jo…while I smell the coffee, savour the taste ..and appreciate the situation around me… my friends, colleagues, family or just connecting with nature …

Time passes by… I see some of my good friends who have worked hard and done well in their careers. One case stands out. Today he has been overwhelmed with multiple health problems. And worse still  he has fractured his hip, and now  compelled to  bed rest.

I wonder at such traumatic changes. Does it really matter, how much I have achieved?

Have I savoured the times I enjoyed with family and friends.

Importantly have I looked at my eventual goal in life?

This will not be easily accepted. We plan for holidays and so much more.

“Do you know where you are going?” These are famous words asked by the renowned basketball player Pete Mavarich, also called ‘Pistol Pete’, because of his brilliance in the game. He continued “ I know where I am going, and am preparing for it” A week later he died.

Our lives change when we are aware of our destination.

I too am aware where I am going, and I will certainly ensure that I prepare  for it every day.

Yet often when I even mention this, my family  does not like to hear any of it.

But is not death certain? Do you fear it?

There is no need to fear. Life does not end , but only changes.

‘If our hope in Christ has been for this life only, we are the most unfortunate of all people.

But Christ has in fact been raised from the dead , the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep. (1Corinthians 15:19,20)

When this perishable nature has put on imperishability, and when this mortal nature has put on immortality, then the words of scripture will come true: Death is swallowed up in victory. Death where is your victory? Death where is your sting? Now the sting of death is sin, and sin gets its power from the Law. So let us thank God for giving us the victory through our Lord  Jesus Christ.

(1Corinthians 15:54-57)

Are you afraid?

Then remember these words of Jesus  ‘  I am the living bread which comes down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh  for the life of the whole world.’ (John 5:51)

Jesus also assures us ‘ And know that I am with you always: yes to the end of time.’ (Matthew 28:20b)

So it certainly does not matter, how high or how fast one paces one’s life. Reality strikes, when one is faced with the inevitable.  Reflective moments are necessary; so when  you next take a coffee break, take time to smell the coffee and let your thoughts flow.

Patience

I asked for patience,

And my patience was tested.

It showed me

my lack of it

So will I still ask for patience?
And yet again see how far am I from it.
But try I must,
For true victory is
To conquer oneself.

How about wisdom;
Why not pray for it.
Money cannot buy it,
Just like love cannot be bought.
For wisdom comes from above.

And love?
It’s the only thing that lasts
Till the end.
Love overcomes evil,
And when one loves

You and I begin to learn Patience!

DSC_0034 (2)                           ‘Patience’ of a different kind- when I  photographed the butterfly!’

The Waiting Game

 

(Rewards for patience)

Nothing comes easy ; specially when you have  to wait  for permissions, or sanctions . All around us , people speak of getting things done and facilitating the process by paying a fee ( I call it a bribe)

Do you agree ?. Does the  time factor decide whether it is right to bribe or not.

Who is guilty? The giver or the taker ? If there was no giver, would there be a taker?

My experience still upholds the age old ways of patience, persistence and prayer. Believe me it works .

Outstanding cases  for permissions are from the Municipal Corporation, Provident Fund department, and Collector’s Office. There are good people in these places. Please do not prejudge them, and conduct yourself on that aspect. Follow all the guidelines, and also followup; even if it means going 10,15 or 20 times..

When you respect others you  will be respected for your patience and honesty….why honesty. Because the giver of a bribe is dishonest and causes another to be dishonest.

Be happy when you taste success for your patience. The Lord above will bless you abundantly.

If anyone tells you that times have changed….please remember, honesty, respect, and love of neighbor will never lose value.

There is another angle to seeking expeditious help in such matters. Have you tried praying?

Not only for yourself, but even for those from whom you seek these permissions/sanctions.

After all authority is bestowed , and God answers prayers

When  the shoe is worn  on the other foot, you will see the difficulty that such authorities face in being just and honest. Most often , they have to deal with people who are ready to pay their way through , but they also face pressures from political sources in power.

Our ability to respect authority and accept the requirements for sanctions will be a big help for those who will eventually grant your requests.

I have been a beneficiary of following this precept, and have great peace of mind…

So remember, its always two way..

The waiting game is all about patience, trust and respect..

The correct use or abuse of the chair, will decide on two people : take a guess!

Do you believe? Are you ready?

Then be prepared for the ‘Waiting Game’.

Who are you?

for poem -who are you

Who are you

Is the question today;

Which region, country, or culture?

Is there a difference?

I meet men and women,

Rich and poor,

Of different race, religion, nationalities.

 

Who are your parents ?

Where is your family?

What binds or separates you

From others?

Can you understand?

I don’t !

 

I struggle to know,

Why?

If we belong to the human race,

Is there a difference in

Being human or just  a human being!

What is more powerful?

Love or hatred!

 

Have you considered :

To be strong is to be resilient,

That love overcomes fear ,

Behind every face ,

There is a story to tell.

We belong to one big family.

 

So I ask again.

Who are you?

Do you understand?