One Life

Ram was laying on the bed, with all the medical equipment attached to his body. Doctor Jagdeep came out and said to Mrs Anny his mother, “The chances of his survival appear very low. I’m sorry Mrs. Anny, please spend the maximum time with him.” Anny went and sat beside him.  Tears rolled her cheeks as she embraced her son. Ram said, ” Maa, I know, that I hardly have any time with me. I want to tell you one thing, that when I meet Jesus, I’ll tell him, “Jesus, THANK YOU for gifting me a Mother!” It was unimaginable not having such a gift. Anny kissed Ram’s forehead and said, “Baba, let me come with you and I’ll tell Jesus, that the gift which he gave me in the form of my son was wonderful”.  “Maa, I love you!” That was the final response of Ram and he took leave from his earthly journey. Ram had fulfilled his mission on earth. He had helped an old man near the crossroad.  The old man was blazing with fever. Ram was unaware that the old man had Coronavirus. Yet he took a chance.  We need such an attitude like Ram during the time of crisis. We do have to take precautions, but we should not stop helping.

Rohan Brahmane SJ

My Mission Experiment

As novices, we were sent to, “Prarthana Kendra” in “Belewadi village” a small village with hills and mountains, sugarcane farms, greenery all around, fresh air beautiful scenery and a cool atmosphere, a soothing place situated in Maharashtra.
Guru Santaji Lobo, a layman runs this apostolate for Faith sharing among Christians and non-Christians. A dynamic, passionate, courageous and a spiritual man working from many years having inter religious-dialogues in the region. We, three companions, from Mumbai, Gujrat and Goa, were under his care for our one-month mission experiment.
I was excited as well as anxious. It was a challenge for me to conduct prayer sessions in non-Christian families in Marathi and Hindi languages. Though the language was not a barrier, preaching was a real challenge. By the grace of Almighty, I was able to share my thoughts and feelings. It was a give and take learning. I shared to encourage others and by listening to them get enlightened. We prayed for each other.
Every day we travelled for miles in three states, to visit different villages and families. What I loved the most, was singing bhajans and hymns. I felt like St. Paul’ preaching to the other parts of the world. The people were hospitable, caring, loving, and some even challenging.

Swapnil in the Centre I leaned to be grateful

Looking at their simple life-style, struggles, problems, worries, poverty and yet cheerfully giving and loving, helped me to grow deeper in my faith and spirituality. I learnt to be grateful, to reflect on my needs and not want and to be content with what I have. Truly it was an exciting and enriching experience.

Swapnil Borges SJ

DREAM AGAIN

Dream again, O troubled heart

Chase it to the full;

Let the difficulty come and go

Let it test your testimony;

Be a warrior

Future may crown you to be its king.

Tears of yours give strength

To stand again in life today;

Fears of yours can help

To spread love in the hearts tomorrow;

Future is not unseen

It needs someone like you;

To tell the story

The pure love story

You are different

Your past knew it;

You are a new kind

Your future sensed it;

Forget your falls and failures

Get up, never give up;

The world is awaiting your unborn words

Ever than before.

So dear heart of mine

Dream again, not for your sake

But for the broken hearts;

Come back once again

To rearrange life

To reassure love

Of the troubled world

Dream…

Dream big once again

For the troubled souls

Here and now.

M. LAWRENCE SJ

El Mensaje (The Message)

Today the church commemorates the feast of St. Alberto Hurtado. St. Alberto was Chilean Jesuit Pastor and had ardent love for the poor. His concern for them gave birth to Hogar de Cristo (Home of Christ). A numberless vagrant people found shelter in it. St. Alberto mentioned, ”We are called to be a fire that kindles other fires.” And this is what he was in his life. As a result Chile issued stamps in honour of him. Are you ready to kindle other fires? Go ahead!!

Jackson SJ

A Single Hope

भोवताली दाटला अंधार दुःखाचा जरी,
सूर्य सत्याचा उद्या उगवेल आहे खात्री,

धर्म, जाती, प्रांत, भाषा, द्वेष सारे संपू दे,
एक निष्ठा, एक आशा, एक रंगी रंगू दे.

The above written are the words from a poem which mean: ‘even if the darkness of sadness has spread all around, the sun of truth will surely rise the next day. May religion, caste, division and hatred end, and let there be a single unity, a single hope, all in one colour.’

Today is a day of grace and joy for us as we celebrate the feast of three of our mothers. First, Maria Mata (Mother Mary), who was assumed into heaven. Second, our Bharat Mata (Mother India) which celebrates its 74th Independence Day. And third, our Mother Society which remembers the first vows of our founding fathers (Jesuits) in 1534.

“It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” Our freedom fighters realized this proverb during the tyrannical British rule. They lit the candle of the freedom struggle, and dispelled the darkness of colonization. By freedom and independence, our freedom fighters did not mean the end of British rule only. They meant more than that, they meant the eradication of poverty, injustice and inequality.

Today again we experience the darkness of injustice, inequality and of the Corona pandemic. What is our response to this darkness? Do we light a candle or do we only curse the darkness? Today is a day of appreciation and gratitude. First, to God for the care he takes of our country. Secondly, for our freedom fighters. Thirdly, for all our frontline Corona warriors, that is all our doctors, nurses, patients, Jesuit and religious institutions, who have given their best to fight this battle; these have lit many candles.

In the gospel, Mary sings the Magnificat of joy and gratitude to God. Do we still have the flame in our hearts that we can still sing our own Magnificat even during these times of struggle?

Vishal Waghmare SJ

Is something wrong???

I was born as a catholic and love to go to church. It has taught me great teachings of Jesus. Faith in Jesus has greatly influenced my life throughout. It has helped me to find my vocation as a religious. I appreciate the role of the church in my life, but through my experiences I have also found limitations in its approach to spirituality.

My parents, believers and priests guided me for years about our faith and traditions. There have been extraordinary saints in the church whose lives have inspired me a lot. But in spite of these privileges I wondered why it didn’t have an impact on me. It should have made me more joyful, peaceful and loveable. I admit there has been improvement but it’s not satisfactory.

Why do we fail to follow the standards of Jesus Christ, which is to love, forgive or help someone? Why is each step towards enlightenment so difficult? Are there remedies for these questions? We have been following our traditions without understanding and personalizing.

We are encouraged to become like Jesus in words and deeds. The demand is enormous but without proper methods provided. How to love, what is love or what’s the nature of it? As a result, we find it difficult to practice. People don’t need to know what Jesus did and what he asks them to do. It’s already in our mind.

The kingdom of God is within you.

Instead teach them techniques and methods to discover their human nature in their busy lifestyle. If they discover it, they will fulfill the gospel teachings in true spirit. As mentioned by Jesus in the gospel of Luke 17:20-21, “The kingdom of God is within you.”


We are more focused on results, rather than the process which makes things happen. It may not help us to nurture our spiritual life. If we don’t devote ourselves to the process, we may keep pushing the moment of enlightenment further. Could we make an effort to our spiritual life to be effective rather than being only holy?

Vinay Lakra SJ

Challenged to Accept His Love

Novitiate is the first step towards a Jesuit journey. It offers a foundational experience for our life time. I intend to share some of my experiences over the past two years. Firstly, I would like to talk about the one-month long retreat that helped me to build a deep relationship with God. I felt deeply loved by God and all His plans for me. Difficult or easy, it always led me to His goal, to follow Him in His footsteps. I also felt God’s abundant graces over me which are countless. I felt deep joy and sense of gratitude to the Lord.

St. Mathew 25

Secondly, the hospital experience I received at Shanti Dan in Mumbai. This charitable home is run by the MC brothers. Feeding the special children was a challenging task for me. But I received enough grace from the Lord when I requested during adoration. Our Lord is gracious when you ask for anything.  I had also experienced God in those children while I was working for them. I was filled with tremendous joy and happiness. As I went about bringing smiles on their faces, I experienced God’s presence in them. 

I also deepened my faith from the gospel according to St. Mathew 25:35, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me”. It is possible to find God in all things. God gives himself completely without any reservations. Our challenge is to accept Him and imitate Him.

Joswalt Noronha SJ

FCC

As a child I had a desire to be a priest. But as I grew, life moved on for me. I wanted to enjoy to the fullest, so I picked football as a mean for my enjoyment. I improved and dreamt to play for India one day. I got many opportunities to play at different levels. Starting from the streets, boarding, school, district and state. Countless prizes also came in our favour. It was a peaking point of my life and felt as if my dream was coming true. I won’t deny that I too worked hard to reach at a level I am.  

I improved and dreamt to play for India one day

In spite of having that ‘joy’ within me I became aware, that something was troubling me after I completed my SSC with a distinction. My desire was to study as well as play football.  I longed to join eminent clubs, though I had played for few local ones. As I continued to play an awareness came within. The ‘joy’ and happiness I spoke of, was an exciting moment of my life. I saw trough, took a U turn and met a Jesuit priest. I shared what was happening to me and he directed me to Goa pre-novitiate.  In this journey, I grew deeper in my vocation for priesthood and joined Novitiate after my HSC.

In the Novitiate, I was molded and shaped by the finest Jesuit priests. Now, I can say that, I am a happy Jesuit scholastic continuing my journey with the Lord for priesthood. I thank God for this call to play for the greatest (FCC) Football Club of Christ. Do pray for the victory of this club where the players are me and my companions.

Cajetan Pereira SJ

St. John Marie Vianney

St. John Marie Vianney

St. John Marie Vianney was born on May 8th 1779 in France. His parents were poor peasants but rich in faith. The French revolution had interrupted his education. He had struggled in Latin but determined to become a good priest. He was ordained in 1815 and was known for his devotion to Our Lady. He encouraged people to pray the Holy Rosary. He was gifted to read the people and managed to bring about a change even in the worse characters. Many sought his advice. He died on August 4th 1859 at the age of 73. St. John is universally relevant even today. He was determined to be a Holy priest and he became one. What are you determined about?

Happy feast to all the priest!!!

Jackson SJ

Doubting Faith

“What do you do when you’re not sure?” This is the opening question of Fr. Father Flynn, from the movie Doubt. He shares the following story in his homily. A cargo ship sank one night. Only a sailor survives and manages to get a lifeboat. Being from an aeronaval discipline he looks at stars and begins his journey to home. Exhausted, he falls asleep and the clouds roll in during this time. When he wakes up, he’s not sure if he’s heading in the right direction. The clouds had covered the entire area in his sight for the next 20 days. He begins to doubt, if he had seen a glimpse of the stars in a desperate situation or had he seen the truth once and had to stick to it without any further reassurance. Doubt can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty.

In a situation of Covid – 19 doubting our faith has emerged powerfully. So, what do we learn from the saint of the day when facing faith crisis? Hold on! Because here was a saint who reformed the church and stood by it during the toughest times keeping his faith burning, which he had experienced once.

Happy feast of St. Ignatius!!!

Jackson D’Souza SJ