ധ്രുവദീപ്തി: Christianity //
St. Chavara // A Multidimensional Saint //
A Symbol of Sanctivity With In Our Reach //
Dr. Thomas Kadankavil CMI
|Dr. Thomas Kadankavil CMI|
Sanctity as a Goal
In the chronicles of the Mother house of the Congregation of Mount Carmel at Koonammavu Fr. Chavara wrote," In this land of Malabar where the faith was preached from the very beginning, there were no monastries or convents and the virtues of religious life were only spoken about. The men can at least opt to become priest and live chastely. The womenfolk can only get married and live in the world. Even if any of them wishes to remain a virgin and chaste there is no means for it. It was as a response and solution to this situation that the religious community for women was estableshed in 1866.
Sentiments of Repentance
The holiness of the life of Chavara, and the sentiment of repentance he has poured out in his works, The Grief of a Soul, Meditational conversation, may appear to be puzzling. When one think that Jesus has asked to be perfect even as our Heavenly Father, a man enlightened by the divine light would see that he has no spiritual worth to boast of , and that he is an insignificant sinner. Chavara's sense of repentance can be understood in terms of the following three factors:
1)- The awareness of the sinfulnessand weakness of a soul which is previleged to have glimpses of the vision of divine glory.
2)- the thought that one has not adequantely expressed one's gratitude for the great gifts one has received from God.
3)- the thought that the whole purpose of the incarnation, passion and death of Christ was for our redemption from sin. As a member of mankind all these sentiments are relevant in any holy soul.
Thou art the Lord of all, all blameless, all pure
I am a worthless sinner, thy weak servant;
I feel immensely sorry (because of my weakness)
Knowing how glorious you are and so fully virtuous
You are my father and my creator
Your love is unchanging and sure
yet when I think of my sins
How can I dare to appear before you.( 11, 5: 142-150).
The same sentiments is expressed in his Meditational Conversation. " How did you permit me, a mean worm of a servant, to enter your Holy of holies where the Lords of the sky are trembling ? Oh God who extolled the purity of the sanctuary by thretening to disqualify those who desecrate its holiness, and their children up to four and a half generations, how do I dare to enter the sanctuary when you are truly present.( 111, p.38).
Not only does he think of the glory and greatness of God; he thinks also of the gifts which he has received and for which he has not shown sufficient gratitude.
What is this Oh Lord! You are so bountiful to me and yet let the water of a sea of mercy flow endlessly over me. Why you have been so generous, I ask:
And I know that is due to your love for this
ungreatful man..; Oh my heart, remember your deeds
And also how ungrateful you have been.(11, 2:56-64).
God who was master from the beginning
Has created me also as the son of Adam.
What is the reason for this?
Nothing but your mercy, oh God, who has no beginning (11,1:1-4).