Co-operate with God's work//
Dr. Thomas Kadankavil-
| Dr.Thomas Kadankavil
We often say that work is worship. Worship or adoration is the acceptance of God's power and majesty and a declaration that God would be his last end and that he accepts all that God willed for him in his divine plane. Since human life is the greatest task God has entrusted to man and and so he has to work it out and complete the creation God had already started. This is achieved by property developing all the talents God has given to each individual. In this process man becomes co-creatiors with God.
Labour / Work is the building block of the personality. When a person performs work that labour not only produces some product but also transform the personality of the agent of the action. Publishing a book, begetting children, putting up a construction, administering the affairs of a group are labours which modify the very agent of the action. The work the humans perform for the well being of themselves and their fellow - beings is in fact the continuation of the creative act of God and thus we become co-creators with God. In this task God entrusted to us we don't have to look for the reward, for He "will pay for it". What is entrusted to us is the patrimony of Jesus and so we have to work for him.
Be a lasting Light-
Exibitionism is the trait of a shallow personality. People of little prudence in avery overt way try to attract the attention of others by a show of wealth and power. Once they have lavishly squandered their wealth they disappear from the scene as the "glowing light coming from a heap of straw". To become a lasting light one has to become an authetic personality, not a person loom large in the communication media, but one genuinely performs the duties God has entrusted to him faithfully day in and day out. Such a person would be like a tiny lamp, but much better and lasting.
Choose good friends-
| St. Chavara
Men seek company both for heroic virtuous deeds and for evil practices and crime for personal advantage. A person's charactor is known from the people with whom he associates with. Chavara wrote this wisesaying to his parishioners to make family heads aware of the need of making their association only with men of charactor, who are generous enough to help their needy brethren. Today we a number of a NGOs in our midst doing immense good works to improve the quality of our civic living. We have also clandestine associations to do violence or to forcefully apprehend property and such other criminal acts.The members working in these groups are certainly like-minded people who have come together to achieve a definite purpose. The question whether they are friends does not arise here. They are task-oriented groups to achieve either a good or an evil end.
Are the members of religious communities true friends? Religious first befriend first with their congregation and make sincere effort to make friendship with Jesus, their best friend. If Jesus is the true friend of religious he should be outshining with all the good human qualities of Jesus such as being gentle, peace -loving, jovial in nature, friendly, forgiving, co-operating and above all willing to share the fruits of one's labour with his neighbour and the needy. When Chavara wrote to his parishioner he had in mind God-fearing men who would not lead one into evil ways of life. It is true that is difficult to find true friends in any walk of life, even in religious communities. True friendship is a gift of God and in the present human situation it is found very seldom.
In religious communities themselves it is possible to find groups- some pressure groups,or shadow groups- to get the will of this minority done. We definitely cannot find true friends in these groups which have come together to achieve a particular hoal the group had in mind. What St. Chavara wished to remind his fellow religious is to examine whther his human associations within the community or outside of the community are based on worthwhile goals and that whether he has a true friendship with Jesus.
Away from Alcohol-
The directive priciples in the Indian constitution has proposed prohibition of the consumption of alcohol to be implemented, if possible, by the State Assemblies to make India trully a welfare country.The restatement of Chavara 's view on drinking alcohol is a timely reminder to the members of the congregation to think of this social menace and to find ways and means to strengthen this ideal at atime when the promoters of prohibition themselves are found compromising on the principle and the ideal they confess to hold and propagate.
Avoid Undue Wealth
Much interpretation seems to be needed to find a common platform where the vow of poverty is practiced in the traditional understanding of it and where huge funds are available in association with the different apostolic works the religious are doing.There is an instance found recorded in the chronicles where St. Chavara redistributed the excess money after the construction of an infrastructurefor which the money was collected from the public. One way of finding a solution to this vexing problem of affluence of money and the spirit of poverty would be perhaps to bring Chavara to the contemporary context and see how he would have acted on the issues we face today. There is a general feeling that we are dealing with a burning problem and a reasonable solution has to be found before it burns down all that we have built up //-
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