Wednesday, 29 April 2015
Wednesday, 22 April 2015
Tuesday, 21 April 2015
THE BIBLE FOR ENVIRONMENTALISTS
By Melvyn Brown
There are signs the green environment has started to blur on the world scene. Snow-caps are melting, seas and oceans are rising, the Ozone hole is getting larger. Decades of proliferation to save the planet decades of loose sanctions and intrepid database have definitely resulted in global crises. What is the cure? Not moderation or over-stressing, but faith and belief.
“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” Genesis 1:31. “And God said,” Let the earth put forth vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, upon earth.” Genesis 1:11.
Reading this we are truly blessed. God gave us the Garden of Eden, we read of Noah’s ark and the Olive branch. How about the Oak tree under which Abraham met with angels, or, about the tree standing by the Waterside (Psalms). The environmentalist today needs to take notes from the Bible of the mechanisms bound to the green evolution: From nature’s selection, growth, mutation and change.
Jesus is spoken of as the true vine. The Kingdom of Heaven as a mustard seed which grows into a tree “where birds can nest”. Christ dies on a cross of wood. Mary Magdalene mistakes the Lord for a gardener.
Never underestimate the hidden green wealth of wisdom in the Bible. There are many passages on the green earth ingrained to battle the stress and paranoia of those who feel the end is near. The environment will overcome pollution in the air and water if we believe that ‘God helps those who help themselves’. Our honest willingness to meet the conflict of global warming with trust in Him and a sincere desire to make a difference, will win the day. Let research and planning besiege the shores of spiritual strength to choose the right projects and implement practical systems to being change. Tougher environmental laws and regulations are the need of the hour. Mindsets must be blown away.
Let us keep the grass green, as it was for over a billion years. In the Gospel of Mark, 6:39: “Then he commanded them all to sit down by companies upon the green grass. Have the faith and trust of King David. Marvel at his gratefulness to appreciate what he saw: “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters…” Psalm of David 23:2.
Jeremiah, who the Lord appointed as prophet to the nations, said, “He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jer. 17:8. The awaking call is that environmentalists can find wealth of green information and wisdom in the Bible. Reading the Good News before a board meeting, a rally, an event, the proposal of a scheme, will be to repackage the effort with God on one’s side.
Thursday, 16 April 2015
Sunday, 12 April 2015
DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY AT ST. MARY’S RIPON STREET by Melvyn Brown
The greatest moment in modern Catholicism is the first Sunday after Easter when we celebrate, as Jesus wanted, the Feast of Divine Mercy. A new path has been shown to us for an abundant Christian life. This morning at St. Mary's Church, Ripon Street, I noticed the beautiful side altar decoration with the image of Divine Mercy. The icon of Jesus was prominently featured in the church, compelling every devotee and the faithful feel the Lord’s Presence.
We are called to be holy and holiness is what we strive to achieve. Today, many in the congregation seemed to understand the singleness of God’s purpose for all mankind: to spread His Message of Divine Mercy as told to St. Faustina, to say the Chaplet of Mercy, the 3 O’Clock prayer and to make the Novena, especially for sinners.
I was inspired to compose a Prayer for Divine Mercy.
“God of Mercy and compassion I turn to you in trust and with confidence, that only you can understand the pain I endure, the fear I live with, the agony of my weak spirit. Forgive me my sins, Lord Jesus, heal the wounds I bear. ( state your intention).
Make me a true and faithful believer in Your trust, for Your Divine Mercy. One God in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen. (say 3 Our Father. 3 Hail Mary. 3 Glory be.)
Chapel of Divine Mercy
3, Elliot Road, Calcutta - 700016
Video: Movie about St. Faustina
APOSTLE OF DIVINE MERCY
Dolores and Bob Raised Hope by Melvyn Brown
Today, let us spare sometime looking into the life of an American couple, Dolores and Bob Hope. Bob was a unique comedian who laid the ground rules, punch lines and the know how when to roll out the laughter. There were many comedians before Bob Hope but, not any as having the modern edge to creative and spontaneous jokes. Our generation loved him, even when he teamed up with Crooner Bing Crosby in many Hollywood musicals.
Bob's adorable wife, Dolores, was born in Harlem and worked as a professional singer in New York City. She married Bob Hope in 1934. Dolores was a Catholic woman with a heart of gold. Besides her signing contracts, she adopted four children.
Husband and wife were often seen together in television shows, on tours, entertaining American troops. When Dolores sang "Silent Night" to GI's many were moved to tears. She loved God. She helped others to enrich their lives, and was the champion of Catholic charities. The Los Angeles Archdiocese benefited from her generous donations.
Pope John Paul II blest Bob and Dolores with the honour, Knight and Dame of St. Gregory the Great. Dolores revived her singing career in 1993, and recorded 5 albums. Dolores Hope died in 2011 at the age of 102.
Some Interesting Links:
Wednesday, 8 April 2015
Sunday, 5 April 2015
EASTER: THE TRIUMPHANT CELEBRATION
The Resurrection of Jesus is an accepted truth. No one has been able to ride it out as it has a hallowed place in the light of all faiths as it is The Light. We celebrate Easter as the one and only richly endowed jewel in the vibrant soul of all Christian believers.
The gifts of redemption and salvation from sin is a direct response to the greatest self-sacrifice of Jesus Christ offered for all humans, for all time to come. Easter is central to the Word of God. To suffer and die in Christ, we share in his God-centered life.
Jesus accepted the will of his Father and was rewarded glorification. The five grains of incense at the Easter Vigil liturgy is remarkable. The candle represents the body of Christ. It is lit with the paschal fire and is a symbol of the risen, glorified body.
Believers at Easter partake in a mystical identification with Christ. The Gospels speak of two baptisms of Christ: the first at the river Jordan when John placed his hands. The second was the passion, “ I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed.” Lk.12:50. In the Gospel of Mark, “the baptism with which I must be baptized” Mk. 10:38. At Easter we celebrate the triumph of the body of Christ. Happy Easter.
Happy Easter Wishes from Melvyn Brown
Saturday, 4 April 2015
A VERY CALCUTTA CATHOLIC MILESTONE
by MELVYN BROWN
We Catholics in Calcutta are truly blessed. Churches are within walking distance around the ‘City of Palaces’ (Pre-British), till Hollywood came along with their film ‘City of Joy’ (Post-British). Job Charnock must have a smile on his face.
Whatever, mystically Calcutta has nourished the Annual Seven-Churches Walk and visit (within) Maunday Thursday evening till Good Friday noon. Catholics have an unwritten vote to make the walk and visit penance an absolute must. Young, elderly or those in their dotage, walk (some barefeet) visiting churches (a few with walking sticks, I imagine not so much to lean on as to keep stray dogs away), all this helps in ‘street evangelization’, promoting admiration for the Faith.
This year, 2015 at the Chapel of Divine Mercy the footfall count of the faithful had gone up to nearly 400 odd visitors. The ‘City of Christ’ (for all the Christians and Anglo-Indians of Kolkata), I mean Calcutta, has an enduring spiritual life of its own splattered in every corner for all religions.
Catholic Archdiocese of Kolkata
The 45 Kolkata Churches
Thursday, 2 April 2015
INVIGORATE YOUR FAITH THIS GOOD FRIDAY
In our preparation for Good Friday we take into account the Liturgical celebration of the Lord's Passion, which is divided into three parts: The Liturgy of the Word, the Veneration of the Cross and the Holy Communion.
The reading from the book of Isaiah 52:13-53: 12 is the First Reading. When you read the Word of God through the prophet, it becomes a profoundly meditative presentation of Christ, the Messiah, and the Divine plan is revealed for all generations to come.
This Good Friday we recollect on Psalm 31. "Let your face shine on your servant". The Psalm enriches our Faith with the promise of the gift from God. We move on to the Second Reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Hebrews 4:14-16: 5:7-9. I want you to read this letter, for I believe the Spirit will guide you and encourage you to know your faith better. "Christ became obedient unto death, even death on a cross". I have repeated this from my previous talk for Passion Week. Try to look down from the Cross and become as deeply involved as Christ in this salvific labour. Pause in your prayers.
Our next way is to read the Gospel. The Passion of our Lord Jesus according to St. John 18:1-19:42. The second part is the Adoration of the Holy Cross. Part Three is Holy Communion. The incarnation "to live among us" is completed in the Eucharist. John. 1:14. When you receive Christ in Holy Communion it becomes a prelude to eternal life.