Sunday, March 31, 2013


** by Br Allam Manoj 

Devoid of nature we cannot live, move and have our being here on earth. Nature, with its infinite variety, is God’s gift to humanity. Nature with her cycle of birth and death, her season, her flowers and fruits sustain us. At the same time the whole nature is a silent, incomplete book of God, but what has happened to this planet earth of ours? Forests are shrinking, water tables are falling, temperatures are rising, coral rears are drying, glaciers are melting, animals and plants are becoming extinct, the biosphere is being poisoned, the ozone layer is being depleted year by year, global warming is on the increase, the cycle of season appears to have gone awry, but we are not taking care of the nature properly. Rather we should keep the environment and nature spick and span. Due to our bad deeds in this present scenario there will be deforestation and inevitable increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In fact, we should remember that we are custodians of nature, not her ruthless exploiters.
Here Francis of Assisi offers fresh hopes and renewed thinking about the nature. He has an excellent and breathtaking fascination for nature. In other words, he deepens his ineffable love for God and nature. In fact, Francis’s remarkable admiration and tremendous love for nature offered him golden opportunities to revive his drooping spirit and to renew his spiritual strength. Of all the sufferings that Francis had endured, the stigmata was perhaps the most excruciating. In those moments of intolerable pain, the poor little man of Assisi said, “For his praise, I wish to compose a new hymn about the nature which we daily use, without which we cannot live, and with which the human race greatly offends its creator.” In other words, we should love the nature and we should not spoil the beautiful nature, because it is an open book, whose author is God.

In fact, God wants not only the humanity, but also the entire creation to be saved. If we save only humanity, it will not be good rather we should endeavour to save the nature. Every human being is a corner stone and gem to save the nature from all the danger. Every human being is the most powerful creature on earth. He is the only creature who can consciously alter and keep the nature perfectly. Besides, he can even destroy all the living things and organisms on the earth. He is also the only living being endowed with tremendous and magnificent wisdom so that he can decide whether to save the earth or destroy it. So, man seems to assume a crucial position in nature. He is forced to take full responsibility for the welfare not only of his race, but also others. He has the ethical responsibility to ensure the well being and safety of the nature. Only human beings have the wisdom to take precise decisions even in crucial and perilous moments. Every human being also knows that the decision if it goes wrong not only destroys the nature but also him. In fact, nature conservation is not to satisfy ourselves, but to ensure our every existence. If we see among the saints of the church, perhaps nobody loved and respected the nature as did the poor little man of Assisi.

Besides, it is good to remember that Francis eco-spirituality has intimate links to his love for the crucified redeemer. In this connection, we should remember that Francis’s eco-spirituality cannot be isolated, but it has to be understood as an integral strand of Francis’s spirituality. More so, the Biblical doctrine of redemption is seen by Francis as an act of Christ who joined our beautiful universe.

Francis called all creatures as his brothers and sisters. Indeed, Francis adopted a religious approach to nature’s beauty. Francis contribution to eco-spirituality will unleash a fresh avidness and a renewed partnership with creatures. Varied phenomena of ecological crisis seem to have no end and no remedial measures unless and until everyone considers as a wise, faithful and responsible of our beautiful universe.

The central focus of ecological spirituality, as pointed out in our analysis of the life and work of Francis of Assisi, consists in effecting a change of paradigm to appreciate our natural environment, to rejoice with creatures, to contemplate our beautiful universe, to respect every form of life and to transcend the visible creation to the invisible creator who is saving, caring, sharing, liberating and loving God. A human being means being natural, being intimately related to and interested in what goes an around us in our nature. We, modern citizens, living in this techno savvy era, should learn to sanctify every earthly event and object of our daily lives. If God is beauty, we need to see God in a lovely sunset, in the flora and fauna. True holiness is sanctifying involvement in the beautiful world God has given us, since the world is a mirror that reflects God’s infinite beauty. Besides, we should remember that “Nature never betrays the heart that loves her.” If we love the nature, it does not betray any one, but if we do not love the nature, definitely we are going to face the music in our lives. In order to avoid that mishap we should love and save the nature from all deleterious, perilous and hazardous moments. So, let us start now to save and take care of the nature as Saint Francis of Assisi did.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Sacredness of Work

* by Br Allam Manoj (Guntur Diocese)

Human being is crowned with various capacities which enable him to rule over the world. Our bodies are so designed that no machine can outrun our biological metabolisms and no super computer can out do the human brain. When we believe that everything designed is meant for some purpose. Then, what could be the purpose of the ultimate design called humans. If we limit our activities merely to eating, drinking and resting, there would remain no difference between animals and us. Therefore, a human being is called so only when he fulfills the purpose of his existence. The purpose is not fulfilled when a person gets rusted doing nothing. Hence forth, work becomes the purpose giver in a person’s life. Human existence entails work. Owing to the myriad ways of living the proforma of work also differs. When a person works he brings his capacities to reality. He starts thinking creatively and his muscles get exercise. When he accomplishes his task, it gives him satisfaction.

Work is essential, for it brings more energy and richness to our lives. We should strive hard to excel in life. Our body functions when we work hard. When we work, we should not feel as if it is a burden, rather we should feel happy. There are different types of work, like manual labour, office work, aesthetic work, research work, fine arts. Every type of work is sacred because, it helps us to attain perfection in our lives. We should value work, for it brings beauty to the creation wherever we live.

In fact, we should respect the individuals those who work strenuously, even if they are doing “Menial” works. We should not detest them rather; we should appreciate their painstaking effort. Suppose if we detest them, then they would get idle and as we know idle mind is devil’s work shop. Rather, we should always respect and encourage them optimistically. Besides, work helps us become respectable and well-disciplined persons. When we work in a disciplined way, we are able to control our anger, temptations, desires and temperance.

My dear friends, work is essential in our lives. No one can escape from work. Though work leads us to suffer, pain yet we should remember that there is a pleasure and happiness in every work. Every work brings us excellent fruitfulness if we do whole-heartedly.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Exams mood

Brothers are making a lot of effort and studying for the philosophy exams beginning from March 7, 2013.  Only the final year students will be giving their exams now.  The rest will continue with their classes and later commence their philosophy exams. 

Later in the week the house council will gather mainly to evaluate the third year students and to discuss the important issues for the benefit of the community. The third course brothers finish their B.A. exams before Easter and the first and second year brothers finish their philosophy exams around the same time. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

B'day celelbrations

It was a very auspicious day as we celebrated the birthdays of Fr Maliekal, Br Castilino and Fr Balaswamy. The day began with a Eucharist celebrated by Fr Maliekal. Fr T.V Jose gave an inspiring sermon enumerating the qualities of three heroes of the day. In the evening we had a cultural get-together organized in honour of them for which guests from the neighbouring communities were invited. Br Castilino, the man of the day gave the message, “God is with us always and let us ask the grace from the Lord that we may be always with Him” After that there was a solemn supper for everybody. The Salesian staff had a gathering to express love and concern towards the confreres.