The Problem of Self Esteem .. !!

His problem, as he described it, was that the girl he wanted to marry was rich and her family thought very little of him. After we discussed the matter, I told him, “Sir, the real problem is that you think too little of yourself. You are not less in value – and not more for that matter – than anybody else. If they understand this concept, they shall welcome you for what you stand for.. if they reject you, it should be for that same reason and nothing else.. in which case you may be all the better for it.

Low self esteem – which is completely different from humility – is a very debilitating disease ..

On the other hand, Pride is a malignancy impossible to detect or cure except by Grace… !!

Do you know why?

In the case of pride, Grace – and only Grace – can identify those hearts and souls which may be ready to accept the enormously powerful shock therapy required for such cure. That is why we see Grace touching the hearts of such a notorious gangster like Moses of Egypt, or self righteous  Saul of Tarsus  while the likes of Caiaphas were left staring Grace at the face and yet unable to realize the enormity of the opportunity given to him, and thereby condemning himself to eternal damnation.

It is an undisputed fact that all humanity had fallen, and all humans are under the yoke of sin. Some people try hard to approach God and repent realizing that there is nothing they can do to atone for their sins, and therefore the only way to reconcile with the divine is through the grace of God which can only be available through the sacrifice of the cross. Some others do not – or cannot – accept that simple fact, consequently, they either waste their lives trying some other futile means, or give up completely.

Most of the time, the gravity of our sins itself contribute to our failure to seek the power of Grace. Despair kills any chance of salvation and the enemy erases from our memories the words of God promising that even if our sins are as dark as crimson, He would wipe it clean and turn our life to become as pure as snow. “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18

From the time of Golgotha to the time of the Resurrection, we see these realities exhibited so clearly through two glaring examples:

The first is the man called Caiaphas, who thought himself to be pure and mighty, when in fact he was so proud as the devil itself, While we see Mary of Magdala, who was a sinner and demon possessed low esteemed woman, turn into a saint and a preacher with unmatched honor in all history.

Caiaphas was a High priest, a man of high esteem and knowledge .. in his own mind, he seemed to think that he was serving God and serving the people. He was feared and opposing him was a very dangerous task, which might lead to serious consequences .. Before he met with Jesus, he had to deal with kings, rulers and soldiers … and above all he had the exalted power to corral the unwieldy members of the Sanhedrin. Even Pilate was wary of him and had to manage to appease him in order to keep the peace, to the extent that he would release Barabbas, a killer and a bandit, against his own judgment to avoid a confrontation. Now, people with such weighty power tend to be unscrupulous, and mindless about whatever others think of them or whatever the consequences of their behavior might be. Caiaphas was the ultimate example of pride unchecked.. looking and pretending to be righteous and upstanding, while in fact the malignancy of pride was corrupting him to the core. Even though he probably memorized David’s psalms and learned everything about Abraham and Moses … sadly, he could not comprehend the real source of greatness of these stalwart and righteous men.

At that same time, while women were generally looked upon as weaklings second class, and were not accepted as arbiters, or even equal to men, a particular disgraceful status of disdain and disgust was kept for any sinful demon possessed adulteress. Mary of Magdala was just such woman before she met with Jesus. Her transformation is an example for the ages. This is the ultimate transformation of human kind, because this woman exemplifies the status of degenerate and fallen humanity before the cross at Golgotha.. and the conversion that happened Sunday Morning of the Resurrection.. into a new Holy and pure “Sainthood”

Once God cast all the demons “sins” out of her, she became free. The kind of freedom which liberates you from fear, or desire or greed. While most of the disciples ran away and denied … she stood next to the Holy Mother at the cross .. she even had the initiative to wake up early Sunday morning to go the sepulcher only worried about “who would move the stone for us.” She did not know that Christ has risen.. she expected to find the Holy body laid down where it was left in the tomb. Keep in mind that what she did that morning was purely driven by love .. fearless and devoted to the master who freed her.. she did not expect to be rewarded or immortalized by a gift beyond any human comprehension. Anybody else – human, that is – would wallow in sorrow and despair, and stay home sleeping until Sunday afternoon.. which almost all other people actually did. Up to the moment she actually saw Jesus, she was crying, unable to perceive the unimaginable glory she was witnessing .. for all humanity.


Now notice how she was later ridiculed, though she was right, while Caiaphas was praised, though he was wrong. This is how the world deals with us every day.  Most people do not think that even after Caiaphas had condemned Jesus to death, and after the Resurrection of Jesus, Caiaphas had the opportunity to reverse course and save himself.. he could have acknowledged the glorious resurrection and believe .. but, his pride – not stupidity, because reaching his position in society could not be achieved by stupidity – blinded him and thereby condemned himself for all eternity.

The question is, why didn’t grace touch this man’s heart in order to believe? The answer is simple, this haughty heart was not prepared to accept the price of that grace… marching to Golgotha, carrying the cross – with all its tribulations, shame and temptations – and kill the megalomania of selfishness and self adoration. The prophetic words of the song of Saint Mary comes to mind, “

” … He (GOD) hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away…” (Luke1 :51-53)

A natural question presents itself to us in order to avoid these confusing misconceptions. Does that mean a person should have no self esteem at all ? if pride is so wicked, and low self esteem is frequently confused with humility, is there a point of balance or a third choice?

The answer is no. Pride is a malignant disease, nevertheless, it should not be confused with proper self esteem, same like humility should not be taken for dishonor, which drives some people to feel like they have to be mindful of their reputation and dignity everywhere they go and with everybody they meet.. such people carry themselves around with an air of self awareness that is usually unpleasant and in some cases even repulsive. These people are not really proud, but merely scared of being belittled and dismissed as inconsequential by others. The actual virus of pride stems from the self .. that is why when a person understands the real value of himself / herself.. the attitude and behavior is completely changed. My value as a person does not come from my bank account, my degree of education or my heritage .. but in fact it comes from being a prince .. a son of a King. Because if Christ is the King of Kings, It follows that I am his son, a prince. This connection puts everything in the proper place. I can afford to be humble, even if people humiliate me, I am not offended because I already know my own worth. And if people respect me, it never goes to my head to feel superior to anybody, because this was never the source of my esteem. This is why observing a “religious person”,  wearing his pride around like another layer of skin, is really sad … because his/ her strict religious practice, or any other material advantage cannot camouflage the underlying malignant disease… case and point Caiaphas. On the other hand notice how Saul, after falling off his horse “of pride” had exemplified the transformation explained here as he maintained that proper self-esteem to defend himself when he was accused of “not being an apostle” but he remained the humble man even though he had witnessed “things beyond the imagination of human mind.. what no man had ever seen or heard”

So, you see the danger of pride is real and very bad, yet those who realize the true source of dignity and honor, shall be willing to go looking for it on the way to Golgotha and certainly end up witnessing the empty tomb with all its glory..

It is never too late .. even a proud and haughty heart, may find a way back to sanity and grace, if only he/or she would put away their self adoration and vanity

Are you ready to pay the price … and fall off the horse of pride (like Saul did) in order to receive unexpected and unimaginable bounty of grace…


Don’t be naïve ..

Non-denominational … is in itself “A Denomination”

The question you need to answer is, do you have faith? Do you know the principles of your own faith? If you have doubts about your own faith, how do you go about resolving these doubts and dealing with them?

Each Christian denomination, especially the major ones, had a specific origin and reasons for its  inception. Yes, being born into a certain denomination may not be reason enough to continue holding onto the principles of faith of that denomination. Based on new acquired knowledge and research you may want to tweak your own principles, which automatically moves you into a different denomination that fits your new-found faith.. but, by no means it would imply that suddenly you denounced your faith altogether … it simply moves you from one column to another.. if your new found faith does not agree with any known denomination, you think you can call yourself non-denominational !! and that my friend is complete hogwash .. you have just created for yourself a new denomination .. call it whatever you like, and if two or three or even three hundred agree with you, then your denomination – whatever you like to call it – is your new denomination.

This is true … Unless you lose your faith in Christ and your acceptance of the Bible altogether, in which case you are joining – or even creating – a new religion.. like what happened in the seventh century A.D. when a priest, previously adherent to a heretic form of Christianity (Arianism and in other sources Nestorian) called Waraka ibn Nawfal created the new religion we now know as islam. **

This leads us to the more sensitive issue who goes to heaven, and who goes to hell ?!

Some Christians – from several denominations – like to think that they alone have an exclusive right to go to heaven … everybody else shall surely go to hell !!

So, let me ask you a simple question… who gave you – or me – the audacity to usurp the authority of God to make this eternal decision ?

Is it not better for you – and me – to focus our efforts to keep the principles of our own faith and preserve our own heritage to the best of our ability as long as we believe that this is our way to heaven? If you think that others, who do not belong with you in the same denomination, are lost and need to change their ways.. the only thing you can do, is ask God to help them (as well as you) to find the way of the truth .. you can in a spirit of caring and love – not antagonism and condescending – try to present your case and generate a dialogue where both of you can reach the appropriate end, based on facts and any newly acquired knowledge which conforms to the teachings of the Bible and lessons of history.

Christians – of all denominations – have too many enemies already, spiritual and other otherwise, so we need not create more enemies for ourselves among ourselves .. after all, this is the oldest trick of our enemy to lead us all out of favor with our God.

** check Wikipedia and other historic sources

An army of one

Do you realize that you are an army of one..?

If you have a strong conviction of a certain principle, you can go out there and convince another person of your ideas… and when you have convinced that person, he too can go out and convince a third person and so on and so forth.. eventually you may end up spreading your idea to the whole world…

Unfortunately, this same concept also applies to evil ideas.. another person with a wicked plan can go out and do the same.. thereby, spreading his wickedness far and wide..

What is more disturbing, is that wicked ideas are much more easily disseminated and spread than good principles. That is why those of us with good ideas and beliefs have to work twice as hard to convince others of our principles.. and more often than not we are going to meet with discouragement and failure.. But that should not lead to despair.. we cannot afford to lose faith and stop trying. Sooner or later, we are going to catch a break and find the right person who will respond positively and listen. And when we have delivered the good message, convincingly, we shall be on our way to eventual success.

We have to remember as well that even though each of us is an army of one, we also have a secret advocate who is constantly directing and supporting us in a manner the other side does not enjoy.. we have The Holy Spirit on our side. With perseverance and patience, you can reach goals previously thought to be unreachable .. in the mean time, it all depends on the original basic factor .. that you firmly believe in the idea you are promoting.. because any wavering, doubt, or hesitation on your part, will uproot the whole project from the start..

So, let me ask you… Do you have a good idea? something to benefit other people or improve their lives ?

What are you waiting for ???



                           An actual letter written to a suffering friend in Arabic around 1970….


Love is more expansive than many miles… It is farther and deeper than the Horizon. Love, is the truth that supersedes all fabulous legends. Because Love is not three-dimensional… it has no dimensions at all. It is beyond any measurable reality. It is above the boundaries of time. It calls forever home. As the days run by, with all its joy and misery into what we call the past, love endures in all its glory, splendor and power … for it never grows old.

Some people like to fall back on some of the pages buried in the wastebasket of time… they call it memories. They try to extract out of it a few smiles, or even a few tears. We can only look at those folks and wonder, why should they regurgitate stale and musty moments as if there is no present or future. Indeed, if the past was sweet, then the future can be made sweeter. And if the past was bitter, then we must be able to make the future different. It all depends on our ability to condition that future in the direction of our hopes and ambitions. One thing is certain, that is, we may lose the whole future all together, if we sit down lamenting the past, running our fingers into the wastebasket of time searching for something to grieve over. People who do that, it is fair to assume, are those who lost all self confidence and have no faith in the omnipotent power ready to support whoever asks for help. They seem to have convinced themselves that the future is already lost before it comes to be in the present. They only expect every new day to come with additional forms of pain. Those wretches lose their gifts and talents even before they receive them, because they make themselves unworthy of it. In their folly, they don’t understand the power of love surrounding them and filling the world around them so as to deny them any chance to ignore it or refute its existence.

We may need a lot of time to ponder how a little seedling grows in the middle of a far away jungle. There, among the giant trees, heavy thickets and wild animals… sometimes an abundance of rainfall will drown everything, and seasons of drought will suffocate life out of the strongest. The sun may bake the jungle with hellish heat, and the cold nights turn it into a merciless frigid world. Yet, the brave little seedling fights its way through it all, until one day, it will find its rightful place among the giant trees and extend its branches majestically in all directions. It laughs at the wind, embraces the rain and shelters many other creatures from the searing heat of the sun. Some humans are like a little seedling. Nevertheless, not all seedlings grow in the same way. Many are quick to hide into the ground at the slightest approach of trouble. Such weaklings and cowards will bury themselves, never to surface again. Only the few brave sprouts will rise and grow in the midst of tears and pain.

Mind you, this may be a boring repetition of age-old concepts, or mere analysis of what happens every day. It may be meaningless to some, or significant to others. Nevertheless, it is true. The truth sometimes does not seem to be attractive. Yet it is overpowering at all times. Therefore, it needs to be approached with confidence and steadfastness. That is the only way we can peal off its harsh appearance and uncover its real beauty and sweetness with hope and optimism. Without hope, we lose the only reason to live and the drive to survive. Hope in turn can only be built on a solid foundation of faith in the omnipotent power that braces us providentially and lovingly. We have to believe not only that that power has no use for the word impossible, but also that we are endowed with love beyond the limitations of any human expression.

If we believe that God is love, then we must believe that the power of love will certainly come in due time and in its own incomprehensible manner because it wants and because it can. It comes to create for us a new day so divinely crafted that it feels like an enchanting reverie as our hearts become immersed fully into a non-ending melody of gratitude and happiness beyond the conceited largesse of human imagination. You may understand that, if you take a look at the different types of people around. There are those who fully enjoy every moment of life given to them, and there are those who pretend that they do with varying degrees of success. Yet, there are some who have already got tired of pretending and began to curse the day they were “forcibly” pulled into life.

            Sometimes, Love gives us some clues to understand the mysteries of life around us, to strengthen our faith, bandage our wounds or ignite our hopes. In other words, it teaches us that patience – which is not a human trait – is the slow cooker of the best delicacies of life. You see, the most beautiful rose is at the top of a thorny stem. In order to reach its invigorating velvety petals, you have to climb up some prickly nasty path. Mind you, some fools try to snatch the rose away from its stem, thereby; will never enjoy it for long. The rose of their lives will wither soon in their hands…and no plethora of tears can bring it back to life. Tears, as we know, will only help the rose grow to its splendid glory when it is on its stem and in its own ground. That is what makes life – like a rose – so beautiful and sweet. It is an unbreakable unique blend of sugar and salt, chocolate cake and horse radish …ice cream and jalapeño peppers. Try to spend a few days eating nothing but honey. Pretty soon, you are going to crave a pickle. Believe me, it is the pickle, which makes you appreciate the sweetness of honey.

            My friend, we all hate the annoying laws of gravity. We long to fly and be weightless, so that we can soar up high and be above everything and everyone…! Yet, if you ask the astronauts who spent time in space, fascinated by the sights and captivated by the overwhelming experience. You shall be surprised to learn how each one of them eventually yearned for the moment he would be back home with loved ones and friends where he really belongs. As if the laws of gravity, we hate so much, are actually meant to steady our footing and give us the balance essential to maintain our sanity, our sense of security and above all…the wonderful reality that we are all closely tied together by the great power of…love.



What does this word mean?

Those who love and those who hate…hope

Those who succeed and those who fail…hope

Every human being who has any shred of desire to survive… will only survive by hope.

This is indeed, a distinctively human trait. Other creatures cannot conceptualize such notion.

When you are happy, you hope that your happiness will last, and when you are miserable, you hope that better days would follow. If you have everything you need and want at your fingertips, you hope that that would never change, and if you are greedy, you may even hope for more, yet if you have nothing, or even lost everything, you hope that your loss would be temporary and eventually you shall receive and enjoy everything you…hoped.

It seems that hope is like a magnificent daydream. You control the directions of events, the environment and the cast in order to reach the precise conclusion you desire. However, hope is more than that… it is the substance that gives human life coherence.

What is a student with no hope of success…

What is a scientist with no hope of new discovery…

What is a farmer with no hope of a bountiful crop…

What is a human being who has no hope of a better tomorrow…

In fact, the absence of hope is the profound meaning of hell. That is why, no matter how bleak the world around may be, there is always hope that it will change…how and when, is immaterial…because it may change after what feels like eternity, or it may change in a blink of an eye. Moreover, it always changes in ways you never anticipate or imagine.

Nonetheless, hope is problematic…

Human beings are not identical in their characters, their skills or their hopes. More often than not, the hopes of one will conflict bitterly with the hopes of another, like the generals on opposing sides of the field at war… or even like the mother whose utmost hope is to see her son graduate to be a physician, while that same son’s utmost hope is to be a musician or a ball player. This is reason enough to temper our hopes with a good measure of intellect. Many people, who failed to do that, ended up living their daydreams in confined places.

Now, did you ever stop for a moment to think…what is it exactly do I hope to accomplish?

Do you have a clear vision of a certain destination for your life’s journey?

Unfortunately, most people have hopes…many hopes…but they cannot clearly decide which one of these aspirations should take the top spot in their priorities. This inevitably leads to squandering much of their energy chasing mirages, which appear at the time to be reachable goals, only to fizzle gradually leading to heartbreak and disappointment. Others are tormented by many different expectations, which end up pulling them in so many different directions, and at the end, they leave it all half way unaccomplished and unfulfilled.

You see, hope is not the same as fantasy. Hope is weighted by confidence… in other words; hope is the integral core of faith, while fantasy is just an escape channel, which allows the imagination to soar into a world separated from a painful or hateful reality. When people confuse these two diverse energies, the result is catastrophic. A small dose of fantasy now and then, is useful for obvious reasons. Fantasy can be an excellent tool of creativity for the composers and painters and all kinds of arts. Yet, unlike fantasy, hope is a foundational way of life.

The most wonderful thing about hope is that it is infectious… and teachable!

When someone is wallowing in the bottom of despair, you can reach out to that person, pull him out of that hellish pit and as you do, an electrifying surge of hope has the potential to bring that person back to life. It is almost like raising someone from the dead… That is probably what the Lord Jesus Christ meant when He said, “anyone who believes in me will do the things I do…”

On the other hand, every parent, every teacher and every servant should be able to teach their children the basic means of survival in what circumstances and challenges they may come across. Of course, the main element in this plan is a life of steadfast hope. We just have to be mindful that the only way to teach others about hope is to actually practice what we preach and lead by example. Like everything else, do what I say and not what I do, is a principle that is almost always sure to backfire.

Hope exists in a world of uncertainty. If you were sure of things to come or events to take place, there would be no room for hope. Only when you cannot see the outcome… and wait anxiously for the events to unfold… that is when you will hope… for a much-awaited result. Disappointments will strike time and again, but that should only elevate the threshold and strengthen your resolve… to keep up your hopes for a better day…, which eventually comes with a bigger and better measure of triumph. If you surrender your hopes to the unavoidable disappointments along the way, you shall be certain to lose, and your struggle will be in vain. Remember, defeat begins at the point of despair.

It goes without saying, that it is certainly a good practice to commune with those who will enrich your life with a constant healthy dose of hope, just as much as it is imperative to avoid the company of those who would drain your energy, sap your hopes, and drag you down to their own swamp of despondency. You may only approach that latter kind of people, if you have enough reserves of love, faith … and hope for both of you.

When is it wrong to help a needy person?*

bless the poor psalm 41

I asked my friend this question when we drove by a beggar carrying a sign asking for money. My friend answered, “define help and define needy.” So I chuckled and asked, “well, now it is conditional?” he hastened to respond, “of course it is. correct me if I am wrong, there are many ways to help another person” I reflected for a moment and slowly said, ” Yeah, you cannot help a sick person by offering him a banquet when he cannot even eat. Help is understandable to be the kind of thing meaningful to improve the person’s quality of life.” So my friend gleefully retorted, “See. Some people think they can say a nice prayer like ‘please God help so and so..’ and sit home sipping their coffee and eating their cream puffs … and that is enough help … they have already done their part.” Here I found my chance to counter, “you and I must agree that prayer is an essential part of the help package. Any material or physical help without the stamp of the Divine, is practically useless and may even backfire.” So after a long silence he said, “yes indeed, but prayer alone is not usually the intended help … it becomes the only option when there is no other humanly possible effort to be made.”

Our discussion lingered on my mind long after we parted that evening. I remembered other arguments which troubled me about this topic before. Someone said, it would be wrong to get involved with anyone, needy or not,  if that person will drag you into committing a sin! Others argued it would be wrong to help a seemingly needy person who is not truly needy but pretends to be so, in order to extract the help intended for a real needy person… especially that there are many such imposters around. Yet another summed it up like that… if the help of that needy person comes at the expense of many others who would suffer great adversity or harm in the process….

So, why should this be such a puzzle? is there a time when helping someone in need would be inadvisable or even sinful? And please tell me why any time we talk about this, the majority of people immediately think about… money ??? is it possible for any person who is famous and wealthy to be considered “needy” ? sometimes you are trying to buy a birthday gift for someone and you think to yourself, ‘this person has everything he needs’ … yet in your own mind you feel that there is something missing from this person’s life which you cannot identify and money cannot buy !! would you categorize this person as needy? Why would such a person commit suicide as we have seen among movie stars and rich public persons? How can you help such person?

Looking at the ministry of the Lord on earth and reading about the charitable services of many saints in history, we see that they suffered a lot in the process of helping those who were deemed unworthy of help! It shows in fact that there is no time when helping someone in need, would be unacceptable or wrong. However, the same discovery reveals that charity required a lot of …wisdom… indeed, a lot of wisdom. Is it wise to jump into the stormy sea to save a drowning person, when you yourself do not know how to swim? … figuratively speaking, so many people do this without so much as thinking, what would that accomplish  …. Check the case of a parent who feeds his neighbor’s child and leaves his own kid sick and hungry! Or that other person who spends all his salary to “help” a needy person to entice him into a career of crime or sin!

Unfortunately, a lot of people use examples like these to justify their refrain from any service to others, needy or not. There can never be a justification for staying passive… looking at the pain of others in a callous and indifferent way. Fact is, pulling somebody out of the clutches of despair is like raising a person from the dead… But Oh wisdom, how wonderful you are …

Look, listening to the moaning and groaning of a broken-hearted person and wiping away his tears, is a miracle of love… reminding that same person of what you did for him a year later, is no less criminal than murder. Who would have thought that charity is so simple and yet so hard !?

Will you pray for someone else other than yourself tonight?

* this would be a good topic for discussion in youth meetings.

The Container …

 the container

He grew up in the slums playing foolish games with the other kids in the filthy swamps, until he woke up one day to find himself lying in a muddy hole by the side of a dirty pool, holding a strange looking small container. He stumbled in his stupor, to fill his container of the dirty water and drank his fill. He was not sure where he was, so, he walked slowly aimlessly trying to get a fix on his direction. Gradually, he noticed there were others like him, walking around with the same strange containers in their hands. For some unspeakable reason no one tried to approach the other or to ask questions.   He was hungry and scared. The whole world seemed desolate and cold… He saw a group of people snatching food from each other and running away so he cautiously approached the scene but there was nothing left. So he wearily went on scavenging for some scraps. The sun was setting now, so he hid himself in a small cavern in the hillside, as the howling wind was getting more ferocious by the minute. He felt like crying, though he did not know why. However, there were no tears in his eyes. It was like an invisible hand was squeezing and choking him. He clutched his little container and fell into a nightmarish sleep. Days went by. He felt a yearning to the dirty pool he left before. Nevertheless, he would not even know his way back.

At the distance, a huge mountain seemed to beckon to him. ‘Come hither.’ He was drawn to the place by an overpowering force. He found himself climbing up the steep rocky slopes, which was getting rather steep. He kept sliding down from time to time until he was so frustrated that he wanted to give up. Nevertheless, the power, which was pulling him to the place, was overriding his despair. Finally, he reached the top of a great plateau. There were very high walls as far as the eyes could see. There must be something wonderful behind these walls. He started to climb. Oh, no. as he climbed up, the walls would get higher and higher. How could that be? How could anyone get in? Ah. There must be a door. He dropped to the ground. Walked and walked until suddenly to his amazement he found a huge gate …wide open!! Anyone can walk in? No guards. No barriers except for a few ugly clowns warning and harassing anybody trying to enter. He tried to get through. They ganged on him and tried to push him away. He was too weak. He fell down, yet; somehow he desperately crawled and got himself through the threshold. What is THAT?

There was a spectacular fire in the center of an endless garden and a multitude of people inside the fire. They were making strange sounds and running around. No one was trying to get out of the fire. Somehow, they looked different from him. He did not know how to describe them. Then, an overwhelming desire took hold of him to walk into this fire, to understand what these people are doing there. Gingerly, he approached and very cautiously reached out his hand to touch the fire but before he knew it, he was sucked into the flames. It was beyond fascinating. He was not burning. He felt nothing at all. But his body was changing. Something inside him was changing. The little container he was clutching was beginning to change too. Gradually the layers of dirt and mud were evaporating and the underlying color of gold started to shine ever so brilliantly. He felt something strange come over him. Something he never experienced before. He felt like jumping up and down, running around and holding hands with every one he sees. He could hear a beautiful sound filling his ears, quiet and sweet …the kind of sound you want to keep hearing perpetually. Then he noticed that the others are filling their golden containers with fire and pouring it out. He filled his container and poured it over himself. He screamed. It caused him to feel a sharp agonizing pain. His scream made some people around take notice. They stopped. One of them, a little child, came gently and told him, “You fill your container and pour it on someone else”

So he asked, “how about me?”

The answer was strange, “others will fill their containers and pour it over you.”

He tried it. It was marvelous. He kept pouring the fire on everyone around. And they showered him with the precious flames. He did not know the word for this feeling. He asked and was told it was sometimes called peace, and some other times it was called happiness. The little fellow who was pouring fire over him started giggling and said,

“You don’t know?”

“I am afraid not. So what do you call this fire?”

“This is…love!”

Calling the Loving Almighty


Here I am Lord …

my heart is crushed in pain, my soul tormented by grief…

I know you are watching and you are in complete control. I trust in you and understand that all things will work out for the good of your faithful children. But I cannot help it, because the agony is too overwhelming and the cross has frightened me out of my wits. The cross your children are carrying in Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, the Sudan, Egypt and many other places of the world, is too heavy my Lord…you promised those who carry your yoke, to find it easy and the burden light because you carry it with them. Yet I look around and see a great storm raging out of control. You blessed that land and this people. You came to our earth … from Nazareth to Egypt … You went there and the Holy mother repeatedly came to bless your people there in so many visits. I don’t claim to understand your wisdom, or why you allow these events to take place the way they do. I am but a little creature of no consequence. I don’t claim to comprehend matters far greater than my little brain can decipher. But I beg you please comfort my heart and my soul…comfort your children who are crying out to you. Look at our tears and our sufferings. Look at the blood of your innocent children and the tears of their loved ones… You see how the injustice is prevailing against your children everywhere… You promised that we should ask and we shall be given…to knock and it shall be opened for us…to seek and find everything we are looking for. However now, I don’t even know what I should be asking for. I don’t know what is right and what is wrong. I learned that many times when I ask for comfort, I am unknowingly asking for trouble and temptation. I ask for things, which I think to be good for me while in fact they would be the most harmful. Now I leave it all to you…Please…I only want what you want for me and for all those I love so much. Because I believe that you want and you will do what is actually good for all of us. Yet May I ask…how can we walk into the fire and not feel the pain? How can we go through all this storm and be not daunted or troubled? Only you have the answers… for the power to go through fire and storms can be provided by you alone. Yes you said that your power will be accomplished in my weakness…I remember that…and now I have been brought so low, I cannot go any further down.

Have we gone astray? Have we offended you? Have we rebelled like the people of old? May be so. We may have been divided and striving against one another. We have gone away, each to his own desires and interests…sometimes even at the expense of each other… yet you do not wish the sinner to perish. You want him to correct his way instead. Do not abandon your children for whom you have suffered so much at the cross. You wouldn’t put out a smoking flax or break off a trodden reed. Oh Lord, please show yourself to the world and declare your glory, to strengthen the faith of your children and save those who depend on you for we have no other to go to…it is written, cursed are those who depend on human devices and forget about you Lord… and trusting in God is better than trusting in princes.

Oh Lord, I am no David or Jeremiah who prayed and interceded for the people…there are great ones like them praying for your children even now. You promised to listen to the prayers of the righteous and fulfill all their requests. Please listen to them and come soon…don’t tarry too long…for it is your promise – and all your promises are true and faithful – that you will be with us to the end of time, and certainly after the agony of the cross, we shall witness the glory of the resurrection…

Thank you my Lord…for being our beloved Lord.