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The Mustard Seed -August September 2014 Issue

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The Mustard Seed -August September 2014 Issue

  1. 1. THE MIRACLE CALLED TMS The coffers of TMS was running dry and we were down to our last penny. The last issue we managed to bring out , but we realised there was no more money in the TMS account for the next. The printers had to be paid, the paper had to be bought, the postage had to be done . When I learnt the bank balance was nil I wondered aloud whether we need to change the format and perhaps make it only an online version. As these thoughts came to my head I happened to visit this wonderful place called Carmel Haven, a home for senior citizens run by Carmelite nuns near Pune. The place was run with so much love and affection. Built to modern specifications, spotlessly clean the sisters and staff who worked in front office, admin, housekeeping and kitchen were full of love and cheer. It was heart warming. The place was serene with beautiful vibrations. We delivered some new and old issues of TMS to the nuns. Then it struck me that over 50 percent of the TMS readers were the elderly. They must be looking forward to this little journal which is full of hope, faith and inspiring stories. An e -version would totally deny them the access to the journal as most of us are not comfortable reading on the computer. Many may not even have regular access to one. So when I returned to office I discussed with my core editorial team and we decided to continue as is. I thought to myself the Lord will provide. The beginning of the week dawned and we got a cheque of Rs. 20,000 the approximate amount we need to bring out one issue including postage. The Lord did not want any of us to fund His work. I basked in the wow of the moment. A miracle indeed. I would like to thank the generous donor who will be blessed in abundance for this kind gesture. Let's all pray to keep TMS going. Kiran Bhat Aug-Sept-Oct 2014 Vol 23- No.7 MAILBOX DearEditor, At the outset I say Hats Off to all the members of The Mustard Seed. Thanks for your great job from which many are getting benefitted. Some time back some where I read your journal and I enjoyed reading it.I request you to send one copy of TMS to me. I would like to receive by post from this month onward. With a grateful heart & God's blessings. Yours sincerely, Sr. SangitaFMM (Edit: We will send TMS to you). DearEditor, A close friend in Bangalore gave me May – June – July issue of Mustard Seed, you are doing a great service and contents are not only interesting but also educative. I am an old man of 83 years and privileged to share my birthday with Lord Jesus Christ. At this advanced age I need lot of religious and spiritual inputs for peaceful life. Mustard Seed is the right publication for these inputs. I am enclosing herewith my humble contribution.Kindly enroll me as a subscriber and regularly send me the wonderful Mustard Seed. Warm Regards, Truly, D.V.Singh (Edit: Sincerely appreciate) DearEditor, I have been truly blessed to be receiving the Mustard seed for many years now. I am glad that you are offering an online issue and I feel I would like to contribute to your effort to save paper and make the reach of TMS spread further than it has ever before. Thanking you and wishing you all the very best for your future endeavors. As your consciousness, refinement and pureness of heart expands you will become less judgmental, less corrective, less reactive, less black-and- white, less critical, less apt to blame and less tormented by others and their faults and views Bryant Gill SPIRITUALITY FOR DUMMIES. Desert Father stories Keith When the holy Abba Anthony lived in the desert he was beset by 'accidie' - lethargy - , and attacked by many sinful thoughts. He said to God, 'Lord, I want to be saved, but these thoughts will not leave me alone. What shall I do in my affliction? How can I be saved?' A short while afterwards, when he got up to go out, Anthony saw a man like himself sitting at his work, getting up from his work to pray, then sitting down and plaiting a rope, then getting up again to pray. It was an angel of the Lord sent to correct and reassure him. He heard the angel saying to him, "Do this and you will be saved." At these words, Anthony was filled with joy and courage. He did this, and he was saved. When the same Abba Anthony thought about the depth of the judgments of God, he asked, "Lord, how is it that some die when they are young, while others drag on to extreme old age? Why are there those who are poor and those who are rich? Why do wicked men prosper and why are the just in need?" He heard a voice answering him, "Anthony, keep your attention on yourself; these things are according to the judgment of God, and it is not to your advantage to know anything about them.' Someone asked Abba Anthony, "What must one do in order to please God?" The old man replied, "Pay attention to what I tell you: whoever you may be, always have God before your eyes, whatever you do, do it according to the testimony of the Holy Scriptures; in whatever place you live do not easily leave it. Keep these three precepts and you will be saved.” Reflection – We have here some basic spiritual principles laid down by Abba Anthony, who was one of the first and the greatest of the fathers, one of the few of them who is a canonized saint on the universal calendar of the Roman church. These three stories taken together clear up an awful lot about the spiritual life, it seems to me. They are like a kind of ‘spiritual life for dummies’, and aren’t we all a little dumb when it comes to these things? ‘Accidie’, usually rendered in English as acedia, is that horrible drag that comes upon all of us when spiritual life and spiritual effort just don’t seem worth bothering about, when it all just seems kind of pointless and useless. There are no lives entirely free of acedia; the greatest of saints battle with it, the worst of sinners are wholly lost in it, but everyone has it. And so the first lesson of these stories is the fundamental way of the Christian in the world, the monk in his cell, everyone. Ora et labora—pray and work, work and pray. Attend to the tasks and duties of your state of life, and then say some prayers, and then work some more, and then say some more prayers. The monastic schedule, which of course is very rigorous in its long offices and not suitable in its details for lay life, is nonetheless a sort of pattern for all Christian spiritual life. We have to alternate prayer and work, work and prayer, and this is the way to live simply and humbly in the presence of God. It has been thus from the beginning, and has not changed in our times. We tend, we moderns, to be so sure that everything is different now and that these old stories don’t apply to us. They do, they always will. And this prayer and work is what is meant by ‘keeping one’s attention on oneself’, the attitude recommended. It is not self-centeredness that is being recommended here, but basically minding one’s own spiritual business. This is a good bit of advice for us in the social media age, when it seems to be the norm to pry one’s nose into the details of everyone else’s spiritual and moral life without much regard at all for the privacy of conscience and the simple fact that we know very little indeed about the lives of other people, and particularly their innermost life with God. I do an awful lot of spiritual direction, you know (it’s more or less my principal work in MH), and even when a person has spent hours and hours pouring out to me the most intimate details of their lives and hearts, I am verrrrrry slow to give counsel, to say that such and such a choice was wrong or that they should definitely go this way or that way or not. So I’m always a bit bemused when I see people on a Facebook thread or combox issuing rather sweeping statements about total strangers, based on next to nothing. No, keep your mind on yourself and your own journey to God and be very slow to get involved in the spiritual affairs of another, and if they happen to invite you into their affairs, go in on your knees and with fear and trembling. And the final story is such a good summary of spiritual wisdom—keep God before your eyes, take the Scriptures as a guide in all things, and be very slow to leave a place you are in. This latter may strike us as odd and ‘one of these things is not like the other’-ish. But the desert fathers knew very well the phenomenon of itchy feet and restlessness, and that human beings can easily think that if they just change things around, move here, move there, leave their spouse, leave their community, change their job… it will all be better. It is a terrible spiritual trap, one that many are in these days, which causes us to waste years and even decades of life trying to make all the externals of our life just so, when what needs to happen is interior purification and transformation. Commitment to a vocation, to a marriage, a community, a way of life, stability in a single place and occupation is vital so that the real work of life, the growth into freedom and joy, can happen without distractions. And that’s quite enough for one day—but you can see how these wild monks from the deserts of the Middle East have laid down the path of holiness for all Christians, and how the study of these men and women is vital for our own walking of that path in confidence and security. THE SQUIRREL.......LESSONS As I walked, my head bowed down, With the weight of all worldly matters, I saw this squirrel merrily running around the whole garden as if it belonged to him. But it did belong to him. As he scampered, climbed tress, ran down again. Performing in his own little theatre as if he was the actor and also the audience. I saw him going about his task most joyfully without a care in the world. He was performing the most mundane task of searching for something to eat. Or perhaps playing around after he had his fill. But he, just like me is God's creature. I marvelled at the difference between him and me. He lived on trust, knowing he will be taken care of. He knew the secret of the universe and practiced it, Whereas I, despite knowing the secret of the universe still believed it was I, who was doing everything, And instead of joyfully walking without a care in the world, was dragging my feet as if it was in chains. Oh, to take some life lessons from a squirrel; for he is as much His creation as I am. KB PERSEVERANCE An eight-year-old child heard her parents talking about her little brother. All she knew was that he was very sick and they had no money left. They were moving to a smaller house because they could not afford to stay in the present house after paying the doctor's bills. Only a very costly surgery could save him now and there was no one to loan them the money. When she heard her daddy say to her tearful mother with whispered desperation, 'Only a miracle can save him now', the little girl went to her bedroom and pulled her piggy bank from its hiding place in the closet. She poured all the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Clutching the precious piggy bank tightly, she slipped out the back door and made her way six blocks to the local drugstore. She took a quarter from her bank and placed it on the glass counter. "And what do you want?" asked the pharmacist. "It's for my little brother," the girl answered back. "He's really very sick and I want to buy a miracle." "I beg your pardon?" said the p h a rmacist. "His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my daddy says only a miracle can save him. So how much does a miracle cost?" "We don't sell miracles here, child. I'm sorry," the pharmacist said, smiling sadly at the little girl. "Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn't enough, I can try and get some more. Just tell me how much it costs." In the shop was a well- dressed customer. He stooped down and asked the little girl, "What kind of a miracle does your brother need?" "I don't know," she replied with her eyes welling up. "He's really sick and mommy says he needs an operation. But my daddy can't pay for it, so I have brought my savings". "How much do you have?" asked the man. "One dollar and eleven cents; but I can try and get some more", she answered barely audibly. "Well, what a coincidence," smiled the man, "A dollar and eleven cents - the exact price of a miracle for little brothers." He took her money in one hand and held her hand with the other. He said, "Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let's see if I have the kind of miracle you need." That well-dressed man was Dr Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specialising in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed without charge and it wasn't long before Andrew was home again and doing well. "That surgery," her mom whispered, "was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost." The little girl smiled. She knew exactly how much the miracle cost ... one dollar and eleven cents ... plus the faith of a little child. Perseverance can make miracles happen! And very nice line: Ariver cuts d rock not bcoz of its power, but bcoz of its consistency. Never lose ur hope & keep walking towards ur vision.. Prayer carries us half way to God, fasting brings us to the door of His palace and alms giving procures us admission. Quran REACHING OUT..........IN LOVE At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question: 'When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection.Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do.Where is the natural order of things in my son?' The audience was stilled by the query. The father continued. 'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child. ‘Then he told the following story: Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, 'Do you think they'll let me play?' I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps. I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, 'We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning.' Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat. At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game? Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball. However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact. The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher. The game would now be over. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game. Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates. Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, 'Shay, run to first! Run to first!' Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled. Everyone yelled, 'Run to second, run to second!' Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base. By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball, the smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team. He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head. Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home. All were screaming, 'Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay' Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, 'Run to third! Shay, run to third!' As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, 'Shay, run home! Run home!' Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team 'That day', said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, ‘The boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world'. Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day! SHARING STREAMS The revelation awaits an appointed time. . . .Though it lingers? wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. In the captivating booklet Expectation Corner, one of the characters, Adam Slowman, was led into the Lord’s treasure-house. Among the many wonders revealed to him there was the “Delayed Blessing Office,” where God stored the answers to certain prayers until it was wise to send them. For some who pray expecting an answer, it takes a long time to learn that delays of answers are not denials. In fact, in the “De l a y e d Bl e s s i n g Office,” there are deep secrets of love and wisdom that we have never imagined! We tend to want to pick our blessings from the tree while they are still green, yet God wants us to wait until they are fully ripe. “The Lord longs to be gracious to you. . . . Blessed are all who wait for him!” (Isa. 30:18). The Lord watches over us in all the difficult places, and He will not allow even one trial that is too much for us. He will use His refining fire to burn away our impurities and w i l l then gloriously come to our rescue. Do not grieve Him by doubting His love. Instead, lift up your eyes and begin praising Him right now for the deliverance that is on its way to you. Then you will be abundantly rewarded for the delay that has tried your faith. O you of little faith, God has not failed you yet! When all looks dark and gloomy, You do so soon forget—Forget that He has led you, And gently cleared your way; On clouds has poured His sunshine, And turned your night to day. And if He’s helped you to this point, He will not fail you now; How it must wound His loving heart To see your anxious brow! Oh! doubt not any longer, To Him commit your way, Whom in the past you trusted, And is just the same today. We need to find God and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence, see how nature – trees, flowers, grass grow in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence. We need silence to be able to touch souls. Mother Teresa ATEACHING WHICH OFTEN EARNS ONE THE REPROACH AND REBUKE OF FRIEND AND FOE ALIKE!!! PRAISE THE LORD... A woman who had made rapid progress in her understanding of the Lord was once asked the secret of her seemingly easy growth. Her brief response was, “Mind the checks.” The reason many of us do not know and understand God better is that we do not heed His gentle “checks”—His delicate restraints and constraints. His voice is “a gentle whisper.” A whisper can hardly be heard, so it must be felt as a faint and steady pressure upon the heart and mind, like the touch of a morning breeze calmly moving across the soul. And when it is heeded, it quietly grows clearer in the inner ear of the heart. God’s voice is directed to the ear of love, and true love is intent upon hearing even the faintest whisper. Yet there comes a time when His love ceases to speak, when we do not respond to or believe His message.“God is love” (1 John 4:8), and if you want to know Him and His voice, you must continually listen to His gentle touches. So when you are about to say something in conversation with others, and you sense a gentle restraint from His quiet whisper, heed the restraint and refrain from speaking. And when you are about to pursue some course of action that seems perfectly clear and right, yet you sense in your spirit another path being suggested with the force of quiet conviction, heed that conviction. Follow the alternate course, even if the change of plans appears to be absolute folly from the perspective of human wisdom. Also learn to wait on God until He unfolds His will before you. Allow Him to develop all the plans of your heart and mind, and then let Him accomplish them. Do not possess any wisdom of your own, for often His performance will appear to contradict the plan He gave you. God will seem to work against Himself, so simply listen, obey, and trust Him, even when it appears to be the greatest absurdity to do so. Ultimately, “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Rom. 8:28), but many times, in the initial stages of the performance of His plans: In His own world He is content To play a losing game. Therefore if you desire to know God’s voice, never consider the final outcome or the possible results. Obey Him even when He asks you to move while you still see only darkness, for He Himself will be a glorious light within you. Then there will quickly spring up within your heart a knowledge of God and a fellowship with Him, which will be overpowering enough in themselves to hold you and Him together, even in the most severe tests and under the strongest pressures of life. from Way of Faith ENRICHING CORN STORY! A farmer grew award-winning corn. Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won a blue ribbon. One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors. “How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked. “Why sir,” said the farmer, “didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbours grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbours grow good corn.” So it is with our lives. Those who want to live meaningfully and well must help enrich the lives of others, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others find h a p p i n e s s , f o r t h e welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all. Call it power of collectivity. Call it a principle of success. Call it a law of life. The fact is, none of us truly wins, until we all win!! Our prime purpose in life is to help others. And if you can not help them, at least do not hurt them. Dalai Lama Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. Lao Tzu Dear believer, can you answer the above question? Can you find any reason why you are so often mourning instead of rejoicing? Why do you allow your mind to dwell on gloomy thoughts? Who told you that night will never end in day? Who told you that the winter of your discontent would continue from frost to frost and from snow, ice, and hail to even deeper snow and stronger storms of despair? Don’t you know that day dawns after night, showers displace drought, and spring and summer follow winter? Then, have hope! Hope forever, for God will not fail you! Charles H. Spurgeon WHY MUST I GO ABOUT MOURNING? This question has been debated with great passion for centuries. In desperation people have fought each other over its answer. Have we found the answer? A Brazilian theologist, Leonardo Boff, has shared this dialogue with the Dalai Lama: Both were participating at a round table discussion about religion and freedom. During the recess Boff maliciously and also with interest asked him: “Your Holiness, what is the best religion?” He thought he would say: “The Tibetan Buddhism” or “The oriental religions, much older than Christianity” Dalai Lama paused, smiled and looked him in the eyes….this surprised Boff because he knew of the malice contained in his question. The Dalai Lama answered: “The best religion is the one that gets you closest to God. It is the one that makes you a better person.” To get out of his embarrassment with such a wise answe r, Boff asked: “What is it that makes me a b e t t e r person?” Th e Da l a i L a m a responded: “Whatever makes you more compassionate more sensible more detached more loving, more humanitarian, more responsible more ethical. The religion that will do that for you is the best religion.” Contributed by Yvonne Extross WHAT IS THE BEST RELIGION? HAVE A HAPPINESS-FILLED DAY! Once a group of about 100 people were attending a seminar. Suddenly the speaker stopped and started giving each one a balloon. Each one was asked to write his/her name on it using a marker pen. Then all the balloons were collected and put in another room. Now these delegates w e re let in that room and asked to find the balloon which had t h e ir name written, within 5 minutes. Everyone was f r a n t i c a l l y searching for their name, colliding with eachother, pushing around others and there was utter chaos. At the end of 5 minutes no one could find their own balloon. Now each one was asked to randomaly collect a balloon and give it to the the person whose name was written on it. Within minutes everyone had t h e i r own balloon. The speaker began--- Exactly this is happening in our lives. Everyone is frantically looking for happiness all around, not knowing where it is. Our happiness lies in the happiness of other people. Give them their happiness, you will get your own happiness. And this is the purpose of human life. Is this not what you are looking for? Happiness is not about getting what I want all the time. It is about loving what I have and being grateful for it, and generously sharing myself with others, all the time. Cedric Prakash sj MASTER IS YOUR MIRROR. Not the one which you go to see when you want to but the one which follows you and even shows yourself to you even if you do not want to see or even not choose to see. The normal mirror you choose to see only when you are dressed up. Or when you know you are looking good yourself. At such time mirror is merely your ego and not a mirror, as it is not showing everything about you. Master shows you your own self every moment, even when you know you are not looking good and do not want to see your own self. Sanjay Thakker LORD I’M GETTING OLDER Lord, you knew better than I know myself that I am getting older and will someday be really old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from the craving to straighten out every body’s affairs. Make me thoughtful and not moody, helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it at all, but you know, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end. Keep my mind from the endless recital of details give me the wings to come to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They are increasing and my love for rehearsing then is becoming sweeter. I do not ask for the grace to enjoy the tales of others pains, but help me to endure them with patience. I dare not ask for improved memory but for a growing humility and a lessening cocksureness, when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken. Keep me reasonable sweet. I so not want to be a saint – some of them are so hard to live with – but a sour old woman is one of the crowning works of the devil. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places and the talents in people, and give me he grace to tell them so. By 17 th century Nun THE ART OF GIVING Sages have told us that, we as humans can give, only when He is the Giver. What that really means is that, unless we are open to receive His Divine Grace, we cannot become a channel of His Giving. Hence, the concept that we are givers is falsely located in our minds. Just like, we are able to see the world, because there is “Light” which must first shine on the objects, before we can see them, similarly, unless there is Grace we are open to from Him, we are not vessels of His Giving. On my recent visit to Rishikesh, I saw a line of people headed towards the Laxman Jhula, a very famous bridge that connects one side of the Ganga to its other bank. These people of Viashnav Bhakt from rural Bengal sit there near the Jhula every day in a line. Beside them, they may have a bowl but they do not ask for alms. I took the opportunity to stand around them, listening, without disturbing them, to what they were talking about amongst them. “Let us see, what He has to give us today.” I heard one say. Already my anxiety was rising. What if they receive nothing today, what will they eat, I thought to myself? “He provides, whatever is our need today, He will provide.” I heard another man say, in reply to the first. “It is a good test for us,’ said the lady in white sari, with a red border, ‘otherwise, even we do not know what our need is every day.” The group sat silently as I pondered on. It is a test of faith, an openness to receive, without asking for what we may think we need at this moment, which is the key to receiving His Grace. I thought, perhaps I should also join them and sit around a bit, but soon my eyes went to my watch and I knew I had to hurry along to ParmatmaNiketan, where the enlightened Master Dandi Swami was coming to give a lecture for half an hour. I raced there and caught the sight and Presence of a man, who is really unaware of what he wears on His body but His Lips have said words, my ears have heard and my heart, which cared not so much for His Words, did open to catch His Presence. I could have continued to sit at Laxman Jhula, but my instinct took me to Dandi Swami. The Lesson to learn was this: “What is Form and Formless in God?” And He answered, “When the God is outside you, and you recognize Him outside yourself, He is in the form of Paramatma; when you see God inside yourself, it is Antaratma. Both are the same – in waking, you see Paramatma, in dream state, in sleep and in deep meditation, you see Antaratma, but in a state of dreamless sleep, you see neither, the Form nor the Formless. Because, the distinction has dissolved, you are Him.” It really is a Divine Gift, when a Master comes to earth and helps us receive the Gifts from God, because they help us open our hearts to Him and receive His Grace – and pass it on to others. Julia Dutta GOD MUST HAVE KNOWN God must have known our hearts would need a reassuring touch. When he made the friendly handclasp that warms our hearts so much. He must have known that skies of blue would often turn to gray. He put the sunshine in a smile to brighten up our day. God knew, I am sure that you and I would need a helping hand. Akindly word to let us know that others understand. God must have known our hearts would need a special kind of cheer. I’m sure that’s why he sent dear friends to journey with us here. Kay Hoffman JUST ONE THOUGHT Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. Helen Keller There is no better exercise for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up. John Anderson Holmes Everyone thinks of changing humanity and nobody thinks of changing himself. Leo Tolstoy Sometimes we get so caught up in the future we forget to take pleasure in what we have, We become so obsessed with, “I want, I want, I want”, there is no room left to notice that we are already standing neck-deep in grace. C. Moss Joy makes the longest journey too short. 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