Friday, March 15, 2019

Know Your Mind to No Mind

Its been long since I shared my thoughts and I was running behind my weight loss currently. Whenever I get a new thought or a spark, I create a meme and share it across. But this time it was different. It was a new insight and little bit more to explain which I cannot do in a meme. Hence this post.

Our company’s website is almost ready and we have partnered with many ventures for new projects. Now we have a very senior person, very friendly whom you can go in for an advice over a quick chat. He is a consultant and always gives you the exact facts without sugar and spices. He is a sort of a mentor to me. I went in to meet him to discuss about this new venture and wanted to get his views on them. Rather, we talked more on Life and its insight. It was real awakening for me and I wanted to share this with all.

As a fiction writer, I always paint everything green and present. Because I don’t want to end up being in the memory of someone who made them feel sad. I really treasure and care for memories. Even in an interview when asked about what makes you write, I replied, the basic criteria to write is the craving to experience what you love. You write that and you feel that again and again. You make people experience what you feel right now. Everything is basically a recollection of your experiences that you want to experience again.

But Is it worthwhile? If I cling on to what made me happy in the past, will I be able to create or look for happiness today? Memories sets you back creating a cloud that stops you from thinking ahead.
Human being is made of X and Y Chromosomes. All the characteristics of mom (100%) and dad (another 100%) adds in and creates a tiny cell that would be (100% consolidation of the 200% received from mom and dad). So to think again, all the memories of parents, along with the mother’s ancestors and the father’s ancestors are consolidated and now a new life is born with almost all the characteristics.

Genetic memory itself is made in such a way that life is created similar to the one in the generations before. That is why perhaps the saying, History usually repeats itself , has come into picture. Why does history repeat itself? Because it does not know what else to do. When this situation comes , you do this. That’s how we are programmed. So if I come across a situation my great granny would have been in, I would be probably reacting like her in the same way.

Now then here comes a concept of ignorance. When you do what you are instructed to do by birth through genes, who are you and what is your significance here? It’s a big question. If I do everything my dad does and react the same way, then everyone would tell me I am the perfect daddy’s little girl. But what about my children? Is it not wrong for me to not act as the perfect mother one can rely on for all their issues?

Even if I am correct in all the ways, it was all given to me by my dad and not through my own findings about me. And my dad would have got it from his ancestors and they, from their forefathers and so on. The way to actually know what I am capable of is to lose all memories I have got inherent and think and analyze every situation I am in. Even though I may end up wrong, I learn and I make sure I don’t repeat it. Also when I log the mistake details to my children I should never end up giving the situation as a case study to them. If this is the case, do this. It will never work that way. Rather, explain what situation you were actually in, what made you take the decision, what was the outcome, what best solution you could have done, what worst solution you had avoided and so on.

When all these information are added, it will not reprogram your kids but will make them think about all these when they are in a situation. So they will start analyzing and come up with a solution better than yours too that suits their time and period better.

Other important concept here is to know about the Two important sides of Life. It is not Good and Bad as most of them perceives. It is Happiness and Remorse. When you do something you really like, you are happy and when you do something you detest, you are sad. That’s the major two emotional aspects that determine your mood for the day and ultimately your attitude towards life.

This happiness and remorse need not be searched anywhere. It lies within you. You need to explore yourself to find it. Take our body for an instance. When you are too hungry you feel weak and drained out of energy. Once you take a morsel of food and you start chewing on it and gulp it down you feel energy blooming. After a few mouthfuls, you are ok now.

This energy is created within you. The need to have food immediately is given as a signal to you by your brain. You oblige and take in food. The food here is just the tool to get energy. The actual creation of energy is within you. You are capable of everything. You can create anything provided you get to know what you need rather than how to react at this point of time.

This can be achieved by going to a state of ‘No Mind.’ Just sit calm for atleast 5 minutes a day without thinking about anything. You will slowly go into a trance and start thinking deep about everything. Slowly wipe down the memories of what you should do and what you should not do and try to do everything your way.

And once you know what your mind is capable of, you will get to know your likes and dislikes better. You may have liked your career so far because your family’s profession is this. Maybe now you will get to know what you actually prefer and start working towards it. When you really start doing what you love the most you will be happy and when you feel you are struck down with what you hate, you will be sad.

When you leave all the things that make you sad and do all happy happy things you will make others happy too. Make sure you add that happiness to other’s life too and life will really be Blissful.
Ultimately that is what life is all about. I like to end this with a recent quote that I loved very much. “You only die once. You live every day. Make sure its meaningful.”

Sharing the Blessing of Lent - 12) St. Monica

St.Monica, also nicknamed Monica of Hippo was the mother of St. Augustine of Hippo. She is the actual reason of the life and service of St. Augustine altogether. She was born in 331 AD in Tagaste.

When she was very young, she was married off to a Roman Pagan Patricius who had a wile temper. His mother too shared the same character and St.Monica had a terrible time throughout her family life. Other than his temper Patricius was fine as he did not stop St.Monica from following her Christian deeds and beliefs.

They had three children – Augustine, Navigius and Perpetua. As Patricius was not a Christian, St. Monica was not able to baptize her children and when Augustine grew ill, she pleaded with him to allow Baptism. Patricius finally gave in and Augustine was baptized. But when he was normal again, Patricius told her to stop his children from following Christian faith.

She prayed and prayed for her husband and mother in law to change and almost a year before his death, Patricius changed to Christianity. After his death, St.Monica baptized both her other children and brought the three in Christian faith but Augustine was different. He started being uncouth. St. Monica then sent him to carthage for schooling.

When he was getting educated, Augustine became a Manichaean, a new religion which saw a world of Light and darkness and when one died, they were removed from wordly matter and put into a world of light. When Monica came to know of this, she was devastated but continued to pray for her son. She went to Rome to catch up with him where she learnt he had left for Milan. She went there too and after 17 years of struggle and prayer she brought him back to Christianity. She was not able to make just one more Christian but a saint out of him.

St. Augustine writes about all of these in his book “Confessions”.She understood the rue meaning of offering and brought forth something so pure and simple and that would rightly be used and celebrated instead of just offering wine to the saints. After his reformation, Augustine was baptized in six months and the mother-son pair wished to travel to Africa to spread the word of God. But due to her health and age, she passed away on the way.

She was buried at Ostia. When the Pope ordered to bring her relics in 1430, there were many miracles mid way which led to her canonization. Since her patience and prayers brought her difficult household to sainthood, she is considered a patron of Abusive marriages and for wives.

Feast – August 27

Patron – Wives and Abusive victims

St. Monica’s Prayers

1)      Exemplary Mother of the Great Augustine,
you perseveringly pursued your wayward son,
not with wild threats but with prayerful cries to heaven.
Intercede for all mothers in our day
so that they may learn to draw their children to God.
Teach them how to remain close to their children,
even the prodigal sons and daughters
who have sadly gone astray. Amen.

2)      Dear St. Monica,
we now ask you to pray with us
for all those sons and daughters
that have wandered away from God,
and to add your prayers to those of all mothers
who are worried over their children.
Pray also for us that,
following your example, we may,
in the company of our children,
one day enjoy the eternal vision of our Father in Heaven. Amen.

Sharing the Blessing of Lent - 11) St. Bernadette

St.Bernadette of Lourdes was born on 7th January 1844 to a poor miller. She was the first among nine children. She was baptized on January 9th at the local Parish church. When she was a toddler, she caught cholera and also suffered Asthma. She lived in a very poor health all her life.

She used to help a lot in the household by doing the chores. Once when she was 14, on February 11, 1858, Bernadette had gone to the woods to gather firewood with her younger sister Toinette. There she saw a very beautiful lady appearing to her above a rose bush in a cavern. According to Bernadette the woman wore blue and white and made the sign of the cross with her rosary made of Ivory and gold.

Bernadette immediately took her own rosary out and started to pray. When later asked to describe the lady she just said it was a small young lady. Three days later she returned back to the cavern with her other sister Marie where Bernadette knelt immediately again and said she could see her again.

On February 18, Bernadette received a vision to return to the cavern each night for a fortnight which she obliged. Her parents tried their best to stop her but couldn’t. On February 25, she had another vision. It told her to drink of the spring, to wash in it and eat the herb that grow there. She initially thought it must be an act of penance to drink from the muddy waters of the cavern but when she returned there she saw the waters have been cleaned.

On March 2nd , she had a vision that asked her to build a chapel and to form a procession. She had her 16th Vision on March 25 where she asked who the young lady was. The lady merely smiled. When Bernadette was persistent to know the answer she replied, “I am the immaculate conception.”
Not many believed that she had an encounter with the Holy Mother and she was put through various examinations and interrogations. Both the Government and the Parish tested her and finally realized she was telling the truth. The muddy water that she cleaned was so rich of minerals that it had the cure for 69 diseases. Bernadette believed it was her faith and prayer that cured people.

Bernadette now worked upon her vision that directed to build a chapel and built the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes. Now, it is one of the major Catholic Pilgrimage sites in the World. She was getting so much attention but she never liked all those. She was ever so humble. When asked how she was being so humble she replied, “Mother Mary used me as a broom to clean the dirt. Once cleaned, the broom should be at the back of the door.”

She joined a hospice run by the Sisters of Charity at Nevers and she learned to read and write. On July 29, 1866 she became a nun. Her health deterred day by day and she died of tuberculosis at the age of 35 on April 16, 1879. She was praying the Holy rosary when she dying. Her last words were, “Blessed Mary, Mother of God, pray for me. A poor sinner.”

When she was exhumed thrice at various time intervals to support her canonization,  it was found that her body was not corrupted.

Feast – April 16

Patron of – Illness, Poverty, Lourdes

St. Bernadette Prayer

Prayer of Saint Bernadette

“Let the crucifix be not only in my eyes and on my breast, but in my heart.O Jesus! Release all my affections and draw them upwards. Let my crucified heart sink forever into Thine and bury itself in the mysterious wound made by the entry of the lance.”

Prayer to St. Bernadette

O Saint Bernadette, who, as a meek and pure child, did eighteen times at Lourdes contemplate the beauty of the Immaculate Mother of God and received her messages, and who afterwards wished to hide yourself from the world in the convent of Nevers, and to offer thyself there as a victim for the conversion of sinners, obtain for us the grace of purity, simplicity and mortification that we also may attain to the vision of God and of Mary in Heaven. Amen.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Sharing the Blessing of Lent - 10) St. Rose of Lima

St.Rose of Lima is the first person born in America to be canonized. She is known for her life of severe asceticism and also famed for her beauty.

She was born in Lima, the Viceroyalty of Peru to Gasper Flores and Maria de Oliva y Herrera on April 20,1586. She was named Isabel Flores de Oliva. She was so pretty and a great sight to behold from the time she was born. When she was so small, one of the servants in her household saw her face transform into a rose for a second. From that day, she was nicknamed Rose and the name stuck on.

She was an ardent devotee from the time when she was small and practiced several penances. When she was not allowed to do so much severe sacrifices, she did it in seclusion. She badly wanted to be a nun but was not allowed by her parents. She took the oath of celibacy and swore never to marry.

She was so beautiful that she attracted many suitors. To mar her appearance she would rub pepper on her face to blacken it and cut her hair very short. Her parents tried their best to convince her to come out of her vows to God but she wouldn’t budge. She used to fast daily and gave a permanent abstainment to meat. She loved gardening and grew many flower plants. She used to sell the flowers in the market and give it to the needy. She did fine needlework and she sold off those too to feed the poor.

Seeing her sincerity, her parents finally gave in to her vow of celibacy but did not want her to become a nun and go away from them. So she joined the Third Order of St.Dominic and continued to serve the Lord while staying with her parents. She prayed and prayed all times of the day and night and allowed herself to sleep for only two hours a day. She made a heavy crown of silver with thorns that is a replica to the Jesus’ crown of thorns and wore it all day. The crown got so much into her skull that it was with much difficulty it was taken out of her head.

After leading a severe life of austerity, she breathed her last at the age of 31 on August 25, 1617. When she died the entire city of Lima smelled like roses and some say roses fell from the sky at the time of her death. St.Rose’s skull was exhumed and reconstructed and adorned with a skull of roses and is kept at the Basilica at Lima.

Feast – August 23

Patron of – Latin America, Philippines, Gardeners, Sewing, embroiders.

St. Rose of Lima Prayers

Prayer to God through St.Rose

God our Father, for love of You,
St. Rose gave up everything
to devote herself to a life of penance.
By the help of her prayers may we imitate
her selfless way of life on earth and enjoy
the fullness of Your blessings in heaven.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Your Son, Who lives and reigns with
You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen

Prayer to St.Rose

Admirable Saint Rose, you were truly a sweet flower blooming on a rugged soil; you were indeed a rose among thorns, bearing with meekness and patience the stings of envious tongues, and preserving perfect purity and modesty amid the alluring blandishments of a deceitful world. To the sufferings inflicted on you by others you added the voluntary tortures of fasting and watching, of the discipline, of the crown of thorns and of the hair shirt, to subdue the flesh and to make yourself like to your heavenly Spouse. By the merits which you have thus gained with your divine Bridegroom, obtain for me the grace to bear my afflictions with patience, to remain pure and modest, to be meek and humble, to be faithful to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, and so to mortify my passions that I may be ever more pleasing and acceptable in the sight of my dear Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, Who liveth and reigneth world without end. Amen.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Sharing the Blessing of Lent - 9) St. Sebastin

St.Sebastin is one of the famous saints of the catholic church. He is believed to have lived in the third century. Not much is known to us about his parents and childhood but history pops about his youth. He may have come from southern France and he was educated in Milan. He joined the roman Army in 283 AD to secretly help out the Christians who were being persecuted by the romans in great numbers.

He was helping the Christians but gave an excellent service otherwise to the royals in protecting them that he was made a Praetorian Guard to protect Emperor Diocletian. During that time, twin brothers Marcus and Marcellian, were imprisoned not to offer sacrifices to the Roman God.

Their parents came and tried to persuade them to come out of Christian faith when st.Sebastin spoke to them and converted them to Christians. He was then exposed and the emperor was furious. He ordered St.Sebastin to be tied and used as a target practice for arrows. He was shot at various places and was left to die.

But he did not die and was saved by Irene, a catholic woman whose husband was also martyred. She nursed him back to health. Once recovered, st. Sebastin went back to the emperor to confront him. He was shocked but regained his senses and caught the saint once again. He was now clubbed to death and thrown in the gutter.

His body was recovered by Lucina, who gave him a befitting burial. His body, or parts of his body were then exhumed and taken as relics and kept at various parts of the World. A special silver case was made and his cranium alone was taken and kept in a German Monastry.

In the early days, St.Sebastin was considered a Patron of protection against plague. That was the deadliest disease back then. Since the Saint survived so many arrows eventually shot to kill him but survived , people belived he had the powers to endure all and come back alive. Once the concept of plague went underground, St.Sebastin is called out for all atheletes, soldiers and those who wish for a saintly death.

Feast – January 20

Patron of – Athletes, Soldiers

St.Sebastin’s Prayer

Dear Commander at the  Roman Emperor's court, 
you chose to be also a soldier  of Christ and dared to spread 
faith in the King's of King's, for which you were condemned to die. 
Your body, however proved athletically strong and the 
executing arrows extremely weak, so another means to 
kill you was chosen and you gave your life to the Lord. 
May athletes be always as strong in 
their faith as you so clearly have been.


St.Sebastin’s Guidance Prayer

O Lord, grant us the spirit of fortitude, so that guided by the example of the martyr St. Sebastian, we may learn to bear witness to the Christian Faith and patiently support the sufferings of life. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Sharing the Blessing of Lent - 8) St.Lucy

St.Lucy is one of the eight woman of which Blessed Virgin Mary is also a part who are all commemorated in the Canon of the Mass by name. She is believed to have born in 283 but much of her history is lost. It has come to us in the form of a legendary tale. St.Lucy is born to a rich parents and she had a pampered childhood. Her father died when she was 5 years old but her mother Eutychia made sure she left no stone unturned to bring her up well. She was also suffering from a bleeding disorder and feared much for st.Lucy’s future.

Even when she was young, she was so devoted to God and always thought of ways to convince her mom to give a large part of their wealth in charity. She made a vow of celibacy to God and no matter what she tried she could not convince her mom to leave her single and not get married. Eutychia even arranged for her wedding to a pagan.

St.Lucy prayed so hard at the tomb of Agatha for enlightment and to find a way to come out of this situation, that she received a vision of St.Agatha giving her an idea. She told Eutychia that her illness will be recovered when she donates a part of their wealth to the needy. Eutychia abided for St.Lucy’s sake. She recovered quickly. Her mother was so grateful to the Lord and so moved by St.Lucy’s faith, thet she too turned faithful to God and accepted St.Lucy’s request to remain celibate.

But the turned down bridegroom wanted to have his revenge for putting down his proposal. He went to the then Governor Paschasius and betrayed her. He even tried to pull her into a brothel to defile her. But no matter how many people tried to move her away, they could not even move her an inch.
They tried to burn her but the wood wouldn’t burn. Then they killed her with a sword in 304. 

When she was condemned to death by Paschasius , St. Lucy said that he would be punished by the Lord. The Governor on hearing this was enraged and ordered to pull her eyes out. In another version of the story, it is said that she herself pulled out her eyes as a suitor of her admired them so much and wanted to marry her for them.

But it so happened when they embalmed her body and prepared it for burial, the eyes were restored. That is the reason she was considered a patron of eyes and eye related illness.

Feast day – December 13

Patron of – Eyes, Blindness, Eye related illness

St. Lucy’s Prayer

Saint Lucy,
Whose beautiful name signifies LIGHT,
By the light of faith which God bestowed upon you
Increase and preserve His light in my soul,
So that I may avoid evil,
Be Zealous in the performance of good works,
And abhor nothing so much as the blindness
And the darkness of evil and sin.
Obtain for me, by your intercession with God
Perfect vision for my bodily eyes
And the grace to use them for God’s greater Honor and glory
And the salvation of the souls.
St.Lucy, virgin and Martyr,
Hear my prayers and obtain my petitions.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Sharing the Blessing of Lent - 7) St.Teresa of Avila

St.Teresa was an influential Spanish Saint who brought about the reformation of the Carmelite order.

She was born in Avila on 28th March, 1515. Her mother and father were devout catholics and they wanted her to follow their lead. Her father was so strict that even the slightest mistake would mean a sin to him. Her mother though was different. She was religious too but she gave way to fun and frolic without compromising her faith. So St.Teresa always looked on to her and she was happy with her life.

When she was seven years old, she asked her elder brother to accompany her to go off to the monastery , serve God and beg there for food and spend the rest of their lives there. They had almost gone there when one of their uncles saw them and brought them back. Things were going on fine till her mother expired. She was not able to cope up with a very strict father and she eventually gave in to temptation. She started spending time with friends and all that a teenage fantasize and stopped praying. At the age of 16, her father sent her off to a convent to become a nun so that she would reform her ways.

The convent was way too lenient on her than her father and she started to actually enjoy her stay. They did not have stringent rules to follow and the prayer too was not satisfying to her. So she started practicing mental prayer and she was complete in harmony with the Lord. The people who saw her changes grew surprised and asked her to teach the mental prayer to them. She started to teach them to concentrate and spend time alone with God, the one you know who always loves you.

But things took a bad turn when she was asked to teach the prayer to the only people who can afford to give complements to the convent. She gave up teaching and spent time in solitude prayer. She was inflicted with malaria and she was almost knocked out for 4 days and people thought she actually died. When she woke up, she felt better and she claimed she saw visions and and spiritual experiences that made her feel better. But no one believed her and convinced her that these were delusions of the demon.

She refused to believe it but accepted for the sake of others. She convinced herself that she was too big a sinner now to ask for favours from God. This went on and she thought of praying and asking for something from God would be improper. When she was 41, she was convinced again by a monk to pray and she started praying with much vigor. She wanted to form her own order and to reform the convent. She met with so many dejections and humility all along the way till she formed her own order.

When she used to practice mental prayer she would sometimes levitate. Far from being happy, she used to feel embarrassed and plead god not to give on a show in front of others. Once she formed her order, she effectively led the way and went on being the light for so many people. She went about the whole of Spain setting up her order and spreading the word of God and finally breathed her last on October 4 at the age of 67.

Feast – October 15

Patron of – Body illness especially headache.

Prayer to St.Teresa

This is a simple poem written by St.Teresa herself and used as a prayer.

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever had God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.