Category Archives: Topics & Articles

Praying signifies Change

Praying signifies Change

The need for reviewing and deepening the charism of prayer is crucial for the future of Carmel. The roots of Carmel are centred in the spirit of Prophet Elijah who showed the power of prayer on Mount Carmel and then his burning zeal for the living God on mount Horeb. The primitive rule given to our forefathers by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Albert the Great, is the explicit source of our charism. Then our Holy Parents have left behind a very rich legacy of prayer though their invaluable writings enriched through their own lived life.

Given these short details on Carmel, we need to be aware of our roots, that remind us of our great contemplative tradition. This should be an incentive to all of us for being examples of prayer in this modern times.

In this modern world when people are fed up with sense pleasures and materialism, they keep looking for deeper values searching for lasting solutions through reiki, yoga, vipassana, T.M. Perhaps we are at the right juncture of history to give expression to our charism and attract people towards this authentic value of prayer and contemplation.

There are a number of books available on prayer. None can really beat the pedagogy and methods taught by our Holy Parents. No method of prayer can be equal to the methods and means indicated in their writings.

I do not want just limit prayer to what we call the daily “two hours” prayer. This is right in its place. There is no question about that. The practice of it requires discipline, atmosphere, training, teaching and finally plenty of good will. This type of prayer can turn out to be at times just a practice rather than life. What I mean to say is, there can be a tendency and a habit that is formed to spend daily two hours without really getting into life situation with the effect of such prayer. It is in a way easy to spend two hours prayer in the chapel and do nothing rest of the day and live a very comfortable life without any challenge, risk or hard work. (Ascent “look for the hardest and the most difficult”).

Prayer and Creativity: Our prayer cannot lead us to stagnancy of thought and action. We find lot of creativity in the life of our Holy parents. The type of life they lived in their own monasteries is an example to this creativity. Their humor, their words, their very concrete life examples are the real vibrations of this creativity.

Prayer and Flexibility: They were flexible. They knew to live anywhere in any circumstance. Real praying person can never be rigid in life. Flexibility does not mean pleasing all. It means adjust-ability.

Prayer and Responsibility: Prayer brings out our hidden abilities. Responsibility means that we build within us an ability to respond to the need and circumstance. In our life there can arise innumerable types of circumstances and situations. We need to respond to them. The ability to respond must be brought out from within. It cannot be produced outside of us. This in fact is the fruit of real prayer. Responsibility is not just doing our work, but doing it to serve the purpose and need through the work in an able way. The ability to do so is generated within us.

Prayer, Growth and Change: The person who prays shows real growth. He will be never be the same. The moment one is same, without change, has fallen in a routine of prayer, which does not affect his life. This I would term as stagnant prayer life something like, as we begin our prayer “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” and end it “As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be world without end. Amen”. Change is vital to prayer life. We are not able to change the will of God by our prayer. Through authentic prayer we ourselves are changed.

The King’s Jackass Minister . . . Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was noted for the many tales he frequently told when speaking. On one such occasion he told a story about a king who wanted to go on a hunting party. In preparation the king consulted the court’s minister if it was going to rain. He was assured that the hunt would not be dampened, but that it would be a sunny day.

As the royal party set out through the gate of the castle they met a farmer riding an ass. The farmer warned the king not to make the journey; that it was going to rain, but the king only laughed at the simple peasant. Very soon the floodgates of the heavens poured forth a torrent that thoroughly drenched the royal hunting party.

When the king returned to the castle he fired the court minister and sent for the farmer. He asked the simple farmer how he knew it was going to rain that day when the morning sky was sunny and cloudless. The farmer told him frankly, “I didn’t know. My ass has a way of knowing these things. It puts one ear forward when it is going to rain.”

So the king sent the farmer home to his farm a much richer man, having sold his ass to the king. The king then put the farmer’s jackass in the position of court minister.

Lincoln allowed that this was a great mistake on the king’s part. When asked why, President Lincoln replied, “Why, ever since that time, every ass wants a public office.”

R. Lee Sharpe

R. Lee Sharpe related, “One spring day when I was just a kid, my father called me to go with him to Trussell’s blacksmith shop. He had left a rake and a hoe to be repaired. And there they were ready, fixed like new. Father handed over a silver dollar for the repairing. But Mr. Trussell refused to take it.

‘No,’ he said, ‘there’s no charge for that little job.’

“But father insisted that he take payment.

“If I live to be a thousand years,” said Sharpe, “I’ll never forget that old blacksmith’s reply.

‘Sid,’ he said to my father, ‘can’t you let an old man do something now and then-just to stretch his soul?'”

It’s the old law. The giver receives more than the receiver gets. Bread cast upon the waters comes back a thousand-fold. One who stretches his soul into deeds of love and kindness, unfailingly reaps a just reward.


Long time ago, there was an Emperor who told his horseman that if he could ride on his horse and cover as much land area as he likes, then the Emperor would give him the area of land he has covered. Sure enough, the horseman quickly jumped onto his horse and rode as fast as possible to cover as much land area as he could. He kept on riding and riding, whipping the horse to go as fast as possible. When he was hungry or tired, he did not stop because he wanted to cover as much area as possible.

Came to a point when he had covered a substantial area and he was exhausted and was dying. Then he asked himself, “Why did I push myself so hard to cover so much land area? Now I am dying and I only need a very small area to bury myself.”

The above story is similar with the journey of our Life. We push very hard everyday to make more money, to gain power and recognition. We neglect our health, time with our family and to appreciate the surrounding beauty and the hobbies we love.

One day when we look back, we will realize that we don’t really need that much, but then we cannot turn back time for what we have missed.

Life is not about making money, acquiring power or recognition. Life is definitely not about work! Work is only necessary to keep us living so as to enjoy the beauty and pleasures of life. Life is a balance of Work and Play, Family and Personal time. You have to decide how you want to balance your Life. Define your priorities, realize what you are able to compromise but always let some of your decisions be based on your instincts. Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of Life, the whole aim of human existence.

So, take it easy, do what you want to do and appreciate nature. Life is fragile, Life is short. Do not take Life for granted. Live a balanced lifestyle and enjoy Life!

Watch your thoughts; they become words.

Watch your words; they become actions.

Watch your actions; they become habits.

Watch your habits; they become character .

Watch your character; it becomes your destiny

I hope that you enjoy the above story and moral.

“Any man’s life will be filled with constant and unexpected encouragement if he makes up his mind to do his level best each day.”

Once I was waiting in a railway station

Once I was waiting in a railway station, I saw a gentleman get irritated so much because of the undue delay of the train that he punched his fist against the wall. He started bleeding. He realized then that it was useless punching. The train did not arrive in another 20 minutes. We are all time conscious when it is an urgent thing we have to do. When we are not in a hurry we do waste a lot of time. On another occasion I found two people loitering restlessly at a bus-stand, nervous, irritated, and impatient. What are these people up to, I wondered. Would they get the bus on time by getting so nervous and irritated? No matter how nervous and irritated you are, the bus will come when it has to come. Maybe with a fantastic delay of three hours.

Do you find this topic strange for your meditation during this month? Well, we all need to know the importance of time and timetables. God created this world of time even though God himself is beyond time. Often we never think of the importance of time. Time is sacred. Do you know that today is the first day of the rest of your life? And that the time you have so far lost is lost forever? The clock will never stop ticking and the lost time will never come back. If we have to live we will live within the time span that God has planned for us. Therefore it is of utmost importance to all of us to become conscious of the immense value of time. Time is precious, and perhaps more precious than the material things we possess. Goethe said, “The things that matter most must never be at the mercy of the things that matter least.” Very true. You can earn money and you can spend money. But you can spend time but you can never earn time.

Four Gifts

Four Gifts

Four brothers left home for college, and became successful as a doctor, sales rep, lawyer, and insurance salesman and prospered. Some years later, they chatted after having dinner together. They discussed the gifts that they were able to give to their elderly mother who lived far away in another city.

The first said, “I had a big house built for Mama.”

The second said, “I had a hundred thousand dollar theatre built in the house.”

The third said, “I had my Mercedes dealer deliver her an SL600.”

The fourth said, “Listen to this. You know how Mama loved reading the Bible and you know she can’t read it anymore because she can’t see very well. I met this priest who told me about a parrot that can recite the entire Bible. It took twenty priests 12 years to teach him. I had to pledge to contribute $100,000 a year for twenty years to the church, but it was worth it. Mama just has to name the chapter and verse and the parrot will recite it.”

The other brothers were impressed.

After the holidays Mom sent out her thank you notes. She wrote:

“Milton, the house you built is so huge. I live in only one room, but I have to clean the whole house. Thanks anyway.”

“Marvin, I am too old to travel. I stay home, I have my groceries delivered, so I never use the Mercedes. The thought was good. Thanks.”

“Michael, you give me an expensive theatre with Dolby sound, it could hold 50 people, but all my friends are dead, I’ve lost my hearing and I’m nearly blind.

I’ll never use it. Thank you for the gesture just the same.”

“Dearest Melvin, you were the only son to have the good sense to give a little thought to your gift. The chicken was delicious. Thank you.”



In Florida, an atheist became incensed over the preparation of Easter and Passover holidays.. He decided to contact his lawyer about the discrimination inflicted on atheists by the constant celebrations afforded to Christians and Jews with all their holidays while atheists had no holiday to celebrate.

The case was brought before a judge. After listening to the long passionate presentation by the lawyer, the Judge banged his gavel and declared, ‘Case dismissed!’

The lawyer immediately stood and objected to the ruling and said, ‘Your honor, how can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter and many other observances. Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah…yet my client and all other atheists have no such holiday!’

The judge leaned forward in his chair and simply said, ‘Obviously your client is too confused to even know about, much less celebrate his own atheists’ holiday!’

The lawyer pompously said, ‘Your Honor, we are unaware of any such holiday for atheists just when that holiday might be, your Honor?’

The judge said, ‘Well it comes every year on exactly the same date – April 1st! Since our calendar sets April 1st as ‘April Fools Day,’ consider that Psalm 14:1 states, ‘The fool says in his heart, there is no God.’ Thus, in my opinion, if your client says there is no God, then by scripture, he is a fool, and April 1st is his holiday! Now have a good day and get out of my courtroom!!

Recipe for a Happy New Year .. . . . . . Anonymous

Recipe for a Happy New Year .. . . . . . Anonymous

Take twelve fine, full-grown months; see that these are thoroughly free from old memories of bitterness, rancor and hate, cleanse them completely from every clinging spite; pick off all specks of pettiness and littleness; in short, see that these months are freed from all the past-have them fresh and clean as when they first came from the great storehouse of Time. Cut these months into thirty or thirty-one equal parts. Do not attempt to make up the whole batch at one time (so many persons spoil the entire lot this way) but prepare one day at a time.

Into each day put equal parts of faith, patience, courage, work (some people omit this ingredient and so spoil the flavor of the rest), hope, fidelity, liberality, kindness, rest (leaving this out is like leaving the oil out of the salad dressing-don’t do it), prayer, meditation, and one well-selected resolution. Put in about one teaspoonful of good spirits, a dash of fun, a pinch of folly, a sprinkling of play, and a heaping cupful of good humor.

Who is clever? Teacher or student? (REALLY FUNNY)

Who is clever? Teacher or student?

One Night 4 College Students Were Playing Till Late Night  And Didn’t Study For The Test Which Was Scheduled For The Next Day.

In the morning they thought of a plan.

They made themselves look as dirty and weird with grease and dirt.

They then went up to the Dean and said that they had gone out to a wedding last night and on their return the tyre of their car burst and they had to push the car! all the way back and that they were in no condition to appear for the test.

So the Dean said they can have the re-test after 3 days.

They thanked him and said they will be ready by that time.

On the third day they appeared before the Dean.

The Dean said that as this was a Special Condition Test,

All four were required to sit in seperate classrooms for the test.

They all agreed as they had prepared well in the last 3 days.

The Test consisted of 2 questions with the total of 100 Marks.

Q.1. Your Name…….. ……… ……..( 2 MARKS )

Q.2. Which tyre burst ?……….. ….( 98 MARKS )

a) Front Left
b) Front Right
c) Back Left
d) Back Right …..!!!

Ride Slowly

Ride Slowly

I told Ronnie to ride slowly on super high ways. Well, Ronnie told me that there is nothing to panic as the roads are laid for a comfortable speed of 80 to 100 Kmph. After a few weeks Ronnie comes back one day wounded on his ankles and hands because of an accident that took place on highway. I told Ronnie not to ride on risky roads but wear a helmet that he could be assured against the bad conditioned roads. Ronnie met with another accident 6 months later and was badly wounded and was in the hospital for two month. But unfortunately Ronnie never learnt a lesson. This happened just a few weeks back, in the second week of January this year (2007), as he was riding towards Pune on the highway, he was trying to overtake a long truck but met with a fatal accident and his whole body was crushed. He spent few days in the hospital in semi conscious state and he breathed his last. No one could console his parents. Ronnie never listened to warnings of his friends and well-wishers.

God warns us on various occasions and through different people, circumstances and events that happen in our life. We need to heed so that we take seriously the warning that come to us for our own good.