Prolife Minstry – Hidden treasure of a JY

chiara_enrico

The moment I heard about Chiara Corbella and Enrico Petrillo, I was eager to know more about them, especially curious due to a comment – second Gianna Beretta Molla – by His Eminence Cardinal Vallini, the vicar general of His Holiness for the diocese of Rome. Why should someone compare ‘Chiara Corbella’ with St. Gianna? What difference Petrillose brought to this world? There was not much internet said about these silent saints. Like a gentle breeze Chiara passed thru our lives, left behind memories of her fragrance of joy, Enrico and Francesco.

It is always joyful to watch wondrous ways of Holy Spirit. Recently I had a chat with one of our young JY and accidentally said that I am in preparation to write about Chiara. He replied, “My daughters name is Chiara.” Chiara is a common name, so I never specifically asked the intention behind that naming. However, few days back I met his family with their baby girl. I asked: “Is this Chiara?” He said: “No, she is Gianna, Chiara is elder daughter”. Without much explanation, it is revealed to me that both names perfectly displays that family’s missionary intentions. They are inclined towards the pro-life values which The Movement holds tight to her core. For me, that incident was a confirmation from Holy Spirit to write about Chiara and Enrico.

Chiara’s and Enrico’s inspiring, joyful life lead me to think about large families who stood and took their daily cross, for the cause of pro-life ministry, within Jesus Youth Movement. Do we remember them? Do our youngsters understand that there is a cause to stand for life. Do they understand human in any form is precious? As Enrico reflects – “We are born into eternity, and we shall never die.”

I am sure we have similar lives within our JY communities. However, they are hidden somewhere deep as treasures, waiting for seekers footfalls.

I pray that Chiara’s and Enrico’s life be a light in the path of young couples who are married or who are engaged. Especially to understand from their life that – Choosing marriage, like consecrating oneself to religious life, also requires a vocation. It is more than simply a natural inclination; it is necessary to respond to a special call from God. But to what does God call us? What does He ask us to do? Marriage can make saints. To understand that a gift from God is a gift from God at any given situation, in any given form. Amen!

Chiara Corbella met Enrico Petrillo during a pilgrimage to Medjugorje in the year of 2002. She was 18 and He was 23. She was talented in drawing and in music. So was Enrico, he wrote and composed songs. They decided to get to know each other. The relationship did not go smoothly. There were painful breakups, they quarreled very often. Much of the incidents were either resolved by the interventions of their spiritual director or by their own pilgrimages and prayers.

In 2003, during the Franciscan march and during adoration of the Cross on Good Friday it became clearer for them, that there is no time to loose to get married. Soon they became parents of little Maria Grazia Letizia. Initial checkups during pregnancy period revealed that Maria has serious malformation-anencephaly, and doctors advised them for an abortion. It is waste of time carrying this baby for whole nine months. However Chiara and Enrico, decided to accept Maria, they went thru all sufferings of the pregnancy, still knowing that Maria will not live. They believed, even with malformation life of Maria Grazia Letizia is an authentic gift from God!

Maria Grazia Letizia was born alive, lived for 40 minutes. During this period she got blessing of her grand parents and friends, she was baptized and was born again in Heaven. Their second baby David Giovanni had a different malformation, now the public is complaining that parents are sinners, that is why they are having these type of babies. Still they took their crosses, accompanied David in his life time (he lived for 30 minutes after birth) and during his way to Heaven.

Their third child, Francesco was healthy baby. Again, his parents accompanied him the same way they accompanied his sister Maria and brother David. However, Chiara was recognized with terminal cancer. Doctors advised to start cancer therapy immediately, but pregnant Chiara did not wanted to do anything, that harms Francesco who is still growing healthy in Chiara. She refused any treatment on her until Francesco is born.

After Francesco’s birth doctors started cancer treatments, however it was too late to save Chiara. Year of 2012 Chiara died, saving life of her baby Francesco. What challenges us always is Chiara and Enrico’s joyful life even during their sufferings and their total submission to providence of God. They found, in any given situation there is no reason to be sad!

Chiara and Enrico’s life shows us for what a Christian family should stand for. They proved with their life, shorter or longer life is always precious and it is OK to die for another life!


For further reading on Chiara and Enrico refer the book:
chiarabook
https://www.sophiainstitute.com/products/item/Chiara-Corbella-Petrillo?utm_source=CEArticle&utm_medium=TurleyChiara091615&utm_campaign=TurleyChiara091615

Chiara’s testimony with English subtitle :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbHpCJ8AfUY
Chiara’s testimony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZX-gFbtC2dU
Enrico’s testimony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5r1xVmYo_ME
Chiara Corbella Website

Will financial responsibilities suppress your missionary dreams?

 

In a way, I will say YES!
Actually, it is not financial responsibilities, it is ‘financial stress’ attached with the responsibilities suppresses missionary dreams. If married, then responsibilities are much higher.

Let me recall an advice from Babychayan:
“If you are getting married, remember this – both your family and God will be asking for your personal time, effort and resources.”

Institution of family have its own financial responsibilities and struggles. These struggles might force young couples to abandon their missionary dreams, live an unfeeling life and end up as ATM machines, just to spit money on demand. In reality, they do not have time and resources for their missionary activities.

Abandoning The Call, ignoring the graces receives thru The Movement will extinguish the joy they have received from The Movement, leading to a silent walkout from missionary charisms of The Movement.

Does that mean let us forget about our financial responsibilities? No.

Ignoring our own financial commitments are dangerous. Not to say more if you are married. When active JYs ignore family’s financial responsibilities, hiding in comfort-zones of bachelor-friendships, still ‘single mode’ enabled, displays an anti-witnessing life for their spouse and children. They damage the reputation of The Movement in front of their family. In addition, by alienating spouse they misses the greater call of a married JY – ‘Uplift your family towards the joy of The Movement!’

Ignoring financial commitments results in accumulating debt, damaging own reputation and shaken relationships. This might be one of the reason that we do hear inspirational stories of JY youngsters who were very active for years, but by their mid-thirties miraculously vanished from The Movement.

How long we will go forward with our disquiet life?
How long we can be ignorant to the grace flowing thru this The Movement?

Married or unmarried, to maintain financial commitments, financial discipline is mandatory. Financial discipline will help you to achieve financial freedom, which will give you more time and resource towards your mission, or at least it will help to bring back joy of your missionary life.

Jesus says: “…For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” – (Luke 14:28).

He cites a practical example to talk about discipleship. Every aspect of life requires some level of planning. Living in spirit does not mean we are excused from any kind of planning, but it does mean to use charisms for planning.

Here are some fundamental activities to practice if you like to achieve financial freedom. Before that understand  that:

  1. World will teach many things, but in a Christian context, financial freedom is not about making money and enjoying it.
  2. Financial freedom is not about getting rich.
  3. Financial freedom simply means you do not have to spent much time, effort or resource to meet your expenses.
  4. Financial freedom is all about crushing your greed and optimizing your expenses.

How to achieve financial freedom?
I have researched (Credits to Google, WikiHow) a bit to write down these steps:

  1. Have a Financial Plan
  2. Assess your assets
  3. List you expenses and priorities your expenses
  4. Cut down, least prioritized expenses
  5. Track your monthly spending habits
  6. Analyze why you are spending. Is it matching JY teachings?
  7. Is your monthly spending higher than your income? If yes, time deep correction.
  8. Save at least 20% of your income.
    -Saving is nothing but keeping some portion of your current income for your future expenses
  9. Have a proper yearly budget.
    -We have many JYs working in financial and business sectors, get advice from them.
  10. Set your financial goals. Short term and long term.
  11. Have a rainy day fund
  12. Categories your savings and allocate towards your financial goals.
  13. Invite financially disciplined JYs to your cells/ small groups and understand their financial habits, copy those habits into life.
  14. Do you have assets which are not used? Try to generate income from those assets.
  15. Do you have some hobbies? Have some extra incomes from your hobbies.
  16. Eliminate your debt and reduce your expenses.
  17. Instruct your bank to pay your credit card bill in full thus eliminating the interest and late payment fees.
  18. Do not go for shopping without a checklist. Stick to checklist while buying groceries, dresses and electronic items.
  19. Do not envy your neighbors money. Your focus on your own finance will help you to save some money
  20. Finally pay tithe and offerings on time

So as a thumb rule your monthly financial action should be like this:

  1. First allocate tithe.
  2. Second save 20% of your income (move it from current account to savings account.
    For savings there are many financial tools are available, which reaps more benefits than a saving account, it is better to opt one)
  3. Pay your bills
  4. Pay for family expenses, then your personal expenses
  5. Pay for offerings if any

Jesus says: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” – Mathew 6:24.

We have only one master – Jesus Christ. Money is not our master, it is just a tool in our hand to serve others. Control it properly before it controls your life. Let us detach from the craving for money, let us get out of the financial stresses. Thus let us allocate more time and resource sharpening our missionary life. Amen!

Note: I am not a financial adviser. Indeed, I roamed in streets with empty pockets. I did not knew how to manage my finance. At last HE caught me and taught me. HE used me to write about finance. Feel funny! Christ is always like this, he use very stupid people for his kingdom.

Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KTSD9Q0/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=211189&creative=373489&creativeASIN=B00KTSD9Q0&link_code=as3&tag=readejourn0e-20&linkId=OFPKZ6AQFK4XK5UP

When I started my blogging journey, I got in touch with the author of this book Dennis Cardif. Somehow, I felt he is authentic! We communicated a couple of times. And I am really happy to see his dream came true. And money from this book goes to Street People.

Dennis really walked his talk. During his walk to office and home, he noticed poor people, spent couple of minutes to talk with them, brought food for them, supported them and wrote his experience in his blog.

It is a very simple act to kindness and compassion towards a human being. I was so inspired by him and shared about him in couple of JY groups and also wrote my own experiences of meeting street-dwellers in this blog. At the same time, I am really frustrated to realize that a out there, high potential JY communities and individuals are slowly comforting themselves into a sedentary lifestyle, and like to introduce themselves as proud Jesus Youth families!

Especially pin pointing the JYs, who are dwelling in their low risk comfort zones! Most of us are glued into risk-free ‘office missions’ and consider it as equivalent as risky missions. I appreciate the ideological explosions happening in The Movement for its collective growth but at the same time I do not want myself to compromise on our missionary calls.

The beauty of our Movement is its duality. Jesus Youth is a movement and at the same time is a person. I can point a person and tell my friend, “That person is a Jesus Youth”! And now the question is: “Are we willing to live up to the mission of The Movement?”

There is a famous quote by world’s richest man – Warren Buffet: “I stay within what I call my circle of competence.” Yes, what he said is about business and investments. Let this law rule the business and safeguard our businesses but do not bring this into our lives.

Therefore, I strongly believe the theory of Warren Buffet is not applicable when we talk about Christian life, and not at all applicable for a missionary. A Christian life is not profit loss statement! That is why Papa Francis said about a different theory “…But I tell you, I far prefer a Church that has had a few accidents to a Church that has fallen sick from being closed.

Which theory are you following in your personal life? Theory of business or theory of Church? Are we ready to go out and meet the people or still want to enjoy the comfort zones of our community? Let us make some loss for our brothers, let us make some loss for needy people.

Remember, Option for the poor – A least bothered pillar, which we keep near to our heart. I think it’s time to end our safe-play, break the circle of competence, take some risk and time to go out into mission fields. Yes, let us make some accidents!

Ref: https://gottafindahome.wordpress.com/

Christian Mysticism

Altar boys arrive in procession during a mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI to commemorate cardinals and bishops who died this year, at the Vatican

The core of the Catholic Spirituality is ‘Christian Mysticism’ – Our secret paths of growth in God.

As a Jesus Youth, our pillars should fine tune us towards Christian Mysticism. But have to fight the emotions and temptations of flesh which will emphasize our self-importance. We are not important! Growth of Christ within us is important!

Remember, Kingdom of God is never spoon fed to anyone. Knowledge about the kingdom of God can be obtained from The Texts. But its existence cannot be experienced from texts. Its existence is revealed only to its ‘seekers’. So seek for that revelation in your life!

The truth is not what you see in this world. The truth is what is revealed to you. How much is it revealed to you? Let us reflect about it in this Lent season. God bless!

What’s Wrong With Sex Before Marriage?

Very interesting questions and its very thoughtful answer. A must read! So let me reproduce it for you.

Courtesy: Christianity Today – Tim Stafford
Image Courtesy: Visualphotos.com

What’s Wrong With Sex Before Marriage?

What’s Wrong With Sex Before Marriage?

Q: I’m a 16-year-old Christian who recently gave up my virginity. I waited until I really loved my boyfriend, and I knew he loved me. I don’t think sex has anything to do with the fact that you’re married or single. I think it’s a choice each person has to make by asking themselves if they’re prepared for the outcome if something goes wrong. I talked to my partner about the possible outcomes. We used protection and nothing bad happened.

My boyfriend broke up with me recently. I know it wasn’t because of sex, it was just because we had grown apart in our relationship. We’re still best friends and we talk all of the time. I still don’t regret anything I’ve done because I know I loved my boyfriend, and I always will. So why do people judge me when they find out that I’m not a virgin?

A: You feel criticized by people who learn you aren’t a virgin, but you might be surprised to know that some people feel criticized for just the opposite reason—because they’ve never had sex! It depends on who is doing the criticism, and what their philosophy is. In America today there are at least two very different philosophies of sex.

You’ve done a good job articulating the way sex is seen by many, especially on TV sitcoms, in most movies, and in supermarket magazines. The key to this philosophy is the individual—his or her likes and dislikes, his or her choices and responsibility. In this view, sex is a way for individuals to enjoy each other. Each person must decide individually whether to make love or not, with whom, and for how long. The only constraint should be whether they’re prepared to handle the consequences. You can’t avoid some risks, so you ought to face them honestly, minimize them if you can, and take responsibility for the results, whatever they are. If you should happen to get a sexually transmitted disease, or become pregnant, or decide you’re not meant for each other, those are just the breaks of the game. Most likely you’ll move through a number of sexual relationships before you find one that gives you lasting satisfaction. (And some people never find that, but keep moving from one partner to the next.)

If you follow this philosophy, there’s no reason to blame you for losing your virginity. If someone had a baby and didn’t take care of it, or contracted AIDS and whined about it, that would be wrong. But there’s nothing wrong with what you’ve done—if you believe this philosophy.

I follow a different philosophy based on Christian truth and Scripture. The key to this philosophy is relationship. Sex, according to this view, is the way for individuals to bind themselves in a total relationship, in which two people become a single loving unit for the rest of their lives. In other words, sex is all about marriage and family. Your individual choice remains important, but it doesn’t remain supreme forever. You become “one flesh” with a member of the opposite sex, by choosing to marry. Sex goes with a commitment. You lose a certain amount of freedom, a certain amount of individuality. But you gain a lifelong partner and soulmate.

That’s why some people are letting you know they disapprove of what you’ve done. According to Christian thinking, you’ve missed the mark. You may have had good intentions, but you didn’t understand what sex is for. You thought it was for enjoyment, long-term or short. According to a Christian view, sex is for enjoyment in marriage—and you’ve put that at risk. You’ve behaved in a way that makes it harder for you, your partner, and all your future partners to experience the real joy of sex. When you’re used to going freely from one sexual relationship to the next, it’s hard to stay with just one person. Sexual habits are very powerful.

You can argue about which works best. But I believe the Christian way gives the most benefits and offers the greatest chance of a satisfied life. You can see the consequences of an individualistic philosophy all around, and that’s because the individualistic view of sex is unrealistic. You meet someone, decide to have sex, then go your separate ways. As long as you used protection, “nothing bad happened.”

But I’d say that something bad did happen to you and your boyfriend. A bond that was meant to be permanent was thrown away.

People who love each other enough to expose their bodies and their love to each other in total vulnerability aren’t meant to ever be torn apart. Even though you don’t regret anything, I’d be surprised if the memories of that first, failed relationship don’t stick with you. Sex is not just a physical thing. It’s spiritual. When you tear apart after sex, there are consequences.

I’d urge you to think hard about which philosophy you want to follow. Do you want to stay in tune with the modern media or invest in historic wisdom? The way you answer will have lifelong implications, so think hard.

Homely Meals – A Movie which took me to my past

Homely-Meals-Malayalam-Movie

This time intentionally I like to talk about a Movie.

Normally I am not a very strict movie goer. Whenever, I am convinced that the movie is good I just go and watch that movie, otherwise I do not waste much time in a movie theater. So, this time when Bony advised that this movie is worth watching, I thought, OK let me go for it! Movie was filled with humor, and moreover the script is carefully sewed around the Technical field in visual media industry. Film succeeded in communicating technical aspects and tremendous handwork behind a couple of minutes filmed program to a common man. Moreover, what shook me is the hero of the movie Alan (Vipin Atley). He took me to my past.

Still I remember, he came into my nights to share his passion and thoughts about Cinema and also about pain and challenges he is facing. He was so young to take this pain so, always my advice was to complete his studies before following his passion. Somehow I lost connection with my complete past or did I purposefully tried to forget the complete past where I was brought up? Whatever it, I succeeded in forgetting my native region only keeping fainted memories and Vipin was there in the shadows of my memory. At the first shot itself I knew, the story was about him and his life.

This movie is a craft of his years of painful life even thou the movie is full of humor. As a hero, Vipin have nothing to act on this script, He simply lived in it, because he simply wrote about himself!

And I am so happy to see Vipin is well known in industry. I think, his life is a case-study for anyone, who want to pursuit his passion. Let Vipin grow more high in a fruitful way. God bless!

Quite time with Jesus!

002Quite time with Jesus – As a JY, I believe this is the prime fundamental a JY must practice in order to renew his Christ encounter on a daily basis. However, confessing that this is one of most shaken pillar in my life – Personal Time with Jesus, or in other words ‘Personal Prayer’.

Even now, I have lots of excuses to defend me. I am running a big family, have to mentor youngsters, meetings, busy schedules at office etc. But the fact is that somewhere I lost the taste of my quite time with Jesus. How? When? Where?… The answer is “It is a mystery”.

If we analyze, the funny things is that I cannot find a visible stopper for personal prayer. Hence cannot eliminate the stopper. I think others also went through similar experiences.

Actually, the real fight is between body and soul. Body wants to push the spiritual aspect of life aside to find better opportunities to entertain and satisfy the needs of the body. So, it tries to conquer my mind by tempting thoughts of nice sleep, or it may command the mind to focus of boring aspects of the prayers like pain of kneeling etc., or else into depressing mood changes. In some other situation, prayer becomes a daily ritual where Jesus is not present.

The real deed is when you are able to talk to Jesus like you talk to you intimate friend. For that one should get a strong conviction that Jesus is my real intimate friend. How convince yourself that Jesus is your real intimate friend? The truth is that you cannot!

So, How to make Jesus your intimate friend? We will discuss it next time.

God bless!