Saturday, November 14, 2015

ANOTHER 14th OF NOVEMBER -Fr Cedric Prakash sj

-Fr Cedric Prakash sj

It’s November 14th 2015! Awoke this morning after a short and restless sleep, to learn of the terrible attacks in Paris the previous night! At the Eucharist with the Missionaries of Charity- we prayed for all those affected by this latest round of violence! Later, I posted this message on my facebook page        We condemn and are pained by the inhuman and dastardly act of violence in Paris
Our hearts go out to all those affected very specially the families who have lost a loved one 
The perpetrators must be brought to book particularly those who master- minded the attack.
We pray and hope that every form of violence is eschewed by all”

And during the day, remembered the many millions killed and affected by man’s inhumanity to man, all over the world! We hardly raise our voices when innocent people (children, women and men) from Palestine and Lebanon and Afghanistan and Syria and in other places are killed or made refugees, just because they are ‘NOT LIKE US!’We forget that pain and suffering, brutality and violence to anyone anywhere- should be condemned in no uncertain terms. We also need to become aware of the role that the powerful nations, the big corporations (specially the arms and ammunition industry) and other vested interests (like fundamentalist and fascist forces), play in fomenting violence, hate and in keeping people divided!

Today we celebrate the memory of  St.Joseph Pignatelli-who a little over two hundred years ago-literally became the bridge between the old and new Society of Jesus! His dogged determination ensured that the Society which was suppressed for several years- would ultimately be restored to its lawful place in the Church and the world. Several years later, Fr Pedro Arrupe (born on this day in 1907), as the Superior General of the Society –initiated the faith & justice mandate into the Jesuit way of proceeding. On this day in 1980 Fr Arrupe gave the world a most precious gift: the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS).

Speaking to day in Rome to the JRS, Pope Francis said, “ Father Arrupe, who had lived through the atomic bomb explosion at Hiroshima, realized the scope of that tragic exodus of refugees.  He saw it as a challenge which the Jesuits could not ignore if they were to remain faithful to their vocation.  He wanted the Jesuit Refugee Service to meet both the human and the spiritual needs of refugees, not only their immediate need of food and shelter, but also their need to see their human dignity respected, to be listened to and comforted.There is another ‘special’ about this red-letter ‘Jesuit Day’: in 1983- Gujarat became a Jesuit Province after being a Vice-Province for several years!

It’s Children’s Day too! As we celebrate the simplicity and joy, the innocence and spontaneity of a child– we remember the many millions of children all over who are denied their childhood. This tragedy, we all know, is caused by those who have allowed evil to reign supreme in their lives! This day dedicated to the children is because of Jawaharlal Nehru our first Prime Minister; he did so much to build a modern India. We celebrate him with gratitude on his 125th birth anniversary!

Its five years now since my beloved mother Cynthia was called to her eternal reward   and I say
 “Mum - 
FIVE YEARS TODAY-since you said your earthly GOODBYE
You did so, at the twinkle of an eye: suddenly and silently!
As the year fly by-memories grow deeper and fonder
The pain of you not being around -ever more harder!
The values you embodied and communicated to all,
Will always be treasured by both big and small!
Your strength was compassion, fortitude and fidelity
You were truly a woman of substance and integrity!

Today was packed with plenty more – people and events; interactions and movements! It is also a special day for many I know: birthdays, anniversaries and more!
As I look back at a day which was NOT like any other day- I thank God for it; I pray for all those in pain and suffering; and I tell the Lord “well, it was certainly another 14th of November !”

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