How Jesus started small and we should too!

Jesus praying solemnly

Cartoon image of Jesus Christ, with long brown hair, beard and mustache, wearing a white robe and brown sandals, as well as a red sash, kneels down to pray, both eyes closed in concentration, hands together in a praying position

“The Kingdom of God is like  mustard seed” – Matthew 13:31 

Today approximately two billion people, almost one third of the planet, in scores of countries throughout the world, call themselves Christian. Yet when Jesus began his ministry, he started with only twelve men, handpicked one and two at a time.
Jesus demonstrated that great achievements often come from humble beginnings. Like nature, where the largest trees sometimes grow from the smallest seeds, there is no correlation between your ultimate success and the limited resources you may have when you start. There are many examples of modest beginnings among history’s giants.
Remember the biblical story of David and Goliath? A young shepherd-boy defeated the Philistine giant with a simple slingshot of a stone. He went on to become a great king. Centuries later, thirteen little colonies declared their independence from the mighty British Empire and eventually became the United States of America = the world’s only mega-power. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and currently the world’s richest man, dropped out of college to write a program for one computer at a time when virtually no one owned a  PC. Fellow billionaire Michael Dell, founder of the world’s largest computer manufacturer, also started his business while in college with little more than $1,000 and a classified ad in the newspaper.

Jesus did not have a huge army or vast treasury. He was not well known and traveled within a relatively small geographic area. Yet, Jesus ultimately changed the world. He simply used the resources available to him at the moment. Jesus understood that sometimes “less is more.” This is one of the many paradoxes of success. Size doesn’t matter.

There are many advantages to starting small. For one, starting with little more than a dream, you have to hone your idea to such a degree that it “lights a fire” in the minds of others. Those whom you attract when you are small, you know, are loyal and committed. Also, you are strengthened by faith. The obstacles you face, like David battling Goliath, strengthen your character and define your brand. Finally, because your resources may be meager in the beginning, you are forced to be creative in ways you never thought possible. Hidden opportunities, untapped and ready to be discovered, lie waiting for you.
Wherever you are in your life, right now is the perfect time for you to begin to fulfill your mission and purpose. Starting small is an advantage to you if you are willing to let go of your preconceived notions of how you will accomplish your dream. One person can change the world with nothing more than an idea which time has come. That person can be you!

This Excerpt is taken from the book: The 99 Success Secrets of Jesus – How to Create Miracles in Your Life” by Don Daniel Ortiz. To order this book, please click here : Buy Now

What did Jesus mean when he said “This is my Body, this is my Blood”


We can now draw the practical conclusions of this doctrine for our daily lives. If at the consecration we too address our brethren with the words, “Take, eat, this is my body; take, drink, this is my blood,” we must know what “body” and “blood” mean, so as to know what we are offering. What did Jesus mean to give us at the Last Supper when lie said, “This is my body?”

In the Bible the word “body” doesn’t indicate a component or part of a human being which, united to the other components, the soul and the spirit, forms the complete person. Our way of reasoning is influenced by Greek culture which, in fact, divided man in three parts: body, soul and spirit. In biblical terminology, and therefore in that used by Jesus and Paul, “body” indicates the whole human being in so far as it lives its life in a body, in a corporeal and mortal condition. In his Gospel, John uses the word “flesh” instead of “body” (“if you don’t eat the flesh of the Son of man ….”) and it is obvious that this word in the sixth chapter of the Gospel means the same as in the first chapter where John says “the Word became flesh,” and that is, human.

The word “body” indicates, therefore, the whole of life. In instituting the Eucharist, Jesus left us the gift of his whole life, from the first moment of the incarnation to the very end, including all that had made up his life: silence, sweat, hardship, prayer, struggle, joy, humiliation …. Then Jesus also said: “This is my blood.” What else does he give us with his blood if he has already given us all his life by giving us his body? He adds death!

Having given us his life, he now gives us its most precious part — his death. In the Bible the term “blood” doesn’t indicate a part of the body, and therefore a part of a part of a person; it indicates a happening, death. If blood is the seat of life as was thought at that time (cf. Gen 9:4), the shedding of it is the plastic sign of death. “Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” (John 13:1).

The I Eucharist is the mystery of the Body and Blood of the Lord, that is of the life and death of the Lord! And what do we ourselves offer when we offer our bodies and blood with Jesus at Mass? We offer what Jesus offered: life and death. By “body” we offer all that actually constitutes our physical life: time, health, energy, ability, sentiments, perhaps just a smile, that only a spirit living in a body can give and which is so precious at times. By “blood”, we express the offering of our death; not necessarily our final death, or martyrdom for Christ or our brethren. Death means also all that right now prepares and anticipates our death: humiliations, failures, sickness that cripples us, limits due to age or health, everything that “mortifies” us.

Because of the Eucharist there is no such thing as a “useless life” in the world. No one should say: “What use is my life? What am I doing in this world?” You are in the world for the most sublime of reasons, to be a living sacrifice, to be Eucharist with Jesus.

This Excerpt is taken from the book : The Eucharist Our Sanctification by Fr Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap. For more information about the book : Click Me!

Only Some Parents Care to Parent Their Children


You will be either honoured or dishonoured by what your children eventually turn out to be in life. Therefore, consciously prepare them ensuring that they are raised in stature and wisdom—in favour with God and in favour with men.
Dhanesh is a teenager with a strong character and a refined demeanour. Always considerate and thoughtful of others, this devout boy spared no effort to come to the aid of the needy. No wonder the boy has carved a special niche for himself in my heart. He came out with flying colours in his Standard X Board exams.
It was his 17th birthday and I went over to his house wish him in person. Of course I was quick to extend a note of congratulations to his parents for their exemplary upbringing of their child.

Over lunch, Ulahannan chettan’, Dhanesh’s father, revealed, “Father, it is Jeevan’s birthday, too, today. Obviously he was referring to Jeevan their neighbour and a classmate of Dhanesh. A pall of gloom suddenly fell over his face. And he sighed, saying, “Some parents foster the growth of their children, nurturing and strengthening them. But alas! Some others forget this divine task entrusted to them in marriage. Their children somehow grow up on their own, but the consequences are often disastrous.”

At 16, Jeevan had turned out to be a juvenile delinquent! The police nabbed him in a hooch deal—a non-bailable offence. The remark made by Ulahannan chettan is food for thought. Yes, some parents are negligent and irresponsible in relation to bringing up their wards who then grow up in accordance with the rules of nature.

In fact, there is no difference between the biological ages of Dhanesh and Jeevan. Both the boys have completed sixteen years of age and are going on seventeen irrespective of the fact that one is in school and the other in jail. Their birthdays also fall on the same day. No difference absolutely! Then what and where lies the difficulty? Saint Luke says, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and men (2:52).” Well, God the incarnate Son grew both in body and in wisdom gaining favour with God the Father and with the people.

Two kinds of growth in two different zones, that is, growth in wisdom and growth in body/stature, winning the approval of both his Father and the people of this world!

This Excerpt is taken from the book  ‘The Gospel of Parenting’ by Father Jimmy Poochakkatt. For more information on the book, click here!

5 Practical Ingredients to bring Contentment in your Marriage

“Contentment is not a matter of entitlement in marriage. To have contentment, a couple has to work for it. Whether you make marriage a heaven or a hell is contingent upon you.”



Count you blessings and never take them for granted



Be satisfied with what you have and share it with your partner 



Stop feeling better or less than other couples 



Bring a new idea to the situation instead of harping on what’s wrong



Share amicably when you feel like venting about something 

This Except is taken from the book  ‘Recipe for a Happy Marriage’ by Sajith Cyriac. For more information about the book : Click Here! 

Feeling Off Course


When suddenly you seem to lose all you thought you had gained, do not despair. Your healing is not a straight line. You must expect setbacks and regressions. Don’t say to yourself: ‘All is lost. I have to start all over again.’ This is not true.

What you have gained, you have gained. Sometimes little things build up and make you lose ground for a moment. Fatigue, a seemingly cold remark, someone’s inability to hear you, someone’s innocent forgetfulness which feels like rejection — when all these come together, they can make you feel as if you are right back where you started.

But try to think about it instead of being pulled off the road for a while. When you return to the road, you return to the place where you left it, not to where you started. It is important not to dwell on the small moments when you feel pulled away from your progress.

Try to return home, to the solid place within you, immediately. Otherwise, these moments start connecting with similar moments, and together they become powerful enough to pull you far away from the road. Try to remain alert to seemingly innocuous distractions.

It is easier to return to the road when you are on the shoulder than when you are pulled all the way into a nearby swamp. In everything, keep trusting that God is with you, that God has given you companions on the journey. Keep returning to the road to freedom.

This Excerpt is taken from the book : ‘The Dance of Life : A Spiritual Journey with Henri Nouwen’ Edited by Michael Ford . For more information about the book : Click Me!

Children Need Your Presence


“Only if we devote time to our children, speaking of important things with simplicity and concern, and finding healthy ways for them to spend their time, will we be able to shield them from harm. Vigilance is always necessary and neglect is never beneficial.”    -Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia 

A very busy businessman had only one child, a six-year-old daughter. She was studying in a prestigious English medium school in the city. He left home early every morning and returned home late at night, mostly around midnight. It was all for his family that he worked without respite, earning quite a lot in the process. He wanted to provide his only daughter with every comfort within his reach. He bought her expensive dresses and even arranged for a car to transport her to school and bring her back. In addition her study room air-conditioned and arranged for a homemade midday meal to be served warm at lunch time in the school.

One day while he was on a journey and, sitting in his car, was checking the files to be presented at the meeting, his mobile rang. It was a call from the school where his daughter studied. The headmistress said straight away:

“Sir, you should come to the school today.”
“Not today,” He blurted out, somewhat irritated, “I am very busy.”
“It is to talk about your daughter,” said the headmistress.
“I shall send her mother. She can adjust her time and meet you,” he said
“I want to see her ‘Daddy”, not her ‘Mummy”, said the headmistress.
“I have an important meeting to attend, Ma’am. Please try and understand.”
“What is more important for you, Sir- your business or your daughter?”
Suddenly realizing that having run out of excuses he could not protest anymore, “Well yes, I’ll come.” And boy! Was he glad he did go promptly, setting aside all his work and busyness. When he met the headmistress in the office she straight away said to him, “Yesterday the school held a drawing competition for all its students. The topic was “My family”. Then, pointing to his daughters drawing the headmistress said to him, “In your daughters sketch of the family, all, including her grandfather, grandmother, pet cat and pet dog, the table and the chair, the computer and the TV set are all there, but you, the father, are not indicated anywhere”. Then, as his eyes began to well with tears, the headmistress called in his daughter and said to her, “Dear, your daddy is not to be seen in this picture you’ve so nicely sketched yesterday-how come?”

Pat came her reply, “I usually don’t see my daddy, nor do I talk to him, he is always busy. Mummy says, Daddy came and then went.”  -Malyalam Weekly, November 2004

“Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater development, greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of the peace of the world.” – Mother Teresea

This Excerpt was taken from the book ‘The Gospel of Parenting : The What, The Why & The How of Christian Parenting’. For more information about the book: Click Here!


He Kept It Simple!

Jesus 2

“Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these
My brethren, you did it to Me.”
Matthew 25:40

“And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.” (Lk 6:31).
With one phrase, the “Golden Rule,” Jesus conveyed the secret to success, the key to inner peace and the essence of the religion he inspired — Christianity.

True genius makes the complicated simple, i.e. “The kingdom of Is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.” (Mt 13:24). With this simple description Jesus was able to illustrate an abstract heaven, in a way most people could understand. Jesus used parables describing common everyday experiences anyone could relate to to as his preferred teaching method. Jesus was a master communicator because he kept his message simple.

There is nothing disingenuous about simple descriptions or straightforward solutions to problems. In fact, understatement, brevity and simplicity convey sophistication. For example, the Declaration of Independence, the Bedrock of American Democracy, is approximately 1300 words and based on a simple premise, “All men are created equal.” Arguably the best speech  ever given in  American politics, Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, was only 272 words and helped heal a divided nation. Albert Einstein reduced his general theory of relativity, an incredibly complex subject, to a simple formula: E=MC2. Thomas Watson, founder of one of the world’s greatest corporate successes, IBM, summed up the essence of his business philosophy with one word — Think.
Simplicity focuses the mind. Your mind, and the minds of those you need to inform, persuade and even change to achieve your dreams, craves order. Especially today, because the world is increasingly complex, information so overwhelming, most people are not willing to take the time needed to really grasp a complex message. When you keep it simple, you gain a powerful advantage.
Think about your life, career and relationships. Are they complicated? Think about your goals and your mission in life. Can yo like the U.S. Marine Corps’ axiom Semper Fi, (Latin: semper fidelis, always faithful), convey your values, message or brand in a sing phrase?

Can you inspire, lead or manage others with the power a simple message? Jesus achieved success by keeping his message simple.

This Excerpt is taken from the book ‘The 99 Success Secrets of Jesus – How to Create Miracles in Your Life’. For more information about the book : Click Here!


Be Aware, Be Mindful

Easter nTaj

The essence of divine wisdom is a universality that embraces all religions. ” If man were to come out of self-limiting  veil that covers his eyes,” wrote Ghalib, “what glorious revelations he will see in every faith” 

Here are 5 insightful stories that will inspire you and give you deep revelations from the profound minds of the much revered ages, seers and Sufi saints of the eastern religions, awakening us to the Divine.

1.) Your True Self- Image

Then God said, “And now we will make human beings; they will be like us and resemble us.” -Genesis 2:26

“Master,” the disciple asked, “Who am I? Who am I?” “Ah!” exclaimed the Master. “That’s a question you alone must answer.”

“Help me,Master” the disciple pleaded.”You were born a noble Knight,” the Master replied. “You could either strive for the unreachable star or live and die the ignoble death of a despicable toad in some stagnant wayside pond.”

Not satisfied, the restless disciple anguished, “Master, who am I? who am I?”

The Master relented. “You were created in the image and likeness of God,” said the Master. “In all humility, awaken to your true self-image and live up to your dignity and purpose.”

“Remember the deep root of your being, the presence of the Lord….If you don’t, you will be exactly like the man who takes a precious dagger and hammers it into his kitchen wall to hold a dipper gourd. You will be wasting valuable keenness and foolishly ignoring your dignity and your purpose.” -Jalaluddin Rumi

2.) Let Go….

After Lot had left, the Lord said to Abram, “….I am going to give you and your descendants all the land that you see, and it will be yours forever. I am going to give you so many descendants that no one will be able to count them all….” -Genesis 13:14-18

An old lady, bent low with the burden of her years, approached the venerable Rabbi and cried her eyes out: “Help me,” she groaned. “My lips are weary, my mind fatigued and my whole body throbs with pain. Yahweh doesn’t pay heed to my prayers.”

Observing closely her pursed lips and tightly clenched fist, he said, “Watch your dreams and desires lest they possess you as you tenaciously cling to them. Let go, let go of them like our Father Abraham who left his country, his land, his house, only believing in the promise made to him by Yahweh that he would be blessed with descendants as innumerable as the stars.”

“It is sheer stupidity to hold on to anything in life. The great mistake is to grasp tightly; in doing so one loses what one would have got. In claiming that ‘it is mine’ we lose what is ours already.” – Osho

3.) Respect Life

The Lord said, “……Do not kill.” -Deuteronomy 17

The pesky mosquito teasingly hovered round the disciple as he meditated in the sanctuary of the temple. His patience tested beyond limits, the irritated disciple raised his hand to swat it when his inner voice warned him: “It’s unlawful to kill on holy ground.”

Summoned to attention, the disciple withdrew his hand and gazed kindly at the mosquito. Raising his level of consciousness, the Master said: “Wherever you are, on holy ground or public space, life in all its forms is sacred. It is unlawful to kill.”

“One should not injure, subjugate, enslave, torture or kill any animal, living being, organism or sentient being….Just as suffering is painful to you, in the same way it is painful, disquieting and terrifying to all animals, living beings, organism and sentient beings.” – Acarangasutra 4:25-26

4.) The Law of Life

As I see it, those who plough evil or sow trouble reap the same. – Job 4:8

Disturbed by the injustices in the world, a man asked the Master, “Why is it that the wicked in our midst thrive while the honest and the upright suffer?”

“Recall the words of wisdom of the Buddha,” the Master said, “If a man speaks or acts with evil thoughts, pain surely follows him e’en as the wheel follows the ox that drags the cart along.”

“Be ever mindful of your thoughts, words and actions,” the Master cautioned. “It is the law of life: The good you do blesses you a hundredfold and more already in this life. The evil you do stays with you to haunt you, morning, noon and night, every moment of your life.”

“One day I met the Lord face to face, and bending my knees, I prayed, “Tell me,O king of Compassion, ‘Is it thou who punishest the sinner and givest rewards to the virtuous ones?’ ‘No,’ said He smiling, “the sinner earns his reward.” – Hazarat Inayat Khan

5.) Song of the Bird

Have you ever seen a guiltless man perish or an upright man done away with completely?  -Job 4:7

A prisoner of conscience who survived ten long years of solitary confienment was asked how he endured the ordeal.

He humbly testified: “Every morning I was visited by a tiny bird that perched itself on the branch of a tree just outside my cell window. Faithfully it sang its little heart out sending my drooping spirits soaring and reminding me that one day the Truth would prevail. Tenaciously I clung to the song of the bird as I survived the dark night of my soul.”

“Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark -Rabindranath Tagore 

This Excerpt is taken from the book ‘The Word Through Eastern Eyes‘ by Cedric Rebello, SJ. For more information about this book: Click Here

Unlocking confidence

Ashley Hearod

“So don’t throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.” (Heb. 10:35, HCSB version)

Heres’s the thing: We have all battled with confidence in some area in our life at some point in time. Maybe the last time wasn’t since we were eight and losing at a basketball game, but it has happened to each of us. And whether you remember it or not it had an effect on you. Because confidence isn’t just about assurance in the way you present yourself. It’s a manifestation of knowing who you are.

Confidence is a big deal.Without it, our talents and skills are of no use. Norelationship could ever work. We can never know who we really are.It matters. Yet time and time againwe second guess ourselves. Our worth. Our ability. Why?

At some point in time something told us we couldn’t. At which point we had a choice to make:…

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Venial Sin : No Small Matter


“All wrongdoing is sin,” says Saint John, “but there is sin which is not mortal” (1 Jn 5:17). Venial sin is the name we give to faults of lesser gravity. There’s no such thing as a sinless lie; but not all lies weigh as heavily as perjury under oath or false accusation. Thus, perjury is a mortal sin; but lying about your age, for vanity’s sake, might be venial.

Venial sin weakens our will. It wounds us in the spirit, though it does not kill us. Pope John Paul II wrote: “Venial sin does not deprive the sinner of sanctifying grace, friendship with God, charity, and consequently eternal happiness.”;0 We can get to heaven if we die with venial sins unconfessed, but they must lirst be cleansed from our soul; for “nothing unclean shall enter” God’s eternal life (Rev 21:27).

We are not obligated to confess our venial sins. Indeed, they can be forgiven in other ways. For example, every time we receive Holy Communion, our venial sins are wiped away entirely. We can ask and obtain forgiveness for venial sins by reciting a simple, sincere Act of Contrition. The Bible tells us that venial sins can even be forgiven through the intercession of others: “If anyone sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal” (1 Jn 5:16).

Still, we do best if we discern these smaller sins and begin to conquer them now, by seeking forgiveness in the confessional. The sacrament will give us grace, then, to overcome them in the future; and the priest-confessor can give us very specific, practical advice on how best to correspond to that grace with action. The introduction to the rite of penance tells us that the confession of venial sins is not a mere “psychological exercise”. It is, rather, “a constant and renewed commitment to refine the grace of baptism so that, while we carry about in our bodies the dying of Christ Jesus, His life may be ever more revealed in us.” No sin — no matter how small — is compatible with the life of Christ, Who is forever sinless. If we want to grow in His life, if we want His life to grow in us, we must be firm in our resolve not to sin at all, or at least (for starters) to sin less frequently.

We need not be discouraged if we continue to fall into venial sin. But neither should we give up our resolve to put off such sins entirely. For we must not underestimate the damage venial sins can do. Again, some lies are less serious than others, but there’s no such thing as a lie that’s “little” or “white”. Pope John Paul II taught: “It must not be forgotten that venial sins can inflict dangerous wounds on the sinner.”3′ Venial sins, especially if they are habitual, make us ever weaker in our resistance to mortal sin. They are the thin edge of sin’s wedge in our lives.

Confessing these sins, however, provides a powerful counteractive force. Said Pope John Paul II: “The confession of these sins with a view to sacramental forgiveness, in fact, singularly helps us grow aware of our condition as sinners before God in order to make amends.”” Thus armed with grace and good advice, we can continue resolutely on the path to our perfection. “In this way the penitent tends toward ‘that perfect man who is Christ come to full stature’ [Eph 4:13]; besides, ‘professing the truth in love,’ he is spurred on to ‘grow to the full maturity of Christ the head’ [Eph 4:15].”

This Excerpt is taken from the book: ‘Lord, Have Mercy: The Healing Power of Confession’ by Scott Hahn. For more information about the book: Click Here!