CHRISTIAN NEWS BIWEEKLY PUBLICATION FOR KERALA MALAYALEE CHRISTIANS FROM INDIA AROUND THE WORLD
December 15, 2001 ARCHIVE
Vol:1 Issue:2
LIVING AS CHILDREN OF LIGHT

By V. Rev. Fr. John-Brian Paprock


V. Rev. Fr. John-Brian Paprock Holy Transfiguration Mission, Madison, Wisconsin

(V Rev Fr John-Brian Paprock is the third American priest of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, accepted into the Mission Society of St. Gregorios in North America by H. G. Metropolitan Thomas Mar Makarios . He is currently in service to Holy Transfiguration Mission Parish in Madison, Wisconsin. Fr. John-Brian was ordained to the Orthodox Priesthood in 1987 after seven years of study under His Grace Bishop John in NYC, where he also attended Columbia University.Fr. John-Brian is serving as chair of 2002 Paulos Mar Gregorios Memorial Conference. He is an author, artist and photographer. Fr. John-Brian and his wife, Teresa, have just published the guidebook," Sacred Sites of Wisconsin" (Trails media, Inc.), and are working on other volumes for the Great Lakes region of North America.)

In every liturgy and prayer service of Holy Church, we stand aright, facing the east, the direction of the rising sun. This has been a powerful reminder since the times of the Apostles that we seek the light of Christ to rise in us. It is in the light that we can see the details of our environment, the truth of our existence. Who does not turn on a light when a room is dark? No matter how familiar we are with the room, we are most comfortable when we turn on the light to see clearly. This is one reason to live in the light.

My son, Christopher, was afraid one night of the shadows in his darkened room. Turning on the light dispelled the shadows, but they would only return when the light was turned off. Eventually, I asked him to close his eyes.
"Is it dark?"
"Yes, Dad."
"Are you safe?"
"Yes, but you are here right now."
"I am not that far away. Haven't I responded each time you called?"
"Yes, but the shadows will still be there."
"But, Christopher, I will still be here, too."

That helped him to sleep that night. Not many nights later, he had the same problem.
"Dad, I tried closing my eyes, but every time I open them all I can see are the scary shadows." I looked around and there were some strangely shaped shadows. I asked him to look closely at one of the shadows. While he was looking, I turned on his bedroom light. The shadow was gone. He seemed surprised at first, but then smiled.
"See how easily the shadows are defeated by the light." He went back to sleep.

It isn't always that easy to defeat the shadows of our lives, but it is often that simple. Before Christ arrived, the shadows, the darkness was even stronger. His willing sacrifice brought light into the darkest places and freed the bonds of the captives. The universe has never been the same. Our world was altered forever. The blackest night will never be so dark that we cannot find a source of light. Sometimes, we may even have a light to bear for others. We are encouraged not to hide our lights under a basket, after all.

Living as children of light is part of our divine heritage. It is the divine potential of our baptism into Christ. Baptism is illumination. It is the sacrament that establishes our lives in the light of God, that very light that was divided from the darkness on the first day. As St. John speaks of that light in the beginning of his gospel where he describes the mystery of the Son of God: "The life was in Him, and the life is the light of men. The same light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it."

St. Paul writes to us, "You were ignorant, but now you have been enlightened by our Lord, and should live like children of light. For the fruits of light are found in all goodness, and righteousness and truth. And so you must discern that which is acceptable before our Lord." (Ephesians 5:8-10) It is in full light that we are able to discern the multitude of colors and shades that make the details of beauty and life. It is by discernment that we see the difference between the varieties of color, the contrasts of letters and symbols to come to see abstractions. So, with the moral and spiritual light of Christ, we can discern the moral and spiritual choices in front of us continually.

In Wisconsin among the Great Lakes of North America, the passage of seasons is most obvious by the change in hours of daylight. Despite the warm temperatures this year, the day is still short. It is striking to me that at this darkest time of the year (in the northern hemisphere) that we celebrate the birth of Christ, the light of the world. Of course, Christmas follows the solstice, the darkest day. In St. John's Epistle (2:8) he writes to us: "A new commandment I do write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you: because the darkness is now past, and the true light now shines." Then St. John's gives insight about this light: "He who says he is in the light but hates his brother, is therefore in darkness even until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light and there is no cause for displeasure in him." (2:9-10)

So we have truths about spiritual light that have parallels in physical light. We have the Apostles equating this light with truth, life, goodness, and love. We are also told we are to live as children of light. St. Peter writes to us in his First Epistle: "You are a chosen people; ministers to the kingdom, a holy people, a congregation redeemed to proclaim the glories of Him who has called you out of darkness to His marvelous light." (2:9)

St. Paul reminds us in his epistle to the Ephesians (5:14): "Awake thou that sleepest and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." On December 25th each year, we remember the birth of this light that changed the world and continues to transform our lives.

May we all experience the birth of this light in us that we may live as children of light, as shining beacons in the darkness of our present age and dispelling all deceptive shadows, discerning all truth and praising all goodness. Amen.

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THE WORD BECAME FLESH

Blessed is our planet Earth where the heavenly Father was pleased to send his only begotten son for whom and through him the entire universe, spiritual as well as material, was created. It is only appropriate to think, meditate and recollect the meaning and message of Christmas during this joyful season of celebrations all over the world.

Apostle John very precisely and memorably summarized the story of Christmas when he wrote the famous verse " the word became flesh and made His dwelling among us"(Jn 1:14). Mark did not write about the birth of our Lord while Mathew and Luke gave several details about Christmas.

In the book of Genesis when the Lord God said "her offspring will crush your head"(Gen 3:15),the arrival of son of God in our world was already prophesized. God spoke clearly through prophet Isaiah about the coming of Messiah nearly 750 years before our Lord was born (Is 7: 14, Is 9:6-7, Lk 1:32-33).The prophet Micah, a contemporary of Isaiah, made the prophesy even about the place (Bethlehem) where this great event of birth would take Place (Mic 5:2).

In Isaiah's prophesy, the most unusual birth (virgin birth of Jesus) was given to all people as a sign from the Lord that this is truly God-incarnated, different from other human beings. This child will be called "Immanuel", "Wonderful counselor", "Mighty God","Eternal Father","Prince of Peace",and ruler as King David's successor".

Jesus Christ is a "Wonderful Counselor" to his followers. Through baptism he poured out his own Spirit to be our counselor, comforter and helper. This counselor never fails to lead us to the truth that will make us free from sin and death, man-made religions with their rituals, and external ceremonies, powers and principalities of unseen world. The gift of Spirit is the proof for the believers that they belong to the Kingdom of God.

Our Lord is called "Mighty God". Through his work of many miracles and healing ministry, powerful teachings, his manner of death, resurrection and promised second-coming, Jesus proved beyond doubt that he is more than a good man or a great teacher and prophet. He knew and taught that he is God, one with God the Father. He accepted the worship and adoration that belongs only to the true living God. Jesus taught and asked his followers to believe that he is one with the "Eternal Father"(Jn 10: 30, Jn 14:9-11);his heavenly Father is doing his work through him. How beautiful it is to know that our Lord's Father is also our Father who is in heaven.

Christ is also called the "Prince of Peace".He was born to bring eternal peace between the holy God and sinful mankind. Through the sacrificial death of the lamb of God who took away the sins of the world (Jn 1:29),forgiveness for everybody is offered free unconditionally for all who believe in Him. The Choice is for man to accept or not. Remember what the Lord said" Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you; I do not give it as the world does"(Jn 14:27).

The mighty ruler, King David's successor , was born, wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger because there was no room in the inn! Jesus was born in one of the possible humble places we all can imagine; Shepherds from the nearby countryside, angels from the heaven, and wise men from the east came to visit, to praise and worship the new baby in Bethlehem. The gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh presented by the wise men to the baby Jesus were appropriate because he was born to be a king, priest and sacrificial lamb.

When we celebrate this great joyful season, let us always remember to practice our Lord's teachings in daily life to be his witness and to proclaim the good news to others as the angel said to the shepherds "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord"(Luke 2:12)..

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COME  IN PEACE THE NATIVITY OF THE SON OF GOD  

By Fr. Kurien Daniel
( Professor , Department of Syriac, Catholicate College, Pathanamthitta )

In the Syriac Liturgical tradition, Yaldo is a chief festival which refers the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is in fact the culmination event of the first sets among the six sets of equal importance in the liturgical year cycle. As we know the liturgical year commences with Koodosh eetho (Sanctification of the church).The meaningful divisions given by the church fathers are given below. . 
1. kood eetho-yaldo [birth of Jesus] . 
2. yaldo-kothine [first Sunday of great lent]
3. kothine-kyamtho [resurrection]
4. kyamtho-Pentecost [the invocation of the Holy spirit upon the church] 
5. pentacost-sleeba [the commemoration of the founding of Cross] 
6. sleeba-koododh eetho. 

Each one of these divisions bear its own significance. Everyone in the Church is bound to invoke blessings and further commitments out of the observation of these festivals. 

This years Christmas is a solemn occasion, a special gift given to us all by God Almighty. We are not just celebrating the Birth of the "Light of Life".Instead we are experiencing the powerful and wondrous influence of the Son of God who became man to deliver us from the bondage of sin. We read ST.JOHN 3:16. "For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son ,so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life".To me this verse is indeed the greatest. This is because it explains the fulfillment of Gods greatest wish i.e. to allow his only begotten to embrace crucifixion as a salvific act. The death of Christ eradicates the fear of death from us for he perished the pomp of evil one who has always an eye upon the spiritual one to pollute the pious and guileless nature he inherited from his creator. But the serious threat before us even today is the weak nature of us which in itself is a contradiction. Apostle Paul analyses in his epistle the contradictions in human organism. He upholds the following views. 

1. Man is a child of God and a sinner
2. Man is transient and eternal
3. Man is nature and spirit. 
4. Man is free and bound. 

All these four statements carry in themselves serious contradictions. How could one be a child of God and a sinner at the same time? How could one be transient and eternal at the same time? How could one be nature and spirit at the same time? How could one be free and bound at the same time?. These contradictions are surely there. Even then we are suppose to stand beyond these to catch up the heavenly goal. This is what Jesus proved to us in his human flesh. 

We read Philippians 2:6-8. "He always had the nature of God, but he did not think that by force he should try to become equal with God. Instead of this of his own free will he gave up all he had, and took the nature of a servant. He became like man and appeared in human likeness. He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death, his death on the cross." Here we see seven different steps of humility and meakness. 

Christmas is a festival of humility and meekness even though we celebrate it with great joy and exult. 

Let the Joy of Christmas fill in our hearts and compel our minds towards the divine favorite main message of Christmas is included in the word "JOY" i.e.
"J" esus first, 
"O"thers next and 
"Y"ourself last. 
Also remember that Christ a thousand times in Bethlehem were born, if not born in you and me ,for us the Christ event is nothing. 

On this occasion I wish all success to the "light of life" in its first Christmas.
Let it be a joyous gift to its readers not only on this special occasion but for ever. 
[ ITHO BASLOM YALDO. ] 

                

 

 

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GLORY  TO GOD, PEACE ON EARTH AND GOOD WILL TO MAN  

by Kuruvilla M. George
( Mr.Kuruvilla is working as the Asst.commissioner of Income Tax ,Tamil Nadu )

God has been kind enough to give us one more Christmas. As we approach the day, our minds are filled with the sweet memories of all the Carols we had attended in our life. It is an everlasting memory. The Church Bells, the Choir, the very sound of the Organ and the Christmas songs that we had sung or heard remain fresh in our memory, as in the story of 'The Cop and the Anthem' by O. Henry.

So when I thought of sharing my feelings with you this Christmas' time, the heavenly voice of the angels singing to the praise of the new born divine baby started filling my ears. As the origin of all the Carols that we have, they sang, "Glory to God in the highest; Peace on earth and Good Will to man". The joy of this first Christmas has lasted for the past two thousand odd years. But we wonder why we lose all the happiness of our Christmas within a few days of the celebrations.

We celebrate Christmas with a lot of programs, mostly repetitions and sometimes imitations. Still we derive pleasure in it. But quite strangely we go back to our old self, God willing, to recover and refresh after one year. Why does this happen? Fortunately we have no time to think of that also!

One reason could be that the thorny realities of life are crushing our soft feelings towards this big event. But is it enough to be satisfied with this excuse? Isn't this day much more important?

And I see sufficient reason to be anxious. When our lips sing to the glory of God, our minds are singing the glory of man! Do we really praise the Lord? Do we remember his omnipresence all the twenty four hours of the day? No, it's very much like the Sabbath! All the six days we live our way and the seventh day we remember him. If there is any house where a fixed time is set apart for the daily prayers and it is followed without fail, I praise them before the Lord.

When we are having our good times, we enjoy it and get more involved to increase the joy. At that time the very memory of God becomes an inconvenience since the thought of God may prevent us from many a word or deed that suites our earthly aims and gains.
But when we have miseries we turn to God. Unfortunately this is not to praise Him but to ask Him why this happened to us.


 We blame Him for giving this worry to us and also for not giving the same to the others whom we know. Then we ask for cure and remedy. And we show our readiness to part with His share of our richness.

Thus when we fail to give Glory to God, Good Will goes away from man and Peace remains a dream on earth. Many a time when the priest tells the congregation "Peace be unto you" and we respond " Also be with you", I have felt that a better reply could have been "That's what we don't have!".

The people are now running from pillar to post for peace and strength. It is good time for all local god-men. So high are the personal problems of the day. And if anybody anywhere promises peace and harmony, it is only for a price since there is some business in everything now. The motto of the day is " We pray for you; you pay for it !". I am not against payment for prayer but I am very much against the prayer for payment ! That takes away the very purpose of prayer. Prayer is for liberation. And our Lord was here to liberate us from darkness, sin and death.

So this Christmas, let us think of a change in our life - to start a new year giving God the highest Glory. Let us work with Good Will for Peace on Earth. Incidentally, when the Nobel Prize is given for Peace, I look around to see the peace that the recipient has brought ! But to my surprise, the award is mainly for speaking about peace. And I feel that there should be a similar award for Truth also because whereas very few people prefer to speak the truth, all of us prefer to speak about Truth.

The modern life is putting us into much confusion and darkness. Every moment of our life, we look for the Star that guided the three wise men to the presence of God. But where's the Star that gave them the light? You don't know! But do you know that God wants you to be the star? - for he has given you the light. St. Peter says so in his first Epistle (Chap-2/ Vs-9). "You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praise of Him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light". Let this light lead us all to the right destination of Good Will and Peace. Let us once again sing Glory to God in the highest.

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DIDACHE : THE APOSTLE'S TEACHING

CHAPTER 1

1:1 There are two paths, one of life and one of death, and the difference is great between the two paths.

1:2 Now the path of life is this -- first, thou shalt love the God who made thee, thy neighbour as thyself, and all things that thou wouldest not should be done unto thee, do not thou unto another.

1:3 And the doctrine of these maxims is as follows. Bless them that curse you, and pray for your enemies. Fast on behalf of those that persecute you; for what thank is there if ye love them that love you? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? But do ye love them that hate you, and ye will not have an enemy.

1:4 Abstain from fleshly and worldly lusts. If any one give thee a blow on thy right cheek, turn unto him the other also, and thou shalt be perfect; if any one compel thee to go a mile, go with him two; if a man take away thy cloak, give him thy coat also; if a man take from thee what is thine, ask not for it again, for neither art thou able to do so.

1:5 Give to every one that asketh of thee, and ask not again; for the Father wishes that from his own gifts there should be given to all. Blessed is he who giveth according to the commandment, for he is free from guilt; but woe unto him that receiveth. For if a man receive being in need, he shall be free from guilt; but he who receiveth when not in need, shall pay a penalty as to why he received and for what purpose; and when he is in tribulation he shall be examined concerning the things that he has done, and shall not depart thence until he has paid the last farthing.

CHAPTER 2

2:1 But the second commandment of the teaching is this.

2:2 Thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not commit adultery; thou shalt not corrupt youth; thou shalt not commit fornication; thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not use soothsaying; thou shalt not practise sorcery; thou shalt not kill a child by abortion, neither shalt thou slay it when born; thou shalt not covet the goods of thy neighbour;

2:3 thou shalt not commit perjury; thou shalt not bear false witness; thou shalt not speak evil; thou shalt not bear malice;

2:4 thou shalt not be double-minded or double-tongued, for to be double tongued is the snare of death.

2:5 Thy speech shall not be false or empty, but concerned with action.

2:6 Thou shalt not be covetous, or rapacious, or hypocritical, or malicious, or proud; thou shalt not take up an evil design against thy neighbour;

2:7 thou shalt not hate any man, but some thou shalt confute, concerning some thou shalt pray, and some thou shalt love beyond thine own soul.

CHAPTER 3

3:1 My child, fly from everything that is evil, and from everything that is like to it.

3:2 Be not wrathful, for wrath leadeth unto slaughter; be not jealous, or contentious, or quarrelsome, for from all these things slaughter ensues.

3:3 My child, be not lustful, for lust leadeth unto fornication; be not a filthy talker; be not a lifter up of the eye, for from all these things come adulteries.

3:4 My child, be not an observer of omens, since it leadeth to idolatry, nor a user of spells, nor an astrologer, nor a travelling purifier, nor wish to see these things, for from all these things idolatry ariseth.

3:5 My child, be not a liar, for lying leadeth unto theft; be not covetous or conceited, for from all these things thefts arise.

3:6 My child, be not a murmurer, since it leadeth unto blasphemy; be not self-willed or evil-minded, for from all these things blasphemies are produced;

3:7 but be thou meek, for the meek shall inherit the earth;

3:8 be thou longsuffering, and compassionate, and harmless, and peaceable, and good, and fearing alway the words that thou hast heard.

3:9 Thou shalt not exalt thyself, neither shalt thou put boldness into thy soul. Thy soul shall not be joined unto the lofty, but thou shalt walk with the just and humble.

3:10 Accept the things that happen to thee as good, knowing that without God nothing happens.

CHAPTER 4

4:1 My child, thou shalt remember both night and day him that speaketh unto thee the Word of God; thou shalt honour him as thou dost the Lord, for where the teaching of the Lord is given, there is the Lord;

4:2 thou shalt seek out day by day the favour of the saints, that thou mayest rest in their words;

4:3 thou shalt not desire schism, but shalt set at peace them that contend; thou shalt judge righteously; thou shalt not accept the person of any one to convict him of transgression;

4:4 thou shalt not doubt whether a thing shall be or not.

4:5 Be not a stretcher out of thy hand to receive, and a drawer of it back in giving.

4:6 If thou hast, give by means of thy hands a redemption for thy sins.

4:7 Thou shalt not doubt to give, neither shalt thou murmur when giving; for thou shouldest know who is the fair recompenser of the reward.

4:8 Thou shalt not turn away from him that is in need, but shalt share with thy brother in all things, and shalt not say that things are thine own; for if ye are partners in what is immortal, how much more in what is mortal?

4:9 Thou shalt not remove thine heart from thy son or from thy daughter, but from their youth shalt teach them the fear of God.

4:10 Thou shalt not command with bitterness thy servant or thy handmaid, who hope in the same God as thyself, lest they fear not in consequence the God who is over both; for he cometh not to call with respect of persons, but those whom the Spirit hath prepared.

4:11 And do ye servants submit yourselves to your masters with reverence and fear, as being the type of God.

4:12 Thou shalt hate all hypocrisy and everything that is not pleasing to God;

4:13 thou shalt not abandon the commandments of the Lord, but shalt guard that which thou hast received, neither adding thereto nor taking therefrom;

4:14 thou shalt confess thy transgressions in the Church, and shalt not come unto prayer with an evil conscience. This is the path of life.

CHAPTER 5

5:1 But the path of death is this. First of all, it is evil, and full of cursing; there are found murders, adulteries, lusts, fornication, thefts, idolatries, soothsaying, sorceries, robberies, false witnessings, hypocrisies, double-mindedness, craft, pride, malice, self-will, covetousness, filthy talking, jealousy, audacity, pride, arrogance;

5:2 there are they who persecute the good -- lovers of a lie, not knowing the reward of righteousness, not cleaving to the good nor to righteous judgment, watching not for the good but for the bad, from whom meekness and patience are afar off, loving things that are vain, following after recompense, having no compassion on the needy, nor labouring for him that is in trouble, not knowing him that made them, murderers of children, corrupters of the image of God, who turn away from him that is in need, who oppress him that is in trouble, unjust judges of the poor, erring in all things. From all these, children, may ye be delivered.

CHAPTER 6

6:1 See that no one make thee to err from this path of doctrine, since he who doeth so teacheth thee apart from God.

6:2 If thou art able to bear the whole yoke of the Lord, thou wilt be perfect; but if thou art not able, what thou art able, that do.

6:3 But concerning meat, bear that which thou art able to do. But keep with care from things sacrificed to idols, for it is the worship of the infernal deities.

CHAPTER 7

7:1 But concerning baptism, thus baptize ye: having first recited all these precepts, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in running water;

7:2 but if thou hast not running water, baptize in some other water, and if thou canst not baptize in cold, in warm water;

7:3 but if thou hast neither, pour water three times on the head, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

7:4 But before the baptism, let him who baptizeth and him who is baptized fast previously, and any others who may be able. And thou shalt command him who is baptized to fast one or two days before.

CHAPTER 8

8:1 But as for your fasts, let them not be with the hypocrites, for they fast on the second and fifth days of the week, but do ye fast on the fourth and sixth days.

8:2 Neither pray ye as the hypocrites, but as the Lord hath commanded in his gospel so pray ye: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done as in heaven so on earth. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debt, as we also forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil: for thine is the power, and the glory, for ever.

8:3 Thrice a day pray ye in this fashion.


                                                         

CHAPTER 9

9:1 But concerning the Eucharist, after this fashion give ye thanks.

9:2 First, concerning the cup. We thank thee, our Father, for the holy vine, David thy Son, which thou hast made known unto us through Jesus Christ thy Son; to thee be the glory for ever.

9:3 And concerning the broken bread. We thank thee, our Father, for the life and knowledge which thou hast made known unto us through Jesus thy Son; to thee be the glory for ever.

9:4 As this broken bread was once scattered on the mountains, and after it had been brought together became one, so may thy Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth unto thy kingdom; for thine is the glory, and the power, through Jesus Christ, for ever.

9:5 And let none eat or drink of your Eucharist but such as have been baptized into the name of the Lord, for of a truth the Lord hath said concerning this, Give not that which is holy unto dogs.

CHAPTER 10

10:1 But after it has been completed, so pray ye.

10:2 We thank thee, holy Father, for thy holy name, which thou hast caused to dwell in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality which thou hast made known unto us through Jesus thy Son; to thee be the glory for ever.

10:3 Thou, Almighty Master, didst create all things for the sake of thy name, and hast given both meat and drink, for men to enjoy, that we might give thanks unto thee, but to us thou hast given spiritual meat and drink, and life everlasting, through thy Son.

10:4 Above all, we thank thee that thou art able to save; to thee be the glory for ever.

10:5 Remember, Lord, thy Church, to redeem it from every evil, and to perfect it in thy love, and gather it together from the four winds, even that which has been sanctified for thy kingdom which thou hast prepared for it; for thine is the kingdom and the glory for ever.

10:6 Let grace come, and let this world pass away. Hosanna to the Son of David. If any one is holy let him come (to the Eucharist); if any one is not, let him repent. Maranatha. Amen.

10:7 But charge the prophets to give thanks, so far as they are willing to do so.

CHAPTER 11

11:1 Whosoever, therefore, shall come and teach you all these things aforesaid, him do ye receive;

11:2 but if the teacher himself turn and teach another doctrine with a view to subvert you, hearken not to him; but if he come to add to your righteousness, and the knowledge of the Lord, receive him as the Lord.

11:3 But concerning the apostles and prophets, thus do ye according to the doctrine of the Gospel.

11:4 Let every apostle who cometh unto you be received as the Lord.

11:5 He will remain one day, and if it be necessary, a second; but if he remain three days, he is a false prophet.

11:6 And let the apostle when departing take nothing but bread until he arrive at his resting-place; but if he ask for money, he is a false prophet.

11:7 And ye shall not tempt or dispute with any prophet who speaketh in the spirit; for every sin shall be forgiven, but this sin shall not be forgiven.

11:8 But not every one who speaketh in the spirit is a prophet, but he is so who hath the disposition of the Lord; by their dispositions they therefore shall be known, the false prophet and the prophet.

11:9 And every prophet who ordereth in the spirit that a table shall be laid, shall not eat of it himself, but if he do otherwise, he is a false prophet;

11:10 and every prophet who teacheth the truth, if he do not what he teacheth is a false prophet;

11:11 and every prophet who is approved and true, and ministering in the visible mystery of the Church, but who teacheth not others to do the things that he doth himself, shall not be judged of you, for with God lieth his judgment, for in this manner also did the ancient prophets.

11:12 But whoever shall say in the spirit, Give me money, or things of that kind, listen not to him; but if he tell you concerning others that are in need that ye should give unto them, let no one judge him.

CHAPTER 12 12:1 Let every one that cometh in the name of the Lord be received, but afterwards ye shall examine him and know his character, for ye have knowledge both of good and evil.

12:2 If the person who cometh be a wayfarer, assist him so far as ye are able; but he will not remain with you more than two or three days, unless there be a necessity.

12:3 But if he wish to settle with you, being a craftsman, let him work, and so eat;

12:4 but if he know not any craft, provide ye according to you own discretion, that a Christian may not live idle among you;

12:5 but if he be not willing to do so, he is a trafficker in Christ. From such keep aloof.

CHAPTER 13

13:1 But every true prophet who is willing to dwell among you is worthy of his meat,

13:2 likewise a true teacher is himself worthy of his meat, even as is a labourer.

13:3 Thou shalt, therefore, take the firstfruits of every produce of the wine-press and threshing-floor, of oxen and sheep, and shalt give it to the prophets, for they are your chief priests;

13:4 but if ye have not a prophet, give it unto the poor.

13:5 If thou makest a feast, take and give the firstfruits according to the commandment;

13:6 in like manner when thou openest a jar of wine or of oil, take the firstfruits and give it to the prophets;

13:7 take also the firstfruits of money, of clothes, and of every possession, as it shall seem good unto thee, and give it according to the commandment.

CHAPTER 14

14:1 But on the Lord's day, after that ye have assembled together, break bread and give thanks, having in addition confessed your sins, that your sacrifice may be pure.

14:2 But let not any one who hath a quarrel with his companion join with you, until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be polluted,

14:3 for it is that which is spoken of by the Lord. In every place and time offer unto me a pure sacrifice, for I am a great King, saith the Lord, and my name is wonderful among the Gentiles.

CHAPTER 15

15:1 Elect, therefore, for yourselves bishops and deacons worthy of the Lord, men who are meek and not covetous, and true and approved, for they perform for you the service of prophets and teachers.

15:2 Do not, therefore, despise them, for they are those who are honoured among you, together with the prophets and teachers.

15:3 Rebuke one another, not in wrath but peaceably, as ye have commandment in the Gospel; and, but let no one speak to any one who walketh disorderly with regard to his neighbour, neither let him be heard by you until he repent.

15:4 But your prayers and your almsgivings and all your deeds so do, as ye have commandment in the Gospel of our Lord.

CHAPTER 16

16:1 Watch concerning your life; let not your lamps be quenched or your loins be loosed, but be ye ready, for ye know not the hour at which our Lord cometh.

16:2 But be ye gathered together frequently, seeking what is suitable for your souls; for the whole time of your faith shall profit you not, unless ye be found perfect in the last time.

16:3 For in the last days false prophets and seducers shall be multiplied, and the sheep shall be turned into wolves, and love shall be turned into hate;

16:4 and because iniquity aboundeth they shall hate each other, and persecute each other, and deliver each other up; and then shall the Deceiver of the world appear as the Son of God, and shall do signs and wonders, and the earth shall be delivered into his hands; and he shall do unlawful things, such as have never happened since the beginning of the world.

16:5 Then shall the creation of man come to the fiery trial of proof, and many shall be offended and shall perish; but they who remain in their faith shall be saved by the rock of offence itself.

16:6 And then shall appear the signs of the truth; first the sign of the appearance in heaven, then the sign of the sound of the trumpet, and thirdly the resurrection of the dead

16:7 -- not of all, but as it has been said, The Lord shall come and all his saints with him;

16:8 then shall the world behold the Lord coming on the clouds of heaven.

Translated by Charles H. Hoole
(Courtesy - The Saint Pachomius Orthodox Library. This un-copyrighted document has been made available to the Library by courtesy of The Athenaeum of Christian Antiquity. The ASCII file produced by Athenaeum of Christian Antiquity, 4648 East Saint Catherine Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85040-5369. Edited for the St. Pachomius Library by Friar Martin Fontenot Gonzalez. The First Epistle of Clement was translated by Charles H. Hoole in 1885.)
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GOD CAME NOT TO DESTROY : BUT TO MAKE US WHOLE
By Fr.Shebaly 

Dearly beloved,
Greetings in the wonderful name of Immanuel who is born unto us In the fullness of the time, in Bethlehem!!!

Many of us think about sickness as a test or a punishment from God. But Bible says that is incorrect.'No one, when tempted, should say, I am being tempted by God.For God cannot be tempted by evil and He himself tempts no one .....and donot be deceived ,my beloved.' (James 1:13-16)

According to Bible Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy. If sickness destroys our health, means it is not from God for God is good and there is no evil in Him. Bible reveals that sickness is coming from Satan only (Job 2:7)(1 Jn 3:8).

But Job cried out to God for his deliverance and he was healed (job 42:10-12).

Christ, Son of God , came to save us, deliver us, preserve us, heal us, give us life and make us God's children.Removal of our diseases is included in Christ’s redemptive work, along with the remission of our sins ( Is 53:4-5).

If Christ has borne our sickness why should we bear with them? Christ healed all that were sick (Mt 8:16-17). Devils were all hateful in the sight of Christ. He rebuked and was manifested to destroy them all. Whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life (Jn 3:16) When we are sick we seek Gods will for us in our case. In the mean time we are doing all within the power of human skill to get well. If it were not Gods will , for us to be well, it would be wrong for us to seek recovery even through medical means.

King Asa died in his sickness because he sought not to the Lord, but to the Physicians (2 Chr. 16:12).ButHezekiah lived because he sought not to the Physicians, but to the Lord (Is 38 1-5).It doesn't mean that Physicians are wrong; but that our health source must be recognized in the Lord God.

Jesus healed the demon possessed boy whom the disciples could not heal. Jesus assigned the failure of the disciples to cure the boy not to Gods will, but to the disciple’s lack of faith. (Mt 17: 19-20; Mk 9:17-18). If sickness is the will of God every hospital would be against God’s will. Christ came to do the Father’s will and He healed them all ( Mt 8:16, Mk 6:55-56, Lk 4:40 ).Isaiah clearly prophesied the mission of Christ ( Is 61:1-4 ).

God says: 'I AM THE LORD WHO HEALS YOU.1 (Ex 15:26). Yes! Heaven and earth shall pass away, but the Word of Lord shall never pass!! Put your trust in Him!! Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13: 8). He is unchangeable. His words will never go into astray .Whatever good we ask in the name of Jesus, He will do it (Jn 14:14).So seek the Lord first when you are sick.

Are any among you sick ? They should call for the elders of the Church and have them pray over them , anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick , and Lord will raise them up”. (Ja. 5 : 14-15) This is what Bible Says Us .Put all your trust in Him and feel how credible, His word is!! : For the word itself is JESUS.

FROM THE HOUSE OF 'LIGHT OF LIFE' WE WISH YOU ALL A HAPPY AND BLESSED CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!

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DUAL PERSONALITY DEALT WITH PSYCHO - RELIGIOUS THERAPY

By Fr.Geo Kappalumakal

(Fr.Geo. Kappalumakal, now in his sixties, is a catholic priest from the Dioceses of  Palai, Kottayam Dst. Kerala, South India. He is running a counseling center for psycho religious therapy, a name coined by himself, a branch of psychiatry formed from his 45 years of research and experience. Has cured above fifty thousand mental patients who were sick by fright, during the period. But only thirty five thousand cases are documented. The cases cured while a parish priest in various churches were not documented. He took leave in1982 and started the counseling center with the blessings of the Bishop Mar Sebastian Vayalil, who ordained him priest) 

My experience shows that the illusory personalities can exhibit symptoms of any physicaldisorders. Blindness, deafness, Bleeding, abortions, asthma and tendency to suicide and murder are only some of them!

The incidents narrated by the illusory personalities are often frightening and even mind chilling.There are many cases, where modern medical science stupor posed, miserably failed and put to shame!

Among the hundreds, here is one for example:

Mr. Suresh 14 yrs. old, son of a Govt. local administration officer, was taken ill with high fever in 1991. He was treated in the neighboring hospital and got cured, but went deaf then on slowly. Parents were advised to take him to the M. G. Medical College Hospital, Kottayam. Here begins the painful travail of three years! After a long period of investigation and medication under the careful supervision of experts, he was directed to the Trivandrum Medical College Hospital for better management, since they failed in diagnosing and no response to medication! But there also various investigations yielded no fruit! The boy’s condition was worsening, nay more, in the mean time, he lost his speech also! The whole ENT section is affected in spite of careful medications. They concluded it was incurable and informed the parents the sad state! As a final trial and resort they were advised to go to The All India  Institute of speech and hearing, Gangothri, Mysore, the only one in its kind in India. (Mean while the parents consulted with the Doctors of Sree Chitra Medical Center Trivandrum and Kasthurba Medical College Manipal, were also, going through the charts of previous treatments, Doctors opined the " case incurable", needs no further investigation and medication) There also after a prolonged studies and tests Doctors proclaimed the case incurable- will not regain speech and hearing. He was provided with a Swiss made hearing aid,  but was of no use, so to say.

Still, though convinced, the parents unwilling to concede the reality, took him back to Kottayam Medical College Hospital. The Doctor, head and professor of neurology department,  admitted him to try his might. It was on the 3rd of April 1994. Failing in his attempt, the boy  was discharged on the 14th. Parents brought him over here, in this centre and narrated the  "three years travail".

I never thought it a case of mine. I took him to my "therapy room", only for the parents satisfaction and simply started the therapy process. But to the amazement of mine as well as  the parents and by standers, there emerged in him an illusory personality of a Sivarama  Menon, a very close friend and neighbor of theirs, died by chance falling in the deep waters  of his well, at night three years before. He started narrating a very sad story, for half an  hour! The parents attested the detailed narrations, as facts! I completed the therapy  process, Suresh got up from the Trans wondering and fully regaining his sense of hearing and  speech and went home rejoicing with his parents, leaving the earphone over my table which is  there to this day. The very next day he started going to the school and continues his  studies. All the medical documents are kept here for anybody’s perusal (The long and horrible narration made by the illusory personality is not given here)  Sym-path: -Tens of thousands of Rs. they spent in vain and on no expense the boy got  cured here! So they published "the cure" in the daily, Deepika, with the caption "Bouquet to  Fr.Geo and a question mark towards the ‘Modern Medical Science". Dr. Valiathan Cardiologist  and Dr. K. Radakrishnan Neurologist of Sree Chithra Medical Center Trivandrum took notice of  it. We had a discussion and I got a line of link with that prestigious Institution on research. Anti-path: - During a gathering, a certain man, called the attention of a leading psychiatrist,  an Asst. Professor of M. G. Medical College Kottayam who was present, to that write up. The  Professor mouthed- "I studied scientific treatment by paying money, not Manthravada (Black  Magic). If the boy was brought to me, I would have cured him, within 15 minutes, half an  hour was not needed"- a good joke! 

Fainting fit and suicidal tendency are very common among these patients. Many of the reported suicides are effected by the illusory personalities. Investigations prove it.  8820 of the above mentioned 28280 cases were subject to frequent fainting fits. Almost all of them were considered epileptics and were under treatment for long periods! All the previous  documents are preserved here. This should be an eye-opener for medical practitioners. What  we are trying to do in our psycho-religious therapy is removing the turbulent darkness and the  personified frightful idea by means of another religious and faith-based sacred idea. While  adopting this method of activating and strengthening the mind through a religious process, we  take care also to nourish the weakened bodily powers and sense functions, with appropriate nutrition. For, ``healthy mind is in a healthy Body.'' we do not depend on drugs. And if experience is any guide, I can say, these unfortunate people get well within a very short  period, Of course, Psychiatric medicine addicted patients, at times, create problems also!  Are the results obtained (cures) purely psychological or the result of a Religio-scientific  method of treatment with an inherent implications?  Is the illusory personality a product of the superstitious mind or an objective reality? For,  some tempting and horrifying cases need explanations!  We need more research and study to arrive at answers to these and other similar questions and problems.

I invite medical and allied institutions and organizations to undertake such enquiries, analysis  and studies. On our part we are more than willing and happy to provide all available facilities,  data and results obtained so far. There are thousands of case histories and documents, preserved here! Patients who were not  treated by Psychiatric or non-convulsive medicines, get immediate and permanent cure from  the sicknesses. Others need Ayurvedic medication for a period according to their body  condition depending on the actions and reactions of the previous, so called modern medicines!  If addicts, relapse also is possible! The case of E.C.T (Electro Convulsive Therapy) given  patients is very pitiable! Restoration to the previous stage is rather difficult, if not impossible  as a whole. Modern Psychiatric Science fail in diagnosing the fright caused mental sickness and even if diagnosed, no means of curing them, than giving high graded chemical tabs, and  E.C.T., a treatment more dangerous than the sickness. Since Human nature is the same  anywhere and everywhere, I feel the Psycho-Religious Therapy, drawn from the Indian  conditions, is applicable to any mental patient of any Nationality.  The illusory Personality or the vibrant darkness is capable of producing various symptoms of  various sicknesses that mislead the Psychiatrists and

Neurologists, in their symptomatic diagnosing. Here are a few cases, taken from thousands, horripilating if in details, narrated  briefly Dr. Mohanan M.B.B.S was brought over here, by his parents and brothers, and I was told  that he had been a mental patient for the last 2 years and was under the treatment of a leading Psychiatrist, a Medical College Professor. Showing the reddish Scar in his neck, they  told me of his attempted suicide, the previous day; he was saved at the last moment!  Diagnosing the case as masochism, the doctor suggested E.C.T. They objected, and was  brought over here? He was put under Psycho- Religious Therapy; the illusory personality  surfaced and narrated a horrible story! We completed the Therapy process within one hour  and himself got up from the Trans, astonished, having no memory on all about what is  transpired… On the tenth day he joined the hospital practicing, after a span of two years!

The case of Dr. Elsamma M. B. B. S. is still more interesting. She was an asthmatic patient  from the middle of the first year of her medical studies. She took treatment from many  eminent doctors during the period of her studies. No cure but had some kind of relief. Still she  secured a colorful pass and started practicing in her own clinic with a limited convenience of  IP care. Same time she was also taking medicines for asthma. The funny thing was that  whenever she was among the sick, she had sudden attack of asthma, so as unable to attend  them, nay more putting herself in a shameful and awkward position among them! After seven  years of treatment, she came to this centre and got complete cure from her sickness within  half an hour! The illusory personality was very horrible, and the details given were wonder  striking. She has written in the VIP Diary, maintained here, by her own hand, about the seven  years travail of her own life! See The Diary.

Mr. "Vasu Pillai'' was a Circle Inspector of Police when he was taken ill. His wife is a  Professor in a College. He himself one day sent his resignation to the higher ups, and remained  gloomy and aloof in his room! The resignations was not accepted, he being an award winner  for meritorious services and now sick. He was under treatment in a Medical College Hospital.  He was often violent towards his wife and used to call her names. Sleeplessness and fear  complex were the main problems. After one and a half years of treatment, he was taken to  this centre, by his wife and brothers and he got cured within few hours…He joined the duty on the 15th day. Now he is serving as a SP in the police department Cadre.

Krishna Pillai is a Civil Engineer. After a fever, he was noted as a different man with mood  change and epileptic symptoms. He was diagnosed, grandmal epileptic and treatment started  with a Neurologist. Being violent and sleepless at times, he was given psychiatric tabs also  from the very same hospital. He slowly exhibited suicidal mania also! That is after two years  of treatment! They prescribed ECT. His brother was a Cabinet Minister of the Government at  that time. ``With a letter from the minister, he was taken to this Centre. Under the therapy,  a shocking `history' from the illusory personality, kept the by standers at a suspense! He  joined his duty within ten days. Remarks can be read in the Diary kept here, written by the  Pvt. Sec. of the Minister.

Thresiamma, a ``normal person,'' was taken here by her husband and mother. The only  problem with her was that the family was not lucky enough to have a child, during, the ten  years of their marriage! She was pregnant, many a time during the period but ended with  bleeding and abortion, on every fifth month of pregnancy, every time after a fright in dreams,  of a woman with scattered hair! Altogether nine times! Seven times she was hospitalized, at  the third month of pregnancy prescribing bed rest. But abortion followed on the fifth month, in  spite of all medical attentions! (Dr. C. P. Mathew, the then Vice Principal and Professor of  Radiology was also present at that time-! He took a keen interest in it. He had seen over two  hundred different cases in this center.) By Psycho Religious Therapy, the personality was elicited; thrilling and blood curdling narration! She was pregnant for two months at that time.  She brought forth a male child at the maturity of that pregnancy. I had to face some  interesting challenges from some Gynecologists, during this period! Dr. C. P. Mathew was  following this case keenly up to the fullness!

Mr. Kuriachen- 42- is an agriculturist, with a rather good financial background. One day he fell ill and was hospitalized. Within a few days he got cured and was discharged but felt loosing his eyesight. He was taken to a very famous Eye Specialist in a major hospital. In  spite of all the medical efforts, he lost his eyesight. Still the treatment continued. He told me  that he had to sell out a portion of his property for the continued treatment. Nearly four  years of ``blinded life''! He was to be given ``blind certificate'' soon from the hospital. It was  during this period the fellow was taken to this centre by four of his brothers and relations.  With cautious steps, he was inducted to my office room. He could not see anything! I never  thought that it was a case of my therapy. Any way I brought him under Psycho- Religious  Therapy. To mine and many by stander's astonishment, the emerged illusory personality,  started speaking a mind chilling story!… Completed the Therapy process. He regained his full  eyesight. A touching incident: - When Kuriachen reached home, the whole family with great  joy gathered around him and among them there was a tiny tot of 3 yrs. Kuriachen asked his  wife who this girl is? The tiny tot cried, saying `oh, dad! Do you not know me! Yes! He had  never seen her, since blind for nearly four years!

Anitha was a tenth standard student when she got fever after a fright. Her mother was working as nursing Matron in Darbhanga Medical College Hospital. Admitted there. But soon  found her one side (left) paralyzed! For better treatment she was shifted to Ranchi Medical  College Hospital, where also the case was diagnosed as paralysis and she was prescribed  three years of medication and physiotherapy. Hearing about this Centre from Keralite  Missionary sisters working there, she was taken to this Centre to my dismay, I never thought  it a case of mine! Just for their satisfaction I brought her under the therapy! Again, to my  dismay there emerged a "personality'' narrating a very sad story! Therapy completed, she  started walking well, a complete cure from the paralysis!

There are thousands of different such cases. Documents, with the prescriptions of the  previous treatments are kept here, as far as possible, for the perusal of the research minded.

Continues in In the next issue ..A Typical Case History

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CHILDREN'S PAGE

Bible Word to by heart:

'Christ is Coming Again! Let us be diligent then to Obey Him Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ '

                                                                                   (
Titus 2:13)

CHRISTMAS : A TIME FOR SHARING & SACRIFICE
By Princy Miriam Mathew, Bombay

Christmas is a time of happiness as Christ is born for us in this day. This is a day for joy and merry making. While enjoying on this day, many a time we forget that this is a day of sharing, caring and sacrifice. We do have to share the happiness and tears with others, we have to care for each other and we should be willing to sacrifice for others. We send Christmas Cards and Greetings to our beloved ones and friends to show our care to them. At least We remember them during this festive occasion.

I like to share with you a short story to show the sacrifice of the beloved ones during Christmas time.

There was a very loving Husband and Wife who cared for everything each other. Unfortunately they lost their Job and Business during a Christmas season and there was nothing left for them to live with. Every Christmas they were exchanging some sort of gift out of their riches. But this time there was nothing left to buy the Christmas gifts.

During the eve of Christmas the wife thought 'Even though I don't give any costly gift to Tom this time, I have to give him some small surprise gift.' She knew that Tom is a very punctual man and he always value for the Time, so the best gift may be a strap for his watch as his strap is pretty old. As she did not have enough money she decided to cut her beautiful hair and sell it and buy the strap.

At the same time Tom thought ' I should definitely give a surprise gift to Maggie.' As he knew that her hair is very beautiful and a decorative Slide for her hair will be the right choice. As he did not have enough money to buy it, he decided to sell his watch and buy a decorative Slide for Maggie. So they both sacrificed the thing which each other thought valuable to them.

On the Christmas day when they meet each other, you can imagine the bliss of their sacrifice.

Wish You all a Happy Christmas.

INVITATION FOR A BIRTH DAY PARTY
by Bro. Paul Ciniraj Mohamed

From
Jesus Christ,
By the right of the Father,
Heaven

Dear sweet children of my blood of blood
and spirit of spirit

I am glad you are in the spirit of Christmas,
celebrating my birthday.
Sure my blessings be upon you
when you reflect loved ones
with greetings and presents both far and near.
But, don't forget
to pray for the broken hearted -
to give to the poor;
to feed the hungry that come to your door.
You look at that beggar,
he is an angel in disguise.

The best Christmas gift that you could ever give
is yourself for the gift of my life to you.
I came as a baby and left as a man.
If you just take me in to the manger of your heart,
I can rest there and cleanse all your sins.

Give me your heart as a present this
Christmas Day,
Invite me into your heart on my birthday
and ask me to stay.

Come all of you who hunger and thirst
after righteousness and follow me....
I will forgive you......
I gave my life for you.
What more could I give?
My life for your sins so that eternally you can live.
I gave my life because I couldn't bare to live with out you.
Come, Come let me love you today.
Cry out I will hear you and kiss your tears away.
I give you a promise.
If you believe in me and ask me to come
into your heart
I will come there and set you FREE from all your burdens.
I will be there always for you
and will not leave you nor forsake you.
For I am forgiving and loving and kind.
Accept my invitation of love
my pure love divine.

Ever lovingly
(your heart and your trust)

JESUS

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