30 seconds of my life

Hello.

I wanna make this quick and short.
And there’s a reason for that.

What follows is something I wanted to write back in December but I didn’t.
Anyway let’s get into that now. It’s a little deep.

Has anything happened in your life that was very brief but left a huge impact?

Anything?

Ponder on that.🤔

Something of that sorts happened to me.

It was back in 2018.

I was in my hometown. I was staying at a convent hostel as it was closer to my coaching classes.

The best part about staying there was that I could go to church daily. It was just a minutes walk.

It was of course the pre corona period but back then too, recieving communion in hand was normal there(personally not a huge fan).As it’s said“When in Rome do as the Romans do”. So I also started receiving communion in my hand.

Few days passed.

One day as I was walking back after receiving Jesus in communion my eyes were drawn to a Sister kneeling. She was keenly looking into the palm of her hand and moving her finger as if searching for something precious in what appeared as an empty hand to me.

It was just some 30 seconds of my life.

It was just a glance.

I knelt in my place and wondered as to what was she doing. Something urged me to look into mine. I looked into my palm and I saw tiny, like very very tiny pieces of Jesus left in my palm. You would miss if you didn’t search keenly.I moved my finger in my palm and placed Him on my tongue. Precious.

Oh even as I write this down now, that moment plays as if real.

It was a mere 30 seconds of my life but it’s been a huge part.

As I look back I can say that I learnt quite a few things from that brief encounter.

Jesus showed me how much He loved me. How much He wished to be with me.

He taught me that He is wholly present even in the minutest piece of the host.

There were moments when I was brought to tears thinking of how, He didn’t mind to become so, so very small that I may be able to receive Him.

Broken, and little.

Tiny and in pieces.

So that I may have a part with Him.

So that I, a sinner, may be able to unite with Divinity.

How long did you take to read this?

A minute or two.

I pray that this moment be imprinted in your heart as that glance was imprinted in mine, so that the next time you receive communion in your palm(during covid era), you may search keenly for any pieces of Him left behind. Don’t dust your hand or wipe it away.

Remember every piece of consecrated host no matter how much small, even if it seems like a speck is Jesus as a whole.

And another lesson that I learnt from this incident was that just like how my eyes fell on that dear Sister, many eyes will fall on me. The question that I need to find an answer for,  is,  will I be able to give them Jesus by my actions, by my way of living with no words spoken.

I stayed in that hostel for almost 7 months, I never spoke to this Sister, I don’t know her name but her face is still imprinted in my memory. That moment, that glance,that 30 seconds of my life still plays in my heart as I keenly look through my palm for the tiny pieces of Jesus. And I thank our Lord for her through whom He pierced into my heart.

Live well. You never know who is watching you and learning from you.

You could be the reason for the best 30 seconds of someone else’s life.

God bless.

Goodnight or good morning. Whenever this finds you.

Give

Woah!
Hello.
It’s been quite some time since the last post.
Sometimes you just get so messed up.

Anyway.
Something has been brewing in my heart and I would love to share it with you.

There is something so beautiful about children.
Their nature.
Their innocence.
Their trust.
Their faith.
Their ability to give and receive.
Wonderful human beings.

Let me share a little incident that happened last Sunday.
I don’t know what it is with children and offertory.

Last Sunday during the offertory, as usual, people went up one by one.
But towards the end was a little scene that captured atleast some people’s hearts.
Little Arnav, 3 or 4 years old( I don’t get their age right usually) for some reason decided to walk to the priest though he had nothing in his hands.
There were smiles from the pews looking at the little guy standing near the priest empty handed.
A brief moment.
A very brief moment passed by as he stood there in front of the Altar with nothing in his hands.

I stared at him with a smile in my heart.
What obviously swept me was his innocence.

For a moment I got lost in my thoughts.
It was a moment our dear Lord took advantage of, to teach me something important. It drew me back to the homily of Fr. Mike on Epiphany.
The three wise men from the East came to adore our Lord by giving Him gifts. They did not come with an intention of ‘what am I gonna get out of Him’ rather they came to adore Him and give Him gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.

The question of how often do I go to church with the intention of GIVING to JESUS. Giving Him my time, my energy, my love, my work, my attention, my weakness, my sins, my failings.

Through little Arnav our dear Lord taught me to give Him whatever I have and if that whatever is emptiness and nothingness, well then that’s what He wants me to give Him wholeheartedly.

To be like a little child.
Confident.
Walking to His Father.
With Gold, Frankincense or Myrrh, or maybe with two copper coins or maybe with just emptiness and nothingness,with failings and weakness.
Whatever it maybe.
He still wishes that I give it to Him.

What is it that you have with you to give Him?

Give it wholeheartedly.

Be bold like little Arnav.

Give yourself wholeheartedly.

Your Lord is a loving God.

“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”
Matthew 18:3-5

“Da per matrem me venire”

The Wise Men from the East

“The wise man built his house upon the rock

The wise man built his house upon the rock

The wise man built his house upon the rock

And the rains came tumbling down.

The rains came down and the floods came up

The rains came down and the floods came up

The rains came down and the floods came up

And the house on the rock stood firm.”

Did you sing along?
There’s a second half to the song, describing the foolish man who built his house upon the sand.
After communion today, this was the song that our dear Lord reminded me and that’s how this post took birth in my heart.

But before going there let me wish you.
HAPPY NEW YEAR my dear friend.
Hindsight 2021.
I’ll just describe it in a single line.
“Gone in the blink of an eye”.

That’s how I feel.

But our good Lord weaves in beautifully and we can only know how everything looks when He’s done.

Now back to the wise man.

We celebrated the feast of Epiphany this Sunday.
We have three wise kings visiting our Lord in the manger, in Bethlehem.
You know the story.

The question.
Why are these kings called “wise”?
What is the reason behind them being called “wise kings” ?

If you know the origin of the song we sang first, then you already know the answer. When I was little this was a favourite action song. Didn’t know back then the deep meaning of this wonderful song.

Let’s have a peek in the Gospel passage from which our song takes its roots.

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I tell you?I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them.That one is like a man building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when a flood arose, the river burst against that house but could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, immediately it fell, and great was the ruin of that house.”Luke 6:46-49

The wise men from the East observed the star and acted on the inspiration that they got and followed it.
Wise indeed.

Let me pull you back to the old testament.

“For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach the statutes and ordinances in Israel.” Ezra 7:10

This was the verse that hit me halfway into the Bible in a year podcast.

Study.
Do it.
Teach.

Let’s have a peek at our basic catechism class.
The question. Why did God make you?

“God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in Heaven”

Knowing is the first step.
Loving Him and serving Him has to be the result of knowing Him.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15

The bottom line.

Whether we hear or read or learn or study the word of God and if we don’t act by it, we are no more than the man who built his house upon the sand. When troubles come, the house collapses. The foolish man.

The choice is always ours.

To be foolish or to be wise.

To act or to not.

Dear Jesus, when you called the rich young man to follow you, he walked away and you told the disciples that it’s easy for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. Whatever it is that is holding us back from following you, we ask you O Lord to release us from its grasp. Because you said that  “What is impossible for mortals is possible for God.”(Luke 18:27)
Help us to follow your words, so that we be built on a firm foundation that doesn’t shake when floods of trouble hit us from all sides. Amen.

Happy feast!!!

May the Magi inspire us to be wise.

Have a good night or good day, whenever this finds you.

Da per matrem me venire”

Rejoice

“Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, Rejoice.”(Philippians 4:4)

I heard a question during a talk long ago,just wanna throw it at you today.

Which is harder,
to grieve with the grieving
or
to rejoice with the rejoicing?

I wanna let you think for yourself and answer that to yourself.

The one thing I realised is that it’s harder to rejoice with the rejoicing.

To truly rejoice with those rejoicing we really need to have grace.
Well we’re not talking about the fake rejoicing which envies inside and smiles outside but let’s look at the true rejoicing which is joyful inside out when good happens to another.
For this we need a humble heart, a loving heart and a heart filled with Holy Spirit.

Let me introduce to you two people who rejoiced truly with the other and they did it from the core of their very being  that they ended up singing praises to God, each in their own way, thus teaching us that we should rejoice in the Lord always.

The two people.
Both have good news to share with each other.
One in her youth and the other in her old age.
One conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and the other conceived in her old age after years of being barren.
One is the Mother of our Lord and the other is the mother of the forerunner of our Lord.
None other than Mother Mary and her cousin Elizabeth.

The scene.
2nd Joyful mystery.
The Visitation.

The question of, do I have a person in my life with whom I can share my joys. Do they rejoice with me?
Do we sing praises to God?

The question of, do I truly rejoice with another when they share their joys with me. Do I truly, lovingly, cherish their joyful mystery and sing praises to God? Or do I show a blind eye to them or just be fake?

How often do I rejoice with another?
How often do I rejoice in the Lord?

“Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, Rejoice”

Dear Holy Spirit, fill our hearts with love  and joy that we may be able to truly rejoice with one another and to sing praises to you.
Help us to Rejoice.
Immaculate heart of Mary, Pray for us.

“Da per matrem me venire

The Stage Is All Set

Sometimes some thoughts leads us to nowhere but sometimes they lead us to places far away.

The stable for our Christmas crib was set up today. It’s a DIY.
As we set it up I stared at it and said to myself “The stage is all set ,now all we need is Mother Mary and St.Joseph to reach here before Christmas .”

I re-winded my own words.
“The stage is all set.”

My mind flew back to that stable in Bethlehem. The one where Jesus was born.
God chose that place and set it ready for the King of Kings.
The stable was all set up. It awaited Joseph and Mary to reach at the appointed time.
And reaching that stable wouldn’t have been that easy for them because before they came to that humble stable they were rejected at every door they knocked.
And on reaching there, obviously they don’t complain about it, rather they accept it as God’s Holy Will.

My mind shifted the focus on to the way how God sets in waves of motions invisible to our naked eyes, so that we may reach the stage, the point, the place that He has already set for us.

But the question arises.
Do I get dejected by all the doors that reject me?
Or do I accept the rejection and walk ahead in trust?

And when I reach the stage that the Lord has set for me, do I accept it happily or do I sit and whine?

“Accept whatever befalls you,  and in times of humiliation be patient.For gold is tested in the fire, and those found acceptable, in the furnace of humiliation.Trust in him, and he will help you; make your ways straight, and hope in him.” Sirach 2:4-6.

Have a blessed and happy weekend ahead.

Into The Depths

“It’s the most beautiful time of the year
Lights fill the streets spreading so much cheer”

Okay, I’m not a fan of this song 🙅‍♀️ but isn’t this the most beautiful time of the year.

Hello to you.

When we think about Christmas many things come up in our mind.
Baby Jesus birthday, the Vigil, the cribs, the decorations, the lights, the music, loved ones,the holidays, Santa Claus, Carol singing, the gifts and so on and so forth.

But with what thought am I walking into this Christmas?

Hmm. That’s what I’m gonna share today.

Almost a month back our dear Lord popped a phrase into my heart and I’ve been sort of trying to ponder on it.
“The way of the cross begins with silence”

But before going there, I have to ask you a question.

Have you ever felt the sermons boring?🤷

I don’t know about you but for many years I barely gave my ears to sermons. I used to blank out during that time, lost in a world of thoughts. If a priest had to get my attention either he should be so loud that he is literally breaking my thought process or he should be knitting stories pulling in my curiosity or he should be walking around with the mic.
However, when the Lord started His work in my heart, my ears were more attentive to these sermons and man, they do make sense.

So FYI if sermons are boring to you, you need a spiritual heart checkup. Something’s going wrong there.

And I’m a work in progress.

Why did I drag you into sermons?

Well, a sermon which I heard in the beginning of this year resurfaced this past month.

The sermon had to do with mountains.

Our Father(parish priest) pointed out various significant mountains in the Bible and he sort of tagged an important point to each one.
Mount Moriah — Lord provides.
Mount Sinai— Law of love.
Mount Tabor— Glory.
Mount Calvary—Suffering for love.

But for some unknown reason he skipped Mount of Olives.
So my mind stuck with it. I wondered what can be the tag for that place.
Now, after doing a bit of research I realised that it has quite a lot of significance but back then my mind mainly drew to the Garden of Gethsemane which is located there.
After coming back home from that sermon I scribbled in my diary
“Mount of Olives— Prayer and surrender to the will of God.”

All through this past month the Lord pointed out to me that I mostly go to the foot of this Mountain during prayer.
“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me;” (Luke 22:42)
That’s it. Mostly my prayer stops right there. I mostly ask the Lord to remove my suffering. I don’t go beyond that.
Oh! how much the Lord has been working these past years for making me say the rest of His words
“yet, not my will but yours be done.”(Luke 22:42)
Sometimes you feel like those words are just choking some where in your throat.
Yes we are wounded and we fear. We fear surrender. We fear trusting. We fear letting go. The doubt sowed in the heart of Eve has paved into our hearts too. Can God be trusted? The question arises.
Yes He can be trusted and that’s what our sinless Immaculate Mother teaches us.
So I learnt everything well till here.
“I surrender to you O Lord” , I prayed weeping, when I learnt the fragility of my very being.

With all this going on in the background, the Lord threw the phrase into my heart.
“The way of the Cross begins with silence”.

It’s been a month now since these words have been lingering on. I’ve been trying to understand what exactly is He trying to teach me.

The first thing that came to my heart was obviously that I should learn to be more silent no matter what happens. I mean that’s what Jesus did right. He was silent all the way during His passion. He barely spoke. Though whatever was happening to Him was injustice, He yet chose to be silent because He knew that whatever was happening was His Father’s will.
The question quickly arises. How silent am I ? Okay ,when we are on the wrong we may be silenced but if we are on the right and yet persecuted do we stay silent? Oh ,do I need work here? Yes I need it when I’m right and wrong.

The second part to this I realised recently during a Bible study class . Jesus silently accepted all the places He was dragged to. The chief priests house to Pontius Pilate to Herod’s palace to soldiers scourging. He accepted it all. He did not question His Father, “why here?” just like how He didn’t question His Father “why here in a stable in Bethlehem?”.
This was a major hit on me because I’ve been for quite sometime questioning the Lord, “why here? Why here? Can’t I leave from here?Why am I stuck here?” It felt like an invitation to accept the place that the Lord has placed me in.

An invitation into the depths of silence.

“The way of the cross begins with silence”

There’s a beautiful prayer by St.Bernard of Clairvaux which I just love praying but whenever I come towards the end I gulp a bit
“Lead me on towards heaven along the way of the Cross”.
The way to heaven is by the way of the Cross.
That’s the shortcut.
The way of the cross.

You might be wondering, why are we thinking about Passion of Jesus during Christmas.
Like the famous saying goes
“Jesus is the reason for the season”.

The season, the reason

May we not cling to the secular things and forget whose Birthday we are celebrating.

May we not forget that this Baby had only one aim, one goal and that was to redeem us by dying on a Cross.

May we not get washed away without reflecting on His reason for coming.

What is the Lord inviting you to think about and change during this advent season?

Into what depths is He inviting you this Christmas?

Dear Lord, give us the strength to walk in the path you point and if we fall, help us to get back on our feet and continue the journey.
Amen.


Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
Exodus 20:12

🖌️🎨Need A Bolt

“As you fence in your property with thorns,
so make a door and a bolt for your mouth.
As you lock up your silver and gold, so make balances and scales for your words.Take care not to err with your tongue, and fall victim to one lying in wait. Sirach 28:24-26

Sinners are overtaken through their lips;by them the reviler and the arrogant are tripped up. Sirach 23:8

Come Holy Spirit, teach us how to speak.

Thanksgiving

A day for Thanksgiving.

This is the 100th post in Little Offering.

Today I wanna share my journey with this blog with you.

I’ve been going on a rewind in my heart to when it all started.

The more I zoomed in, the more  clear the picture became.

How very well the Lord drew me into this world of writing which was never even in my radar some 2 years ago.

God know us more than we can ever know ourselves but yet we try to behave as if we know what’s best.
Sometimes only by laying down our  plans can we give God the space and time to let His plan bloom in our life.

Surrender has always been hard for me. But Surrender is the word and act that the Lord has been teaching me over and over.

So thanking our Lord for His constant love and His never tiring pursuit.
He never tires.

This is in fact my fourth blog. The first three I just got rid of, because I sort of knew that it wasn’t for me. “I” knew.
But God proved me wrong when He kept pushing this desire in my heart to write for Him.

I started this blog with the intention of writing about His and my Mother, Mother Mary. I wished to write about my journey to her Immaculate heart.

But then many a times along the way  I wanted to quit this one too, in fact I deleted it a couple of times because according to me this was not important. I felt that writing a blog would just be a distraction from “my” plan.
But then, God kept sending people.(I hope they don’t mind me mentioning)
I thank God for them from the bottom of my heart.
He used Reshma’s name to kick start me into writing, then Fr.Ratnakumar’s advice which was a guide to start this blog , Fr.Daniel’s talks which made me not quit when I wanted to the most, Fr. Jijo’s encouraging words which kept motivating me. My mom’s silent support and my dad’s patience played a great role.

When I was looking for a name for the blog, my heart slipped to the words “Little Offering”. Offering because that’s what my name means and little because of St.Therese (Little Flower). I was really proud that I was able to finally get a fairly not so bad name. I wish I could take credit but when I re-consecrated my heart to the Immaculate heart of Mary this year I read the words of consecration slowly and it was then that this phrase struck me
“Recieve, O benignant Virgin, this little offering of my slavery. I declare that I wish henceforth, as they true slave, to seek thy honour and to obey thee in all things”

So I wonder who was exactly behind all this.

I finally want to share a bit of me before we leave. In our Family prayer we have a section for intercessory prayers and intentions which I barely gave much attention to. The intentions were said by my parents and we would pray an Our Father, one or three Hail Mary’s and a Glory be. From when I was very little, the very first intention was my quota🤦. I almost never heard what my mom’s intention was because I never tried hearing it. But I used to think that it was an intercession to St.Maria Goreti. I mean, to whom else  would you ask help for a little girl. After almost two decades, with a fall and rise included in the journey, I for once in my life at 24 gave ear to what my mom was praying. It was a double intercession, an intercession to St.Therese(Little Therese) to intercede to our Lady that she may pray to the Lord for me.

All my life Little Flower and Mother Mary were with me except that I didn’t have a heart to look back at them.

Life looks like a full circle .

Well all in all, here we are. The 100th post. I never thought that I would come this far.

And no I haven’t forgotten. I thank the Lord for each and everyone of you who support me through your presence in the blog. It means a lot.

If God is asking of you something, He means it and He wishes you good. So just do it. That’s what I can tell you from what I’ve learnt. And don’t be like me, do give ear to what you pray.

Have a blessed week ahead.

“Da per matrem me venire”


I will exult and rejoice in your steadfast love,
because you have seen my affliction;
you have taken heed of my adversities
Psalm 31:7

Soul Checkup

When we read or watch or hear something, what we understand now, may not be what we would have understood some years ago or what we might understand years down the road.

How we understand, how we process and interpret things, are in some ways influenced by what is going on in our life now or what we have gone through so far.(I’m talking about the general day to day things and not regarding understanding things like math problem or science theories)

Well, some days ago I watched a movie which was pretty awesome by the way but there was this one scene that blew my mind.

🤯

I can say that the movie does have many thought provoking points but it’s obviously not all right or true.

By the way the movie is “Soul”

The characters in play are ‘22’ a soul who doesn’t want to go to Earth and ‘Joe’  who is dead but doesn’t want to go to the Great Beyond so he tries to escape back to Earth but ends up in the Great Before.

If you are like, what is she talking, you can for sure watch the movie, it’s a simple one but for what I’m drawing you in , you need not watch the whole thing.

Just this scene.

Isn’t that just cute. Oh, Man.

Out of the whole one hour and 40 minutes, this is the scene that made me think.

Well, now you know.
I’m such a foodie. I loooove food.

But the words of 22.
“All that stuff is in your body”
Oops.
These words made me think.

“All that stuff is in your body”

“All that stuff is in your body”

What is it that can feed my soul then?

Obviously it isn’t food or money or fame or riches or name.
All these are of this world and all these satisfy my body not my soul.

I wondered, when I die and my soul arises what would it’s craving be?
If you are dead, means no more food, no more use of money or fame or whatever it is that satisfies you in the world.

So shouldn’t I feed my soul and keep it healthy just like how I feed my body and keep it healthy?

“Soul”

Focus on the soul.

What does my soul thirst for?

What is it that heals my soul?

What is the yearning of my soul?

That drew my heart to a Psalm I read long ago.

Let’s hear what the Psalmist has to say.

“O God, you are my God, I seek you,my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you,as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”Psalm 63:1

The question is, what is my soul’s thirst?
If the answer is coffee then I guess I’m a lot lost. Lost in the body.

The Psalmist continues

“My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast, and my mouth praises you with joyful lips when I think of you on my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night;for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.”Psalm 63:5-8

Satisfied as with a rich feast.
Wow.

It got me thinking as to how much I give importance to the needs of body(which isn’t wrong) but what about my soul?

How much do I quench my soul’s thirst by being in God’s presence?
How much do I feed my soul by giving praises to God and meditating on His words and feeding on His Body,the Eucharist?

I attend Latin Mass here in Telugu(not my native language,so I struggle).So while attending Mass most of the prayers I do manage in Telugu but for some unknown reason there is this one prayer I still pray in English.

The prayer of the centurion.

Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed”

Every Mass we repeat the same words.
“Only say the Word and my soul shall be healed.”

It was during the time I was pondering on this movie scene that these words became more audible to my heart. Yup.🙆.Well God can break through as He wish and when He wish.

It all came as a perfect timing mash.
I’ve started to listen to the Restore the Glory podcast some weeks ago ,it’s by Dr.Bob Schutz and Jake Khym. And it’s all about spiritual healing. They go deep into all kinds of wounds(I didn’t know that there were 7 types) and fears. If you want to go down that road I would recommend this(and it’s better if you start from episode one,go slow, I’m still at 11).

So the idea of spiritual healing did blossom in my heart. But there was something that the Lord wanted to point out.

I felt like God was teaching me the word’s I’ve repeated so many times as of now.

Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed”

God’s word is the healing balm for the soul.
So primary recommendation for spiritual healing is the Word of God. Read the Bible.
Talk about perfect timings. I’ve been lagging in my Bible in a year with Fr.Mike Schmitz. Who says God doesn’t check on you? He does.

It’s a 15 second scene in that movie but it can make you think deep , as in, what exactly are you feeding your soul? Or are you feeding your soul at all?

Well if you’ve come so far I just want you to know that taking care of your body isn’t wrong at all but taking care of the yearnings of your soul is also important. So I’ve learnt. And all that our soul truly yearns, is for it’s Creator, God Himself.

Let’s have a soul checkup.

As I wrap it up, I want to leave you with the words of St. Augustine to ponder on:

“Take care of your body as if you were going to live forever; and take care of your soul as if you were going to die tomorrow.”

Have a good, good night dear friends. Or morning. Whenever this finds you.


See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! 
2 Corinthians 6:2

“Da per matrem me venire