Thursday, 10 December 2015


 Blessed was I to be born naked
Pure and innocent in everyone’s eye
Sucked the breasts of unique kind
Tasted the milk that never could match

Tender was I to be hugged and kissed
Uniquely learned to return the same
Different was the attire that I wore
Made me feel special and proud

Served was I with unique cultural food
That made me believe as the only tastiest food
Journeying East and West, North and South
Have realized how little that I had tasted

Innocent was I to be filled with beliefs and traditions
That gave my life a sense of purpose and meaning
Thought my thinking pattern the only way to truth
But sorry! It was only one among the millions

Frail was I to be conditioned by my little background
That watered down million ways of thinking to a single one
Insecure of my little world I ignored to think outside the frame
But thanks to education that freed the mind from my little world

Bestowed was I with capacity to intellectualize and argue
But what matters to life is little love and compassion shared
Shortness is the life to be lived with full zest
For naked I was born, naked shall be my return!

Romanius Barwa


Bounty was Your gift to Your beloved
Caterpillar Your beloved turned to be
Cancerously gobbled Your unassuming beauty
Thanks to You, Your beloved has realized
You with Your merciful heart
caused your beloved’s global-heart-warm
May Your beloved restore Your love
For without You beloved is hollow
Global green bestows global freshness to life
And freshness and fullness of life is Your highest glory!

Romanius Barwa

Thursday, 19 November 2015

A Missonary’s Life

     A missionary’s life is full of adventure and challenge. S/he can rarely complain of an uneventful day. Each day brings with it new challenges to be faced, obstacles to be overcome and hearts to be won. A missionary’s life is one of constant activity because s/he has to take the Good News to a large amount of people who have not heard about it. This makes the work critical and yet delicate because the manner in which the Good News is communicated is as important as the content itself. One cannot preach about Joy is one carries around a long face everywhere, neither can one teach forgiveness if one has not learned to turn the other cheek oneself. So while the proclamation of the Gospel is a top priority, a prerequisite is practicing all that one preaches.

Cl Ian Pinto sdb

Be Missionaries here and now…

            “We look upon missionary work as an essential feature of our Congregation” – says art 30 of our Constitutions. Missionary Sensitivity is an integral part of the Salesian DNA. “Without missionary work the Congregation would not only be impoverished, but would be distorted and alienated from its true nature. In it one could no longer recognize the Salesian Society as its founder had visualized and wanted it” (Project of Life p. 307).

            Cagliero Institute at Ivrea in Italy, during its 43 years of existence (1922-1965), supplied over a thousand missionaries to all the parts of the world. What we are today is to a great extent the result of the hard work and sacrifices of missionaries who came to India from as many as 25 different countries, over a period of 100 years. It is amazing to note that at the death of Don Bosco, 20 per cent of the Salesians were in the missions (SGC 471). In these past 140 years, there has been 146 expeditions, from which some 11,500 Salesian missionaries left from the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Valdocco to various mission lands. It is proof enough of the Congregation’s commitment to mission ad gentes.

For us Salesians, missions ad gentes are not just one work among many others; they represent something very much deeper: an essential aspect, a particular dimension of our identity as Salesians of Don Bosco in the Church. It may be true that the Congregation is not listed in the Pontifical Yearbook among the “missionary institutes” strictly so-called, that is, those dedicated solely to the foreign missions. But our founder wanted that there be in the Congregation a true commitment to missions ad gentes. GC19 expressed the same thing when it said: “The Salesian Congregation… revives the ideal of Don Bosco who wanted the work of the missions to be a permanent preoccupation of the Congregation to the extent of being part of its nature and purpose… it therefore reaffirms the missionary vocation of the Salesian Society… and intends that it be known as such in the Church as well as to its own members and cooperators (GC19, pp 178-179).

To be a missionary is a call within a call. God extends a special invitation to those whom he finds suitable to serve Him in far away places. Blessed are those who receive such call and we should be prepared for it at anytime. But this special invitation of God does not stop anyone form doing the work of God wherever we find ourselves. We are sent by God to the people in our own localities. Hence, all of us are called to play the role of missionaries wherever we are. Fr. Pascual Chavez once said, “There is no missio ad gens, if there is no missio intra gentes,” which means, you can't be a good missionary, if you are not already a missionary in your own context. Let us then take up our missionary call and serve the Lord with the spirit of a missionary.

(extracted and edited from the INM provincial circular, November, 2015)


Monday, 16 November 2015

To our Dearest Benefactors – our Anonymous Samaritans

In the gospel we hear the story of the good Samarian, a story which truly brings about a very great truth of our faith and this truth is nothing else but love. I believe that the Good Samaritan responded to her vocation because she loved.

On the 3rd of November all around the Salesian world we remember our benefactors and pray for them especially the deceased and ask the lord to grant them eternal life for their generosity. Here in Divyadaan we did a similar thing. In the morning during the Eucharist we prayed specially for the benefactors because of whom we are able to enjoy a simple and comfortable life and have a tangible experience of the providence of God. In the evening we spent moments together praying as a community in the light of the gospel story of the Good Samaritan. We named our benefactors as ‘anonymous Samaritans’ because of their generosity even though we do not know them. We also reflected on how Don Bosco throughout his life experienced Gods providence in the help he received from the many people who directly or indirectly helped him to carry on the mission the lord had entrusted to him. In the similar way we thanked and praised God for the many benefactors who have made it possible for us to reach this stage in formation.

We thank you dear anonymous Samaritans our beloved benefactors for all that you have done and continue to do for us …

May the lord bless you abundantly for your generosity.

Cl Felix Almeida SDB

How can I contribute to the Catholic missions?

     The document of Vatican II, Ad Gentes, which is the decree on missionary activity in the church points out three ways in which an ordinary practicing Catholic can contribute to the furtherance of mission work.

    The first is ‘living a devout Christian life’. This may seem simple and remote but its implications are great. Imagine if every Christian lived the way Christ did. Being devout Christians is easier said than done. Our situations, circumstances or culture may influence us to act in ways that are not authentically Christian. It is when we are faced with such challenges and we yet choose to live according to the gospel that we truly live our faith authentically.

    The second way is through ‘fervent service of God and neighbour’. Jesus’ teachings and example as delineated in the Gospel must be our signposts. One may ask how his/her service of people in his/her immediate proximity can contribute to the missions? It can, in as much as one is actively involved in bearing witness to Christ and His gospel. In this sense, one becomes a missionary oneself.

     The third way is through ‘prayers and works of penance’. This is seemingly the easiest way. St Teresa of Child Jesus was pronounced patroness of missions by the Pope, without ever setting foot in a mission land. She devoted her life to praying for missionaries and their intentions. One can also offer up small penances and acts of self-abnegation for the success of missionary work.

     These are three simple and practical ways the document gives us to involve ourselves in the missionary activity of the Church.

Cl Ian Pinto sdb

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Proclaiming Christ’s Message

     Jesus instructed the seventy-two (and he does the same to us) to carry two messages to everyone they meet. The first message is “Peace” and second is “the nearness of the Kingdom of God”. Peace is everybody’s desire. We may not be able to do great things for the establishment of peace but if we can be peaceful people and bear the message of peace, we would be doing a lot although it might seem like little. The message of the Kingdom’s proximity is in fact a call to review one’s life. The Kingdom of God is going to be established pretty soon. ‘Are we living lives that merit a place in that Kingdom?’ is a key question. “The harvest is plenty but the labourers are few” must not become a prophetic statement. By our commitment to the call to be missionaries let us modify the statement to: The harvest is plenty and so are the labourers. 

Cl Ian Pinto sdb

Friday, 13 November 2015

Divyadaan celebrates SMD 2015

         Throughout the year on the 11th of the month the community of Divyadaan commemorates Missionary Day. Remembering missionaries, praying for them and animating the community have kept alive the missionary spirit. There was something special this month. The missionary group along with Fr. Tony D’Souza guided the community to understand the missionary spirit and called in for a greater participation in looking at the missionary dimension of the congregation. This took the form of a Triduum celebration. 

          On the first day the community dedicated the evening prayer moments praying for missions and missionaries all over the world especially the ones facing difficult situations this was done by initially introducing the theme of the year for Salesian mission day – ‘Come Help Us’

          On the second day the meditation focused on the theme ‘Trust in me’. The intention was to help the community realize that trust in god is the fundamental requirement for a missionary. This is done with the help of readings taken from the biographical memoirs which spoke about the missionary dimension of the Salesian society at its beginnings. In the evening, Fr. Tony shared his views on the need to be missionaries. He presented the views of the Rector Major as described in his dream for the bicentenary. We also reflected on the document of the missionary formation of the Salesians which was jointly prepared by the formation and the mission commissions of the society.

          On the third day the members of the missionary group presented in gist the Vatican II document on the missions and missionary, that is, Ad Gentes. The presentation of the document in summary form brought out the most essential features that spoke about the preparation and the requirements for personnel and missionary activity.

          On the Commemoration Day the meditation in the morning focused on what it means to be missionary, it also focused on the call of Jesus to each and everyone. Thereafter the Eucharist enhanced the theme ‘praying for all missionaries’ and retrospected the day when the missionaries went on to have the first missionary expedition. The Missionary Day celebration  concluded with a very inspiring recollection talk on understanding what it means to be a true missionary and that the heart of a missionary is larger than him.

Cl. Felix Almeida sdb

Appointed to be Missionaries

     After this, the Lord appointed seventy-two other disciples, and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place, where he himself was to go. The Lord’s appointing of the seventy-two may appear as a kind of selection, which it is to a certain extent. He chose those whom he felt were ready. The harvest is abundant but the labourers are few (v. 2). This verse is often quoted to stress the need for vocations to the priesthood or to religious life but it holds meaning for all of us. Proclamation of the Kingdom of God is not the prerogative of the priests, brothers or sisters. It is part and parcel of our Christian identity. By virtue of our baptism, we are called to proclaim the Kingdom of God. So the call is universal but the manner and capacity in which we carry it out differs. Some carry it out as priests, others as consecrated brothers or sisters, others as members of families and still others as single men or women. St. Paul writes to the Ephesians about the diversity of callings within the Christian vocation: As for his gifts, to some he gave to be apostles, to others prophets, or even evangelists, or pastors and teachers. So he prepared those who belong to him for the ministry, in order to build up the Body of Christ (4: 11-12).

Cl Ian Pinto sdb

Approaches to Discipleship

     It is interesting to note that the commissioning of the seventy-two is preceded by an episode aptly titled in the New American Bible as ‘The Would-be Followers of Jesus’ (Lk 9:57-62). In this account we hear three voices besides the voice of Jesus. The first claims to be ready to follow Jesus completely. Jesus replies, “Foxes have their holes and swallows have their nests but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head”, implying the rigour of discipleship. To the second voice, Jesus extends the invitation to follow him but he is asked to wait till he has buried his father. Jesus instructs him about priorities. The third voice also like the first expresses readiness but displays hesitation. He wants to consult his family first.

These three voices reveal three types of disciples. The first type are those ready to brave it all for God’s glory. The second are those whom the Lord calls but who put it off for another day. The third are those who find it hard to decide for themselves. They are easily swayed by others and find it tough to assert themselves. All of us fall into one of these categories. If we are in the first category, let us ask God to give us the grace to follow Him wholeheartedly and to help us discern His will for us. If we are in the second or third categories, then let us first discern in prayer what exactly is hindering us from committing ourselves to the Lord and offer up these obstacles to Him asking Him to give us the strength to overcome them and to make us His true followers.

                                                                                      Cl Ian Pinto sdb

Thursday, 8 October 2015


We are living in an era of extinction. So many flora and fauna, and other habitats are disappearing from the face of the earth on daily basis. Previously, so many different types of species existed but today we find them only in museums, laboratories, or in history books. Contrarily, we are constantly battling today with the rapid growth of human population. However, time is not far ahead, soon human beings will realize that even they are at the verge of extinction.

Human beings have destroyed enough and more species by playing with them and now they have began playing with their fellow human beings. When they were playing with natural habitats, they were busy with them and so as among human beings they were united. They were full time busy waging war with species and natural habitats. But today human beings have very few species left to keep themselves busy waging wars with them. So, human beings to keep themselves busy playing tragic game they are turning towards their fellow human beings. Though they realize that their fellow friends are also of the same kind, but they would not resist playing with them because in any case they had to keep busy. Otherwise, they do not know how to spend their leisure time. So, they find some excuse to differentiate themselves with other fellow human beings. Thus, in their attempt they find the excuse in religion. Belonging to another religion makes them a different species all together. So, today religion is being used as a differentiating factor among human beings and this is just to play the war of game to destroy others.

People down the centuries had believed that God created human beings and everything of the universe. But today many will not believe in such old belief because today it is quite evidently proved that human beings instead of worshiping the real God they have created god in their own image and likeness. If God were to create in His own image and likeness, the world would have been different; people would have celebrated life as brothers and sisters in the unity of love as many would say. However, in reality we see just the contrary things happening. God who is the source of love and mercy has become the cause violence and hatred in the hands of human beings.

People have created gods in their own image and likeness and because of this they are trying to defend the god of theirs. Being narrow and limited people have created gods who are no different than them. If God were to create human beings, would God require human defense to protect Him? Will God require human brutality to defend the honour of His name? The gods of human mind needs protection because they are imagery creation for psychological security. Out of insecurity human beings created gods of their own nature, gave attributes and now they are afraid that if their gods are destroyed their secure home which they have established and adorned for years will be destroyed. Hence, they do everything to protect their pity gods.

Today, in India one is witnessing the ultimate fallenness of human beings wherein animals have been treated as gods. Animals have become gods but human beings have become lower than any created creatures that exist in the world. To protect the cows, stinky people are slaughtering the once considered their fellow human beings. People of different faiths have become indifferent towards people of other faiths, and only prying to crush others. Religions have utterly divided. Instead of bringing the entire human beings under the umbrella of love, care and concern it has divided them. Human history evidently illustrates the divisive consequences brought about by religion. If religions were to concern really about God, the world would not have been so brutal and murderous as we are witnessing it. I cannot reconcile in any case that God can kill a human person to bring order and harmony in the world. If He does so than I do not doubt but unhesitatingly affirm that that God is fraud. Just like animals, even people kill only out of insecurity and not otherwise. So, if God kills than even He is insecure. Moreover, if God is the source of everything then He should be able to change the heart and mind of human beings without even causing the end to their life. But the fundamental question we need to ask is, which god is killing, is it the real God or the god of human mind?

If the God that human beings worship can kill any human life than religion is purely a human venture which is devoid of any godliness. There might be divine elements in it but since it is a human creation, creation of insecure human mind, when life becomes hard or when things do not suit their life, they change the principles of religion just to suit their behavior. Their religion is guided by their convenience. If such is the case then religion is a curse to God. Human beings have cut God into pieces and it is the slaughtering of God into pieces that is dividing and cutting human beings into pieces too.  

Is religion a curse to God? Viewing the inhuman atrocities that are being committed in the name of religion, it is evident that religion is a curse to God. Would the real God choose a religion that is murderous? It is the high time to realize that though religion is a human creation, founded to share the personal experience of God’s love, mercy and forgiveness; it is not any kind of organizations to suck the blood of others. Religion was supposed to be the epitome of love but has become the graveyard of the humanity. Can human beings who have created such a bloody mess, realize and therefore restore it? It is possible but if human beings do not turn away from their fundamentalist attitude one must be ready to face the dooms day. Hope if God wills humanity would not have to face such a day. Humanity can only hope and pray that they learn to treat each fellow human beings with dignity and respect, enrich each other with their unique experiences of God’s love and mercy, and more especially may the religious leaders bless the world with Godliness that will enable to see fellow human beings as brother and sisters.

Hatred begets Hatred
Violence begets Violence
Reaction begets further Reactions
Opposite is also True:

Love begets Love
Peace begets Peace
Acceptance begets further Acceptance

So, let us change the world, begin with the self and reach out to others… love changes in the ways we cannot see… do not wait for others to change… others cannot change you… you be the CHANGE!
Romanius Barwa

Tuesday, 6 October 2015


The whole humanity will agree with me if I say that we must live each day to the full or to the maximum. All of us want or at least wish to live each day in the best possible way, bringing all our potentialities and talents to fruition. None of us want our energies and talents go in the waste dustbin. We want them to be in the vanguard of our life as an inspiration to others. Sometimes we find ourselves in the midst of activities, trying hard to achieve so many things in life. Such suffocating moments make us think that we are very busy. When we are busy we think that we are living our life to the full potentiality. We often confuse realizing our potentialities with accomplishing activities. However, we realize that to live each moment of the day to the full, with unconditional love, sensitivity, openness and intelligence is not so easy and at times even seems as the heaviest cross of our lives.

We make great plans for our lives and then we  attempt to tailor each passing moment of the day according to that giant plan of ours but often in the process we forget to live the moment, and all the more we are never fully present at the moment. We forget to live the present, we get entrapped by our constant worries of how to achieve that giant goal of ours that we have set for our lives. In the process of striving for the set goal, we encounter so many amazing internal and external realities of life but we become blind to them. They never catch the attention of our lives. We become dead practically to everything, perhaps except for the thing that we are striving for. For instance, internally we might get lovely feelings or sensations that might evoke to greater mysteries of life but we will not care about them because they come as an obstacle in our way to achieve our set goal. All that we do is push them aside. Externally we might encounter fascinating natural beauty or we may encounter sweet smiles of a child or a crying face of the old person but we will ignore them as if they are non-entities to us. For us all that matters is how to achieve the set goal. In the bargain of achieving the goal we become insensitive, conditioned, narrow-minded, and so on.

Living each moment to the full and in the happiest way possible requires of us to be totally authentic first of all to the core of our very being and then to others and finally to the whole of reality.  This authenticity also means to act according to our own convictions and not to follow blindly the commands or the dictates of others. Blind acceptance of anything does not in any way make us better human beings. To be fully human we need to understand what we accept, obey, follow, and also the significance of it. Moreover, when it comes to the integration of thinking and acting things becomes very difficult and at the same time complicated. There emerge a big gap between what we think and what we do. Sometimes all the good things that we think of remain only in the theoretical level. Very often they are realized in the theoretical level, intellectually we might feel happy about it and it might even give intellectual satisfaction but they are far from being realized in the level of action. In the level of action they are paralyzed. We might be bombastic in our speech but in action we might be empty. For this reason the toughest thing perhaps is to be the person we are.

Most of the times, we are never the real person as we are deep within.  Very often we get lost in accumulating either material or psychological goods that we see as necessary for our security. We are worried about what people say or think about us but we forget to inquire our very own selves. Instead of finding who we really are, we depend on the words of others. We always want to escape from our own selves and dwell in the world of fantasy. Most often we are frightened to inquire to the deepest core of our being because at that level we realize the constant battle that goes on deep within. Many times we would want to share with others but we can’t express them as we would want to because we get the feeling that others might not like or it might even disturb them. There is the burning desire deep within to share but we would not do so, rather we would rationalize and say that we have absolutely no problems. So, what we do is to dress up the internal battles with lovely aprons so that people might see it with appreciation. Sometimes we struggle so much but we will not show them. Rather, if at all we disclose the problem we do so by decorating it with appealing piece of cloths but we know that covering up the reality will not solve our problems in any way.

Perhaps the heaviest cross of our life is to live each and every moment of the day to the full. As we said it is not as easy as it sounds to be. However, in the Person of Jesus we have a great model who can help us in this aspect of living each moment to the full. He lived his life to the full with authenticity but He also paid the price for being true to Himself. Living to the full in its authenticity demands a heavy price to be paid in this beautiful world infected by corrupt individuals. However, living authentic life has its blessing for one can live in freedom and in peace of mind. He advises to His disciples, ‘take my yoke for it is light,’ meaning to say that Jesus is addressing us to live like Him and in living like Him there will be no heavier crosses because His love is unconditional. If we live our life with unconditional love, honesty, sincerity, affection and so on then our life will be very simple and very easy because there is no burden in being authentic to oneself. In fact, being authentic liberates an individual’s because Jesus Himself has said that if you know the truth the truth will set you free.

Hence, to set ourselves free we need to find the different types of crosses that encumber us. It is in realizing our problems and encountering them as they appear to us that we set ourselves free. Just as Jesus encountered the death to attain total liberation, so too we need to encounter our problems, face the challenges as they come, get up to courage and wisdom if we are fallen for it is only in rising from the fallen state that one encounters the newer reality that which is totally different.  To resurrect we need to acknowledge the crosses of our lives and it is in bearing the crosses like Jesus with unconditional love that we would be able to liberate ourselves to ultimate freedom or love. Jesus forever stands as model in living life to the full.
Romanius Barwa

Sunday, 23 August 2015


With the beginning of each dawn as we open the eyes to the miracle of a new day with its unlimited power of living something awesomely unexpected, we are being filled with reverence and awe at the sight of a magnificent creation. With the blade of tender grass to the delicate leafs of the trees splendidly swaying as the cool breeze sweep across them and infuses refreshing spirit in all the creation. A person living his/her each passing moment of life to the full cannot evade or be blind to such marvels of life and creation. The beginning of each new day dawn holds within it the conclusion of how the day is going to end. The awesome ending of the day depends on the awesome beginning of the life at dawn.

Viewing the creation with tender eyes as each new day dawns with its bubbling life, one will realize that each living creature pops up with tender smiles to greet and wish you the best for the day. Moreover, a person  who is fully alive to the spirit of life can never find a reason for which one is so madly taken-up or be in love with the amazing sight of the morning with all creation wishing life. One can never find a true reason why the universes with all its creatures wish him/her life in its fullness. We might be able to invent some reasons with our cunning minds but those reasons are baseless for it becomes the creation of mind for its egoistic survival. If one can find some reasons, it will only reveal that he/she is not fully awaken to the spirit of life. For true love has no reason whatsoever. It is just love. To live a life of love is to live in total communion with the spirit of life which is love in its totality or ultimate. Whereas, to live a life of reason is to fragment life into different compartments but deep within we are aware that love unites and reason divides.

We are intoxicated with the paralyzing idea that in order to love a person we must know him/her first. Here, our knowing becomes the criterion to love. But, is it really true that one needs reason to love or have we just accepted it as facts because it has been told to us over and over again by our elders, society or academicians. Can reason be the cause for love? If it is so, then is it real love? Can love be bought or sold by reason? Love is beyond reason. Reason cannot be the cause for love for reason is the sole factor of the division of love. Reason can never love in its ultimate for it bargains with love. It says if such and such is the case then I will love. For instance, if you are good to me than I will love you but the moment you fail to fulfill my expectations I stop loving you. Therefore, all loving with a reason is no true loving. Loving with a reason puts conditions but love in its fullness is unconditional. There is no measure to love but love is its sole measure.  One who loves moves beyond reason and becomes the source of life-giving spring.

When there is a reason for love than that is a bargained love, a love that can be bought or sold by the price of reason. Moreover, that which can be bought can also be sold easily or discarded when it is no longer useful or satisfactory. Hence, where reason exists primarily there is no place for love. Contrary, where love exists primarily, reason becomes a secondary thing. However, reason has its place but only after love. It should be only a part of faculty that comes to play when the ocean of love has invaded the spirit of reasoning. All reasoning should be the outcome of love.  For instance, it is often told that we must hate sin but not the sinner. It can be well applied that we must love the sinner first and then help the sinner to overcome his/her sinful acts with the help of our loving assistance. Love has the uplifting and transforming effect, whereas, to certain extent reason has similar effect but more so it fosters cunning stubbornness of justification. Reason helps to justify and makes one self-righteous. And where there is self-righteous claim, love flies out of the window for it uses love as a means to enlarge itself either consciously or more so unconsciously. When it enlarges itself it reduces the wholeness of the other. Thus we can say that love is life-giving and reason is life-taking.

We all by default want to love and be loved. However, we often fail in this aspect of our aspirations. It is not that we do not know how to love, rather we never enquiry what generates in us the desire to love. Is it that we are lonely and therefore, to cover up that loneliness we want to love or there might be many other hidden motives that push us to love? It becomes fundamental to discover the cause of our love because where there is a cause or reason for love, that love is inevitably going to cause us pain. Love to be life-giving it should not be based on any cause or reason. Most of us want to do so much good in our society because we love our society. We want to help the poor and neglected, widowed and orphan, sick and suffering, down trodden and broken hearted, and many alike. In many of these cases we might be driven to do something to uplift them but if we are moved by their pathetic condition or may be moved by some other reasons than we are certainly going to end in despair. We will get irritated and depressed when things do not turn out in our favour. Hence, before we venture out to do any good in our society we need to be aware of what is that which moves us to think about our society. Is it seer love or reason?

Romanius Barwa

Wednesday, 12 August 2015


Work, work and work. Yes, all we want is work and a day with 24 hours seems to be too short. No sooner we realize the dawn and begin putting our hands in multiple tasks the day is gone and it’s already bed time. We get so much immersed in the activities that we forget the very purpose of work itself.  Most of us overload ourselves with so many unnecessary activities that at the end of the day we neither find satisfaction in work nor find meaning in life. When such situations arise we begin to question about the purposefulness of life. However, there are some who never question anything in life. They work like robots. They are workaholics. Such types of people are neither creative nor enjoy the dynamism of life because they do not have time to consider new ventures or observe surprises. They are so caught up in their work that they have no time to think anything other than the work they do. Hence, if people want to be more creative and enthusiastic in life they need to distance themselves from the work they do. Distancing from the work place gives a fresh vision to the existing work and adds new inputs in the work and also renews the zest for work life.

We strain and stress ourselves unnecessarily. We want to accomplish all the works possible. Our urge to work becomes much more when the task is entrusted to us. We get enthused with burning desire to complete the task. For instance, let us consider the life of a missionary. He strongly feels deep within the missionary mandate given by Lord Jesus and he leaves no stones unturned in fulfilling the mandate. He totally immersed himself in the tasks trying to do all the good possible for the people entrusted to his care. Working tirelessly for months and years without any breaks, the missionary gets drowned in the river of works. He carries on the very same work and in the same way as he began it. He preaches the very same sermon and in the very same manner which does not make any impact in the lives of the people he is working for. Yet, he believes that he is very busy and that he has no time to take a leave for a few days to pray and reflect. He would even justify himself saying that he shall rest in heaven. No doubt working is good but getting lost in achieving the quantity of work and losing the sight of the quality of work is not what Lord Jesus would want. For Jesus himself would say to his disciple when they returned from the missions “… lets go off into the remote place…” (Mk 6: 30-34).

Distancing from work temporarily is not a waste of time but it gives fresh vision and clarity to ongoing works. Distancing from works widen ones horizons, help to see reality in a new way. Temporarily dwelling in different atmosphere, confronting different realities, and meeting people with different life styles opens up closed mentality and gives new perspectives to work life. Distancing from work helps to look work in a new way because distancing gives the bird eye view to evaluate the work. Distancing also rejuvenates with innovative ideas and gives fresh energy to delve into the mission. Distancing is important for it gives one the opportunity to sharpen the saw rather than struggling hard with blunt saw to accomplish the task. Distancing helps to view things differently and makes one more intelligent and smart as well.

Hence, I would say that taking a leave for sometime from the work is necessary for it adds new colours to life and work. In this connection I would say that the weekend is the most beneficial part of the week because it gives the opportunity to refocus the priority of life which otherwise is forgotten due to commercial works. Children are the jewels of parents but often they are forgotten by their parents due to heavy load of work. However, the weekend gives them opportunity to consider and redirect their life. Similarly, all human beings must take a break from the task they do for it gives freshness to life and everything around life.
Romanius Barwa

Monday, 3 August 2015


It is often said that ‘truth hurts’, or some others would say that ‘truth is the greatest offender.’ If we were to argue intellectually we would vehemently deny the fact but if we genuinely become aware we would see how often we attempt to defend ourselves and our points of view just because we do not want to challenge our conception of truth. Truth pricks the very core of our self. It shakes the very foundation of comfort zones that we have laid for our life. Openness to truth demands of us to let go of ourselves, our past knowledge, ideas, attitudes, behaviours, ways of thinking, and so on that we hold very dear to us.  Hence, we do not like to take bitter pills rather we prefer to live in the sickness of ignorance and die with it
The Community of Divyadaan, the Salesian Institute of Philosophy, Nashik staged the musical entitled ‘The Promised Land’ on the first and second of August, 2015. The musical reiterates the Exodus Journey of Israelites – God liberating them from the bondage of the Egyptian Pharaoh to the Promised Land. The play was simply fabulous. People were amazed to re-look the exodus journey with the new set of spectacles. Thanks to the people in and back the stage who did an awesome task. In the second day I chanced to encounter an army gentleman (belonging to other faith) during the interval and soon entered into a profound conversation which made a deep impact in my life and I would like to share with you all. 

I just inquired why he didn’t ask any of his friends from the camp to accompany him. What he replied marveled me. (My humble attempt to put in his own words), ‘I did not bring anyone because their minds are different and more so my friends belong to other faiths who fear even to hear the name of Jesus because he is such a holy person. The reason of the fear is that most of us human beings are deeply wounded in so many ways and taking the name of Jesus would mean – a challenge to CONVERSION from our old ways of living. It would mean a call for HEALING which demands of us to look deep within for the cause of our sickness which in fact is not easy because we do not want to see who we really are. It would also mean a call to CHANGE which is the toughest thing because we have set up a particular pattern for our life which ultimately determines us. People once acquainted with the dust, they prefer to live with it than to change.’ Moreover, he added ‘Most of us have the tendency to ignore or avoid the people who challenge us the most because those people open up our filthy wounds of inner life which we do not want to see because we do not have enough strength and courage and we end up thinking that there is no cure for it.’ 

A few minutes of deep encounter can alter the whole scenario of thinking and push one for further reflection. The man had something very profound to convey to me and perhaps to each of you through me. We might have read or heard the Bible over and over again and it is quite possible that we might have become deaf to those fiery words.  People who hear it for the first time are greatly disturbed because of its piercing effect into their hearts. But we who are Christians perhaps become indifferent to those words and the name ‘Jesus’ has become just another word, it does not evoke anything in us. The word of God constantly beacons us to Conversion from our old ways of living, Healing from our narrow-mindedness and Change for better but we never pay heed to it. Though our lips profess our faith but our hearts and minds are miles apart from it. How often do we not act like those Israelites in the wilderness, though God has set us free but instead of taking responsibility and living good life we prefer returning to our old ways of living. People of other faiths fear the name of Jesus so to bring them closer to Him let us proclaim Him by living the name of Jesus.

Romanius Barwa

Friday, 31 July 2015

Dare to Dream: Ready to be Challenged

In order to achieve something in life we need to Dare and Dream. But it is not enough to dream for the sake of dreaming or remain at the level of ideas.  Dream calls for action. To truly dream means to dare to do something different. Daring to dream invites troubles. It is swimming against the current. We just cannot separate dreams from challenges. If we have dreams to accomplish, we need be ready for something good, something unexpected, something worst, and even something drastic. 

Let me illustrate my idea with a simple example. St. John Bosco, lovingly known as the father and friend of the young dared to dream something unconventional in his times. His dream was to help the poor and the marginalised youth of his time. However, to fulfil his dream he had to undergo immense sufferings and face enormous challenges. He was challenged in every way, and from every walk of his life. He was challenged by the clergies and the church authorities of his time. Some of the people in the society were annoyed by the noise of his boys. Some even considered him insane, because he played with the boys, he visited prisons, took his boys for outings and walks, taught basic skills to earn a living. All that Don Bosco did was something unthinkable for many. He was challenged by his physical condition that was deteriorating. But Don Bosco sailed through all these only because he had dared to dream and wanted to fulfil it. 

What can we learn from this simple example? I feel that many a times we do dream big but fail to accomplish them, because of the challenges we perceive. We sometimes get stranded at the ‘red sea’ like the Israelites, finding no further hope and meaning. I believe that if we want to do something in life, if we want to walk an extra mile, if want to be different, and if we dare to dream, we need to be armed to battle the challenges that come on our ways. I think that if we are sincere and honest, and if our dreams are not merely for our selfish gain, but for the good of our sisters and brothers and for God’s greater glory, we can cope with anything. Let us not stop at the ‘red sea’ (challenges), but let us look beyond to the ‘promise land’ (accomplishment of our dream), than we can be happy and make others life meaningful. 

Let us Dare to Dream the Dreams we want to Dream, and let us Challenge the Challenges that Challenge our Dreams. 

Pawanjit Singh SDB