My Daughters

My Daughters
my cute daughters

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

25th February, 2013…

…has been yet another golden day of my life. On this day something so very spiritual happened to me that I feel my just-begun spiritual walk with Jesus Christ is already reaching its right destination. Yesterday I became one of the founding members of our church’s Inner Healing (IH) team. This means I will be one of the original members of this IH team. I was away at Signature Mumbai 2013 (Goregaon) but the founder of the IH team called me especially so that I could be present there when the commitment pledge was been taken by the other founding members. I felt really nice and privileged because this shows that I am known for my commitment and the founder can rely on me. I feel oh-so-happy that Jesus is showing me the right spiritual way and guiding me in the right direction.

Though there are some really stringent rules to be the founder member; I am ready to undergo them because I know it will benefit me only. There are certain things which I already have been doing on a daily basis but other things I will surely be able to do by the grace of my Lord Jesus.

When I was asked on what particular ministry I sense a calling, I said writing. So I might start my own, very much cherished, proclamation of “written word” of God. Just keeping my fingers crossed!!!

Yesterday was indeed a spiritual day because besides being one of the founding members, I as an animator of my community, accompanied the Redemptorist Priest to all the families of my cluster. The details of redemptorist priests are given here:

These redemptorist priests have come to our church for Lenten mission. They are men of faith whose driving force is the Gospel.

PS: I am also one of the core members of the Easter Ball organizing committee.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Habakkuk 2:3

From yesterday I have started my prayer journey. I was invited to join the others when they went about praying in a particular home and while praying, this was revealed to the main pray-er who has decided a lot of spiritual activities for the entire parish. While he was praying, this was revealed to him:

3 For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
it speaks of the end
and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it;
it[a] will certainly come
and will not delay.

We were all very happy because we were discussing to organize regular spiritual counseling for everyone, praying every day, regular training for the team, retreats twice a year for Confirmands and things like discipleship training, etc. This in a way is true for me as well who always wanted to join this group.

Sacrament of Confirmation

The Sacrament of Confirmation is the second of the three Sacraments of Initiation – the first one being Baptism and the third one Holy Eucharist. Baptism, the Eucharist, and the Sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the “Sacraments of Christian Initiation” – Confirmation perfects our Baptism and brings us the graces of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Anointment, or the Sacrament of Confirmation, is a holy Sacrament, with which we receive the seal of the Holy Spirit. In the Sacrament of Confirmation – the Holy Ghost comes down upon the recipients to make them strong and perfect Christians and soldiers of Jesus Christ. As we all know, I am one of the Confirmation catechists. In our St. Joseph parish (Mira Road), the Rite of Confirmation is on February 17, 2013.

Confirmation has all the requisites of a Sacrament as it was instituted by Christ, and the Fathers and Doctors of the Church recognize the institution of the sacrament of Confirmation in the sending of the Holy Spirit at the Pentecost. As we are aware, the Holy Spirit is God, and the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. Confirmation is a Sacrament in which, through the imposition of the Bishop’s hands, unction and prayer, all my baptized students will receive the Holy Ghost. “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth”. Acts 1:8

The Bishop of Bombay, Bosco Penha, will be laying on his hands, anointing with chrism, and prayer, all the baptized candidates and they will be strengthened by the Holy Spirit. While it is Baptism that first gave them the Holy Spirit, Confirmation will increase His power within them. In a way, this Sacrament will strengthen the new life in all of us.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Lent is the season of penance and prayer before Easter which starts every year on Ash Wednesday. The word Lent has come to mean springtime or new life and many congregations invite their people into a season of spiritual spring cleaning.

In Orthodox churches, this season is called the Great Lent. It begins on Clean Monday. Lent in 2013 started yesterday i.e. Wednesday, the 13th of February and will continue for 46 days until Saturday, the 30th of March. In Western Christianity, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and concludes on Holy Saturday. The six Sundays in Lent are not counted among the forty days of Lent because each Sunday represents a “mini-Easter”, a celebration of Jesus Christ’s victory over sin and death.

The holy season of Lent gives us yet another opportunity to reflect more deeply on our lives and how we relate to others, both near and far and not so dear. It’s that time of the year to grow deeper in our intimacy with our Savior Jesus Christ. In fact, Lent is a season of grief that necessarily ends with a great celebration of Easter.

The official liturgical color for the season of Lent is violet and it’s the most important season of the year. Since traditionally the Lenten season is a time of penance throughout the Catholic Church, what am I giving up for Lent 2013?

I guess, I will stick to the age old tradition of fasting, special prayers and almsgiving. Hopefully I have started saying the daily OCDS prayers. Since Lent is also a season of conversion and renewal, I will this time, try my level best to renew myself through abstinence.

Song of my life...

O what a wonderful, wonderful day, day I will never forget;
After I'd wandered in darkness away, Jesus my Savior I met.
O what a tender, compassionate friend, He met the need of my heart;
Shadows dispelling, with joy I am telling, He made all the darkness depart.

Heaven came down and glory filled my soul,
When at the cross the Savior made me whole;
My sins were washed away and my night was turned to day,
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul!

Born of the Spirit with life from above into God's family divine,
Justified fully thru Calvary's love, O what a standing is mine!
And the transaction so quickly was made, when as a sinner I came,
Took of the offer, of grace He did proffer, He saved me, O praise His dear name!

Heaven came down and glory filled my soul,
When at the cross the Savior made me whole;
My sins were washed away and my night was turned to day,
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul!
Now I've a hope that will surely endure after the passing of time;

I have a future in heaven for sure there in those mansions sublime.
And it's because of that wonderful day, when at the cross I believed;
Riches eternal and blessings supernal, from His precious hand I received.

Heaven came down and glory filled my soul,
When at the cross the Savior made me whole;
My sins were washed away and my night was turned to day,
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul!

He makes all things beautiful...

In His time, In His Time
He makes all things beautiful in His time.
Lord please show me every day
As you are teaching me Your way
That You do just what You say
In Your time.

In Your time, In Your Time
You make all things beautiful in Your time.
Lord my life to You I bring
May each song I have to sing
Be to you a lovely thing
In Your time.

My Lent prayer...

God of mercy and compassion,
Look with pity upon me,
Father, let me call Thee Father,
'Tis Thy child returns to Thee.

Jesus, Lord, I ask for mercy;
Let me not implore in vain;
All my sins, I now detest them,
Never will I sin again.

2. By my sins I have deserved
Death and endless misery,
Hell with all its pains and torments,
And for all eternity.

3. By my sins I have abandoned
Right and claim to heav'n above.
Where the saints rejoice forever
In a boundless sea of love.

4. See our Savior, bleeding, dying,
On the cross of Calvary;
To that cross my sins have nail'd Him,
Yet He bleeds and dies for me.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Daniel Fast

“In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled." Daniel 10:2, 3

The Daniel Fast is based on partial fast as mentioned in the Holy Bible. If one needs to enter the spiritual disciple of prayer and fasting, we should undertake Daniel fast. There are two scriptures that advice two types of Daniel Fasts. The first fast is based on 2 Kings 24 and the other is based on Daniel fast. The 2 Kings 24 fast lasts for 10 days and you can eat only vegetables, fruits and drink only water.

Like I wrote in my previous post, I will be Daniel Fasting today and on all the Fridays during this Lenten season. One of the great things about the Daniel Fast is that I am not limited to any specific amount of food, but rather to the kinds of food I can eat. Though the Daniel Fast is a 21-day partial fast, in which commonly enjoyed foods are restricted as an act of worship and consecration to God, I will be observing them only on Fridays. The Daniel fast is eating only fruits and vegetables for a certain amount of time, abstaining from all normal food.

In essence, this is one form of a strict vegetarian diet to combine the power of fasting with prayer for more dynamic results. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective – James 5:16. It's easy to become very self-centered on a fast. God never does anything as major as a revival without someone first fasting and praying hard for it.

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday – the first day of Lent, the season of preparation for the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. Details on

This is the day a cross of ashes is imposed on a worshipper’s forehead. This ancient custom reminds us of our own mortality and coming judgment (‘remember you are dust and to dust you shall return’) and therefore encourages us to take stock of our lives, to be grateful for all that is good, and with God’s help to amend what is wrong. This year, Ash Wednesday is on February 13, 2013, which marks the beginning of the Lenten fast for 40 days (not including Sundays). The time has now come in the Church year for the somber observance of the great central act of history, the redemption of the human race by our Lord Jesus Christ.

A tradition of the Roman Catholic Church, Ash Wednesday actually falls forty six days before Easter and for me, it’s the best time of the year to experience space for meditation and prayer. Hoping to enter into the heart of Lent by reflection as Ash Wednesday is also considered as the Quiet Day, offering time for silence in community, a sacred space for opening to the Spirit.

Today I will be observing the Daniel Fast. I have decided to observe this on all Fridays during Lent and also on Good Friday. Traditionally, the Daniel Fast requires a 21-day fasting period but since I will not be able to do so, I will keep it on all Fridays.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE Crosses 50,000 Copies!

You Can Make A Difference, the best-selling book by Fr Alfonso Elengikal, has crossed the magic figure of 50, 000 copies and is still continuing to sell. The book, first published in September 2004, with a Forward by Mrs Grace Pinto, Managing Director, Ryan International Group of Institutions became a best seller in one year with 20,000 copies sold out in five consecutive editions. The 9th edition, released in August last year was sold out in less than 6 months. The next edition of 5000 copies is expected to reach leading book centres in the country any time now.

The book is the fruit of the vast experience of Fr Alfonso Elengikal, a priest of the Society of St Paul, who was the editor of the popular national youth magazine, The Teenager, for nealy 17 years. The Teenager, published by Better Yourself Books from Bandra is the oldest surviving youth magazine in the country and has entered its Golden Jubilee year of publication in November, last year. Citing the examples of well-known and lesser-known personalities from all walks of life, Fr Alfonso challenges the readers of his book to dream big – reaffirming the truth that each one of us has within himself/herself the power to bring about a transformation within and around us, and make a difference!

Mrs Grace Pinto in her forward to the book writes, “The book will inspire every reader to discover the hidden energy, to magnify the self, and to multiply ways in which she/he can make a difference. The author reinforces that life is God’s precious gift to us, and what we make of life is our gift to God. Through the pages of his book, Fr Alfonso invites his readers to support secularism, to fight communalism, to celebrate women and treat them with dignity, to say no to corruption and to be patriotic. I wish him all success in his mission.”

Young and dynamic Pearl D’Souza from Orlem, Malad , who has read You Can Make A Difference thoroughly, writes in her Preface to the book: “Every reader of the book, whether student, teacher or parent, especially the youth, will find in the book something to think about, to act upon, to find fulfillment and make a difference. The book with its inspirational messages and stories of courage and will-power will definitely plant in the heart of the reader the desire to transform his/her emotions and dreams into reality. Hearty congratulations, Fr Alfonso!”

Fr Alfonso first came to Bombay in 1975, to be part of the editorial team of the now defunct Home Life, a premier monthly magazine, published by St Pauls from Bandra for about 12 years. In addition to his priestly and journalistic responsibilities he has, ever since, been actively involved in initiatives like Clean Bandra Campaign, All Religion Meet, Mohalla Committees, etc. The Teen of the Year, an annual youth pageant which he began in 1996, brings every year to Bandra, dozens of teenagers from across the country to participate in the final event held in November. Fr Alfonso also contributes regularly to many religious and secular publications with national circulation. Presently, he handles the P. R. activities of St Paul's, all over the country.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Number 12

Yesterday during the Eucharistic celebration, the priest insisted on the importance of number 12 in the Bible. I always keep my ears open for such things and was really attracted towards this as Googaa is going to be 12-years-old this year. This is her year, year of the snake, according to the Chinese calendar. Not only this, as I wrote in the second line of this post, I keep my ears open on such tidbits as I like to research and blog on such things.

So I came across this site,, which has some really exciting content about the number 12 in the Bible.

My search shows that there are twelve months in a year and this is why it is so prevalent in the Bible. Bible scholars both ancient and modern have interpreted this number as reflecting the symbolic perfection of redeemed man in terms of the “perfect” number 12. Many of the numbers in the Bible have deeper prophetic or spiritual significance. At least 12 numbers in the Bible stand out in this regard: and 12 is one of them as the number twelve speaks of governmental perfection or rule.

It implies structural beginning or foundation of an organization and normally deals with placing things from within perfect order. The importance of 12 in Judaism and Christianity can be found in the Bible. The biblical Jacob had 12 sons, who were the progenitors of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.

For Bible believers, the number 12 is a perfect number of God. The number 12 is mentioned often in the New Testament of the Bible, such as Jesus’ selection of 12 apostles, and again in the Book of Revelation, the number 12 becomes very important. Of all the numbers, 12 is the symbol of strength and authority. Also, the significance of number 12 lies in its association with the turn of events.

Divine Office

Yesterday (February 5) I was finally able to be a part of the recitation of the Divine Office at my church. According to my research, this expression signifies etymologically a duty accomplished for God; in virtue of a Divine precept – it means, in ecclesiastical language, certain prayers to be recited at fixed hours of the day or night by priests, religious, or clerics, and, in general, by all those obliged by their vocation to fulfill this duty. The Divine Office comprises only the recitation of certain prayers in the Breviary, and does not include the Mass and other liturgical ceremonies.

"Canonical Hours", "Breviary", "Diurnal and Nocturnal Office", "Ecclesiastical Office", "Cursus ecclesiasticus", or simply "cursus" are synonyms of Divine Office. "Cursus" is the form used by Gregory writing: "exsurgente abbate cum monachis ad celebrandum cursum" (De glor. martyr., xv). "Agenda", "agenda mortuorum", "agenda missarum", "solemnitas", "missa" were also used. The Greeks employ "synaxis" and "canon" in this sense. The expression "officium divinum" is used in the same sense by the Council of Aix-la-Chapelle (800), the IV Lateran (1215), and Vienne (1311); but it is also used to signify any office of the Church. Thus Walafrid Strabo, Pseudo-Alcuin, Rupert de Tuy entitle their works on liturgical ceremonies "De officiis divinis". Hittorp, in the sixteenth century, entitled his collection of medieval liturgical works "De Catholicæ Ecclesiæ divinis officiis ac ministeriis" (Cologne, 1568). The usage in France of the expression "saint-office" as synonymous with "office divin" is not correct. "Saint-office" signifies a Roman congregation, the functions of which are well known, and the words should not be used to replace the name "Divine Office", which is much more suitable and has been used from ancient times.

Phew!!! In short, the Divine Office comprises only the recitation of certain prayers in the Breviary, and does not include the Mass and other liturgical ceremonies (like I wrote earlier).

In private recitation one should adopt whatever posture seems reasonable. We need to learn to pray the Liturgy of the Hours in individual recitation, step-by-step. The secular Carmelite's life will express itself chiefly in the Eucharistic Sacrifice and in the recitation of the Church's Divine Office.

Although it is the duty of the clergy and religious to pray the Divine Office, the laity, too, are encouraged to recite the divine office, either with the priests, or among themselves, or even individually. This liturgy of the hours or divine office, is enriched by readings, by its hallowing of time, daily and yearly. In continuing the tradition of the Divine Office, I was helped and was carried onto a totally different world. Next to the Holy Mass, the Divine Office (or Breviary) is the most important prayer as it graces blessings on those who recite it worthily, attentively and devoutly.

The Divine Office is also called the Opus dei (Work of God). Divine office, also called canonical hours, liturgy of the hours, or liturgical hours, Divine Office is sung in Gregorian chant according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman rite.

Friday, February 1, 2013


God is good all the time
He put a song of praise in this heart of mine
God is good all the time
Through the darkest night, His light will shine
God is good, God is good all the time

If you're walking through the valley
And there are shadows all around
Do not fear, He will guide you
He will keep you safe and sound
'Cause He's promised to never leave you
Nor forsake you and His Word is true

We were sinners - so unworthy
Still for us He chose to die
Filled us with His Holy Spirit
Now we can stand and testify
That His love is everlasting
And His mercies - they will never end

God is good all the time
He put a song of praise in this heart of mine
God is good all the time
Through the darkest night, His light will shine
God is good, God is good all the time

Yesterday I had gone to the church to attend the Confirmation meeting. While I was waiting outside for the meeting to begin, within the church was going on the Thursday Night praise and worship. I was magnetized by this hymn and I ran inside to join the worshipers and really became one with the crowd in loudly singing this song of praise in the name of our loving God Jesus Christ. I so much wanted to stay back and continue this praise and worship – but alas, I had the meeting commitment.

Since last night I have been really making up my mind to attend this prayer service every Thursday. I am surrendering this to the Lord; if the Lord wants me to attend it regularly, I am sure He will find a way out for me. After all, His will be done (like always)…I am just a mortal creature…without His acknowledgment, I can do nothing…

PS: Also, read this beautiful thought on TWO THOUGHTS FOR TODAY...THOUGHTS ABOUT GOD:

God is using you for His special purpose.
To Shine His light.
To Share His love.
To Shape His People.

You are making a difference in ways you don’t even realize. And you’re very much appreciated.

“God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work”. 2 Corinthians 9:8