December 1-31, 2002 ARCHIVE



We believers are one with our dear Lord Jesus just like branches are one with the main trunk of any plant. Blessed are the ones who are one with Jesus Christ who is our Lord and God!

"I am the real Vine, and my Father is the Gardener. I am the Vine, and you are the branches"(John 15:1,15:5). It has been reported that Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, before he descended from the space capsule to the moon-surface, read this portion from John's gospel and had communion elements taken with him. If this story is true, this portion of the bible has been read and proclaimed at the highest level in space that man has ever reached! It is wonderful, remarkable and glorifying to the Lord God.

This parable of vine, branches and gardener is very unique among the parables of our Lord. Several times directly and indirectly, our Lord stated and taught boldly and clearly that the Heavenly Father and He are one and this teaching made the Jewish leaders very angry and caused them to make decisions to put Him to death. For them, our Lord's claim of being one with God was considered to be blasphemy because the Jewish leaders thought that Jesus was just a man. Among all the parables, this is the one that shows clearly that we believers are one with our dear Lord Jesus, just like branches are one with the main trunk of any plant.

We can believe and claim that we are one with the Son of God who is one with our Heavenly Father. What an honor and privilege we followers of Jesus are graciously and generously bestowed upon! Sometimes I wonder whether we ever realize and recognize this great truth and status about our identity in Jesus Christ who is the King and High Priest of God's Kingdom. Christians are truly the branches of the real heavenly Vine, Jesus Christ and we are not the branches of another branch. We are directly grafted into His blessed wounds after being cut off from the wild and old vine of the first Adam. Branches can be different in sizes, positions and abilities to produce fruits, but we are all the same as far as the unity with the Vine is concerned. Through the atonement in Calvary our sins are eternally forgiven, our diseases are taken out, we are made clean and we are joined into the real divine Vine to produce fruits that will glorify the Heavenly Gardener who has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit to help us to remain truthful and useful branches. As branches, we have to get all the help from Jesus Christ without whom we will have no life of our own. The abiding branches will have abundant life all the time. We can be full of everything the Vine contains. "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, then you will ask for anything you wish, and you shall have it"(John 15:7). What a mighty and rich promise given to the Lord's followers!

Let us not forget the warnings the Master has given to the followers regarding our status of being the Vine's branches. Without being in Christ, we will not be able to produce fruits. Those branches that do not produce fruits will be eventually cut off, collected and thrown into the eternal fire. The branches that produce fruits will be pruned from time to time by the Gardener to produce more and better fruits. In other words, either way, the believers in Jesus will have to carry their own crosses in daily life. Since we are united in our savior, our joy will be completed with His joy. We will have His peace that surpasses our understanding. We are commanded to love one another as He loved us. Being united with our Lord Jesus Christ is one of the signature-expressions of Apostle Paul in his several letters. Blessed are the ones who are one with Jesus Christ who is our Lord and God!

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Woman is the source by great power. Every female born on earth is precious to God as she is provided with the capability to bear in her womb the new generations When can we be free of all bias against feminine and see the lass, the girl, the woman as the beautiful creation of God and the main tool of the endless creation activity of God?

Every female born on earth is precious to God as she is provided with the capability to bear in her womb the new generations in order to continue the creativity that God made in the beginning.

The world in general fear, hate and try to prevent the birth of females. Lo; even in the society of Kerala that trumpet to be enlightened, according to the official statistics approximately half lakh of females are killed in the wombs of mothers. Yes, the ratio of 1056 girls for 1000 boys, according to the senses of 1961 has been changed to 1034 for 1000 in the senses of 1991.

Girls for us generally mean a burden of dowry in future and extravagant expenditure, if not taken care a collapsible morale. There fore either they are nibbled before seeing the face of earth or sold immediately after birth or rear them to be the victims of red streets. These are not the colourful stories or exaggeration.

It is not two years past since Dulal Hussain of Northern Bangladesh sold his kids for the sake the of money for gambling. It also might not have faded away from the minds of many, the picture of 3 years old Selbana of Kasargod who has been abandoned by parents and step-mother and attacked by army of ants. The village of Uzilampetty is not far away from us where on birth of a girl is fed paddy seeds instead of breast. The ruler of the state this village includes is a woman is another paradox. It was Mr. Alexander Jacob IPS who established with statistics that in Kerala when 1000 males are born and 1008 females are killed in fetus state. As a result, in 1997 itself the male – female ratio 1000:1034 of 1991 was brought down to 1000:950. According to the census of 2001, in India there are only 1993 girls for 1000 boys. According to the estimates of national women's commission, 15 lakhs of females are killed in pregnancy stage.

F urther, if by luck a girl is born, there are cruel hands to grab her. From the records of two police stations in Mumbai, 674 girls have been rescued from raids of red streets. 238 of them were minors. In India about five lakhs of girls are being used for illegal traffic, and daily about 3,000 girls are thrown to this field world wide, according to the records of UNISEF. The story of Mareena who was sold to a Saudi Shake at the age of 3, raises question against our sense of morale. Apart from daily torture, one day while cooking got seriously buried, she returned home disabled. The efforts of the social organizations one not yet of any avail to find out Prathima, a nine year old girl sold to a Block Development officer of Pooroliya in India by his own grandmother:

Another peculiar issue the girls of India face is the child marriage. We have learned through the media that 3000 girls between the age of four to thirteen have been given in marriage in April last year in some of the tribal villages of Chathisgar. Subash Chandra Mahapatra, a social worker of the area says that almost all such girls become sick and die before the age of 40. The number of child labours among girls to win a lively hood is also not less. They work 15 hours and more in the places like the toffee manufacturing enters of Dharavi in Maharashtra, the largest slum in Asia, the printing in Sivakasi and the carpet weaving units of Afghanistan, even without the benefit of sick leave. We do not have any project to educate them.

Out of the 13 crores children all over the world who do not get education, 7.30 crores are girls. In this Global village, they turn to be the sexual slaves, the raw material of kidney traders and the transporters of drugs mafia.

The education plan that the Government of India declared three years before is still a dream. The result is that while during the past 10 years 10.1 crores of boys got admitted to schools only 7.3 crores of girls were admitted.

Parents being the first teachers of the children, in the case of the girls the importance in for the mother. But the number of mothers is in the increase who conveniently escape, keep the girls before the amusing T.V Channels to look after the kids. They grow immersed and attracted by the beauty concept of the advertisements, sexual assaults of the cinema and the romance of the serials, easily tempted to bad elements and got perished. The dictum, "Parenting Takes pain" thus becomes meaningless.

You may doubt by reading these that why should I search out and elaborate the dirt of the society rather than saying about the good of it. Aware, only when the depth and breadth and severity of dilapidation and wickedness of the society is known, at last in few thinking minds kindle the flame of change from which the great reformations take place. Further there should have a proper insight of the fundamental causes. In India, the main cause of killing the girl's infetus or infant stage is the dowry system. What is the use of the girl who part with family wealth. It is through that had she not born the wealth remains for the male.

In Kerala, the Christian community that stands atop in dowry, in fact, borrowed it from without. They claim the traditions of Brahmins in all walks of life for the sake of royal prominence; the dowry system was also borrowed from Namboothiri community. But now including the Muslim community inner self where "Mehar", the male dowry, was prevalent, vice dowry, in one way or other, is catching hold of. Viewing more fundamentally, it leads to greed, extravagance, lack of self-confidence and all those. The argument of those who advocate dowry as inevitable points the finger to these.

When can we be free of all these and see the lass, the girl, the woman as the beautiful creation of God and the main tool of the endless creation activity of God. 'Each infant is not ours, rather only coming through us', Sung the Arabic Christian poet Khalil Jebran with deep insight. When God send a female child through a couple into this world, there will be a definite palm of purification. We have to co-operate with that and we have to commit ourselves to it. Traditional literatures tell us that Mary was submitted to God and she was brought up in the temple. Therefore, when she heard the message of Gabriel, she had the insight and Holiness to conceive it without unbelief and thus became the mother of Jesus Christ the redeemer of the world. What kind of protection we give to our daughters and bring them up?

There is no meaning in abstaining from the social reformation tasks, leaving all such things to the states and churches. All reformation should begin in ones own immerse and reach to the nation through the family, through the society, and through the community. Woman is the source by great power. The world famous cinema director John Abraham said, in the context of the cinema 'Amma Arivan', that only through the mothers the social change begins. In order to become a good mother, she has to taken birth as an unblemished female child. Let us allow that and rear the valuable gift of God with care.

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Department of English, Catholicate College, Pathanamthitta

Education once seemed to some men the gateway to Heaven -on-earth. The more we advance in the education the more terrorism; war, revolutions and atrocities are getting increased. Any system of education, which fails to discipline the will, fails to train the character. When the religious spirit is lost, ethical systems quickly lose their force. A spirit can embrace all situations, but not a rule.

The world we live in has reached a point of moral and spiritual debility. We have to face the problem of how to acquire the new spiritual energies needed to remark both itself and the individual soul. It is tempted to seek a way that will not hurt and will not demand a radical revision of its errors. It would like to find the answer by a human remedy, in preference to the more heroic methods divinity employ.

All reforms on the human level can be reduced to four:
1. Education
2. Ethics
3. ReasonThe making of stronger resolutions.

Education once seemed to some men the gateway to Heaven -on-earth for everyone. Now we have tried it, and we know that schooling alone will not save our society. Never before was there so much education and never before so little arrival at the truth.

T his century is the century of the greatest attempt at universal education in the history of the world and yet it is the century of terrorism, wars and such other revolutions. Any system of education, which fails to discipline the will, also fails to train the character. Such teaching may succeed in making men into walking encyclopedias. It does not make them responsible citizens for a democracy. Education can never make a man better unless it teaches him the true purpose of man and the difficulties he must overcome to realize that purpose. Much education today is based on the Socratic error that ignorance of good is the cause of evil, and that all we need to overcome evil is to give men information. If this were so, every educated man should be a good man.

A second remedy offered us is the adoption of new ethical systems. The tailoring of new standards of "morals" to suit our immoral ways of living. This, on the face of it, is no remedy for our ailments. It is merely an attempt to change the definition of health to fit the prevalent disease-it is as if doctors should say, "cardiovascular disease affect so many modern men that hardening of the arteries and heart diseases are now the standard of a healthy man".

Those who attempt to teach goodness separated from religion soon find, however that they have set themselves an impossible task. Ethical systems alone cannot save the world, because they are effective only in a religious environment. When the religious spirit is lost, ethical systems quickly lose their force. Moreover, no ethical code is ever precise enough to cover every situation. A spirit can embrace all situations, but not a rule, a code. For that reason, those who live under codes always feel a conflict between duty and inclination between what they ought to do and what they feel like doing. Responsibility, instead of being the free expression of their own personality becomes a formula of obligation.

Neither education nor an ethical standard will save society; there seems still a chance that reason might prove a possible means of salvation. Right reason, indeed, could help us today. The purpose of reason is primarily to discover goals, aims and destinies. This is what is known as teleological reason. Two centuries ago, the mind of man was demoted, relegated to the sideshow of what might be called technical reason. Reason today is like a knife so blunted by wrong uses that it would no longer cut cleanly through the problems of our life. Even at its best in judging practical questions of conduct. Even at its best human reason alone could not grasp the fullness of natural truths and morals except with the greatest difficulty, and after a long period of time. Something more than reason is required to rescue man.

S ome thinkers who admit this fact believe that reason might save us if backed up by a stronger will, deeper resolves, and more vigorous human efforts at betterment. But the human will is quite as incapable as reason of lifting us to the high plane of altruism necessary to save the world for it is precisely in our wills that the sickness lie. Too often it is assumed that the will is something outside of us, independent of us, to be summoned from without in an emergency.

But this will is not a thing apart from us. It is our character, the sum of our choices and decisions the heritage of our decisions. The will is frequently solicited by our passions and our prejudices it needs more strength then it contains with itself to adhere to truth. A ball set in motion will continue in that line unless it is redirected by another force. Similarly for a radical shift from selfishness to altruism, the will often needs an added impulse from without to organize it around a new ideal, a loftier set of purposes.

All these four naturalistic and humanistic 'solutions' assume that man can rise above the human level through lifting himself by the lobes of his ears. Man is not self-sufficient for any of his basic needs; Man is, in truth, like a clock whose mainspring is broken. He has all the necessary parts, but they do not work. To repair the clock a mainspring must be supplied by a watchmaker, but it has to be applied within the clock itself. So man too needs a new energy within himself. The introduction of a higher source of strength to help our weak human nature does on violence to it, for every man has a yearning for self-transcendence, a desire to get beyond himself and above himself. His restlessness is born of an inability to fined complete satisfaction within the limitations of space and time.

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Christ is the embodiment of God's love towards the humanity. God showed His love by giving Himself to us and living among us.. Christmas is the time to show our love for Christ and our brethren.

Once again we are preparing to celebrate Christmas, the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. How do we celebrate the occasion? Often we are after ceremonies and its festivities. But this is an occasion to remember the Life of Jesus Christ and the purpose of His coming to this earth.

Christ is the embodiment of God's love towards the humanity. He came to this world to save us from God's punishment by taking on Himself our sins. When Adam, the first man sinned against God by violating His commandments, the whole humanity sinned. But God loves us and hates sin. Sinners deserve the maximum punishment of death. It was this punishment that Christ, the Son of God, took on Himself. He saved us by shedding His precious blood on the cross. His birth was for His life and death. "God sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins" (I John 4:10) "God so love the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life". (St. John 3:16) By His death, we are redeemed to be sons of God. "Behold, what manner of love the father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. (I John 3:1)

What is love? St. John defines love as: "God is love" (I John 4:8). Mother Theresa who is acclaimed as a true Christian and follower of Christ said, "Love is God". It was her motto also. It is that love in human form came as 'Christ' and lived in this world. His life was an extension of God's love towards us.

It is the time to remember and emulate the life of Christ. Christ took birth in a poor carpenter's family against the expectations of all. God Chose to blessed Joseph and Mary as His son's parents on earth because of their deep faith, humility and devotion. God is looking into our hearts, our thoughts and actions to see whether we are fit to take Him in us-let us dedicate and surrender to His will. Let us pray, "Thy will be done".

How did Christ show his love to us? He gave Himself to us. He lived for us. He raised the dead, healed the sick, and comforted the poor and the needy. He preached the Gospel of God's love. His personality, His teachings, His whole life and message are still influencing the world. It is only His message, acceptance of Himself, and can save this world. He told us to love God and our brethren. "And so I am giving a new commandment to you "-love one another just as much as I love you. Your strong love for each other will prove to the world that you are my disciples". (John 13:34). "But if some one who is supposed to be a Christian, has money enough to live well, and sees a brother in need and won't help him-how can God's love be within him? Little children, let us stop first saying we love people, let us really love them, and show it by our actions". (I John 3:17.18). "And God himself has said that one must love not only God, but his brothers also".

C hristmas is the time to show our love for Christ and our brethren. Let us show through our actions that we really love Him. Mother Theresa saw Christ in all sick, poor and the needy, irrespective of caste, creed and religion. When she nursed them, she saw Christ in them. This is the time to spread the message of PEACE. At the time of birth of Christ, the angels sang-"Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased".(St. Luke. 2:14). Christ came to give peace to us. Let us also be messengers of peace. Let us celebrate Christmas in its true spirit, by carrying out God's will though our lives and actions. Remember Christ is the symbol of perfect love. He is love personified. Let us follow Him.

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It is the biggest wonder in the world that 2002 Years ago, God had come down from the heaven and lived among us, opening the door to new hope and eternal life.

In a few days we shall celebrate Christmas, the holy day, which is so full of meaning for all in every family. This Christmas is a very special year for all the 'The Christian Light of Life' families as God has given us this providence of the Printed Version of our magazine as a Christmas gift. It is a big pleasure for me to share with you the joy of this happy time of year. Another very important event of the LOL is that Nov.22 is the first birthday of LOL and on Dec 1, 2001 we published first On-Line Issue. I bow before the Lord for all the Graces and Mercy showered on us during the year.

It is the biggest wonder in the world that 2002 Years ago, God had come down from the heaven and lived among us, opening the door to new hope and eternal life. Christmas is commemoration of the God's supreme love revealed to the world through Christ. Christmas brings us the confidence, and motivation of our life as our God is not a distant or mythical, but the one who dared to become human and walked on the soil where we live in..

It is of utmost important at this occasion to look through the fact men, woman and children in different parts of the world are suffering and being threatened; victims of war, violence and atrocities, dying of diseases and malnutrition, hungry and poor, children abandoned by their parents and condemned with out home. How can we live a life of luxury and comforts disregarding these facts?

I n the contemporary world with out mercy, more and more people are trapped to helplessness due to supremacies of the merciless and scarcity. Many who may have nothing to lose, in extreme cases turn to violence in order to attract attention and attain supremacy, which they think as part of their relentless retaliation. But our world should never be of provocation for increased competitiveness in face of scarcity, but should be with Grace and Mercy of our caring God. The Grace of God takes its contemplation to true love to God and our neighbors and it overrules the law of scarcity and breaks over the relentless dynamics of retaliation. As our God is the one forgives us generously, without counting the cost, and offers life in its fullness, particularly to those who are the losers in this merciless world. May we therefore, hope this Christmas, brings us fullness 'Grace upon Grace'!

Also we need some hope for the future? While we celebrate Christ's first coming at Christmas, we also look forward to his second coming soon.

M any a time we disregard His loving presence in our lives and the precious gifts of peace and hope that He offers so freely to us all. He reveals himself to the loving, caring others and the humble in their heart. Christmas should bring peace between men and men. If we could imbibe the spirit of Christmas, there would be no more war, atrocities, strife or hostility between our co- fellow-humans. In the true sense Jesus would eliminate the hatred and cruelty that exists between people provided we open our heart and offer ourself to him as a sacrifice.

'And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.' (Eph 5:2) Wish You all a Merry Christmas!

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Hate seeks to eliminate enemies. Love, in contrast, endeavors to overcome enmity. Hate draws its strength and legitimacy from reciprocal hate. Love deflates hate. Love is more basic than hate and that its strategies are to be preferred to those of hate.

Hate is its own punishment. The proof is that hate makes you become what you hate. A recent illustration of this is Thackeray's clarion call to the Hindus to form suicide squads "like them". The logic of this advocacy screams against itself. 'We' must hate 'them' because they have suicide squads. But we must form suicide squads because they have them. And we must take pride in forming suicide squads for which we hate them. In other words, we should not rest until we have become like them. Do we need further proof that hate, in turning against others, makes one turn against oneself?

Hate seeks to eliminate enemies. Love, in contrast, endeavors to overcome enmity. Spiritually, the enemy is mastered only by overcoming enmity. To 'overcome' is, literally, to come from above. It is to wage a war on hate from a level higher than that of hate using a power superior to hate, which is love. Religions are united in their testimony to the power of love; whereas politics has become a theatre of the love of power. It is the love of power that generates and glorifies hate. So there is an urgent need to re-think the religion-politics nexus.

H ate draws its strength and legitimacy from reciprocal hate. Love deflates hate. This is an insight that President Abraham Lincoln practiced with admirable results. He was once talking with a woman on the need for the North to treat the South with love and forgiveness. She disagreed with him, and insisted that the enemies must be destroyed. Lincoln replied, "What, madam? Do I not destroy them when I make them my friends?" The eradication of an enemy is incomplete until he is turned into a friend.

Sadly, it is becoming increasingly difficult for people to believe that love is more basic than hate and that its strategies are to be preferred to those of hate. And that, despite the fact that the way of hate leads, as everyone knows, only to cruelty, suffering, death and destruction. It leaves nothing standing and turns everyone into victims and scapegoats. Not surprisingly, even those who wield power and enjoy every imaginable advantage today luxuriate in a state of contrived victim-hood. We are getting acclimatized to an ambience of hate and hence becoming blind to the power and logic of love.

Curiously, it is not because we have tried and failed by the resources of love that we are becoming skeptical of its power. It is the product of a prejudice: the prejudice bred by the disuse of love. The more we refuse to try out the resources of love, the more cynical we get about their usefulness. Yet it was the way of love, not of hate, that Gandhiji tried and pursued. Ahimsa and truth, if they are to stand, must take their roots in the soil of love. To the last, Gandhiji fought against the pollution of freedom by hate. Freedom and hate are incompatible. Only those who are free from hate are truly free. Love is the framework of freedom. When love withers, freedom degenerates into the license to oppress.

It is worrisome that orchestrated attempts are being made to popularize hate and to turn it into a political cult. This is where Modi's Gaurav yatra is a national shame; for it seeks to glorify at home what even L. K. Advani is ashamed of away from home. The need of the hour is to reaffirm our faith in the path of love and brotherhood. Hate makes us imbibe and conform to the meanest; whereas love enables us to emulate the noblest and the best. Love is the seed of reason; whereas hate is hell-broth of un-reason. Those who hate are free to rave and rant, but they are not free to see or speak the language of our shared humanity. Hate alienates us not only from those we hate, but also from our own nobler self, which is the temple that God in-dwells. The agents of hate remain atheists even when they are busy building churches, mosques or temples.

T he worst indictment of religions is that, by casting themselves in competitive and conflictual roles, they have promoted hate rather than love. As a result, what was meant to be the nectar of life has turned into death-dealing poison. But for this, communalism could not have had either the success or legitimacy it enjoys today. The blame for this rests more with religious leaders than with politicians. The task at hand goes beyond preventing the purveyors of communalism from issuing incendiary statements. Such statements and posturings would not have been attempted if they were not palatable to the prevailing taste. And it is no secret who popularized this perverse taste.

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Family is the basic establishment of the human survival, which should derive its existence and meaning from the Words of God. Leaders without sense of responsibility and followers without sense of direction are the worst problems of our times.

A satisfying life is everyone's pleasant dream. But the irony is that in as much as one honestly aspires it he or she does not often attain it. A close scrutiny of a cross section of society would enable one identify that despite towering claims, howbeit true they may be, of scientific and technical advancements in the field of medicine, communication, transportation, technology, etc and highly improvised life styles as never before, life has become all the more burdensome, monotonous and less appealing. Many affluent, rich and famous, who live in densely populated cities, are victims of loneliness. Suicide among them is increasing at alarming rate. So everyone should probe into the reasons for such denigrating trend and try to remedy it.

Background: God Jehovah by His Mighty hands and deeds liberated Israelites from the bondage of Pharaoh. He divided Red Sea and they passed it as if through dry land. He gave them food and drink as and when they needed. But people grew discontented and murmured, which kindled God's wrath. They wandered in the wilderness for 40 years until the entire rebellious generation perished. Jehovah was with Joshua as He was with Moses and did mighty deeds through Joshua. He divided river Jordan and the people passed it as if through dry land. Joshua divided the land among the tribes of Israel. When Joshua became old he gathered elders and all tribes of Israel at Shechem and reminded them how Jehovah by mighty deeds delivered them out of bondage and admonished them therefore not to turn right or left from the statutes given through Moses so that they could enjoy prosperity of the land without fear of enemies. He made it clear that they are free statutes given through Moses so that they could enjoy prosperity of the land without fear of enemies. He made it clear that they are free to choose either good or evil, life or death. He closed his admonitions with his resolve that he and his house will serve the Lord. House in the Hebrew context includes children, grand children, and servants.

People responded saying they would also serve the Lord. Joshua, a leader par excellent, was not content only with mere admonitions but startled the audience with astounding commitment. Present-day leaders ought to take note of his exemplary quality. Leaders without sense of responsibility and followers without sense of direction are the worst problems of our times. Joshua was undauntedly frank. Would Christians be frank, shun evil ways and take up a position for right cause? If so, our families, our parishes, our society and nation would become paradise on earth! Real problem confronting the society is not the existence of immorality or injustice but Christian's compromising attitude and aversion to stand up against sin. Are we not ordinary people making extraordinary claims as Dr Radhakrishnan said? Believers like Telemachus and leaders like Joshua are glaring need of our time.

Family: Concept about family is twofold namely 1, secular and 2, Christian. Secular concept of family is fast growing, especially in USA, in outright defiance to natural law of survival surpassing all known moral standards. Ancient and religious definition of family has become obsolete. Popular tendency displaced radical ideas instead and accordingly any two consenting adults regardless of sex can live in unison and be called family! Some states already replaced, 'domestic-partner,' against 'husband, wife,' etc. Leaders, both secular and religious, lost vision and have become mere victims of affluent gay and lesbian protagonists and for the same reason Legislative, Judiciary and religious systems miserably failed to discern value and dignity of human life.

C ertain religious leaders who bear "Christian" nomenclature have become advocates and defenders of such deviant, unnatural and sinful way of life and that is all-the-more appalling. To speak against immorality is considered antisocial and intolerant. There is heavy clamber for media attention. Immorality is not new invention but as old as mankind. The exception is that never before it was popular, accepted standard or life-style as of these days.

Christian family: Christian family derives its existence and meaning from the infallible Word of God, both oral and written. The establishment of family is elucidated in the creation account itself; thereby signifying family as the basic necessity for human survival. God established the first family in the Garden of Eden by uniting man and woman together, Adam and Eve, with the primary intent to obey God, live in harmony, procreate, subdue and preserve all creations. Thus family is the divine institution. There is nothing to compare with it. Who ever impedes with it acts in rebellion with divine standards and hence sin.

C hristian family is a miniature of heaven on earth. But attitude, Milton calls it mind (Paradise Lost), is that makes it a heaven or hell. It is not necessary to indulge in an evil act but an evil thought suffice to make family life as miserable as hell. Iago would harbor doubts, Othello would surely doubt and Desdemona would suffer, no matter how faithful she is. There are infidel wives to honest husbands and infidel husbands to honest wives and both induce problems. It is therefore essential that both husband and wife should invariably know the divine precepts and keep vigil about family. Ignorance is no defense and would lead to many uncalled for miseries.

Biblical position: There are two narrations derived from two traditions about the origin of family. 1, Yahwite tradition says, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helpmeet for him," Gen 2:18-25. This verse clearly adduces that ancient man, whom the modern man often reviles as primitive, had well-developed notion of human psychology. Moses is par excellent to all the modern psychological scientists. Man's loneliness necessitated creation of woman. It was God, not man, who first felt the need. God created woman out of man, and thereafter man comes out of woman, thus equated, not as subordinate or inferior but as equals, not as independent but as inter-dependant. God out of His own will created man and woman in the same fashion and quality to suit certain purpose.

I Adam exclaimed, "bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh," that sufficiently prove woman was of equal make and design. It was God who brought woman to man. This edifies the deep-rooted tradition and Church position that God conducted the first marriage. Thus marital relationship is sublime, intense, deeper and sacred than all other relationships. There is nothing unnatural, undesirable, shameful or sinful in their relationship. Paul extolled the sanctity of marriage and vehemently condemned illicit relationship outside of marriage, Heb 13:4.

N Neither husband is complete without wife nor wife is complete without husband. Both are mutually complementary and help fill the void in the other. One who is lazy, uninvolved, abusive or disinterested to cheer up the life-partner can be with the spouse and yet feel lonely. Loneliness is creation of the mind and the greatest enemy of mankind. It leads to suspicion, disputes, violence, severance, anxiety, depression, dejection and even suicide. Honest, faithful and mutual love between spouses is the only effective antidote that God has prescribed.

Priestly tradition is comparatively new that says, "God created man in his own image, in the image of God created him; He created them male and female. He blessed them, be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it," Gen 1:26-28. This creation account is more specific and clearly establishes equality of sex. He being the crown of creations is endowed with dominion over all animate and inanimate creations. Since created in the image and likeness of God, unlike other creations, he has glory. By blessing to be fruitful and multiply God infused in them ability to partake in God's creative faculty and enabled them to thrive and enjoy life. Children are parlor between husband and wife and most important part of the divine program.

W oman equal and honorable: As explained above, both creation accounts clearly define different functions for male and female but emphatically deny superiority of either. The whole crisis is due to man's inability to properly comprehend divine perimeter which caused not only his own fall in as much as he lost the image of God but also caused deformity to entire order of creation. Despite prevalence of innate universal myth, especially among Jews, that woman is inferior to man Bible does not contemplate superiority based on sex. Woman's subjection to husband's authority is man's invention resulted from that fall rather, it is of later origin, Gen 3:16.

Equality of husband and wife is clearly stated in the Mosaic Law. "Honor your father and mother," Ex 20:12, Deut 5:16. "Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death," Ex 21:15. "Whoever curses his father or mother shall be put to death," Ex 21:17. Women definitely occupied respectable position in the family and at times held influential positions in the society. Sarah, whom St. Peter complements as "holy woman who trusted in God and adorned being submissive," 1 Pe 3:5, advised Abraham twice and he obeyed. Rebecca guided Jacob to obtain father's blessings. Deborah judged Israel. Esther destroyed the enemy and saved God's people from ruin.

Morth Smooni is honored as martyr and saint for her valorous testimony of God. "A man who has taken a new wife he shall not go out for war, nor he shall be charged with any business but he shall be free at home for one year and cheer up his wife," Deut 24:5. Proverb 31 portrays woman as honorable, industrious, socially accepted and blessing to the entire family. "Virtuous woman is a crown to her husband," Pr 12: 4. "Wise woman builds the house" Pr 14:1. Peter advised husbands to dwell with wife with compassion and honor. He confers wives' exalted position as co-heirs to the grace.

P eter had in mind the marriage as a sacramental union, not merely as contract. He upheld the dignity, modesty and goodness of women by advising men to honor and conduct responsibly. He meant that the relationship with spouse had a bearing on one's relationship with God. Mention of woman, as "weaker vessel" may not be acceptable to modern woman. But this warns men not to exploit them because of physical weakness, 1 Pe 3:7. Paul insisted that husband had authority not over himself but over wife and wife had authority not over herself but over husband, 1 Cor 7:4. Ps 127 and 128 are the best homilies about blessed family.

However, considering contemporary turmoil, from an oriental view, sense of women's equality should evolve from women themselves. As would various instances testify, which are needless to ponder here, in-law quarrels, dowry demands and unsavory treatments meted out to young brides to extract dowry usually originate and escalate from in-law women. Occidental women's liberation movements, is equally misconceived and mischievous.

W omen sullied sex as commercial commodity, which is dishonor to womanhood. Christian perspective of equality is recognizing differences, contenting with God-gifted abilities, consciously discharging duties and mutually complementing in His program. (To be continued…..)


Child (age upto 5 years), carefully and quickly watches, learns and imitates whatever parents do and say, without least doubting or questioning. For him/her parents are God.


Child (age 6 to 12), while retaining acquired qualities of the first stage, develops additional qualities of doubts, questions and analysis. He/she silently compares home experiences with outside contact and thinks parents, especially father, know something.


Child (teenager) fully develops what is already stored in his memory in the first and second stages and receives more from outside contacts. In-house contact decreases and outside contacts widen. Compares and contrasts inside and outside contacts and takes up a position.

This most reckless stage develops a false pretense and thinks, more often than not, parents do not know much better. Here begins great set back, rather, parents reaping harvest of their own actions in the past. We are inclined to search for more worldly delights than God because of the fallen nature of mankind and its end result will be chaos and eternal perdition. God Almighty does not want all that happen to us. He wants us to grow profitably in Him and hence He gave His unfailing statutes for the benefit of mankind. The very purpose of choosing and appointing Abraham as father of many nations was that he "Shall command his children and his household after him, that they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment," Gen 18:19. "Take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons," Deut 4: 9. "And thou shall teach them diligently unto thy children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up," Deut 6:7. Apostle admonishes us to, "Bring them up in discipline and instruction of the Lord," Eph 6:4. And that, "We have had human fathers who corrected us and we paid them respect, Eph 12:9. "Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it, Prov 22: 6

However, no one would appreciate any kind of discipline in the first place because it will be painful when administered but it will yield peaceful fruits of righteous in the future that will bring respect and honor to those imparting training, Heb 12: 11. I would add that those children, who were brought up without due discipline when they were yet unknowing good and evil, will, by all chances hate their parents; neither pay respect nor bring honor as they grow up spoiled. Such dereliction of duties from parents is defiance against the clear instructions (quoted above) of God. And the results will be, "Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon children and upon children's children, unto the third and to the forth generations," Ex 34: 7, Num 14: 18. For instance, Uzziah the king "Did that which was right in the sight of the Lord." He became excessively famous, wealthy and neighboring kings respected him and gave gifts. "When he was strong his heart was lifted up to his destruction; for he transgressed against the Lord his God, and went into the temple of the Lord to burn incense upon the altar of incense." The priests under the leadership of Azariah went and told him not to do so as it was the duty of only priests but he did not yield. While holding incense in his hands he became a leper and according to the custom, he was cut off from the house of the Lord and spent rest of his life in solitary confinement, 2 Chr 26: 4-21. His son Jotham, as a child, was a mute witness to all that had happened to his father and developed a fear psychosis in his growing mind. He, as king, became very precarious about the affairs of the temple. He did everything right in the sight of the Lord, but he never entered into the temple of the Lord. His absence caused people to corrupt, 2 Chr 27: 2. Ahaz the son of Jotham, as child, never saw his father going to the temple. He saw corruption in the temple. He was never taught to seek the way of the Lord. No wonder, he developed extreme animosity towards temple and the Lord. So, he did not do that which was right in the sight of the Lord. He made molten images of Bali. He burnt incense in the valley of sons of Hinnom, burnt his children in the fire. The result; God delivered him into the hands of the king of Syria who smote him and then in the hands of the king of Israel who also smote him with great slaughter of his sons and households, 2 Chr 28: 1-6.

Take heed of the failures; generations suffered as a result of parents' misdeeds! Abraham deceived Egyptians, Abimelech telling lie concerning Sarah, Gen 12: 11-20, Gen 20. Isaac his son repeated the same error concerning Rebecca, Gen 26: 7. Jacob went a step further and deceived his blind father Isaac and brother. His sons virtually deceived Jacob concerning Joseph. Jacob was compelled to believe like a blind while he was still not blind, Gen 37: 32-35. We can dig out numerous instances to corroborate that children will do the same or even worse at times what the parents do or speak. Therefore beware, 'time and tide will wait for none,' teach ways of the Lord when the child is very young.

I would suggest that parents ought to nurture them religiously. The problem is that we are in a situation where religion is negatively influencing. At the same time we must admit that church also has substantial responsibility in molding the character of children. This can be achieved through Sunday school where Bible, prayer, liturgy, faith matters, moral, ethics, values, life story of fathers and so on are taught. Parents, priests and church leaders should join hand in hand to achieve this pursuit. By no means this is a lesser task. I suggest even adult education through conventions, seminars and retreats so that parents can equip themselves to deal with the situations. However, this does not mean that children brought up in church education do not turn bad. I do not mean that children brought up in very congenial background would always be perfect. Do our part and leave rest to God. Bertrand Russell, a known anti-Christian, who authored a book, "why I am not a Christian" had a Christian background. His mother was a committed Christian. Sigmund Freud, who said against God's existence as, "fairy tales of religion" and about religion, "religion as a universal obsessional child neurosis" and "religion is a mere illusion derived from human wishes" was brought up in a strong religious background.

A.T. Kovoor, founder of rational movement, also came from a very religious family. His father was a priest. Dr. Robert Coles, author and psychologist, describes that some children suffered from obsessive and destructive habits that were related to their childhood education and due to their deep commitment on certain religious conceptions. David Larson, renowned psychologist says, "Research shows that religiously inclined and those coming from religious back ground suffer less psychological problems. They recoup faster. Those who regularly go to church are less disturbed in emotional encounters," Reported on 'firm foundations' radio on 5.5. 97. What model we should emulate in upbringing of children, is a confusing question. Bernard Hoffman, expert on youth, offers the following tips. "(1) More parenting courses. (2) More parental involvement beginning at birth. (3) School-required anger management classes. (4) Good adult role models," Bucks county Courier Times dated 5.7.97. These suggestions though mainly based on secular concept they apply to spiritual context also. Opportunities are bleak to receive the warmth of grand parents' love these days due to various constraints but that grand parents are the best source of molding children's habits is an undeniable fact. Truly, faith as well as values is traditionally handed down from forefathers to grandparents and to parents and to children. "When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, I am persuaded is in you also," 2 Tim 1: 5.

CJews refused to worship Hellenistic Gods instead of Jehovah. They faced persecution at the hands of Antiochus (BC 175-164). A family of seven children and their mother Smoony were one by one threatened and subjected to torture by cutting off the organs, burning in fire and so on. Their mother Morth (Saint) Smooni encouraged them to defy the orders of the wicked king saying, "My sons, I do not know how you were formed in my womb. I am not the one who gave you life and soul. I did not give you shape and image you distinctly posses. He who is Creator of the whole universe, Creator of mankind, who knows every heart, created and formed you... Therefore give honor to your mother, be of courage, strength and cheer, and do not submit to the wicked king. Suffer the persecution and we will join together in glory," 2 Mac 7: 22-23. This is very powerful testimony and a role model worthy of emulation. Secondly, Hanna thus prayed, "Lord of hosts, if you will give thine handmaid a man-child, then I will give him unto the Lord," 1 Sam 1: 11 and she literally did so, verse 28. This is the kind of mothers (and fathers) who surrender to God in prayer, seek divine guidance before every action, dedicate the children to the will of God, instill spiritual life in them, disdain from all things that would bring discredit, feed them with Word of God, show them the right path, teach them the right values that are love, honor, trustworthiness, law abiding, good demeanor, and instruct them to respect others. "We have to see to it that the TV is turned off and our kids get into the books. We have to monitor their friendships and acquaintances. We have to teach them a solid work ethic and appreciation of their history. We have to provide the strong surrogate male Christian models they so desperately need. We have to show them how to save, spend and give... and how to reject the negative values thrust upon them," 'Guiding your family in a misguided world, By Dr. Anthony T Evans, page 169. '

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Kabul, 5 November (ENI)--While lauding social and political progress made in Afghanistan during the past year, Afghan human rights activists say much vigilance - and international support - is needed to protect human rights in what remains a very insecure, and in some cases hostile, environment. Even so, in recent interviews after the one-year anniversary of the US-led military campaign which resulted in the fall of the Taliban regime - which wanted to create the world's purest Islamic state - several activists said changes in Afghanistan should not be minimised.

"There has been a kind of restoration in Afghanistan," said Sarwar Hussaini, director of the Co-operation Centre for Afghanistan (CCA), an Afghan human rights organisation that has support from US church groups and relief agencies. He pointed to a sense of hope among Afghans, particularly those who had suffered under Taliban rule, and hailed progress that included a fledgling press, which he believed was freer than the press in neighbouring Iran and Pakistan.

"The situation is much, much better than it was a year ago," said Sima Samar, who heads the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and is the director of Shuhada Organization, an Afghan relief organisation that also has ties to US churches and relief groups. Nonetheless, both Samar and Hussaini said they remained troubled about the problems experienced by women, who despite the fall of the Taliban in late 2001, still face serious inequities in education, employment and health care.

"There are still many barriers for women," Hussaini told ENI. The economic situation in Afghanistan remains dire, Samar said, with women and children feeling particularly vulnerable. "The country is in a bad situation," she said of Afghanistan's still-teetering economy. While some women have shunned the "burka" - the veiled dress that became for some the most visible symbol of Taliban rule - most women in Kabul and other large cities continue to wear it in public.

"Women still feel insecure," said Samar. "There are still no security systems or police to protect them. Law enforcement is not in place." The activists said the lack of a national army, police force and judiciary system remained a grave problem; they also echoed concerns by international human rights groups that the United States and its allies need to expand peace-keeping forces in Afghanistan. So far, peace-keeping forces have limited their role to work in Kabul, Afghanistan's capital.

As a result, Afghanistan's national government remains far too dependent on local warlords to maintain security, according to Human Rights Watch, the New York-based human rights organisation, which said in an August report: "Security conditions in many areas of Afghanistan remain dire, and serious abuses of human rights continue." Curiously, one of the remnants of Taliban rule, the much-hated "Vice and Virtue", a police-like religious force to maintain public morality, has re-emerged recently, though in a much tamer form than before. It still tries to exert public pressure to maintain conservative social decorum, though it is no longer taking men to task for the length of their beards or berating (or physically harming or even killing) women for their choice of dress.

Nonetheless, its continued existence is a troubling sign to the activists that the social conservatism that was unthinkable in Afghanistan 20 or 30 years ago retains a strong pull on the country. "Don't we need police rather than 'Vice and Virtue' ?" Samar said. Hussaini said the continued power of mullahs - Islamic religious leaders - over Afghan civil life is troubling, as is the presence of some Afghan warlords in the national government. They are not likely to support a "democratisation" of Afghanistan, Hussaini said, nor are they eager to see an accounting of what they and supporters did in the past. "They are not happy," he said, "to look back." [647 words]

:: Chris Herlinger, ENI's US correspondent, is also communications officer for the Church World Service (CWS) Emergency Response Programme; he has been in Kabul on assignment for CWS, reporting on the humanitarian situation there.
Courtesy To ENI

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Bible Word to by heart:

These six things do the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look,a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,An heart that devise wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speak lies, and he that sow discord among brethren

 (Proverb 6:16-19


In Old Testament there was King by the Name Ahasuerus who ruled from India to Ethiopia over 127 provinces. In the third year of his reign over the royal throne in the palace of Susa, King Ahasureus gave a banquet for all his princes and attendants, the army officers of Persia and Media. He displayed the riches of his royal glory and the splendor of his great majesty for 180 days. At the end of the ceremony the King gave a banquet lasting seven days for all the people who were present at the citadel in Susa, in the court of the garden of the king's palace. Drinks were served in golden vessels of various kinds, and the royal wine was plentiful according to the king's bounty. Queen Vashti also gave a banquet for the women in the palace.

On the seventh day, when the king was merry with wine, he commanded his seven eunuchs to bring Queen Vashti before the king with her royal crown in order to display her beauty to the people and the princes, as she was beautiful. But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king's command. Then the king became very angry at Queen's disobedience and talked his wise man what should be the punishment to be given to the Queen for disobedience. Memucan, the Lawyer of the King said, "Queen Vashti has wronged not only the king but also all the princes and people of the Country and it will cause contempt on their husbands. So the King issued an Order to give her royal position to another who is more worthy than she. So he sent letters to all the king's provinces to this effect. "I can not redeem it for myself as it may jeopardise my own inheritance. So You purchase the land and redeem the family yourself."
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