My long awaited day for a renewal was dawned at last and I reached Rishivana, the renewal centre at Mangalore, on the 2nd of June 2013. What a beauty of God’s creation! The panoramic beauty, the quietness, the waters of Netravati running by, the small little islands and the beautiful greenery around all adds to the beauty of Rishivana. Every evening I used to go to the terrace and sit still switching off to my thoughts, to drink in from the ocean of God’s love as Fr. John, the director of the Ashram puts it.
As I sat and watched, I saw from far little boats of fishermen moving slowly and majestically and I heard the sounds of water flowing and the rain drops falling. I could hear the chirping of the birds, the colorful butterflies around and the beautiful flowers that dance in the gentle breeze. Everything so alive yet so quiet. The words of psalm 8resounds in my ear “how great is the Lord….”How good is the Lord and how great is He who created them all in harmony. I felt and experienced the greatness of His love, of His loving presence in all His creation.
The stillness of the place and the beauty of nature around helped me to empty myself and to get into the inner silence. I loved justto feel and experience only His presence and the ocean of Divine love as in the words of the psalmist “Be still and know that I am God”.It is an experience of coming home to your inner self at the core of ones being. The senses of the body and those of the mind cannot mediate God. So we need to withdrawourselves and get into deep silence detaching ourselves from all that is dear and pleasing.
One of the many ways to get into deep silence is constant reflection of the name of Jesus. It happens that our mind dwells on the past painful events or on the future possible fearful events that can happen producing lots of fear, anger and self pity and this in turn shapes our behavior. Repeating thename of Jesus makes the mind to come back to His presence here and now. If we can develop this practice of holding on the thought of Jesus in our minds and hearts then we too can say with St. Paul “It’s no longer …..but Jesus who lives in me” (Gal2:20). Inorder to come to this stage of contemplative prayer we need to purify our minds and hearts of all its attachments and negative thoughts and begin to take delight in the Lord alone. This brings about inner bliss and inner peace, joy and contentment that nothing else can give. As a result one is able to see Christ in all being and develops a deep love and compassion for all and comes forward to serve others as an expression of one’s love for God. Fr. John says “there is no detachment without attachment”.
I was very much attached to my mother. A week ago, my mother died. The feeling of loss is unbearably intense.The sudden death of my mother was shocking news for me. It all happened just two days after my departure from home andeven before I reached Kurla Station came the sad news of herpassing away. She passedaway while saying the family prayer in the hands of my brother and sister-in-law she said goodbye kissing both of them and was fully conscious of everything. I thank the Lord that I had a chanceto be with my parents for some time.
I take this opportunity to thank each of you for all the prayers and special love expressed in different ways in past days.He has given me the strength to accept this great loss of my mother and to face it. I want to thank you for your calls, prayers and words of encouragement for strength during this time of bereavement.It is a God given chance for me to experience what it means to be detached even from the dear ones. Fr. John says that “attachments are indispensable to experience detachment”.
The Lord is asking me constantly to detach myself to all that is dear and near in order to attach myself to Him. Once again I am getting ready to leave India and the Indian province where I loved to be. It is really true that “man proposes and God disposes”.Once more I’ll say goodbye to each of you. I really did enjoy my stay here India in these past months. I thank each of you for the love, special care, prayers and being close to me in different ways. I was so happy to see the progress and the hard work of all the sisters in the province.
Once again I say good bye to each of you. I ask your special prayers for me and for the specific mission entrusted to me.Assure you of my prayers and love.
Sr. Rose Melkulangara FSP