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  Opinion   Oped  23 May 2018  Mystic Mantra: Heart bursting with thanks

Mystic Mantra: Heart bursting with thanks

Father Dominic Emmanuel, a founder-member of the Parliament of Religions, can be contacted at
Published : May 23, 2018, 12:45 am IST
Updated : May 23, 2018, 12:45 am IST

It is difficult for us anxious humans busy with our daily chores to take these words to heart.


For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”, God assures us in the Bible. It is difficult for us anxious humans busy with our daily chores to take these words to heart. That is, if and when, we pay attention to God or to holy scriptures. The Bible further says, “…those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary…”.

Since, as St. Augustine says, “You have made us for Thee Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee”, at one point or the other we need and must turn to the spiritual churnings of our inner being. These churnings happen sometimes by God’s grace, at other times they are triggered by either some sad or joyful life experiences or even when one recalls an inimitable past moment.

Several Bible passages fill my heart today as I celebrate 40th anniversary (also a biblical number), of my priestly Ordination after undergoing 10 long years of rather rigourous religious training. If one adds to it four years of “initiation” period, it is 54 years since I started walking this beautiful path to serve God through serving humanity.

My heart bursts with the Psalmist’s sentiments: “The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him”. Looking back on those years of my life, I readily identify my experience with a popular Christian author, Richard Rohr’s words, “God works best underground and in our unconscious, by rearranging our assumptions and presuppositions—frankly, when we are not in control. The work of grace and healing mostly happens in secret”.

Not that these years brought no doubts, disappointments, pain and shame but God’s real presence and His assuring words: “Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” and, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,” consistently accompanied me.

As I gratefully move forward to spend as many years as God may grant me, I rely on God’s comforting assertion, “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken…,” and on St. Paul’s utterances, “…neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord”.

Tags: jesus, god