Tuesday, May 1, 2018

WIT AND WISDOM



               Archbishop Angelo Roncalli (later, Pope Saint John XXIII, 1881 - 1963), had a keen sense of humour, even while holding positions of authority.  His humour, openness, generosity, warmth and wisdom, made many people love him and call him, ‘Good Pope John’. He was declared as a Saint on 27 April 2014.
               Before becoming the Pope, he had served as Apostolic Nuncio to France. In the course of the meal during a banquet, he offered an apple to his neighbour, a woman in a dramatically low-cut gown. “Do take it, Madame, please do,” he urged in his typically genial way. “It was only after Eve ate the apple that she became aware of how little she had on.”
               Another time, he greeted a lean and ascetic-looking visitor with a sigh and the comment: “We will both have to say a prayer to God, beseeching him to remove half my excess fat to give it to you!”  
             “How many people work at the Vatican?” a reporter asked Pope St. John XXIII. “Oh, no more than half of them,” the Pope replied with a wink.
               When a cardinal complained to Pope John that a rise in Vatican salaries meant a particular worker, an usher, earned as much as the cardinal, the pope remarked: "That usher has 10 children; I hope a cardinal doesn't have any."
               On another occasion, an official of Vatican told Pope St. John XXIII that it would be “absolutely impossible” to open the Second Vatican Council by 1963. “Fine, we’ll open it in 1962,” Pope John answered. And they did it.
               Visiting a hospital, he asked a boy what he wanted to be when he grew up. The boy said, “Either a policeman or a Pope.” "I would go in for the police if I were you," the Pope said. "Anyone can become a Pope; look at me!"               
               Pope St. John XXIII struck the same humorous note on Christmas Day in 1959, when he visited Rome’s Regina Coeli prison. He told the inmates that he came as their brother—and confided that one of his relatives had served a sentence for poaching. Pope John radiated so much goodness and sincerity that there was not a dry eye in the place by the time he finished speaking.
               On another occasion, one prisoner refused to see him. Learning that the man had murdered his wife, Pope John persuaded the guard to let him enter the inmate’s cell. Then he opened a hearty conversation with these words: “You know, I’ve never been married. But if I had married, I too might have killed my wife.”
               Once, the Pope remarked, “Men are like wine - some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.”
               On another occasion, he said, “It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.”
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© By: Prof. Dr. Babu Philip, Former Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India, Prof. Mrs. Rajamma Babu, Former Professor, St. Dominic's College, Kanjirappally and Leo. S. John and Neil John, Maniparambil, Alfeen Public School, Kanjirappally, Kerala, India. 
For more moral stories, parables and anecdotes for students kindly visit our web-site: http://www.moral-stories.com
This is Story No. 241 in this site. Please click ‘Older Posts’ at the bottom of a page to read previous stories and click 'Newer Posts' at the bottom of a page to read newer stories in this site. Please click on a word in the 'Story Themes' to read stories on that theme. 

MEETING GOD




                An old man and a small child reached a park one evening. They sat on the same bench. The child smiled and shared his chocolates with the old man. The old man had a bottle of water with him which he happily shared with the child. They started to talk about several silly matters. The old man narrated some interesting stories which the child enjoyed very much. The child sang a few songs which the old man appreciated very much. As the sun was setting, they parted, embracing each other and promising to come there every day.
                Reaching home, the child told his mother, “Mommy, I met God today. His hair was silver-coloured and was very old. He was full of love and told me a lot of nice stories.
                The old man reached his home and told his son, “Today, I met God in the park.” His son did not believe the old man’s words. Then the old man continued, “He is just a little child. He was very affectionate and kind to me. We had a very interesting time together, today.”
                It is said that in bringing up children, we must spend on them half as much money and twice as much time. Jesse Jackson said, "Your children need your presence more than your presents." H. Jackson Brown, Jr. said, "Always kiss your children goodnight - even if they're already asleep."
                King David sang in the Psalms, “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a real blessing.” That is the beauty of the innocence of infancy.
                It is our duty to give gratitude, love, respect, service and support to our elderly relatives. We must take care of them and provide for them especially in their old age, illness and need. By our love and service, we can add days to their life and add life to their days.
                Love is the language that can be heard by the deaf, seen by the blind and felt even by the newborn and the mentally retarded.
                We may give without loving; but we cannot love without giving. Love is giving all we can. Love is like a smile - neither have any value unless given away. Karl Menninger said, "Love cures people - both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it." Saint Mother Teresa said, "It is not how much you do, but how much love you put into what you do that counts."
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© By: Prof. Dr. Babu Philip, Former Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India, Prof. Mrs. Rajamma Babu, Former Professor, St. Dominic's College, Kanjirappally and Leo. S. John and Neil John, Maniparambil, Alfeen Public School, Kanjirappally, Kerala, India. 
For more moral stories, parables and anecdotes for students kindly visit our web-site: http://www.moral-stories.com
This is Story No. 240 in this site. Please click ‘Older Posts’ at the bottom of a page to read previous stories and click 'Newer Posts' at the bottom of a page to read newer stories in this site. Please click on a word in the 'Story Themes' to read stories on that theme. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

A RECKLESS ATTACK



             Tony and Teena were recently married couples. They lived in a South Indian village. A month after their wedding, Tony had to go abroad to work in a foreign country. There was no one to stay with Teena. Her close friend, Meena invited her to stay with her. Teena closed their house and moved to her friend’s house in the town. Meena had a small child, who was very fond of Teena. Teena was very affectionate to the child and was eager to look after every need of the child with tender love and care.
             Tony returned to their home after several months. Teena and Tony reopened their house, cleaned it and started to live there. The next day, he went to town and could return only by dusk. When he neared their house, he heard the loud sound of Teena. Obviously, she was on the phone, speaking to someone. Out of curiosity, Tony secretly listened to the words of his wife. He was shocked to hear her words. She was talking very affectionately to someone on the phone and stated that she loved that person more than anything else in this world. She even made the sound of a loving kiss. Tony could not bear this. He believed that she had a secret lover and was sharing intimate moments with him. Furiously, he grabbed a heavy stick and gave an unexpected heavy blow on her head. She gave a loud cry and fell down, fainted. Filled with rage, Tony took the phone and listened silently, hoping to identify the criminal. There was a repeated  enquiry from an excited lady through the phone, “Teena, Teena, what happened to you?”
             Tony asked her, “Who are you?” The caller introduced herself as Meena, the close friend of Teena. She said, “Teena was talking to my child for a long time and I was listening to their intimate talk. Suddenly, Teena made a loud cry and stopped her talk. What happened?”
             Tony was totally upset. He realized that he had foolishly misunderstood his wife and misinterpreted her sweet talk to the innocent infant. He felt extremely sorry for reacting impulsively to Teena’s innocent act of affection and inflicting a serious injury on his dear and loving wife.
             Teena was rushed to the hospital in his car. She had to undergo a major surgery. After weeks of intensive treatment, she recovered and returned to their home, but her hair had to be shaved off prior to the surgery. Her head retained marks of the trauma.  
              A moment of misunderstanding or misinterpretation may be very disastrous and may make a couple forget the millions of memorable moments in their life and lead to erroneous or dangerous conclusions and decisions. It is wrong to draw conclusions until we know all the facts. His Grace the Most Rev. Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan and former Head of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church, once remarked humorously, “Three unmarried girls are responsible for most of the troubles in the world. These miscreants are: Misunderstanding, Misinterpretation and Misrepresentation.” Because these three words start with ‘Mis’, they were described humorously by the Metropolitan as ‘Miss’ troublemakers.
              Prejudice, discrimination, racism,  judgement by external appearances and impulsive reactions have plagued humanity for centuries. Such biased judgements do not reflect truth or reality. We must use just judgement and intelligent interpretations to arrive at sensible conclusions and wise decisions.
              When we point one finger at another person, three other fingers on the same hand point towards us. Often we fail to notice our own imperfections when we watch the defects and sins of others. When we are harsh in judging others, we become unable to receive mercy and compassion.
              Let us remember that ‘ANGER’ is only one letter short of ‘DANGER’. Robert Green Ingersoll said, “Anger blows out the lamp of the mind.” Benjamin Franklin said, “Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.” Lord Buddha taught, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burnt.”                      
             Let us seek God’s blessings and request Him to purify our heads, hearts, hands and habits.
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© By: Prof. Dr. Babu Philip, Former Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India, Prof. Mrs. Rajamma Babu, Former Professor, St. Dominic's College, Kanjirappally, Leo. S. John and Neil John, Maniparambil, Alfeen Public School, Kanjirappally, Kerala, India. 
For more moral stories, parables and anecdotes for students kindly visit our web-site: http://www.moral-stories.com

This is Story No. 239 in this site. Please click ‘Older Posts’ at the bottom of a page to read previous stories and click 'Newer Posts' at the bottom of a page to read newer stories in this site. Please click on a word in the 'Story Themes' to read stories on that theme. 

Friday, April 7, 2017

THE SECRET SPICE



                 A girl was watching her mother cooking a dish in the kitchen. On the shelf, there were several containers, neatly labelled, each containing a component like salt, sugar, oil, vinegar or a spice. She opened the lids of the containers in a definite order and added the required amount of each ingredient into the cooking vessel which was heated on a stove. Finally, she opened a container and looked inside for a while and then closed it. Then she served the delicious dish to everyone with great love. The children relished the dishes with a smile. This happened every day.
                 One day, the mother was too sick to cook. Her daughter agreed to do the cooking. She followed the mother’s recipe. The girl examined the labels of every container while trying to follow the directions of her mother. She found that the last vessel did not carry a label and so ignored it. She placed the cooking vessel on the stove and put on the flame.
                 When the dish was getting ready, out of curiosity, she opened the unlabelled vessel, which her mother used to open, observe and close like a ritual every day. She was surprised to find in that vessel, a small card on which was written a short verse from the Holy Bible, “Do all your work in love” {1 Corinthians 16: 14}.
                 Now she realised how her mother used to serve their food with love every time after reading the message in the last vessel.
                 A favourite motto of St. Mother Teresa of Kolkata (1910 – 1997) was: "Do small things with great love."
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© By: Prof. Dr. Babu Philip, Former Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India, Prof. Mrs. Rajamma Babu, Former Professor, St. Dominic's College, Kanjirappally, Leo. S. John and Neil John, Maniparambil, Alfeen Public School, Kanjirappally, Kerala, India. 
For more moral stories, parables and anecdotes for students kindly visit our web-site: http://www.moral-stories.com

This is Story No. 238 in this site. Please click ‘Older Posts’ at the bottom of a page to read previous stories and click 'Newer Posts' at the bottom of a page to read newer stories in this site. Please click on a word in the 'Story Themes' to read stories on that theme. 

PARABLE OF THE PENCIL



             In the earlier days of space research, a space research centre had to devise a method to enable astronauts to write in the special conditions of outer space such as zero-gravity. A team of scientists proposed an expensive project to develop special pens for use in space. While the proposal was being presented before the staff, a young scientist stood up and asked, “I have a humble suggestion. Instead of spending such a large amount to develop a special pen, why don’t we try to use an ordinary pencil?” The suggestion was received with great applause. Initial trials proved that a pencil could work well in conditions of zero-gravity and some early space travellers used it. Later, it was feared that the fine particles of graphite from the eroding lead can conduct electricity and may adversely affect the operation of delicate electronic control systems in the closed conditions of a space-ship and so better substitutes were fabricated.

              A great teacher gifted a pencil to each of his students and asked them to list the lessons of life that they could learn from a pencil. The major messages they presented were the following:

1…Each pencil has a definite purpose. It draws a line as it moves forward. This line becomes specific letters, words, phrases, sentences and a finally, a unique presentation with a meaningful message.
 Every person is a special noble creation of God with a particular purpose, role and mission in the world. By our life and actions, we have to fulfill the intention of the Creator.

2…A pencil permits to be held and guided by a hand to perform with perfection.
We must be ready to be guided by the will, words and hands of God. We must be humble and ready to surrender ourselves to the will of God. That is the only way to achieve great things in life.

3…A pencil leaves a definite mark on the surface on which it moves.
By doing our duties with dedication, we must leave our mark on every situation we are involved in and every person we interact with. That is the mark of our Creator which He uses to change the world through each of us.

4…The most important part of a pencil is its inside. The lead made of graphite is what enables it to leave a mark on the surface on which it moves. The decorated outer wooden portion may have visible beauty, but appearances can be deceptive. The quality of the pencil is decided by the inner lead.
The eternal soul within us is more important than the perishable body which houses it. The inner beauty and virtue of a person cannot be judged by his external appearance.

5…A pencil is used along with an eraser. Sometimes, the eraser is attached to the other end of a pencil. Though a mark of correction may remain, the eraser enables immediate correction of any mistake made.
We may make mistakes in life as “to err is human”. But a noble man corrects his error at the earliest. We must learn from our mistakes and proceed in pursuit of perfection.

6…A pencil has to be sharpened and polished frequently to serve its function with perfection.
Human life requires occasional painful sharpening to achieve its goal. Sharpening of human life is through the adversities and painful experiences man may have to endure in life. They lead to physical, mental and spiritual strengthening and regeneration. Adversity is the best university.

7…Applying too much pressure on a pencil while writing can break the tip of the lead causing great damage and hindrance to smooth writing.
Unnecessary stress and strain from vaulting ambition may damage our life and progress. When we are ready to accept the will of God, life becomes steady, pleasant and enjoyable.
             St. Mother Teresa of Kolkata said, “We are all pencils in the hand of God.” 
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© By: Prof. Dr. Babu Philip, Former Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India, Prof. Mrs. Rajamma Babu, Former Professor, St. Dominic's College, Kanjirappally, Leo. S. John and Neil John, Maniparambil, Alfeen Public School, Kanjirappally, Kerala, India. 
For more moral stories, parables and anecdotes for students kindly visit our web-site: http://www.moral-stories.com

This is Story No. 237 in this site. Please click ‘Older Posts’ at the bottom of a page to read previous stories and click 'Newer Posts' at the bottom of a page to read newer stories in this site. Please click on a word in the 'Story Themes' to read stories on that theme.