Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Wonder Worker

While in Chowpatty, I asked HG Govinda Prabhu a question about my feelings of inadequacy in coming up to the platform of brahmacarya, of a renounced life devoted to God, because I had been raised in a secular Western atmosphere, born with a Western body that has all kinds of desires. He very kindly and firmly told me to never think I am disqualified from a renounced life because of my background, and if I do think so, I am instantly disqualifying myself.

He also pointed out that numerous individuals in a Western body have lived a renounced life devoted to giving God to all. One such example that I have been reading about is The Venerable Father Solanus Casey (1870-1957), a Capuchin friar and monk who is currently being considered for sainthood by the Vatican.

My personal connection to him is that, amongst my immediate family in Detroit, he is still a household name. He spent nearly 20 years in Detroit working in St. Bonaventure Monastery, with an all-day open-door policy that allowed each and everyone, espiecally the sick and poor, to come to him for deep wisdom, practical advice, and miraculous blessings. He also helped to open one of the city's first soup kitchens that is still feeding the hungry in Detroit today.

I took a lot of inspiration from reading about Father Solanus, from seeing my own struggles in his struggles, and in aspiring to imbibe some of his humility, surrender, and simplicity, universal to all faiths, in my own practice. His presence deeply exists for all those he has touched and still touches today. In a world devoid of so many spiritual examples of proper life and action, Father Solanus stands tall for many hearts to have and hold.

His words....

"Man's purpose as a rational creature is to recognize and to know His Creator, so as to be able intelligently to love Him, confidently to hope in Him, and gratefully to serve Him."

"We must be faithful to the present moment, or we will frustrate the plan of God for our lives."

"Be as blind as possible to the faults of your neighbors, trying at least to attribute a good intention to their actions."

"God is constantly planning wonders for the patient and humble."

"Let us not worry about past stupidities and sins, but rather thank God for having rescued us from hell and from the jaws of our unruly passions."

"Jesus is no crank! He knows we are not angels but poor sinners, and He understands when we fail."

"We should be ever grateful for and love the vocation to which God has called us. This applies to every vocation because, after all, what a privilege it is to serve God, even in the least capacity!"

"Confidence is the very soul of prayer."

"Confidence in God-the very soul of courage-is victory assured."

"We worry and fret about tomorrow as though our dear Lord had never spoken a word about His divine providence, or proved His loving solicitude for each of us a thousand times a day."

"God loves to load confidently loving souls with supernatural divine generosity."

"The thing the world calls 'life' is short after all, and the hereafter so eternal, that nothing here ought to really disturb us."

"Shake off anxiety. Last year it was something that you smile about now. Tomorrow it's something that will not be serious if you raise your heart to God and thank Him for whatever comes."

"How merciful the good God is in letting us now and then run up against a snag of some kind, that halts us for at least a moment of reflection on the real purpose of our existence as rational creatures: eternity in God."

"There is nothing in nature or visible creation, however sublime, but what is simply a shadow, a counterpart, of the supernatural."

"Courage, therefore, and with the soul's eye fixed on the goal of eternity, struggle on."

"To know is to appreciate. God Himself can be appreciated and loved only inasmuch as He is known."

"Be sure, if the enemy of our soul is pleased at anything in us, it is ingratitude of whatever kind. Why? Ingratitude leads to so many breaks with God and our neighbor."

"Humanity's outstanding weakness seems to be a thoughtless want of appreciation for the uncountable blessings by which Almighty God is always surrounding it."


bhima said...

Interestingly, I also am familiar with Father Solanus by way of family. My mother grew up in a Irish Catholic household in Detroit. She frequently mentions him and visits his tomb when she is there.

Anonymous said...

I was raised Catholic, and came to Krishna Consciousness late in life.

I've always found Father Casey to be not only inspirational, but compatible to both faiths. He's common ground.

rhapsody said...

Thanks for these quotes -

I too am a Catholic who has always heard about the wisdom and kindness of Fr. Solanus through family members.

& thanks to you Thomas for the link:)