AMAZING PATIENCE

A man observed a woman in the grocery store with a three year old girl in her basket. As they passed the cookie section, the little girl asked for cookies and her mother told her no. The little girl immediately began to whine and fuss, and the mother said quietly, “Now Monica, we just have half of the aisles left to go through; don’t be upset. It won’t be long.”

Soon they came to the candy aisle, and the little girl began to shout for candy. And when told she couldn’t have any, began to cry. The mother said, “There, there, Monica, don’t cry – only two more aisles to go, and then we’ll be checking out.”

When they got to the check-out stand, the little girls immediately began to clamor for gum and burst into a terrible tantrum upon discovering there’d be no gum purchased. The mother patiently said, “Monica, we’ll be through this check out stand in 5 minutes and then you can go home and have a nice nap.”

The man followed them out to the parking lot and stopped the woman to compliment her. “I couldn’t help noticing how patient you were with little Monica,” he began. Whereupon the mother said, “I’m Monica . . . my little girl’s name is Tammy.” 

Author Unknown

  • Are you  a patient person? How do you practice patience?
  • What do you think is the relationship between patience and suffering? After all don’t we call someone who is in the hospital a patient?

SOCKS, SHOES AND CONNECTIONS

With Christmas coming  grandma was out shopping for gifts for her grandchildren.  While she was at the toy store going through her list she noticed a small homeless girl outside wistfully looking into the store.  Grandma’s heart went out to this little girl.  She invited her into the store and asked her to pick out a gift for herself.  As they walked out of the store, the little girl held Grandma’s hand and looked into her kind eyes and asked “Are you God?”  Grandma, somewhat embarrassed and somewhat touched said, “No, my dear, I am not God.”  “Then who are you?”  continued the little girl.  Grandma thought for a moment and said, “I am a child of God.”  The little girl, fully satisfied and smiling, said, “I knew there was a connection!”

Source | Paul Coutinho,  How Big is Your God? , page 1

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Another version of the same story

A little boy about 10 years old was standing before a shoe store on the roadway, barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering with cold. A lady approached the boy and said, “My little fellow, why are you looking so earnestly in that window?” “I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes,” was the boy’s reply.

The lady took him by the hand and went into the store and asked the clerk to get half a dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of water and a towel. He quickly brought them to her. She took the little fellow to the back part of the store and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet, and dried them with a towel.

By this time the clerk had returned with the socks. Placing a pair upon the boy’s feet, she purchased him a pair of shoes. She tied up the remaining pairs of socks and gave them to him. She patted him on the head and said, “No doubt, my little fellow, you feel more comfortable now?”

As she turned to go, the astonished lad caught her by the hand, and looking up in her face, with tears his eyes, answered the question with these words: “Are you God’s Wife?”

Source Unknown

  • When people come into your life do they see a divine connection?

MORE PRECIOUS THAN DIAMONDS

A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.

“I’ve been thinking,” he said, “I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me something more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone.”

Another version of the same story goes like this:

The sannyasi [wise man] had reached the outskirts of the village and settled down under a tree for the night when a villager came running up to him and said, “The stone! The stone! Give me the precious stone!”

“What stone?” asked the sannyasi.

“Last night the Lord Shiva appeared to me in a dream,” said the villager, “And told me that if I went to the outskirts of the village at dusk I should find a sannyasi who would give me a precious stone that would make my rich forever.”

The sannyasi rummaged in his bag and pulled out a stone. “He probably meant this one,” he said, as he handed the stone over to the villager. “I found it on a forest path some days ago. You can certainly have it.”

The man gazed at the stone in wonder. It was a diamond, probably the largest diamond in the whole world, for it was as large as a person’s head.

He took the diamond and walked away. All night he tossed about in bed, unable to sleep. Next day at the crack of dawn he woke the sannyasi and said, “Give me the wealth that makes it possible for you to give this diamond away so easily.”

“The Diamond” from The Song of the Bird by Anthony de Mello SJ

The same story is also recounted in
The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everyting: A Spiritual Guide to Real Life by  James Martin, SJ

THE DAILY PAPER

A guy buys a newspaper every day from a newspaper vendor.  The newspaper vendor is always rude to him.  So a friend of his says, “Why do you buy your paper from this guy? He’s always rude to you.  Why don’t you buy it from someone else just next door?”

Says the guy, “Why should the vendor decide where I buy my newspaper?  Why should he have the power to decide that?”

Source: Anthony de Mello, Rediscovering  Life: Awaken to Reality

Who is managing your life? Who is pulling your strings?

I’VE COME FOR FREEDOM

The master asks the disciple, “What have you come here for?”

The disciple says, “Moksha.”  Moksha is the Sanskrit word for “freedom.” “I’ve come for freedom.”

“Oh freedom,” says the master. “Go and find out who has bound you.”

The disciple goes back and meditates for a week, returns to the master and says, “No one has bound me.”

“Then, what do you want freedom for?” says the master.  And in that very instant the disciple’s eyes are open and he attains freedom.  He attains liberation.

CHIP IT AWAY

There is a story about a man who had a huge boulder in his front yard. He grew weary of this big, unattractive stone in the center of his lawn, so he decided to take advantage of it and turn it into an object of art. He went to work on it with hammer and chisel, and  chipped away at the huge boulder until it became a beautiful stone elephant. When he finished, it was gorgeous, breath-taking.

A neighbor asked, “How did you ever carve such a marvelous likeness of an elephant?”

The man answered, “I just chipped away everything that didn’t look like an elephant!”

James W. MooreSome Things Are Too Good Not To Be True, Nashville: Dimensions, 1994, p. 32.

  • “In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.”Michelangelo
  • “Every block of stone has a statue inside it, and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” Michelangelo
  • “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”Michelangelo

REFLECTION

Every person is like a slab of marble, pregnant with potential and possibility. There is greatness and radical goodness within, but it has to be tapped into and gently carved out.

If you have anything in your life right now that doesn’t look like love, kindness, mercy and compassion, gently find ways to chip it away!  If you have hatred or prejudice or vengeance or envy in your heart, gently find ways to chisel it away, thus setting free the true identity of who you were intended to be from the beginning!

THE ANSWER IS IN YOUR HANDS

Once there was a wise old man and a smart little boy.  The boy  was driven by a single desire – to expose the wise old man as a fool.  The smart boy had a plan.  He had captured a small and very fragile bird in the forest.  With the bird cupped in his hands, the boy’s scheme was to approach the old man and ask him, “Old man, what do I have in my hands?”  to which the wise old man would reply, “You have a bird, my son.”

Then the boy would ask, “Old man, is the bird alive or is it dead?”  If the old man replied that the bird was dead, the smart boy would open his hands and allow the bird to fly off back into the forest.  But if the old man replied that the bird was alive, the smart boy would crush the bird inside his cupped hands, and crush it, and crush it, until at last the bird dies.  Then the boy would open his hands and say, “See, old man, the bird is dead!”

And so as the story goes, the smart boy went to the old man and he said, as planned, “Old man, what do I have in my hands?”

The old man replied, “You have  a bird, my son.”

“Old man”, the boy than said, his voice dripping with disdain, “is the bird alive or is it dead?”

Whereupon the old man looked at the boy with his kindly old eyes and replied, “the answer is in your hands, my son.”

Source |  Gerry Spence, How to Argue and Win Every Time
St. Martin’s Griffin, 1996) page 142

CONSIDER THIS

TWO HANDS

I am a fist,
A sign of fear
A sign of anger
A sign of greed
A sign of tension

I can pound a desk
I can hoard money
I can try to scare you
I can punch you
In the mouth.

I am a fist.
What do you think of me?

I am an open hand,
A sign of calm,
A sign of ease,
A sign of peace,
A sign of relaxation.

I can dial a phone,
I can shake a hand,
I can change the diapers,
I can play cards,
I can break the bread,
I can pass the wine,
I can heal the hurt,
I can write the poem.

I am an open hand.
What do you think of me?

Andrew Costello CSSR, “The Two Hands” in Listenings (Chicago: Thomas More, 1980) page 107.