NON-VIOLENCE

A snake in the village had bitten so many people that few dared go into the fields.  Such was the Master’s holiness that he was said to have tamed the snake and persuaded it to practice the discipline of nonviolence.

It did not take long for the villager to discover that the snake had become harmless.  They took to hurling stones at it and dragging it about by its tail.

The badly battered snake crawled into the Master’s house one night to complain. Said the Master, “Friend, you have stopped frightening people,  that’s bad!”

“But it was you who taught me to practice the discipline of nonviolence!”

“I told you to stop hurting, not to stop hissing!”

Source | Anthony de Mello, SJ, One Minute Wisdom
(Image Books, 1988) page 45

PONDER AND CONSIDER

SOME THIRST

A couple of strangers were visiting a dusty little town in the back country of west Texas. It was hard-shell Baptist country: No drinkin’ and no dancin’! But these two were strangers, so they asked a cowboy where they might get a drink.

“In this town,” said the cowboy, “they use whiskey only for snakebite.”  Then he added slyly, “There’s only one snake in town.  So you better get in line before it gets worn out!”

Source | Dennis R. Clark, Sunday Morning, Reflections on the Word

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • As a deer thirsts for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. | Psalm 42:1
  • How thirsty are you … for life … for truth … for justice?

THE SNAKE CHILD

Once upon a time, there lived a childless and devout Brahmin and his wife. Everyday, they prayed for a child and in time a baby was born – only it was a snake! Although everyone around was aghast, the couple brought up the snake child with love and care.

When the time for his marriage came around, the Brahmin was at his wit’s end. Who would marry a snake? At his wife’s insistence, he visited an old friend of his. When the Brahmin mentioned that he was looking for a wife for his son, without hesitation, his friend offered his daughter’s hand in marriage, saying that any son of the Brahmin was bound to be a good husband.

Accordingly, the Brahmin brought back a beautiful bride for his son and they were soon wed. The girl did not flinch when she found that her husband was a snake as she was determined to honour her father’s word.

That night, as she was about to sleep, she was startled to find a handsome young man materialise before her. “Do not scream,” he told her, pointing to the snake skin at his feet. “I am your husband.” Joyfully, they embraced, but at day break he slipped back into his snake skin.

One day, the girl had a wonderful idea. Her husband had just materialised out of his snake skin. Quickly, she threw it in the fire. Her husband caught her up in joy. “Thank you, my love,” he told her, explaining that he had been cursed to stay in a snakeskin until someone destroyed it without his asking.

And so the handsome young man and his beautiful bride lived happily ever after.

Source | lifepositive.com

TAKEAWAY

Very often life gives us unwelcome things – like an illness or a handicap, or a brother who bullies. If we accept it with joy, it can transform into a gift just like the snake transformed into a handsome young man.