LEFT OUT

A public sinner was excommunicated and forbidden entry to the church.  He took his woes to God. “They won’t let me in, Lord, because I am a sinner.”

“What are you complaining about?” said God. “They won’t let Me in either.”

Source | Anthony de MelloPrayer of the Frog: Volume 1
(Gujarat Sahitya Prakash, 2003) page  105

Anthony de Mello, Taking Flight
(Image: 3rd Revised edition,1990) page 80

CONSIDER THIS

We can, as Christians, get narrow and closed-minded, petty, bitter and exclusive. We can become more holy than God where perfection becomes the enemy of the good.

But we can also go long and deep, broad, expansive and inclusive!

 

THE MOON IN THE LAKE

A drunk was staggering across a bridge one night when he ran into a friend. The two of them leaned over the bridge and began chatting for a while.

“What’s that down there?” asked the drunk suddenly.

“That’s the moon,” said his friend.

The drunk looked again, shook his head in disbelief and said, “Okay, okay. But how the hell did I get way up here?”

__________

We almost never see reality. What we see is a reflection of it in the form of words and concepts which we then proceed to take for reality. The world we live in is mostly a mental construct. People feed on words, live by words, would fall apart without them.

Source  | Anthony de MelloTaking Flight
(Image, 1990) page 66

THE DANGERS OF MINE

An old woman died and was taken to the Judgment Seat by the angels. While examining her records, however, the Judge could not find a single act of charity performed by her except for a carrot she had once given to a starving beggar.

Such, however, is the power of a single deed of love that it was decreed that she be taken up to heaven on the strength of that carrot.  The carrot was brought to court and given her.  The moment she caught hold of it, it began to rise as if pulled by some invisible string, lifting her up toward the sky.

A beggar appeared. He clutched the hem of her garment and was lifted with her; a third person caught hold of the beggar’s foot and was lifted too. Soon there was a long line of persons being lifted up to heaven by that carrot.  And, strange as it may seem, the woman did not feel the weight of all those people who held onto her; in fact, since she was looking heavenward, she did not see them.

Higher and higher they rose until they were almost near the heavenly gates. That is when the woman looked back to catch a last glimpse of the earth and saw this whole train of people behind her.

She was indignant! She gave an imperious wave of her hand and shouted, “Off! Off, all of you! This carrot is mine!”

In making her imperious gesture, she let go of the carrot for a moment – and down she fell with the entire train.

Source | Anthony de Mello, Taking Flight, pages 137-138.
[Prayer of the Frog, Volume 1]

PONDER AND CONSIDER 

There is only one cause for every evil on earth:  “This belongs to me!”

WHY DON’T YOU BUY A TICKET

Once upon a time, a pious old man said to God, “God, look how faithfully I’ve served you all my life, right?”  Of course, he heard no answer.

“Right,” said he to himself. “Now, I’ve never asked you for anything, right?”

“Right,” said he, talking on behalf of God, of course.  And he said, “Now, I’m going to ask you for just once favour and you can’t say no to me.  All my life I’ve served you, I’ve observed the law, I’ve kept the rites.  I’ve done good to people, I’ve observed your commandments.  Just do me this one favour:  Let me win the lottery, and then I can retire in peace and security.”

So he was convinced that God would grant him his desire, and he waited and waited and waited.  And he kept on praying every night.  After six months, nothing had happened.  And then one night, in sheer frustration, he yelled: “God, give me a break. let me win the lottery.”

And imagine the fright he got when he heard a voice reply, “Give me a break yourself.  Buy s ticket.”

Source | Anthony de Mello, Rediscovering Life. Pages 104-105

__________

IN SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT FORMAT

A devout religious man fell on hard times. So he took to praying in the following fashion: “Lord, remember all the years I served you as best as I could, asking for nothing in return. Now that I am old and bankrupt I am going to ask you for a favour for the first time in my life and I am sure you will not say No: allow me to win the lottery”

Days passed. Then weeks and months. But nothing happened. Finally,almost driven to despair, he cried out one night, “Why don’t you give me a break, God?”

He suddenly heard the voice of God replying, ” Give me a break yourself! Why don’t you buy a lottery ticket?”

Source | Anthony de MelloThe Prayer Of The Frog. Page 52
or in the US edition, Taking Flight., page 104

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • Did you buy your ticket? Are you expecting magic or are you responsible enough to daily do your part?