My friends decided to visit Church yesterday(march 1,2011) and so invited me too. The atmosphere was blissfully silent and serene. Climbing up the stairs of the Old Church the air of divinity seemed to envelope all of us; and they appeared to me as different beings. We were all almost quite but all seemed to be experiencing the holy sweetness of God’s Love. Standing before the deity of Mother Mary as I reflected on her life, I remembered the Angelous prayer that I recited every day. And for the first time I could make sense of what I was mechanically reciting for years. And the one line of the prayer that caught my attention was “Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word.” She lived a life of complete surrender to The Lord. Lovingly serving the lord and assisting him and his son in his pastime to awaken our sleeping soul.
Then we entered the new church, offered Prayers and we took a round in the church reading the stations of the Cross, As we moved from the main altar which had a deity of Mother Mary and a carving of “The Last Supper” they asked for an explanation. I was not sure if I was the right person to explain, but Trusting that Lord will reveal himself if wishes to, I started speaking.
The Last Supper where Christ exhibited the First and Foremost Quality of a devotee- Selfless Service. As he washed the feet of all his disciples,he even washed feet of Judas who was going to betray Jesus for 30 silver coins and Jesus knew it.
Jesus was innocent, sinless and was declared 'not' guilty by even the Pilate. But during the Passover festival, people demanded to Crucify Him instead of Barabus who committed every possible sinful activity. Why didn't he tried to justify himself? Why didn't he try to save himself? Why did he accept the painful miserable Death on the Cross? But as these questions were rising in my mind Krsna reminded me of Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur and I remembered he said “He reasons ill who says that Vaishnavas die, When thou art living still in sound! The Vaishnavas die to live, and living try To spread the holy name around.” And It was clear that Christ knew it wasn't death he was heading for, He was towards the end of his mission in this world; to teach: “ Love the Lord Your God with all your heart, with all your mind and with all your soul.” And by accepting the cross he was establishing the way to follow this principle. Despite of All the passion he went through. His last words were "Father Forgive them For they know not what They do."
As we moved through every station(there are 14 stations) We were reflecting over the mystery and the significance of the deep lesson Christ was teaching in his every step.
By accepting the Cross he Acccepted the service of mankind.. And as he was moving on his path he fell down 3 times, but he never stopped moving.. he continued on his path, forgiving all the persecution and insult that people offered him. Which reminded me, "Faliiure is not in falling down but to remain Fallen. The real glory of Life is to rise up every time we fall" Simon helped Jesus to carry the cross, Veronica wiped his face which was bleeding and full of sweat, When Jesus himself saw the Ladies of Bethlehem mourning he went and spoke to them comforting words.. How many times have we gone out of our ways to help those in distressed. How many times have we not been selfish and went ahead to comfort others? Selfless service not just means doing our duties perfectly.. But it also means helping others to do it correctly.. Jesus is ripped of his clothes, he is made fun of, nailed on the cross, but he forgives everything. Real Forgiveness does not mean that we say we have forgiven and then keep reminding the person, see you did so much wrong and i forgave you. "A devotee Forgives even before the offence is over."
Finally when Jesus was taken down from the cross it was done very gently. But he was nailed very brutally.
Why is it that we are kind only when we see a persona in pain. We may hate somebody, but when that person is no more we speak good about him. Why can't we see this Goodness before.. Why are we so inclined to finding faults in others and disliking people. Why cant we just love them for all the good they have. And the most beautiful thing that everyone has is Krishna.. Who is within everyone. Why cant we just Love them all.. Is it Really that difficult?
The stations ended. But the reflection of this passion of Christ is what i Carried with me back home.
Hoping that i be able to at least sincerely try to follow these beautiful qualities.. which is most pleasing to the lord.
And I also realized . that he who is in this heart, will speak anytime, anywhere, in any situation.. All we have to do is LISTEN with our hearts open.
Would like to share this hymn:
Listen Let your Heart keep seekingListen to his constant SpeakingListen to the Lord's voice calling you.Listen to his inspirationListen to his invitationListen to the Lord's voice calling you.