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… A moment of grace to meet and know God

 

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Water from the Rock

09/04/2009: Pakistan

Water from the Rock, the Gospel based, Gospel interoperated, meaningful and powerful document has come to each Brother and the Lay Marists as blessings in disguise. It has come to me as a very meaningful gift and as a light for my continual journey as a Marist Brother. It comes to me to become a moment of grace to meet and know God.

A life giving water collected in the book becomes streams of living water for those reading, taking action and praying with this beautifully worded book.

The book is very well done with a very distinctive style. The pictures are beautiful and carry a lot of meaning. They are very relevant to the text. Some of the pictures are quite familiar and they add to the effectiveness of the book. The book is attractive, yet simple, with very fine paper, is very nice to read or even to just flip pages.

At the start, the book had only an external attraction for me. I felt very proud and pleased to give it to others to read or have it as a gift. These feelings and attitude, stayed part of me, until I gave a retreat to the Brothers in Pakistan based on the “Water from the Rock”.

It was than I began to discover the treasure hidden in the words and symbols placed in the book. I began to refer to it quite often, for my spiritual reading as well as to pray personally and in the community. But the real face of the book was still hidden and was yet to be revealed, until a facilitator landed in Pakistan (the land of the pure) amidst the unrest and disturbed political situation of the Country.

I was very keen and glad to have made the trip to Peshawar in spite of the danger of being blocked in Peshawar do the Long March organized by Mr. Nawaz Sharif the opposition Leader. I was pleased to have reached to get to know the book and have more insights and thoughts on the “Water from the Rock”.

The facilitator was excellent and he did raise the veil which was so far covering the real beauty of the book. All this time I had been seeing the shining stars with my naked eye, but now they were seen with the help of a microscope. I could see the book with much clarity and understanding, the meaning behind the symbols. I came to know the book personally. I discovered the richness in the book, enriching my life, so I could in return, enrich the lives of all those I come in contact, as a life giving water. I feel that material in the book is very important, inspiring and resourceful on Marist Spirituality. It has to be life giving, as the Word of God is. As we ready the Word of God and it gives us life. I feel reading “Water from the Rock” cannot leave you or me without having made a positive and not having changed us to something good. The words are very effective, worth reading and reflecting on.

I know it has been truly time of great change, a time of growth and an opportunity and a moment of grace to meet and Know God, by knowing the richness of the congregation, the richness in our tradition and the richness in the Charism of Marcellin Champagnat.

I wish to congratulate the Commission and all those involved to produce this excellent bread to be broken and shared. It has become a bread for me, I feel urged to be broken by very practical ways, given in the book and be shared in many ways, according to our Marist tradition.

I am touched with article 54. We find God in all the situations that we are in, Daily experiences are special places of encounter with God. We find Gods presence in creation, in the events of every day --- work and relationships, silence and noise, joys and sorrows, achievements and anguish, tragedy and death. I see God being present in each and every one of those persons who has made contribution to write this book. I can see Gods hand in writing this book and feel strongly that God is present to me in the “Water from the Rock”.


What a beautiful and meaningful way to finish the book, leaving us to see new visions and dream new dreams. It is just very encouraging, urging and provoking to do something – to take some action – to make the book the reality of my life. It leaves me disturbed, challenged and inspired to move ahead. I need to see beyond and far. It gives me new visions of Marist life and helps me to dream a new life as a Marist Brother.

I am deeply convinced that his book is having the following impact on my life. This story may help to convey my true feelings;
Once, a young boy had asked his grand Father. Grand Father, why do you read the Bible daily? What is the advantage of reading the Bible daily? To this the grand father said to the boy. Go and bring the basket we use for the charcoals. The boy went and brought it. Then the grand Father told the boys to fetch water from the stream. The boy started bringing water in the basket. After some time, he noticed that the basket was getting cleaner and cleaner. The grand father asked the boy. What has happened to the basket? The boy said, It is clean now. To this the grand father said, Exactly, this is what happens to us when we read the Bible daily. The Word of God purifies us, gives us life, gives new meaning to life, makes us clean and makes us better people.

I believe, this is same for me and can be exactly the same for all those willing to get themselves purified. I am sure, if I continue to read, reflect, pray and live the words in the “Water from the Rock”, I shall be clean; I will become streams of living water.

As we have seen in Marcellinnen tradition, he had, and generations of Marists have experience God in every thing, as has been the experience of the Marists world over. I pray that, all of us may have passion for God and compassion for his people, the very reasons of our Call as Brothers and Lay Marist men and women. May this book be a moment of grace to meet and know God!

____________
Paul Samuel Bhatti, FMS. March 2009

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