Posts Tagged ‘Dr. of Theology’

sahajanda-blogBrother John Martin Sahajananda, born in 1955, was one of the closest followers of Father Bede Griffith, who strongly influenced him. He made his theological studies at St.Peter’s Seminary of Bangalore, where he discovered the writings of the founders of Shantivanam (Jules Monchanin and Henry Le Saux). This discovery has transformed his vision of Christ and Christianity.

In 1984 he left his diocese and joined the community of Shantivanam to live as a Benedictine monk close to Father Bede Griffith.

Shantivanam belongs to the Congregation of Camaldolese in the Order of St.Benedict. Sahajananda has obtained a Licentiate in Spirituality from the Gregorian University, Rome. Today he is a spiritual director in the ashram.

He is very much interested in Inter-religious dialogue, particularly between Hinduism and Christianity. He teaches «Indian-Christian Spirituality» to the visitors of the ashram. It is a form of spirituality, which shows the unifying elements among the religions and also the uniqueness of each spiritual tradition. But it also opens to a spirituality that goes beyond religious boundaries.

He is frequently invited to Europe to give lectures, retreats and seminars and to share his unique vision of Christianity for the third millennium.

He has published a number of books including You Are The Light, Hindu Christ, The 4 O’Clock Talks, Mission Without Conversion…

More information on Brother Martin clik here

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Focusing on the heart of Christians

When I was young, I walked at the bank of a river in the mountain. I liked picking up small stones and throwing them to the river. Sometimes, I tried to smash them, but it was difficult. I wanted to know how much water was inside those stones, which were in the river. One morning, I was able to smash one of them with my father’s hammer. I was amazed because there was no water in its interior; it was completely dry.

The stone had been in the water for a long time; but water had not penetrated it. This happens to people who are familiarized with the Gospel. There are cultures and countries that have been swamped with Christianity, totally immersed in its blessings, but they are still dry. It is not Christianity’s fault, but the roughness of their hearts’.

This is the main obstacle you may come across with when reading the Gospel: having the heart mummified, stiff as flint, surrounded by the love of God and his Word, but impenetrable.

Gumersindo Meiriño


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The closeness of God: The Sun

Many people get bothered when God is close, because he makes them think about their ways of life. They do not like it because it makes them remember the dark parts of their ways. And they do not want to change; they do not want to be touched.

This happened to hypocrites and Pharisees who considered Jesus an enemy. This is what Jesus teaches now. You cannot be a person who only carries out the law and pretends to be a good person so that people say: “What a good man! How law abiding! How generous!” Jesus sees inside your heart and unmasks double-faced people. He does it for two reasons. Firstly, to help them because when he unmasks them he is living them a second chance. And secondly, in order not to let them deceive innocent people.

Nevertheless, many of them did not accept the word of God and did not bear him. They tried, by all means, to get rid of him. This also happens nowadays; many people have an appearance, show a kind face, but they are exactly the opposite. They are like actors who do not live their own lives; they live a pretended life they have invented, in which they are no more protagonists of a film. This is far from reality. The word of Jesus places you in your real life, and when you accept reality you see what you are, with no slyness or tricks; so Jesus helps you to start over.

This happens now and also happened two thousand years ago. Genuine people approached him despite the fact that they had sinned. His previous behavior and his way of life did not care. Thanks to Jesus they were reborn. They did not disown his presence; they invited him and shared with him instead. Zaqueo, who was a tax collector and a robber, admitted it before Jesus. He received Jesus in his house and his life changed radically. Mathew, another tax collector who kept other people’s money, invited him to eat and then became an apostle…

It is like the light of the sun. When entering a half-lighted room, we may say: «How clean this room is!» But when we open the windows and light enters, we see dirtiness, spider webs. In the presence of God, the sun shines. The darkness disappears. But if somebody wants to hide the dark part of his life get away from the light of God because nothing can be hidden from him.

In the Gospel, Jesus cured a man that was possessed by many demons, and then he sent the demons to a herd of swine. The evangelist says: «So people pleaded so that he moved away from them because they feared.» The inhabitants did not rejoice in Jesus’ miracle. They did not feel touched or happy when seeing his neighbor cured from the curse. They only cared about their economic loss, the loss of the herd of swine. On the contrary, the man from whom the demons had come out begged to remain with him (…) The man went off and proclaimed throughout the whole town what Jesus had done for him.»[1]

Demons and double-faced people cannot bear the Word of God. Many hypocrites read the Gospel to hide their malice. «They have eyes, but they do not see, ears, but they do not hear.» They have no root.

[1] Cf. Lc 8, 27-40.

Theology Articles

Gumersindo Meiriño


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From the tunnel to the clouds

One day, a good man was introduced to me. He was intelligent and had great qualities. The person who introduced him told me: «He is a great man with a great problem: he lives in the túnel of the past, or in the clouds of what is about to come. Now, he needs to step on the present.»

I have met many people like that man: they seem to live anchored in the old year or dreaming about the new year. Remember the great celebrations to say goodbye to the old year and welcome the new year in every part of the world! However, the old year is each night when we go to sleep and dream with the angels: it is the end of the world, of our conscience. At the same time, each sunrise is a new year that God offers us: we revive the conscience, we come back to life.

How many times do we dawn looking back? The things I have done, the things others have done to me, the things I could have done. All this is finished: «the past is over.» Each awakening is an opportunity. In our dreams, we recover enough energy to wake up again, as new born. We learn from the past the things we do not have to do again. We prepare the tomorrow living the present with more intensity.

Adolfo confessed: «I do not understand the meaning of this phrase: “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God”[1] I asked it to many priests, but I did not like their answers.» Escalada replied: «I was seeing the photographs of my childhood and youth. I recalled my relationship with people, whom I believed my friends. I could not see myself reflected in that world, in those past years. So, I started to tear the photographs of my childhood. I only kept some of them.»

Chose the present! “Here and now” are the happiest moments of your existence. If you want to recall something, look in your mind for the positive things. In the Old Testament, a town was asked to recall the acts of the Lord. Recall what makes you walk, not what paralyzes you!

I suggest a prayer called “Memorare.”[2] It was written by Claraval and it is prayed in order to ask the Mother of God to remember us, to recall the gifts she always distributes among her children.

[1] Lk 9, 62.

[2] Remember, Oh pious Virgin Mary! It has never been heard that any of those who have turned to your protection, asking for your help have been abandoned. Due to the fact that I trust you, I turn to you, oh Mother, Virgin of the virgins, groaning because of the weight of my sins I dare to appear before you. Oh mother of God, do not reject my plea before listening to them. Accept them mildly. Amen.

 Theology Articles

Gumersindo Meiriño


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With a clean glance

The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had  spoken to him (Luke 22, 61)

I remember having moved to live in a new house, far from my land. I have been received affectionately. People showed me my room, and then I moved through the different places. There was a porch next to the house. I took several walks admiring the rich vegetation. In a strayed corner, a plant had grown. It was big and had some beautiful rosaceous violet flowers.

At lunch, I was asked about my first impressions. I commented on how nice this plant was. One of the diners answered that he had been there for thirty years, and he did not remember having seen that plant. I tried to describe him where it was, what color the flowers were… but he could not distinguish which flowers had captured my attention.

When we finished lunch, we went for a walk around the porch to see the mysterious plant.

— Oh! Yes, it was grown there, but it’s common in these soils. I have not even realized that it was there— the host said. He had walked past it a hundred times, but he had never seen it.

This is what you and I do when we take the Gospel with that easy and arrogant attitude: «Well, I know what it says. I’ve heard about Jesus’s life; there’s nothing new to learn. I’m going to read another book to learn something different and new.»

That friend continued seeing more things. Then, he noted there were many birds, butterflies, and much smell of flowers in the porch… They had always been there, but he had never realized. He had got used to it; and his eyes were blurred by the black carpet of his routine.

Cleaning your glance is an essential condition to understand the Word of God. Otherwise, you would not be able to see what God has prepared for you. Purify your eyes with the collyrium of faith. Humbly ask Jesus what the blind that approached him in the Gospel asked: «Lord, make him see».

To empty the content

Josecito visits me every day, at least some minutes to say hello. Now he is one year old and he walks. As all children, he frequently falls down; but it is wonderful to see how he stands up. It takes him some minutes. We always observe him because it seems that he will not be able to do it; however, little by little and with a bit of suspense, he stands upright, after a number of strange poses. His grandparents cheer him and say:  «Very well, very well!»

As well as adults observe the progresses of the children, their falls, their “foolishness,” Father God observes us. He sees our struggle to walk straight, our falls, and our first steps.

In order to understand the Gospel, it is necessary that we become children again. The child has nothing; he is empty. He is born “clean,” and he learns everything he receives. He needs to be taught even the more basic things. If nobody taught him to speak, he would never learn; if nobody taught him to walk, he would never be able to do it.

Become a child again! Empty your worries and prejudices. Forget that you can read and write, remain empty, “clean,” as new born babies because whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.[1]

I invite you to throw away all the things you know about the Gospel, all your knowledge about Jesus’s life. Forget everything because you are a new born baby who is eager to learn; you are a baby who cannot walk or speak. Now open the Gospel with this attitude, as if it were the first time.

Nothing can be put into a full vessel. First you have to empty it and then you will be able to put something inside. As Jesus used to say: «Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.»[2]

Saint Augustine of Hippo used to say:

To fill a vessel, it first has to be emptied. Shed the evil from you because you are going to be filled with the good. Suppose that God whishes to fill you with honey; if you are full of vinegar, where will you put the honey? The vessel must first be emptied, and then cleansed and freed from the vinegar. This requires hard work and is painful, but it is the only way to prepare it to receive something. And as we say honey, we could have said gold or wine; the fact is that we try to dignify the ineffable: God… enlarge our hearts so that he fills it when he comes.[3]

Now think what is there, inside your heart; examine what is in your mind, and recognize your acts. Throw everything away so that you can be filled with the Word of Jesus.

Reading the Gospel with new eyes means buying the collyrium that will help us to see. Look, observe, think, analyze and learn with that collyrium.

Leave your habits and prejudices away, because now you have the Gospel in your hands for the first time, and you are about to open your eyes to a new reality: the life of Jesus.


Reflect: What do you think about along the day? Who is in your mind for more time? What objects do you love the most? How do you spend your time…?

Write it down in your workbook.

Read carefully a chapter of the Gospel each day, and write down the thoughts that come to your mind after reading.

[1] Cf. Lk 18, 16.

[2] Lk 5, 38.

[3] SAINT AUGUSTINE, Treaty on the first letter of Saint John, n.4

Taken from the book: G. MEIRIÑO, Reading the Gospel with new eyes, Corrientes, 2009, pp. 25-31

Theology Articles

Gumersindo Meiriño


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Sixth sense

If you are able to focus your five senses on the Word of God, you open the sixth sense: intuition. You exceed the knowledge that is perceived through the senses –which are only physical- and you start to know directly.

Jesus had this sixth sense, and was able to see the heart of those who were next to him. In one occasion, the apostles were discussing the positions they would have in the future when Jesus came to power. So, the Gospel says: «Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child and placed it by his side and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me”»[1].

This sixth sense helps you to understand what Jesus means with the Word of God. Some people have a gift for interpreting the messages of Heaven. As Mary, that young woman from Nazareth who listened to the voice of the Spirit, and interpreted and decoded it immediately, accepting to be Jesus’s mother, with no intervention of any man.

This way of knowing is common in the life of saint people from all religions. Ignacio de Loyola, who was a beggar and dressed terribly bad, preached the Word of God in such a way that people followed him. In one occasion, the Superior of the Dominic of Salamanca invited him to lunch with his disciples. After having interrogated him and getting to know that Ignacio had not studied theology, the Superior concluded: «We are not instructed and talk about vices and virtues, though nobody can talk about it but in one of the following forms: through the letters or through the Holly Spirit. And not through the letters and then through the Holly Spirit.»[2] The Dominic friar wondered how this man and his friends talked about theology and God if they had never studied. Where did they gather the information? How could they have that astonishing knowledge about theology? But the disciple is not more than his teacher. Jesus had experienced something similar. He was in one of the traditional Jewish celebrations, which was called Celebration Tents, when he decided to go to the temple to preach. «After having listened to him, The Jews were amazed and said, “How does he know scripture without having studied?”»[3]

God offers, to people who are humble and modest of heart, that “intuition” and wisdom, which had not been learned or studied in any university.

[1] Lk 9, 46-47; Mk 2, 8.

[2] IGNACIO DE LOYOLA, S., Authobiography, chapter. 7, n. 65.

[3] Cf. Jn 7, 15.

Gumersindo Meiriño


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