THE UNIVERSAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT, INDORE: “DHARMA BHARATHI” IN A NEW AVATAR WORSHIPPING THE DIVINE SELF WITHIN. FR. VARGHESE ALENGADEN



NEW WEBSITE: www.ephesians-511.net
JUNE 2009/APRIL/AUGUST 2012

THE UNIVERSAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT, INDORE:

“DHARMA BHARATHI” IN A NEW AVATAR

WORSHIPPING THE DIVINE SELF WITHIN.

FR. VARGHESE ALENGADEN

 


PHOTOGRAPH OF A CATHOLIC NUN IN FR. VARGHESE

ALENGADEN’S NEW AGE MEDITATION ROOM!

 

‘Mirror Room’ Helps People Discover Divinity Within Themselves

http://www.ucanews.com/2008/08/20/mirror-room-helps-people-discover-divinity-within-themselves/ August 20, 2008 

UCAN Photo: Sister C. Lissy, Congregation of Jesus, at the meditation room of the Universal Solidarity Movement headquarters in Indore, India, on July 8, 2008

INDORE, India (UCAN) Sister C. Lissy could not help laughing when she first entered the meditation room of the
Universal Solidarity Movement (USM). I looked all around for the tabernacle in the dim light,” the Congregation of Jesus nun admitted to UCA News, “but all I could see was a small ceiling fan, a tube light and a gigantic mirror on a wall.”

The sari-clad nun, 32, began wondering why the room did not even have a crucifix, but then her eye caught a black, wooden sign above the two-square-meter mirror. Written on it were the English words “God within” and a phrase in Sanskrit, “Aham brahmasmi (I am God).”

 

 

 

The nun, a volunteer at USM headquarters at Indore, Madhya Pradesh state, 810 kilometers south of New Delhi, said an electric shock passed through her as she read the words, but the message took more than a week to sink in.

The unusual meditation room is the brainchild of 56-year-old Father Varghese Alengaden, who founded USM 16 years ago to combat the sectarianism that was then sweeping across India and leaving more than a thousand dead in riots. The movement, the priest explained to UCA News, aims to generate responsible citizens to promote harmony among India’s various groups by encouraging them to live the values of their respective religions. The “mirror room” is just one of various methods he uses to promote harmony and solidarity, he said.

Father Alengaden said Saint Paul’s words, “God lives within you,” prompted him to devise the room. People change drastically once they understand they are the image of God, he said, and “we’d then have no problem to accept the other person as also an image of God.” In his view, this realization will help people accept plurality and equality, and dissuade them from harming others.

“The meditation room is open to all, but only one at a time,” the bearded priest added in his sonorous voice. He said USM volunteers spend at least an hour a day in the room when they are in Indore, and they must keep their eyes focused on the image in the mirror while praying.

According to Sister Lissy, the six-square-meter room appears simple but praying there is tough. Initially, the idea seemed quite outlandish, she recalled, and “I used to laugh seeing me in the mirror.” But after a week or so, “I realized God is within me, not in a church. I also realized I was confronting myself and this helped me behave better with others.”

She also discovered “more meaning” in praying before the mirror than meditating before the tabernacle or in a church. “God is merciful, beautiful, kind and compassionate, and so am I, because God is within me,” she added.

This realization has helped her overcome biases, she continued. “You will not differentiate between black and white, tall and short, Hindu and Muslim, because all are the image of God and He lives in them.” She said she used to focus on her shortcomings while praying, “but once you begin to analyze yourself before the mirror, you realize that what you considered as weakness is a blessing in disguise. You learn to appreciate God’s creation and thank Him.”

Sister Anjali John, USM’s former director, says the mirror room is her strength. “I had been praying before the crucifix or the tabernacle, so I first thought it was foolish to pray before the mirror,” she told UCA News. However, the Holy Spirit nun soon realized that facing oneself is tougher than encountering others. “If you sincerely look at yourself in a mirror, it will become your strength,” the 44-year-old nun said.

Sister Sunita Pinto, another Congregation of Jesus nun who is on a three-month training program at USM headquarters, told UCA News she finds the mirror room “wonderful,” even if it distracted her at first.

After a week in the room, USM’s director, Father Varghese Kunnath, 49, told UCA News, people become aware of “a divine presence” there, and “this divinity is exuded by your reflection, which in a way is just another image of God.”

MY COMMENTS:

All the nuns interviewed by UCAN, Sr. Lissy, Sr. Anjali John and Sr. Sunita Pinto were apparently first ‘conventional’ in their approach to prayer. As any Catholic might do, they looked for the tabernacle and the crucifix and found the lack of them and their replacement by a huge wall-mirror under an ‘I am God’ sign either worth a hearty laugh [ridiculous] or distracting.

But eventually, like many other nuns now in the religious orders in Indore [as I understand from a priest-friend there], they have capitulated to this New Age form of prayer which is propagated by Fr. Alengaden and Fr. Kunnath. Read once again the comments of two of the nuns after their being compromised:

Sr. Lissy:I realized God is within me, not in a church.She also discovered “more meaning” in praying before the mirror than meditating before the tabernacle or in a church.

Sister Anjali John, USM’s former director: I had been praying before the crucifix or the tabernacle [but now] the mirror room is my strength.
If you sincerely look at yourself in a mirror, it will become your strength.”

In a conventional chapel where Catholics venerate the image of Jesus Christ on a crucifix or adore His Real Presence in the Eucharist exposed in a monstrance or reposed in a tabernacle, there is no question of where true divinity is to be found. But in a Hindu-ised situation, as Fr. Kunnath admits, this divinity is exuded by your reflection, which in a way is just another image of God.” I AM GOD. AHAM BRAHMASMI.

I quote from page four of the New Indian Express, Chennai, supplement of May 28, 2009,

“Understanding the conscious you: The essence of teaching in the Manisha Panchakam is that what we call as ourself is made up of consciousness. The first four verses have as its basis the four Mahavakyas of the Vedas which say – Pragnanam Brahma (consciousness is Brahman), Aham Brahmasmi (I am consciousness), Tat Tvam Asi (you are that consciousness) and Ayam Atma Brahma (This soul is consciousness)…”

All is one. All is consciousness. This is the monism of Hinduism, not the dualism of Christianity.

The February 3, 2003 Vatican Document on the New Age explains that this consciousness is what the New Age sees as god, # 2.2.3, 2.3.4.1, etc., and 2.3.4.2 which reads:

There is talk of God, but it is not a personal God; the God of which New Age speaks is neither personal nor transcendent. Nor is it the Creator and sustainer of the universe, but an “impersonal energy” immanent in the world, with which it forms a “cosmic unity”: “All is one”. This unity is monistic, pantheistic or, more precisely, panentheistic. God is the “life-principle”, the “spirit or soul of the world”, the sum total of consciousness existing in the world. In a sense, everything is God. God’s presence is clearest in the spiritual aspects of reality, so every mind/spirit is, in some sense, God.

 

 

The error is so subtle that the poor nuns miss it completely. The crucified or the Eucharistic Lord is replaced by their own images, their selves. In attempting to overcome their “ego”, it is their ego that they focus on.

They believe that they are praying to the “God within” them. They are in effect praying to themselves.

A careful reading of the Vatican Document will provide a fuller appreciation of the extent of the deception.

 

Leo Fernando, UCAN reporter, who had interviewed me on the New Community Bible controversy, sent me the following link for the 57 comments posted against the UCAN report on the “Mirror meditation”. Of course, as always, there were those who saw nothing wrong and even some merit in praying to oneself, but I have selected to copy below more than 40 of those postings that recognized error in the mirror technique:

From:
Leo Fernando
To:
prabhu
Sent: Friday, September 19, 2008 6:07 PM

Subject: Re: Fw: NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE: MEETING CALLED BY A SENIOR BISHOP

http://www.ucanews.com/2008/08/20/mirror-room-helps-people-discover-divinity-within-themselves/?key=indore+mirror

Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 3059 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Virginia Saldanha [comment_author_email] => fabclaity@gmail.com [comment_author_url] => India [comment_author_IP] => 209.18.36.13 [comment_date] => 2008-09-09 02:55:46 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-09-08 18:55:46 [comment_content] => It makes me sad to read all the comments above. It reminds me of the poem – ‘Six Blind Men and the Elephant’, each sees the elephant from their own perspective and concludes what the whole elephant is like. I would like to highlight a few things that seem to have been overlooked. First that Universal Solidarity Movement is started in India which is a multi-religious country. There have been recent upsurges of religious extremists attacking the Christians on so called ‘issues of conversions’. Fr. Varghese’s attempt is to invite people from different religious communities to come to this meditation room, which cannot have religious objects of any one religious denomination (I think), so that they may realize some common truths that are shared by all, i.e. we are all made in the image of God and therefore the concept of ‘God within us’, (which is easily understood by the Hindu majority in India). He clearly mentions that “The movement aims to generate responsible citizens to promote harmony among India’s various groups by encouraging them to live the values of their respective religions. The “mirror room” is just one of various methods he uses to promote harmony and solidarity.” If we only read the news of the severe attacks by religious extremist forces on Christians in Orissa, India, we will appreciate the need for some concrete measures to help people towards peaceful co-existence. I think the involvement of sisters in this programme is necessary because they are all working with different religious groups and they need to be catalysts for peace and harmony. It is also necessary to understand the cultural context of the interior parts of India where missionaries like Fr. Varghese and the sisters work in order to appreciate their work for inter-religious harmony and peace. I personally feel it is unfair to judge this initiative from a lens of “Western Catholic culture”. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 2420 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Kathleen [comment_author_email] => krleavey@yahoo.com [comment_author_url] => USA [comment_author_IP] => 216.246.75.167 [comment_date] => 2008-08-31 19:30:55 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-31 11:30:55 [comment_content] => Blatantly New Age! By looking in a mirror we are chosing our own will and not that of the Almighty and Eternal Father. Adoration, usually takes place after Benediction. Where is the Blessed Sacrament? If He is not in His Temple, how can we Adore Him! [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; IEMB3; IEMB3) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [2] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 2140 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Anne [comment_author_email] => anne.van.tilburg@bigpond.com [comment_author_url] => http://Australia [comment_author_IP] => 61.9.129.154 [comment_date] => 2008-08-26 15:34:07 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-26 07:34:07 [comment_content] => I would like to make one more comment. It is true that we are made in the image and likeness of God. This image refers mainly to our soul, which has the same powers (imperfectly) as God, and they are our memory, intellect and will, free-will which we can use to love and adore ourselves or to freely love God. God within us, happens when we receive Him in Holy Communion, and He only stays with us if we are in state of grace, which means, free of mortal sin. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [3] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 2079 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => brad rutherford [comment_author_email] => rutherford1245@yahoo.com [comment_author_url] => usa [comment_author_IP] => 89.149.169.146 [comment_date] => 2008-08-25 06:04:04 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-24 22:04:04 [comment_content] => This is very sad. A loss of faith among the witnesses. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [4] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 2076 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => paednoch [comment_author_email] => Paednoch@gmail.com [comment_author_url] => USA [comment_author_IP] => 128.242.191.36 [comment_date] => 2008-08-25 03:41:46 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-24 19:41:46 [comment_content] => Hellfire awaits. Pray for the souls who have fallen for this Satanic Ploy [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.0.3705; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; Media Center PC 4.0; InfoPath.2) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [5] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 2068 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => MW [comment_author_email] => marywood365@googlemail.com [comment_author_url] => England [comment_author_IP] => 84.53.134.196 [comment_date] => 2008-08-24 17:41:44 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-24 09:41:44 [comment_content] => A few years ago our local paper which sits lightly to received spelling carried a FOR SALE ad for “Large Oval Guilt-edged Mirror.” It would have been appropriate here? [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; PPC Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/523.12 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0.4 Safari/523.12 [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [6] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 2061 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Ellizabeth [comment_author_email] => jane.dawson@att.net [comment_author_url] => USA [comment_author_IP] => 24.25.26.61 [comment_date] => 2008-08-24 12:07:49 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-24 04:07:49 [comment_content] => This priest needs to be corrected by his Bishop, thus the Church has a solemn responsibility to stop heresy and the like. This Roman Catholic Church of ours must hold another Ecumenical Council and soon in order to correct so many of the errors taking place within the Church today. Which I will boldly add are leading many of us to Hell. So I ask where is the Teaching Authority of the Catholic Church in this circumstance? [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10_5_1; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Safari/525.20 [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [7] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 2059 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => momma [comment_author_email] => missoleander@aol.com [comment_author_url] => usa [comment_author_IP] => 204.2.215.103 [comment_date] => 2008-08-24 09:04:17 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-24 01:04:17 [comment_content] => get away from the computer. y,all will be better off. help your neighbor and in turn you shall help , “jesus’s mission” had HE spent time on a computer i shudder to think where we would all be! may god bless y’all [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; Comcast Install 1.0; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [8] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 2050 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Jean [comment_author_email] => soukupje@cox.net [comment_author_url] => USA [comment_author_IP] => 70.167.151.170 [comment_date] => 2008-08-24 05:29:30 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-23 21:29:30 [comment_content] => What is the priest thinking? Has he become so lethargic in his faith that he has to expose others to lunatic theology? We need to be smart enough to know when a priest is leading us in the wrong direction, and these sisters are not being very smart! If the priest really wanted to teach them to see God in others, he would find a way to direct their attention away from themselves and toward helping others who are also in the image of Christ. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.0; QS 4.2.2.3; SLCC1; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; Media Center PC 5.0; .NET CLR 3.0.04506) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [9] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 2047 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => narcisa martinez [comment_author_email] => tobogan7@aol.com [comment_author_url] => usa [comment_author_IP] => 216.246.75.167 [comment_date] => 2008-08-24 01:52:32 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-23 17:52:32 [comment_content] => If it was true and that simple there would be no need for anything or anybody else. God knows that we don’t even know ourselves ever! Therefore, the need for Himself and the gift of Himself to us. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; FunWebProducts; Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1) ) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [10] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 2040 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => patrick f [comment_author_email] => pfinley@stellarcomputing.net [comment_author_url] => [comment_author_IP] => 205.234.218.116 [comment_date] => 2008-08-23 13:38:43 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-23 05:38:43 [comment_content] => This isnt new age…its very “old age” . Its Gnosticism. See the knowledge that is inside one’s self. We are all equal to God, etc etc. We all know what happened to the people/abstracts in scripture who claimed equality to God. Read a bible [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.1.16) Gecko/20080702 Firefox/2.0.0.16 [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [11] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 2029 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Frank J. Wodzinski [comment_author_email] => Polish753@verizon.net [comment_author_url] => United States [comment_author_IP] => 216.246.75.167 [comment_date] => 2008-08-23 06:09:25 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-22 22:09:25 [comment_content] => NONSENSE! NONSENSE! NONSENSE! [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.0; SLCC1; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; Media Center PC 5.0; .NET CLR 3.0.04506) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [12] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 2026 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Nancy [comment_author_email] => jervis.nancy@gmail.com [comment_author_url] => USA [comment_author_IP] => 72.246.25.164 [comment_date] => 2008-08-23 02:17:53 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-22 18:17:53 [comment_content] => Does this mean then that blind people cannot find God???? [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0; Broward County Courthouse; .NET CLR 1.1.4322) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [13] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 2025 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Carolyn [comment_author_email] => whartoncarolyn@yahoo.ca [comment_author_url] => Canada [comment_author_IP] => 96.17.8.44 [comment_date] => 2008-08-23 02:14:20 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-22 18:14:20 [comment_content] => Proceed with caution! We are not gods… we are God’s creation, His children. Our consciences need to be formed based upon the “fullness” of Christ’s truth and I agree that the mirror could help us in realizing that our actions must be Christ-like towards all of God’s creation. However, it seems rather risky to actually pray before your own image. After all the New Agers could also use this as a helpful tool towards misleading souls. The sole place that Christ is tangibly present is in His greatest gift to us left at the Last Supper–the Holy Eucharist, which was a miraculous way for Him to remain “tangibly” with us until the end of times, as He promised to do. I pray that the priest involved in this realizes its limitations and recognizes the possible dangers involved in using any type of simple prop–especially mirrors. If kept as a simple tool for reminding us of our divine calling– because of His divine presence in our souls– this may be helpful, however, left alone too long in front of one’s own image can also be used as an instrument of the devil so that we fall into the sin of pride and confusion… perhaps even thinking we have all we need within ourselves to become holy. It would seem wise to perhaps counsel people before and after going into the miror room, so that they understand the purpose of it and they should be directed to pray to Almighty God, Father of all of Creation and the Holy Trinity because of the love between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which they need to “tap into” in order to love their brothers and sisters without discriminating, if they are being encouraged to pray at all while in front of the mirror. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.1.16) Gecko/20080702 Firefox/2.0.0.16 [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [14] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 2024 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => James S. [comment_author_email] => james.salisburg@yahoo.com [comment_author_url] => USA [comment_author_IP] => 72.215.224.21 [comment_date] => 2008-08-23 01:44:21 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-22 17:44:21 [comment_content] => These poor devils. They are deprived of real sacraments thanks to the false teachings of the Novus Ordo new agers, and have no idea what it means to be Christian. The guy even read St. Paul out of context — forgetting that St. Paul called the dieties of the Indian continent “devils” and advocated the destruction of their temples. Most people who fall for this “self-worship” have no idea about what’s going on today. They’ve probably never even heard of Sedevacantism or know about the debates concerning the post-1958 papal candidates and their new sacraments! [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux x86_64; en-US; rv:1.8.0.13pre) Gecko/20070505 Iceape/1.0.9 (Debian-1.0.10~pre070720-0etch3) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [15] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 2023 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Meg [comment_author_email] => megorsline@bellsouth.net [comment_author_url] => USA [comment_author_IP] => 72.247.241.95 [comment_date] => 2008-08-23 01:24:38 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-22 17:24:38 [comment_content] => It is so sad that not only a Priest, but, Nuns, too, are saying that Jesus is not enough! Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will let them come to a true knowledge of themselves if they spend that 1 hr a day with Christ, Himself! New Age, Relativism, Denial..whatever you want to call it, has no TRUTH. …because unless it’s the whole truth, it’s a lie. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1) ; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; InfoPath.1) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [16] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 2022 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Rob [comment_author_email] => rtljg@comcast.net [comment_author_url] => USA [comment_author_IP] => 96.17.72.7 [comment_date] => 2008-08-23 01:09:38 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-22 17:09:38 [comment_content] => “The Christians were at once the objects of hatred and contempt [by the populace of the Roman Empire]. Because they were intolerant of all other religions, because they either denied outright the existence of heathen deities or regarded them as evil spirits whose worship was the greatest sacrilege and treason to the true God – they were called narrow-minded bigots…” (Fr. Laux, Church History, p. 44) [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.0; WOW64; SLCC1; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.04506; Media Center PC 5.0) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [17] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 2021 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Phil [comment_author_email] => philtrevathan@hotmail.com [comment_author_url] => USA [comment_author_IP] => 72.247.241.77 [comment_date] => 2008-08-23 01:07:39 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-22 17:07:39 [comment_content] => If you don’t see the danger in people praying to a mirror, then you aren’t Christian and you most certainly aren’t Catholic. Period. This is New Age. False teaching. Heresy. Run screaming from it. Find it beautiful, trendy, enlightening? Hopefully someone you know will pray for you to escape the tempter’s snare. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.1.14) Gecko/20080404 Firefox/2.0.0.14 [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [18] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 2020 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Pam [comment_author_email] => jim_pam_nic513@embarqmail.com [comment_author_url] => USA [comment_author_IP] => 209.170.75.166 [comment_date] => 2008-08-23 00:56:15 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-22 16:56:15 [comment_content] => I am not sorry to say that this screams of new age/false spirituality. Ever see the movie, “Out On A Limb” , with Shirley MacLaine? Well, she learned to do the very same thing except while facing the ocean, as she was admonished to do by a false prophet. We are to see the Christ in all people which means we are to love ourselves as we love neighbors and vice versa, which the false spirituality has twisted to become, “I am God”. This is nothing new. My hope is that people will truly look upon themselves as mere children of God, which is who we all are, but we cannot be God. Jesus told us this numerous times in the Gospels, and, He is afterall, the only begotten Son of God the Father. Therefore, love your neighbor as you love yourself, but do not believe you are God, nor even utter these words on penalty of blasphemy against the One True God. Pray for yourselfs, and you will see the truth. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [19] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 2017 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Mike [comment_author_email] => JMDrowned81@aol.com [comment_author_url] => USA [comment_author_IP] => 72.246.99.20 [comment_date] => 2008-08-23 00:21:37 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-22 16:21:37 [comment_content] => A mirror is “more effective” as opposed to a tabernacle where Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is? They should have 24 hour Adoration! [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [20] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 2015 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Tom [comment_author_email] => tomhoustn@yahoo.com [comment_author_url] => USA [comment_author_IP] => 204.0.5.13 [comment_date] => 2008-08-22 23:12:19 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-22 15:12:19 [comment_content] => According to Christianity God is within us; that’s true. What cannot be said is that I, or you, or anyone but Christ IS God. We are a mix or good and evil. All that is good within ourselves is of and within God. Therefore God is within us, but we cannot forget that there is much within us that is not God We constantly work by grace to increase God within ourselves and purge that which is not God (good). To say I am God is to forget our faults and failings: to forget those is to cease to work on them; to cease to work on them is to reject God’s grace. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [21] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 2014 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Anne [comment_author_email] => annes1042@aol.com [comment_author_url] => USA [comment_author_IP] => 96.6.123.54 [comment_date] => 2008-08-22 23:12:05 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-22 15:12:05 [comment_content] => I’d rather look at the Holy Face of Jesus and contemplate His Sacrifice while praying, instead of looking at myself. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; FunWebProducts) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [22] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 2012 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Magister [comment_author_email] => magister@ourladyoftheway.com [comment_author_url] => USA [comment_author_IP] => 24.25.26.62 [comment_date] => 2008-08-22 22:52:26 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-22 14:52:26 [comment_content] => Where are these people’s religious superiors?!? Where is this preist’s bishop?!? The lot of them ought to be reassigned to work that does not deal with the public. The sense in which St. Paul speaks of the Christian as a temple of the Holy Ghost is not the same sense in which Our Lord is present in the Blessed Sacrament. Whenever we talk about God living within us, this only occurs in proportion to our ability to receive Him. His presence in the Blessed Sacrament, however, is absolutely independent of us and out shortcomings. A person with theological traiining (like someone with a degree from a seminary or someone in vows within a religious order) knows and understands this difference. SO, the fact that they portray both of these “presences” to the public as if they were equal is a deliberate deception. They all ought to be brought up on charges before a canonical court – especially the bishop and immediate religious superior(s) that allow this place to continue in existence as a catholic establishment. The 60’s are over, folks! I’m not ok and you’re not ok… and we never really were. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.04506.30; .NET CLR 3.0.04506.648) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [23] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 2011 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => susan [comment_author_email] => scottie@fidalgo.net [comment_author_url] => USA [comment_author_IP] => 96.17.8.44 [comment_date] => 2008-08-22 22:36:50 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-22 14:36:50 [comment_content] => Sisters, I pray all of you read these comments from your Catholic brothers and sisters. (take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ Mt 18:16) Our Lord was telling each and everyone of you from the moment you walked into this meditation room that it was not of HIM. That electric shock Sister Lissy initially experienced was a strong warning that much is at stake which is your precious soul and the souls you touch. You had HIS gift of discernment, and you must pray for it to be returned. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.7.6) Gecko/20050225 Firefox/1.0.1 [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [24] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 2007 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => T.S.Thomas [comment_author_email] => thazha@rediffmail.com [comment_author_url] => India [comment_author_IP] => 125.252.226.30 [comment_date] => 2008-08-22 21:17:55 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-22 13:17:55 [comment_content] => This is not New Age spirituality, but rather old. If we cannot find Jesus within us, how can we see Him in others? If we can’t see Him in others, where can we meet Him? Only in Tabernacle? I don’t believe this. We are created in the likeness of God and even if we use a mirror to see Him, it is justifyable. Bible speaks more than once that God is within us. I am not justifying Fr. Alangadan and his several means to create a harmonoious world. But whatever it is, unless and until we discover the God within us, we will not “really love others”. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; FunWebProducts; .NET CLR 1.1.4322) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [25] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 2006 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Anne [comment_author_email] => anne.van.tilburg@bigpond.com [comment_author_url] => Australia [comment_author_IP] => 60.254.148.4 [comment_date] => 2008-08-22 21:11:22 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-22 13:11:22 [comment_content] => I find it amazing that a Catholic Nun who must have had a good Catholic Education, is a bride of Jesus, can take the focus off Him and put this focus on herself in a matter of a week. This does not even happen in a marriage breakdown. In marriage love goes cold gradually, not over night. How much did this Nun love her Spouse? Here is another great need for prayer! [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [26] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 2005 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Jan [comment_author_email] => janet_baker76@hotmail.com [comment_author_url] => USA [comment_author_IP] => 64.86.95.15 [comment_date] => 2008-08-22 21:00:54 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-22 13:00:54 [comment_content] => These are all good comments supporting the Real Presence, but I think we all should carry this a bit further. We should really ask ourselves in what ways the Eucharist is being similarly disrespected in our own parishes. Are people sitting in the pews talking in church, chatting, before and after mass? Are they failing to genuflect entering and leaving church? Is the priest genuflecting? Before mass, do lectors and ministers and dancers and ministers to the sick stand about in the sanctuary chatting? Does the priest require a paten be held during communion in case Our Lord falls? Are the mass vessels of durable and precious metals, as required? Is the tabernacle of reservation really accessible, really central, well adorned? Or is it an excuse to treat the rest of the church as one’s living room? Are people entering church dressed as to be in the presence of a king? If we see these things and do nothing, we are guilty of the same error as the one named here. We have made gods of ourselves. Please speak up! Please protest! Please restore Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament to a place of primacy in our churches and our lives! He is our great treasure! [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; SU 3.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [27] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 2003 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Sharon [comment_author_email] => sharonand8@yahoo.com [comment_author_url] => USA [comment_author_IP] => 24.24.52.125 [comment_date] => 2008-08-22 20:33:48 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-22 12:33:48 [comment_content] => Score a big one for Satan! We are being blessed with young vocations, and Satan would like to see those vocations fall more than any other. That poor Sister Lissy! Being taken away from Jesus, and replacing Him with “I am God” nonsense. Shame on the leaders of those orders who would allow their members to participate in this evil. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US) AppleWebKit/525.19 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.2 Safari/525.21 [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [28] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 2002 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Mary [comment_author_email] => Holywhappingfan@aol.com [comment_author_url] => USA [comment_author_IP] => 96.17.77.141 [comment_date] => 2008-08-22 20:11:12 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-22 12:11:12 [comment_content] => Where is his Bishop in all of this???!!! Nothing is is or ever should be above Christ. We can only strive to be a reflection of Christ’s light on earth and we need to medidate at the tabernacle and partake of the Holy Eucharist to have that grace bestowed on us. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; AOL 9.1; AOLBuild 4334.36; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [29] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 2000 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Henry Kuhl [comment_author_email] => hkuhl@live.com [comment_author_url] => Canada [comment_author_IP] => 207.148.159.29 [comment_date] => 2008-08-22 19:55:23 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-22 11:55:23 [comment_content] => I believe the mirror exercise does have merrit. I would never replace my time with the Blessed Sacrament with a mirror, however I will spend some additional time in front of the mirror. Why?? We as Christians are a reflection of Christ. Time spent with the Blessed Sacrament is sometimes spent thinking ” Am I ever a good guy to be here” Time spent in front of a mirror is spent looking at ourselves as God sees us. When we look at ourselves, in all our weaknesses, as God sees us; we now have something to correct. This is evident when Sister Lissy says “I also realized I was confronting myself and this helped me behave better with others” [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.04506.30) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [30] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 1999 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Celine [comment_author_email] => celinespaul@gmail.com [comment_author_url] => http://India [comment_author_IP] => 125.252.226.28 [comment_date] => 2008-08-22 19:48:06 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-22 11:48:06 [comment_content] => Like all the other commenting above even I am disturbed to hear that – Sister Anjali John, USM’s former director, says the mirror room is her strength. “I had been praying before the crucifix or the tabernacle, so I first thought it was foolish to pray before the mirror,” she told UCA News. This substitution of God with image of self is…. I donno what word to assign for te feeling. The whole idea is against what we as christians truly believe…………. ‘Holy Communion’. No doubt God is within us and indeed our strength, but does avoiding the tabernacle or a crucufix make you holier. If this thought is true and has weightage then the only person lauding this will be none other that Fr. Varghese himself. Take care father… on the tight rope you are walking and guiding many others as well. God Bless us all !! [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 2.0.50727) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [31] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 1998 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => T [comment_author_email] => emp6irock@me.com [comment_author_url] => Iraq [comment_author_IP] => 193.108.93.136 [comment_date] => 2008-08-22 19:35:30 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-22 11:35:30 [comment_content] => “Only one other being looks into a mirror and sees God. Satan.” M, Canada. Indeed this is a frightening practice especially when it is fostered by our religious against our religious. M’s quote above is stunning. Let us all pray for sisters and priests, my God preserve them. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; PPC Mac OS X Mach-O; en-US; rv:1.8.1.16) Gecko/20080702 Firefox/2.0.0.16 [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [32] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 1997 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => T [comment_author_email] => emp6irock@me.com [comment_author_url] => Iraq [comment_author_IP] => 213.244.181.3 [comment_date] => 2008-08-22 19:33:42 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-22 11:33:42 [comment_content] => “Only one other being looks into a mirror and sees God. Satan.” M, Canada. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; PPC Mac OS X Mach-O; en-US; rv:1.8.1.16) Gecko/20080702 Firefox/2.0.0.16 [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [33] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 1995 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Janet [comment_author_email] => jsturtz@tampabay.rr.com [comment_author_url] => http://USA [comment_author_IP] => 65.32.34.119 [comment_date] => 2008-08-22 19:22:00 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-22 11:22:00 [comment_content] => make that prayers, not priors. Thanks. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [34] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 1994 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Janet [comment_author_email] => jsturtz@tampabay.rr.com [comment_author_url] => USA [comment_author_IP] => 65.32.34.119 [comment_date] => 2008-08-22 19:21:08 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-22 11:21:08 [comment_content] => This is very frightening. As if the world isn’t full of too much narcissism, now this priest and the New Age Movement are endorsing and fomenting the ultimate narcissism = “I am God”. I sure would not want to be in that priest’s shoes on Judgment Day, recalling what Scriptures say about leading His little ones astray! He is abusing thorugh his position as a leader. There is no excuse for this. Explanations, yes (his own narcissism), excuses no. This sounds like something from “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis. We need to arm ourselves a la Ephesians and spiritual warfare priors are definitely in order. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [35] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 1990 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Lucia Bartoli [comment_author_email] => yaddayadda@cox.net [comment_author_url] => U.S.A. [comment_author_IP] => 70.167.151.170 [comment_date] => 2008-08-22 17:58:51 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-22 09:58:51 [comment_content] => Would someone please report these lunatics to their bishop? to Rome? I am sick and tired of all the nonsense posing as Roman Catholicism. Prey TO Jesus. Meditate upon HIS suffering for OUR sins. Pay homage to the CREATOR of the universe who humbled HIMSELF to become like us. The only person who can even dare to utter the words “I am God” is any of the Trinity. I certainly am not God, and wouldn’t want to be. I am utterly content in being His child! [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10_4_11; en) AppleWebKit/525.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.2 Safari/525.22 [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [36] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 1978 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Julie Cyriac [comment_author_email] => judith.cyriac@ranbaxy.com [comment_author_url] => New Delhi, India [comment_author_IP] => 77.67.91.119 [comment_date] => 2008-08-22 14:37:12 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-22 06:37:12 [comment_content] => scripture from Psalms. “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” Psalm 46:10 I live for God and thank Him for is grace, without which, I would be as a worm crawling in the dust. Lord, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don’t concern myself with matters to great or awesome for me. But I have stilled and quieted myself, just as a small child is quiet with its mother. Yes, like a small child is my soul within me. O Israel, put your hope in the Lord – now and always. Psalm 131 If you stand infront of a mirror you will see your image. If you want to see the Creator’s image then you go to the tabernacle. I feel we cannot equalize the church, where God exists, with any other things like mirror etc. Julie Cyriac [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [37] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 1977 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => manglinong [comment_author_email] => manglinong.m@gmail.com [comment_author_url] => usa [comment_author_IP] => 72.246.102.44 [comment_date] => 2008-08-22 14:21:00 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-22 06:21:00 [comment_content] => poor sister lissy….she’d rather meditate infront of the mirror instead of the tabernacle?….and she’s a nun?…how sad….looking at her admiring herself on the mirror just makes me so sad…. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0; (onekill)) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [38] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 1967 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Tony [comment_author_email] => anthonyjf@optonline.net [comment_author_url] => USA [comment_author_IP] => 72.246.19.15 [comment_date] => 2008-08-22 10:31:05 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-22 02:31:05 [comment_content] => more meaningful to look into a mirror than to meditate before Christ’s Real Presence in the Tabernacle? This is very distrubing to hear. In addition to this, to hear a Catholic sister say this is even more disturbing. This is the type of psychological babble that unfortunately affected more than afew sisters in the USA and one reason they’re numbers have greatly decreased. May I respectfully remind the Catholic sisters, my sisters in Jesus, that it is in drawing closer and closer to Jesus that we will begin to love others as we ought Because Christ is LOVE HIMSELF. Please Sisters, don’t let ANYONE, including clergy, lead you astray. yes, Christ is in each of us. Yes, each person has equal value and dignity no matter who we are because each of us is made in the image and likeness of God, but please don’t be led astray with practices such as the mirror exercise. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [39] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 1966 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Pattic [comment_author_email] => PataCancelli@msn.com [comment_author_url] => USA [comment_author_IP] => 216.246.75.167 [comment_date] => 2008-08-22 09:51:44 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-22 01:51:44 [comment_content] => More New Age mumbo jumbo… this is a dangerous practise, imo. God is the Trinity, Father , Son and Holy Spirit. We are all so far removed from “being God”, that to have a Catholic nun and Priest organize, condone and promote this is a terrible tragedy. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.04506.30; .NET CLR 3.0.04506.648; MSN 9.0;MSN 9.1; MSNbVZ02; MSNmen-us; MSNcOTH) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [40] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 1958 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => M [comment_author_email] => caldeira17@hotmail.com [comment_author_url] => Canada [comment_author_IP] => 24.153.19.213 [comment_date] => 2008-08-22 06:43:12 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-21 22:43:12 [comment_content] => In Praying before a mirror, a person who has human faults that need to be addressed, is reflected. God is not one dimentional. In Praying before the Eucharist in the Tabernacle you pray before God himself, and become aware of his perfections and power. There is no comparision and it should not be neglected because someone (a priest?) has come up with a way to distract people (Sister Sunita Pinto is very discerning) from adoration in Church, as it should be practiced. It is very dangerous to substitute this concentration on self. Only one other being looks into a mirror and sees God. Satan. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; IEMB3; IEMB3) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [41] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 1957 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Sharon [comment_author_email] => sharon_pilon@hotmail.com [comment_author_url] => Canada [comment_author_IP] => 24.153.19.132 [comment_date] => 2008-08-22 05:55:55 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-21 21:55:55 [comment_content] => Part of the problem in this world, is that we focus way too much on ourselves. This is just another New Age gimmick! [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; InfoPath.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [42] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 1951 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Mary [comment_author_email] => marystech@charter.net [comment_author_url] => USA [comment_author_IP] => 72.247.238.199 [comment_date] => 2008-08-22 03:51:00 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-21 19:51:00 [comment_content] => So .. . let me get this straight; instead of taking the focus off of ourselves and placing it on the one true God who is Jesus Christ, present in the tabernacle, we should place the focus on ourselves with the words “I am God” above in the mirror. I’m sorry, but correct me if I’m wrong, isn’t this what Satan originally got man to do in the Garden of Eden?? WE CAN BE GOD! Focus on ourselves! Get the focus off of Christ! Just who is it that would like man to do that? God or Satan?? [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.0; SLCC1; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; Media Center PC 5.0; .NET CLR 3.0.04506) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [43] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 1944 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => ellen [comment_author_email] => ellenjg7@aol.com [comment_author_url] => U S A [comment_author_IP] => 149.174.245.164 [comment_date] => 2008-08-22 02:12:08 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-21 18:12:08 [comment_content] => Beautiful article, but for one factor…We need to be feed with the nourishment of the Eucharist in order to see the Christ within. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; AOL 9.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [44] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 1940 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Ann [comment_author_email] => rosaryfixer@verizon.net [comment_author_url] => USA [comment_author_IP] => 65.49.29.31 [comment_date] => 2008-08-22 01:15:59 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-21 17:15:59 [comment_content] => What rubbish. This is nothing more than New Age and any other so-called “religion.” The purpose of our Faith is to worship God, not ourselves. I hope the local Catholic bishop will denounce this. One does not have to go to a place to worship oneself in the mirror. I also believe Satan can use this as a ruse to woo us away from the living God. Without him are are nothing [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.1.16) Gecko/20080702 Firefox/2.0.0.16 [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [45] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 1937 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Mary L [comment_author_email] => jmjinga91@hotmail.com [comment_author_url] => USA [comment_author_IP] => 72.246.25.79 [comment_date] => 2008-08-22 00:38:00 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-21 16:38:00 [comment_content] => Sounds like New Age, looks like New Age, must be NA. I would prefer holy statues, the tabernacle or pictures of our Lord over a mirror and day. Just another way that NA has seaped into our culture and unsuspecting individuals are falling for it. However, it is even more sad when the religious fall for it. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.04506.30) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [46] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 1935 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Denden [comment_author_email] => dendensdy@yahoo.com [comment_author_url] => Canada [comment_author_IP] => 24.153.19.142 [comment_date] => 2008-08-21 23:46:42 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-21 15:46:42 [comment_content] => Though the idea is nice to help other people know that all of us are children of God therefore we shouldn’t be harming one another,however, there is a dangerous doctrinal error here in praying before a mirror instead of in front of the BODY and BLOOD of JESUS who is TRULY PRESENT in the TABERNACLE. This is reflected by the comment of the sister that the meditation room is a more important place of prayer than the TABERNACLE. If she has not been moved to love others while praying in front of Jesus, it is because she has not fully grasp the command of Christ to love others as he/she love himself. I think that to simply remind people about it frequently is enough to change our attitude towards others not necessarily having to pray in front of the mirror. This could lead to heretical views and watering down on the teachings of Christ and the Church. Look at the movement of Focolare founded by Chiara Lubich. They have learned to reorient their attitude towards living peacefully and amicably towards other people by praying in front of the Tabernacle and Blessed Sacrament and not towards themselves which actually is going to lead to idolatry soon afterwards. I hope the doctrinal ideas of this sister can be corrected because it is dangerous. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.1.16) Gecko/20080702 Firefox/2.0.0.16 [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [47] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 1929 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Kay-Marie Thomas [comment_author_email] => notcoolmom@yahoo.com [comment_author_url] => USA [comment_author_IP] => 64.208.21.110 [comment_date] => 2008-08-21 23:06:17 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-21 15:06:17 [comment_content] => Cafeteria “Catholicism” with “butterflies and be myself” theology! Trendy,”ear tickling” and twisted. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; IEMB3; IEMB3) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [48] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 1925 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Helene Pineau [comment_author_email] => sacre_coeur@sympatico.ca [comment_author_url] => Canada [comment_author_IP] => 96.6.121.38 [comment_date] => 2008-08-21 22:02:06 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-21 14:02:06 [comment_content] => This is nothing more than taking true worship away from the Creator God and placing it on man, the creation. The ‘Catholic’ priest who started this is going to be accountable for this travesty of our faith. I pray that his conscience awakens before he faces Almighty God, either during the Warning or upon his earthly death. The centre of our faith is Christ – his life and atoning death on the Cross is what our faith is based on. Furthermore He is truly present in the consecrated host kept in the Tabernacle, front and center of the church. To substitute the Tabernacle for anything else is idolatry. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [49] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 1923 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Sandra [comment_author_email] => fernandes2512@gmail.com [comment_author_url] => U.S.A. [comment_author_IP] => 149.174.245.137 [comment_date] => 2008-08-21 21:35:36 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-21 13:35:36 [comment_content] => Simply marvellous! It’s true the more you do good to others and harbour no hatred in your heart the reflection of God surely shines in your face and one is truely transformed by His appearance and that is the proof of your good actions. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; AOL 9.1; AOLBuild 4334.34; Windows NT 6.0; SLCC1; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; Media Center PC 5.0; .NET CLR 3.0.04506) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [50] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 1922 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Joe Frank [comment_author_email] => john_chptr_6@yahoo.com [comment_author_url] => USA [comment_author_IP] => 96.17.76.5 [comment_date] => 2008-08-21 21:34:58 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-21 13:34:58 [comment_content] => Re: She also discovered “more meaning” in praying before the mirror than meditating before the tabernacle or in a church. “God is merciful, beautiful, kind and compassionate, and so am I, because God is within me,” Yes, God may be within you, but He is truly, substantially, and totally present….. Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist and you think looking in a mirror stimulates a greater intimacy in prayer? Let us all go out and buy a mirrorso we can admire ‘God within us’ instead of paying Him homage in Eucharistic Adoration. This, from a ‘catholic’ (?) priest and nun leading the poorly catechized into more and more Eastern mysticism! Wolves in sheep’s clothes! God forgive us for we know not what we do. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths” (2 Timothy 3:1; 4: 3-4). [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [51] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 1921 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Teresa [comment_author_email] => teresareginacruz@yahoo.com [comment_author_url] => USA [comment_author_IP] => 209.18.36.13 [comment_date] => 2008-08-21 21:23:20 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-21 13:23:20 [comment_content] => Well, the priest seems to have succeeded in turning the Sisters and others away from Jeus and Christianity. Thanks, Fr. Relativism! These nuns began with a strong devotion rooted in Christ and the Holy Eucharist, and now you have taught them to abandon Our Lord in favor of the panteheistic idea of worshipping themselves! Wonderful! (Christians worship the Creator, not the creation!!!!!!) [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [52] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 1920 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => Theresa Marie [comment_author_email] => soe_Terri@yahoo.com [comment_author_url] => U.S. [comment_author_IP] => 204.2.216.71 [comment_date] => 2008-08-21 20:58:15 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-21 12:58:15 [comment_content] => This type of spirituality, that of saying that God is in everyone and that you just have to look to yourself to find God, is an anti-thesis to scripture and the Doctors and other teaching authority in the Catholic Church. This congregation has gone over to “rationalism” and a spirituality that is NOT authentic in origin. An authentic spirituality involves looking at the Cross and going outside yourself to find the supernatural. Those Baptized Christians who don’t have any deadly or mortal sins on their souls have souls that are Temples of the Holy Spirit, but to say that everyone has God in them, is theologically in correct. See the Catechism of the Catholic Church and other documents, not this order. Ecclesia De Eucharistia, Pope John Paul II’s letter on the year of the Eucharist explains, fully, that the Eucharist and Adoration before the Tabernacle whether exposed in the Monstrance or hidden behind the veil, is the source and summit of an authentic spirituality in our Christian lives. May God richly Bless you with wisdom and understanding. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [53] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 1919 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => [comment_author_email] => [comment_author_url] => [comment_author_IP] => 204.2.216.71 [comment_date] => 2008-08-21 20:57:50 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-21 12:57:50 [comment_content] => This type of spirituality, that of saying that God is in everyone and that you just have to look to yourself to find God, is an anti-thesis to scripture and the Doctors and other teaching authority in the Catholic Church. This congregation has gone over to “rationalism” and a spirituality that is NOT authentic in origin. An authentic spirituality involves looking at the Cross and going outside yourself to find the supernatural. Those Baptized Christians who don’t have any deadly or mortal sins on their souls have souls that are Temples of the Holy Spirit, but to say that everyone has God in them, is theologically in correct. See the Catechism of the Catholic Church and other documents, not this order. Ecclesia De Eucharistia, Pope John Paul II’s letter on the year of the Eucharist explains, fully, that the Eucharist and Adoration before the Tabernacle whether exposed in the Monstrance or hidden behind the veil, is the source and summit of an authentic spirituality in our Christian lives. May God richly Bless you with wisdom and understanding. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [54] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 1917 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => david [comment_author_email] => daviddickie@aol.com [comment_author_url] => u.k [comment_author_IP] => 213.254.212.114 [comment_date] => 2008-08-21 20:44:22 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-21 12:44:22 [comment_content] => I FOUND THIS ARTICLE AN ATTACK ON THE HOLY EUCHARIST ,IIT IS GOD ALONE WE WORSHIP ,NOT OURSELVES,WHICH YOU CLEARLY DO IN THIS NEW AGE “MIRROR CULT.” [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; AOL 9.0; Windows NT 5.1; FunWebProducts; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; SpamBlockerUtility 4.6.1) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) [55] => stdClass Object ( [comment_ID] => 1914 [comment_post_ID] => 126335 [comment_author] => C Gill [comment_author_email] => cgill@csc.com [comment_author_url] => USA [comment_author_IP] => 216.207.68.4 [comment_date] => 2008-08-21 20:07:24 [comment_date_gmt] => 2008-08-21 12:07:24 [comment_content] => This is not Catholic or Christian. It is “new age” or worse. Just because a Catholic priest set it up does not make it good or right. May God have mercy on those who it’s all about “me”. It is NOT all about us, it is all about our Creator and Lord, Jesus Christ who died for our sins and showed us how to live for others (not for ourselves). May God enlighted this priest and those who are misled by his “invention”. [comment_karma] => 0 [comment_approved] => 1 [comment_agent] => Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; InfoPath.2) [comment_type] => [comment_parent] => 0 [user_id] => 0 ) )

C Gill, USA : August 21, 2008 at 8:07 pm

This is not Catholic or Christian. It is “new age” or worse. Just because a Catholic priest set it up does not make it good or right. May God have mercy on those who it’s all about “me”. It is NOT all about us, it is all about our Creator and Lord, Jesus Christ who died for our sins and showed us how to live for others (not for ourselves). May God enlighten this priest and those who are misled by his “invention”.

David, UK : August 21, 2008 at 8:44 pm

I FOUND THIS ARTICLE AN ATTACK ON THE HOLY EUCHARIST. IT IS GOD ALONE WE WORSHIP, NOT OURSELVES, WHICH YOU CLEARLY DO IN THIS NEW AGE “MIRROR CULT.”

Theresa Marie, U.S. : August 21, 2008 at 8:58 pm

This type of spirituality, that of saying that God is in everyone and that you just have to look to yourself to find God, is an anti-thesis to scripture and the Doctors and other teaching authority in the Catholic Church. This congregation has gone over to “rationalism” and a spirituality that is NOT authentic in origin. An authentic spirituality involves looking at the Cross and going outside yourself to find the supernatural. Those baptized Christians who don’t have any deadly or mortal sins on their souls have souls that are Temples of the Holy Spirit, but to say that everyone has God in them, is theologically incorrect. See the Catechism of the Catholic Church and other documents. Ecclesia de Eucharistia, Pope John Paul II’s letter on the year of the Eucharist explains, fully, that the Eucharist and Adoration before the Tabernacle whether exposed in the Monstrance or hidden behind the veil, is the source and summit of an authentic spirituality in our Christian lives.

Teresa, USA : August 21, 2008 at 9:23 pm

Well, the priest seems to have succeeded in turning the Sisters and others away from Jesus and Christianity. Thanks, Fr. Relativism! These nuns began with a strong devotion rooted in Christ and the Holy Eucharist, and now you have taught them to abandon Our Lord in favor of the pantheistic idea of worshipping themselves! Wonderful! Christians worship the Creator, not the creation!!!!!!

Joe Frank, USA : August 21, 2008 at 9:34 pm

Re: She also discovered “more meaning” in praying before the mirror than meditating before the tabernacle or in a church. “God is merciful, beautiful, kind and compassionate, and so am I, because God is within me,”

Yes, God may be within you, but He is truly, substantially, and totally present….. Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist and you think looking in a mirror stimulates a greater intimacy in prayer?

Let us all go out and buy a mirror so we can admire ‘God within us’ instead of paying Him homage in Eucharistic Adoration.
This, from a ‘catholic’ (?) priest and nun leading the poorly catechized into more and more Eastern mysticism! Wolves in sheep’s clothes! God forgive us for we know not what we do.

“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths” (2 Timothy 3:1; 4: 3-4).

Helene Pineau, Canada : August 21, 2008 at 10:02 pm

This is nothing more than taking true worship away from the Creator God and placing it on man, the creation. The ‘Catholic’ priest who started this is going to be accountable for this travesty of our faith. I pray that his conscience awakens before he faces Almighty God, either during the Warning or upon his earthly death. The centre of our faith is Christ – his life and atoning death on the Cross is what our faith is based on. Furthermore He is truly present in the consecrated host kept in the Tabernacle, front and center of the church. To substitute the Tabernacle for anything else is idolatry.

Kay-Marie Thomas, USA : August 21, 2008 at 11:06 pm

Cafeteria “Catholicism” with “butterflies and be myself” theology! Trendy, “ear tickling” and twisted.

Denden, Canada : August 21, 2008 at 11:46 pm

Though the idea is nice to help other people know that all of us are children of God therefore we shouldn’t be harming one another, there is a dangerous doctrinal error here in praying before a mirror instead of in front of the BODY and BLOOD of JESUS who is TRULY PRESENT in the TABERNACLE. This is reflected by the comment of the sister that the meditation room is a more important place of prayer than the TABERNACLE. If she has not been moved to love others while praying in front of Jesus, it is because she has not fully grasp the command of Christ to love others as he/she love himself. I think that to simply remind people about it frequently is enough to change our attitude towards others not necessarily having to pray in front of the mirror. This could lead to heretical views and watering down on the teachings of Christ and the Church. Look at the movement of Focolare founded by Chiara Lubich.

 

 

 

They have learned to reorient their attitude towards living peacefully and amicably towards other people by praying in front of the Tabernacle and Blessed Sacrament and not towards themselves which actually is going to lead to idolatry soon afterwards. I hope the doctrinal ideas of this sister can be corrected because it is dangerous.

Mary L, USA : August 22, 2008 at 12:38 am

Sounds like New Age, looks like New Age, must be New Age. I would prefer holy statues, the tabernacle or pictures of our Lord over a mirror and day. Just another way that New Age has seeped into our culture and unsuspecting individuals are falling for it. However, it is even more sad when the religious fall for it.

Ann, USA : August 22, 2008 at 1:15 am

What rubbish. This is nothing more than New Age. The purpose of our Faith is to worship God, not ourselves. I hope the local Catholic bishop will denounce this. One does not have to go to a place to worship oneself in the mirror. I also believe Satan can use this as a ruse to woo us away from the living God.

Ellen, U S A : August 22, 2008 at 2:12 am

Beautiful, but for one factor… We need to be feed with the nourishment of the Eucharist in order to see the Christ within.

Mary, USA : August 22, 2008 at 3:51 am

Let me get this straight; instead of taking the focus off of ourselves and placing it on the one true God who is Jesus Christ, present in the tabernacle, we should place the focus on ourselves with the words “I am God” above in the mirror. I’m sorry, but correct me if I’m wrong, isn’t this what Satan originally got man to do in the Garden of Eden? WE CAN BE GOD! Focus on ourselves! Get the focus off of Christ! Just who is it that would like man to do that? God, or Satan?

Sharon, Canada : August 22, 2008 at 5:55 am

Part of the problem in this world, is that we focus way too much on ourselves. This is just another New Age gimmick!

M, Canada : August 22, 2008 at 6:43 am

In Praying before a mirror, a person who has human faults that need to be addressed is reflected. God is not one dimensional. In Praying before the Eucharist in the Tabernacle you pray before God himself, and become aware of his perfections and power. There is no comparison and it should not be neglected because someone (a priest?) has come up with a way to distract people from adoration in Church, as it should be practiced. It is very dangerous to substitute this concentration on self. Only one other being looks into a mirror and sees God. Satan.

Pattic, USA : August 22, 2008 at 9:51 am

More New Age mumbo jumbo… this is a dangerous practice. God is the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We are all so far removed from “being God”, that to have a Catholic nun and priest organize, condone and promote this is a terrible tragedy.

Tony, USA : August 22, 2008 at 10:31 am

More meaningful to look into a mirror than to meditate before Christ’s Real Presence in the Tabernacle? This is very disturbing to hear. In addition to this, to hear a Catholic sister say this is even more disturbing. This is the type of psychological babble that unfortunately affected more than a few sisters in the USA and one reason they’re numbers have greatly decreased. May I respectfully remind the Catholic sisters, my sisters in Jesus, that it is in drawing closer and closer to Jesus that we will begin to love others as we ought Because Christ is LOVE HIMSELF. Please Sisters, don’t let ANYONE, including clergy, lead you astray.

Manglinong, USA : August 22, 2008 at 2:21 pm

Poor sister Lissy …she’d rather meditate in front of the mirror instead of the tabernacle? …and she’s a nun? …how sad… Looking at her admiring herself on the mirror just makes me so sad… Please don’t be led astray with practices such as the mirror exercise.

Julie Cyriac, New Delhi, India : August 22, 2008 at 2:37 pm

“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” Psalm 46:10
If you stand in front of a mirror you will see your image. If you want to see the Creator’s image then you go to the tabernacle.
Lucia Bartoli, U.S.A. : August 22, 2008 at 5:58 pm

Would someone please report these lunatics to their bishop? to Rome? I am sick and tired of all the nonsense posing as Roman Catholicism. The only person who can even dare to utter the words “I am God” is any of the Trinity. I certainly am not God, and wouldn’t want to be. I am utterly content in being His child!

Janet, USA : August 22, 2008 at 7:21 pm

This is very frightening. As if the world isn’t full of too much narcissism, now this priest and the New Age Movement are endorsing and fomenting the ultimate narcissism = “I am God”. I sure would not want to be in that priest’s shoes on Judgment Day, recalling what Scriptures say about leading His little ones astray! He is abusing through his position as a leader. There is no excuse for this. Explanations, yes (his own narcissism), excuses no.

We need to arm ourselves a la Ephesians and spiritual warfare prayers are definitely in order.

T, Iraq : August 22, 2008 at 7:35 pm

Only one other being looks into a mirror and sees God. Satan.” M, Canada.

Indeed this is a frightening practice especially when it is fostered by our religious against our religious. M’s quote above is stunning. Let us all pray for sisters and priests, my God preserve them.

Celine, India : August 22, 2008 at 7:48 pm

 

 

 

Like all the other commenting above even I am disturbed to hear that – Sister Anjali John, USM’s former director, says the mirror room is her strength. “I had been praying before the crucifix or the tabernacle, so I first thought it was foolish to pray before the mirror,” she told UCA News.

This substitution of God with image of self is… I don’t know what word to assign for the feeling. The whole idea is against what we as Catholics truly believe… ‘Holy Communion’. No doubt God is within us and indeed our strength, but does avoiding the tabernacle or a crucifix make you holier. Then the only person lauding this will be none other that Fr. Varghese himself. Take care, father… on the tight rope you are walking and guiding many others as well.

Mary, USA : August 22, 2008 at 8:11 pm

Where is his Bishop in all of this???!!! Nothing is or ever should be above Christ. We can only strive to be a reflection of Christ’s light on earth and we need to meditate at the tabernacle and partake of the Holy Eucharist to have that grace bestowed on us.

Sharon, USA : August 22, 2008 at 8:33 pm

Score a big one for Satan! We are being blessed with young vocations, and Satan would like to see those vocations fall more than any other. That poor Sister Lissy! Being taken away from Jesus, and replacing Him with “I am God” nonsense. Shame on the leaders of those religious orders who would allow their members to participate in this evil.

Anne, Australia : August 22, 2008 at 9:11 pm

I find it amazing that a nun who must have had a good Catholic education, is a bride of Jesus, can take the focus off Him and put this focus on herself in a matter of a week. This does not even happen in a marriage breakdown. In marriage love goes cold gradually, not over night. How much did this nun love her Spouse? Here is another great need for prayer!

Susan, USA : August 22, 2008 at 10:36 pm

Sisters, I pray all of you read these comments from your Catholic brothers and sisters. (Take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ Mt 18:16)

Our Lord was telling each and every one of you from the moment you walked into this meditation room that it was not of HIM. That electric shock Sister Lissy initially experienced was a strong warning that much is at stake which is your precious soul and the souls you touch. You had HIS gift of discernment, and you must pray for it to be returned.

Magister, USA : August 22, 2008 at 10:52 pm

Where are these people’s religious superiors?
Where is this priest’s bishop?
The lot of them ought to be reassigned to work that does not deal with the public.

The sense in which St. Paul speaks of the Christian as a temple of the Holy Ghost is not the same sense in which Our Lord is present in the Blessed Sacrament. Whenever we talk about God living within us, this only occurs in proportion to our ability to receive Him. His presence in the Blessed Sacrament, however, is absolutely independent of us and out shortcomings. A person with theological training (like someone with a degree from a seminary or someone in vows within a religious order) knows and understands this difference. So, the fact that they portray both of these “presences” to the public as if they were equal is a deliberate deception.

They all ought to be brought up on charges before a canonical court – especially the bishop
and immediate religious superior(s) that allow this place to continue in existence as a Catholic establishment.

The 60’s are over, folks! I’m not ok and you’re not ok… and we never really were.

Anne, USA : August 22, 2008 at 11:12 pm

I’d rather look at the Holy Face of Jesus and contemplate His Sacrifice while praying, instead of looking at myself.

Tom, USA : August 22, 2008 at 11:12 pm

According to Christianity God is within us; that’s true. What cannot be said is that I, or you, or anyone but Christ IS God.
We are a mix or good and evil. All that is good within ourselves is of God. Therefore God is within us, but we cannot forget that there is much within us that is not God We constantly work by grace to increase God within ourselves and purge that which is not God (good). To say I am God is to forget our faults and failings: to forget those is to cease to work on them; to cease to work on them is to reject God’s grace.

Mike, USA : August 23, 2008 at 12:21 am

A mirror is “more effective” as opposed to a tabernacle where Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is? They should have 24 hour [self-]Adoration!

Pam, USA : August 23, 2008 at 12:56 am

I am not sorry to say that this screams of New Age/false spirituality. Ever see the movie, “Out on a Limb”, with Shirley MacLaine? Well, she learned to do the very same thing except while facing the ocean, as she was urged to do by a false prophet. We are to see the Christ in all people which means we are to love ourselves as we love neighbors and vice versa, which the false spirituality has twisted to become, “I am God”.

Phil, USA : August 23, 2008 at 1:07 am

If you don’t see the danger in people praying to a mirror, then you aren’t Christian and you most certainly aren’t Catholic. Period. This is New Age.
False teaching. Heresy. Run screaming from it. Find it beautiful, trendy, enlightening? Hopefully someone you know will pray for you to escape the tempter’s snare.

Rob, USA : August 23, 2008 at 1:09 am

“The Christians were at once the objects of hatred and contempt [by the populace of the Roman Empire]. Because they were intolerant of all other religions, because they either denied outright the existence of heathen deities or regarded them as evil spirits whose worship was the greatest sacrilege and treason to the true God – they were called narrow-minded bigots…” (Fr. Laux, Church History, p. 44)

 

 

 

Meg, USA : August 23, 2008 at 1:24 am

It is so sad that not only a priest, but nuns, too, are saying that Jesus is not enough! Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will let them come to a true knowledge of themselves if they spend that one hour a day with Christ Himself! New Age, Relativism, whatever you want to call it, has no truth …it’s a lie.

James S., USA : August 23, 2008 at 1:44 am

These poor devils. They are deprived of real sacraments thanks to the false teachings of the Novus Ordo new agers, and have no idea what it means to be Christian. The guy even read St. Paul out of context — forgetting that St. Paul called the dieties of the Indian continent “devils” and advocated the destruction of their temples. Most people who fall for this “self-worship” have no idea about what’s going on today. They’ve probably never even heard of Sedevacantism or know about the debates concerning the post-1958 papal candidates and their new sacraments! [A Traditionalist posting- Michael]

Carolyn, Canada : August 23, 2008 at 2:14 am

Proceed with caution! We are not gods… we are God’s creation, His children. Our consciences need to be formed based upon the “fullness” of Christ’s truth and I agree that the mirror could help us in realizing that our actions must be Christ-like towards all of God’s creation. However, it seems rather risky to actually pray before your own image. The New Agers could also use this as a tool towards misleading souls. The sole place that Christ is tangibly present is in His greatest gift to us left at the Last Supper–the Holy Eucharist, which was a miraculous way for Him to remain “tangibly” with us until the end of times, as He promised to do. I pray that the priest involved in this realizes its limitations and recognizes the possible dangers involved in using any type of prop — especially mirrors. Left alone too long in front of one’s own image can also be used as an instrument of the devil so that we fall into the sin of pride and confusion… perhaps even thinking we have all we need within ourselves to become holy. It would seem wise to perhaps counsel people before and after going into the mirror room…

Nancy, USA : August 23, 2008 at 2:17 am

Does this mean then that blind people cannot find God????

Frank J. Wodzinski, USA : August 23, 2008 at 6:09 am

NONSENSE! NONSENSE! NONSENSE!

Patrick : August 23, 2008 at 1:38 pm

This isnt new age …it’s very “old age”. It’s Gnosticism. See the knowledge that is inside one’s self. We are all equal to God, etc., etc.

Jean, USA : August 24, 2008 at 5:29 am

What is the priest thinking? Has he become so lethargic in his faith that he has to expose others to lunatic theology? We need to be smart enough to know when a priest is leading us in the wrong direction, and these sisters are not being very smart! If the priest really wanted to teach them to see God in others, he would find a way to direct their attention away from themselves and toward helping others who are also in the image of Christ.

Ellizabeth, USA : August 24, 2008 at 12:07 pm

This priest needs to be corrected by his Bishop, thus the Church has a solemn responsibility to stop heresy and the like. This Roman Catholic Church of ours must hold another Council and soon in order to correct so many of the errors taking place within the Church today. Which I will boldly add are leading many of us to Hell. So I ask, where is the Teaching Authority of the Catholic Church in this circumstance?

MW, England : August 24, 2008 at 5:41 pm

A few years ago our local paper which sits lightly to received spelling carried a FOR SALE ad for “Large Oval Guilt-edged Mirror.” It would have been appropriate here?

Paednoch, USA : August 25, 2008 at 3:41 am

Hellfire awaits. Pray for the souls who have fallen for this Satanic Ploy.

Brad Rutherford, USA : August 25, 2008 at 6:04 am

This is very sad. A loss of faith among the witnesses.

Kathleen, USA : August 31, 2008 at 7:30 pm

Blatantly New Age! By looking in a mirror we are choosing our own will and not that of the Almighty and Eternal Father.

MY COMMENTS:

1. It is no surprise that so many Catholic readers identified the “Mirror meditation” as New Age, pantheism, Eastern mysticism, Gnosticism, lunatic theology, narcissism, cafeteria Catholicism, heresy, the sin of Satan [pride], idolatry, and against the First Commandment. [see also other comments further down in this report]

2. I posted the following comment to UCAN on May 29, 2009, at 5:45 pm:

A detailed report on this subject, with feedback and comments from Catholics, will be posted shortly on our ministry’s website at www.ephesians-511.net.

Thank you UCAN for publishing this story as well as the interview of November 7, 2008, ‘Christians Must Promote A Pluralistic Spirituality’.

Michael Prabhu,

Metamorphose Catholic Ministries, Chennai,

Joint Editor, The Catholic Times [Registered], Santhome, Chennai

The above comment was “awaiting moderation” even several days after its posting.

 

 

3. As I had commented above, there were those who wrote in defense of the meditation technique. The comments posted by one of them, Virginia Saldanha, the last but one posting on the topic, are copied below:

Virginia Saldanha, India : September 9, 2008 at 2:55 am

It makes me sad to read all the comments above.
It reminds me of the poem – ‘Six Blind Men and the Elephant’. Each sees the elephant from their own perspective and concludes what the whole elephant is like.

I would like to highlight a few things that seem to have been overlooked. First that Universal Solidarity Movement is started in India which is a multi-religious country. There have been recent upsurges of religious extremists attacking the Christians on so called ‘issues of conversions’. Fr. Varghese’s attempt is to invite people from different religious communities to come to this meditation room, which cannot have religious objects of any one religious denomination (I think), so that they may realize some common truths that are shared by all, i.e. we are all made in the image of God and therefore the concept of ‘God within us’, (which is easily understood by the Hindu majority in India).

He clearly mentions that “The movement aims to generate responsible citizens to promote harmony among India’s various groups by encouraging them to live the values of their respective religions. The “mirror room” is just one of various methods he uses to promote harmony and solidarity.”

If we only read the news of the severe attacks by religious extremist forces on Christians in Orissa, India, we will appreciate the need for some concrete measures to help people towards peaceful co-existence.

I think the involvement of sisters in this programme is necessary because they are all working with different religious groups and they need to be catalysts for peace and harmony.

It is also necessary to understand the cultural context of the interior parts of India where missionaries like Fr. Varghese and the sisters work in order to appreciate their work for inter-religious harmony and peace. I personally feel it is unfair to judge this initiative from a lens of “Western Catholic culture”.

And this is the response of one reader to Virginia above, the last posting on the topic:

Anne, Australia
: September 30, 2008 at 8:50 am

The teachings of the Catholic Church do not change with different cultures and different countries. The First Commandment is for everyone. “I am the Lord thy God, you shall have no other god’s before me.” Only through the Truth, (which is Jesus Christ Himself, for He said: ‘I am the Truth'” will peace and harmony ever exist. If the truth is changed by words or actions it is abused and is no longer the whole truth. Consequently we will not have true peace or harmony.

Who is Virginia Saldanha?

She is the former Executive Secretary of the Women’s Commission of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India [CBCI], and presently the Executive Secretary, Office of Laity, Family and Women’s Desk, of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences [FABC], a very influential figure in the Asian Church. She is regarded as a ‘feminist’ in her theological inclinations and espouses the cause of women’s empowerment, which also means that she closely associates with nuns who call for the ordination of women as priests.

She is also partial to the Catholic Ashrams movement [see page 23]. It is not surprising therefore that her comments on the UCAN site were in defense of Fr. Varghese Alengaden and his mirror-meditating nuns.

Her views, in fact, would be shared by the vast majority or our nuns and priests, and possibly even our Bishops. Otherwise, organizations like DHARMA BHARATHI and the Universal Solidarity Movement would not proliferate so easily. Here are some letters received by this ministry from Ms. Saldanha:

From:
Virginia Saldanha
fabclaity@yahoo.co.in
To:
prabhu
Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2005 12:55 PM

Subject: Re: THE CATHOLIC ASHRAM MOVEMENT

Dear Michael Prabhu, I am no longer the Executive Secretary of the Commission for Women in the CBCI.  Please go to the CBCI website for the latest information.  However I would be interested to know what you have to say about the Ashram movement
					– if you could send a hard copy to my address: B/' Pearl Queen, North Avenue; Santa Cruz, Mumbai 400 054.
					

I do not agree with your position, but am open to your views. Sincerely, Virginia Saldanha

Executive Secretary FABC Office of Laity, Family & Women’s Desk Fax/Phone: 26490161
From:
Virginia Saldanha
To:
prabhu
Sent: Friday, April 07, 2006 9:16 AM Subject: Re: From Michael

Thank you, Michael for your appreciation of my book [Woman: Image of God.]. Yes I did receive your material on Ashrams. With best wishes for a deep experience of God’s transforming love at Easter. Virginia

From:
Virginia Saldanha
To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
Sent: Saturday, July 26, 2008 7:44 PM Subject: NCB

Dear Michael, I am on a long holiday away from India and so have not heard about the New Community Bible. However if there is anything that is troubling you I think you should take it up with the authorities in the Church by going through the structures of subsidiarity i.e. your local bishop, the regional bishop, perhaps the doctrinal commission of the CBCI, and then the CBCI executive.  It is only when you do not get a satisfactory answer at all these levels then it is advisable to go to the Vatican.  I would be interested to have more information about this. Yours truly, Virginia

Ms. Saldanha offers implausible arguments [“to promote harmony and solidarity”] to justify the need for the “Mirror meditation” room. The room is used not by people of other faiths but by Catholic nuns, according to the nuns and priest interviewed by UCAN. Even in the Catholic Ashrams, it is not so much the people of other religions who are participating. To that extent, the movement is an utter failure, and despairingly recognized as such by the leaders of the movement. It is the Catholics – lay community leaders, nuns, seminarians and priests who are being subverted at these Ashrams.

 

See UCAN interview with Fr. Varghese Alengaden on pages 18 and 19, followed by my comments.

4. In my 2005 report on the Catholic Ashrams, I had warned that ashram leaders like Vandana Mataji were trying to eliminate the primacy of the Eucharist from the Church in favour of its replacement by meditation using the argument that non-Catholics could not fully participate in the inter-religious prayers when the Eucharist is present, but they [non-Catholics] could freely participate in meditation. Vandana Mataji insists that
we should centre our prayer life NOT ON THE EUCHARIST
but on contemplative prayer or ‘Meditation’
.

This [meditation] should be for us the source and summit of the activity of the Church, NOT THE EUCHARIST, which only some can fully participate in,
says Vandana speaking for all who labour to promote the ashrams movement.
The Church opposes the teaching of Vandana:
The Second Vatican Council rightly proclaimed that the Eucharistic sacrifice is “the source and summit of the Christian life”: Ecclesia de Eucharistia #1, Lumen Gentium #11.

It is exactly the same with the World Community for Christian Meditation [WCCM] and Fr. Joe Pereira’s Kripa Foundation, two organizations that promote meditation and yoga-based meditation respectively, strongly supported by the Indian Church, especially by the Bombay Archdiocese Cardinals and Bishops. Their New Age errors will be fully exposed in a long [around 100-pages report] to be released along with this report.

So, the Eucharist and the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament have to go. The Catholic faithful do not realize the very serious implications of what is happening and by the time they wake up, it might just be too late.

The USM “Mirror meditation” is just one more face of the same hydra-headed danger.

 

Soon after I read the UCAN story, I sent out this letter to selected friends:

From:
prabhu
To:
Michael Prabhu
Sent: Friday, August 22, 2008 11:49 PM Subject:

“USM”: PRAYING TO ONE’S SELF? THIS IS “DHARMA BHARATHI” UNDER A NEW NAME

OUT WITH THE TABERNACLE. GOD IS WITHIN YOU. YOU ARE GOD [AHAM BRAHMASMI]. THE ASHRAM
ITES ARE REPLACING THE EUCHARIST IN THE BLESSED SACRAMENT WITH ‘MEDITATION’ AS I WARNED IN MY OCT. 2005 REPORT ON THE CATHOLIC ASHRAMS
http://ephesians-511.net/articles_doc/CATHOLIC%20ASHRAMS.doc

THE UNIVERSAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT [USM] IS DHARMA BHARATHI IN A NEW AVATAR.

REMEMBER MY WARNINGS ABOUT THE BREAKAWAY
DHARMA BHARATHI ORGANIZATION HEADED BY FR. VARGHESE ALENGADEN? THE REPORT WAS WRITTEN LONG BACK, ON

AUGUST 1, 2002:
http://ephesians-511.net/articles_doc/NEW%20AGE%20IN%20EDUCATIONAL%20INSTITUTIONS_DHARMA%20BHARATHI.doc .

THE REPORTS WERE SENT TO THE CONCERNED BISHOPS AND CBCI COMMISSIONS. NOTHING WAS DONE. FOR THOSE WHO WOULD SIT ON THE FENCE REGARDING THE ERRORS IN COMMENTARIES OF THE JUNE 2008-RELEASED ST. PAULS’
NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE:
http://www.ephesians-511.net/documents/A%20NEW%20AGE%20BIBLE%20THE%20NEW%20COMMUNITY%20BIBLE.doc

AND NOT CALL FOR ITS WITHDRAWAL, THE CHURCH WILL PAY A TERRIBLE PRICE IN JUST A FEW YEARS FROM NOW. SEE HOW SO MANY NUNS HAVE ALREADY BEEN SUBVERTED BY THE
UNIVERSAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT
. THIS IS WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO OUR FAMILY MEMBERS, FRIENDS AND LOVED ONES IF WE CHOOSE TO REMAIN SILENT.

WRITE YOUR PROTEST TO THE
BISHOP OF INDORE, MOST REV. GEORGE M. ANATHIL, SVD.,*
WHO HAS ALLOWED
DHARMA BHARATHI
AND NOW THE
USM
TO POISON THE CHURCH FROM HIS DIOCESE OF INDORE. HIS E-MAIL ADDRESSES:
cdindore@sancharnet.in;
anathilm@sancharnet.in;
anathilm@sancharnet.com;*

MICHAEL PRABHU, METAMORPHOSE CATHOLIC MINISTRIES, CHENNAI
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net

 

*SINCE WRITING THE ABOVE LETTER, BISHOP ANATHIL HAS RETIRED AND EXPIRED. THE PRESENT BISHOP OF INDORE IS MOST REV. CHACKO THOTTUMARICKAL, SVD.,
AND HIS EMAIL ADDRESSES ARE:

chackoji@sancharnet.in; tjchacko@hotmail.com; bishopchacko@gmail.com.

PLEASE WRITE TO HIM, COPY TO THIS MINISTRY.

THE EMAIL ADDRESSES OF THE USM, INDORE, ARE: usmindore@yahoo.co.in; dharma@sancharnet.in

 

SELECTED LETTERS RECEIVED FROM CONCERNED CATHOLICS:

1. From:
richard mascarenhas
To:
prabhu
Sent: Saturday, August 23, 2008 10:07 AM

Subject: RE: ALERT and UPDATE: CALL FOR WITHDRAWAL OF THE NEW COMMUNITY BIBLE [NCB].YOUR RESPONSE — OR SILENCE — CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Dear Mike, Praise the Lord.  This is certainly great news.  The efforts are getting blessed and hopefully the results will be forthcoming soon.  With a learned theologian joining in, it should make a big difference. 

Do I have your permission to forward your mail below and the one on Mirror therapy
forwarded to my Priest friend Fr. Michael Goveas… Thanks, Richard, OMAN

 

2. From:
Summer Sands Beach Resort
To:
[FORWARDED] githa. rebello; andrew lobo; hugh vas; anita picardo; marie b wilson; Sent: Saturday, August 23, 2008 10:24 AM

Subject: Fwd: “USM”: PRAYING TO ONE’S SELF? THIS IS “DHARMA BHARATHI” UNDER A NEW NAME

NOTE: SUMMER SANDS HAD APPROACHED THE BISHOP OF MANGALORE TO STOP DHARMA BHARATHI‘S ACTIVITIES IN MANGALORE’S CATHOLIC SCHOOLS ON THE BASIS OF THIS MINISTRY’S 2003 REPORT.

 

 

 

3. From:
victor g
To:
cdindore@sancharnet.in, anathilm@sancharnet.in, anathilm@sancharnet.com
Sent: Saturday, August 23, 2008, 1:32 PM Subject:
No more darkness please…

Dear Bishop
As a concerned Catholic, I am shocked to read the below report that you have allowed such terribly anti-Christian stuff in your diocese.
Even if you no longer believe Jesus alone is Lord, it’s OK, but kindly do not spread such false beliefs further into the Church and cause other sheep to go astray.
I respectfully urge you to reevaluate your role & responsibility as a leader in our Church and please do read Ezekiel 34. I will pray for you. God bless
Victor G, CHENNAI

 

4. From:
derrickdcosta
To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net
Sent: Saturday, August 23, 2008 6:07 PM

Subject: Re: “USM”: PRAYING TO ONE’S SELF? THIS IS “DHARMA BHARATHI” UNDER A NEW NAME

Dear Michael, I had read City of God a while back, but I remember very distinctly that St Augustine considered this Advaita-soul (in his time Manichaeism) worship an usurpation of the rights of the true God to have undivided worship. This was in his opinion because Satan considers the first commandment the most important one to break. Further, setting up the soul or self was a useful addition to the pantheon of idols, one that made use of the expedient of pride. Hope I can locate the quote. Regardless I will write in a few days, once I can gather some information. God bless Derrick, BAHRAIN

 

5. From:
NAME WITHHELD, NOW PREACHES RETREATS
To:
prabhu
Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 6:22 PM

Subject: Re: “USM”: PRAYING TO ONE’S SELF? THIS IS “DHARMA BHARATHI” UNDER A NEW NAME

Dear Mike, I have taken time to reply your mails because if you have read my reply to your mail on the New Community Bible, I have taken time to reflect on the matter that I read. With regard to the Universal Solidarity Movement, I have a confession to make. There are two, the one you know, the other one you don’t. Let me start with the one you know.

I used to be a student of pranic healing. in pranic healing I used to meditate on the chakras, the details of which I don’t remember. When I later had my Jesus experience, I did not find pranic healing necessary or the meditation for that matter or the energy from nature. So I gave it up.

Now the one you don’t know. I do not remember how and when it started but yes in my room, I used to meditate by looking at my image in the mirror. Well I do not do it any more. But I can confidently tell you that meditating on the Eucharist or the passion of Christ has made me a better individual and I do not distinguish between a Hindu and a Muslim or a Parsee because of Jesus.

I do not know what is happening to our faith and where we are headed. When Jesus came, the Jews could not recognise Him. When He comes in glory, the Church — if not all, some faction — is making sure we will not be able to recognise Him. Love and prayers, MANGALORE

 

6. From:
PRIEST, INDORE
To:
prabhu
Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2008 9:39 AM Subject: Re: hi

Dear Mike, thank you for your reply.

Concerning Varghese Alengaden we cannot say anything but that he was a misfit in his own Sagar Diocese from where he came to Indore and parked himself in a flat and began to function from there after hijacking the ideas of a certain acharya [Dharma Bharathi founder]… He has the patronage of the bishop here who does not even understand anything. Then when we have to put up with such people we cannot get agitated… At present he has published twelve volumes of sermons on the daily readings which is a craze among the nuns and uneducated religious. Let us hope nothing harmful comes of this nonsense…

From:
PRIEST, INDORE
To:

prabhu
Sent: Friday, August 29, 2008 8:50 AM Subject: Re: USM / DB

Dear Mike, There are people like Sr. Loretta Pinto* who goes out of her way to extol Varghese. It is always the same few women who extol the wonderful man living saint Varghese. They surround him and extol him that gives him his ego to go with impunity to announce the mirrors of God to all who are not reflections of God. He does not know God has created each one of us in his own image. That is why sisters like Loretta want a mirror to see their beauty everyday in the chapel. They forget the face they saw early in the morning so they have to see it again and again in the chapel. All the best. With kind regards,

*see page xx

 

7. From:
NATIONAL LEADER, CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC RENEWAL
To:
prabhu
Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2008 8:05 AM

Subject: RE: “USM”: PRAYING TO ONE’S SELF? THIS IS “DHARMA BHARATHI” UNDER A NEW NAME

Dear Mike, I thank you most sincerely for bringing this matter up. I was appalled that such a 'religious practice' could be endorsed by some officials of the Catholic Church. I will share it with XX since he goes on occasion to Indore… He will also get to meet the bishop… God bless, 
				

 

8. From:
stella fernandes
To:
prabhu
Sent: Friday, September 05, 2008 6:01 PM Subject: Re: “USM”: shocking!!!!!!!!

Dear Michael, Really disgusting development… Love & Prayers Stella Fernandes, SAUDI ARABIA

 

 

 

 

UCAN REPORT DISCUSSED ON CATHOLICCULTURE.ORG FORUM:

http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/otr.cfm?id=4796 A Trinity Communications website

Off the Record
Posted by Diogenes
Aug. 20, 2008 9:02 AM

Who needs a tabernacle, when you can use a mirror?

A Catholic priest in India, the founder of the Universal Solidarity Movement, has devised a new form of prayer: in a small room dominated by a large mirror. The faithful are asked to spend an hour gazing at the image of themselves, and discover the god within.

“I realized God within me, not in a church,” reports one happy customer. 

Father Varghese Alengaden, the mystic behind this breakthrough in spirituality, says that by staring at themselves, people come to realize that they are images of God. This promotes universal solidarity, he continues, because we realize that there is no difference between Christians and Hindus, etc. And he has a point, you know. If your prayer consists in staring at yourself, the particulars of your creed don’t matter too much. Lex orandi and all that. 

Personally, I must confess that I am not ready for such an advanced form of prayer. When I stare into the mirror for any length of time– a practice that I generally avoid– the revelations that I experience are more mundane. I realize, for instance, that the razor doesn’t get at that spot right beneath my nose. And the god within is a bit too well hidden; I could use a few more hours at the gym. 

Still, Snow White’s stepmother would have loved it.

8 COMMENTS

Posted by: Publicus – Aug. 21, 2008 10:18 AM ET USA
When Jones begins to worship the ‘God within,’ it is only a matter of time before Jones worships Jones.

Posted by: Charles 275 – Aug. 20, 2008 11:16 PM ET USA
Parody is dead.

Posted by: voxfem – Aug. 20, 2008 10:46 PM ET USA
Wow. A mirror that shows you your soul. Where can I get one of those? (Although the one in the picture didn’t seem to show anything but Sister Lissy.) So much for deny your very self, take up your cross, and follow me.

Posted by: Lucius49 – Aug. 20, 2008 10:09 PM ET USA
It’s another form of immanentism. The interior life of the Christian is already life with the Blessed Trinity where one’s humanity is a temple of the Holy Spirit. It has nothing to do with looking in a mirror. It’s more important to contemplate the Trinity via our Lord Jesus Christ.

Posted by: wdcny – Aug. 20, 2008 9:45 PM ET USA
I love it. Sincerely, Narcissus

Posted by: usalis549414 – Aug. 20, 2008 7:58 PM ET USA
It’s the same line from Satan that if you do this or that, you will be like God. I wonder if he gets royalty payments. If not, he should have copyrighted or trademarked the idea. There are a lot of people ripping him off.

Posted by: Cornelius – Aug. 20, 2008 12:46 PM ET USA
This is just plain creepy. “She also discovered ‘more meaning’ in praying before the mirror than meditating before the tabernacle or in a church.

Posted by: Sir William – Aug. 20, 2008 12:23 PM ET USA
New form of prayer? I think not. It has practiced by a fair number of teenagers and narcissists for centuries.

 

ABOVE REPORT AND UCAN REPORT DISCUSSED ON CATHOLIC ANSWERS FORUM:

Giant mirror replaces tabernacle: Catholic meditation room in India promotes ‘God within’
http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=263060

FROM FOUR PAGES OF COMMENTS ON THE SITE, 14 SELECTED COMMENTS ARE COPIED HERE:

1. After many years of warning people (appropriately) against worshipping the mirror, here is a literal example at Off the Record [see above, http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/otr.cfm?id=4796]. By Scottgun

2. What!! Mirror gazing to find God??? By Roanoaker

3. Wow. What an example of narcissism! 😮 We shouldn’t be too shocked, though. After all, this is merely the logical conclusion of the same distorted thinking that gave us churches-in-the-round and which evicted our tabernacles from the sanctuaries.
Perhaps what shocks me most is the ease with which many people overcome their discomfort and objections to such unorthodox and even
heretical novelties. By Lepanto

4. This is the summation of everything the post-conciliar orientation has tended towards – Me as God. The church is there for me; the truth comes from me; the highest dignity lies in me, so how can I have sin?
…This “mirror-cult” practice is one of the purest and most frightening expressions of
modernism I’ve ever seen. By Dauphin

5. It looks like it is in a bathroom or foyer as opposed to the tabernacle location. Maybe “God Within” means you are supposed to straighten your hair and check you make-up before going into the presence of God within the Church. By pnewton

 

 

 

6. Yet another example of taking the sacred and replacing it with the secular, the profane, and the banal. Instead of the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings under the veil of bread, encased in a monstrance of gold placed upon a high altar of sacrifice, we have a mirror. Instead of the REAL PRESENCE, we have a flawed presence (since we are sinful and cannot represent Christ to ourselves as well as we can represent Christ to others). The fact that the Sanskrit says “I am God” instead of “God within” is atrocious. The fact that only ONE PERSON is allowed in the room at a time is atrocious.
Being in the image of God does not make us God; we are a flawed presence of God because of sin. Whatever happened to “a mirror, darkly”? It is better to forget ourselves and look for God in others (cf. Matthew 25:31-46), so that they will see God in us. Don’t go looking for God in yourself, because that’s the road to complacency. “God is merciful, beautiful, kind and compassionate, and so am I, because God is within me” is a prime example of that problem! By japhy

7. Sisters, and all other Catholics:
Run(!)
quickly away from this nonsense…you are NOT God, no matter how much the culture tries to convince you otherwise! 😮
Father: bad theology, bad idea, bad practice! Find some other way to bring peace and healing…convincing people that they ARE God is not only entirely wrong, it will lead to more and worse troubles in the future.

By SisterSnowflake

8.
Of all conceivable forms of enlightenment the worst is what these people call the Inner Light. Of all horrible religions the most horrible is the worship of the god within. Any one who knows any body knows how it would work; any one who knows any one from the Higher Thought Sphere knows how it does work.
That Jones shall worship the god within him turns out ultimately to mean that Jones shall worship Jones. Let Jones worship the sun or moon, anything rather than the Inner Light; let Jones worship cats or crocodiles, if he can find any in his street, but not the god within. Christianity came into the world firstly to assert with violence that a man has not only to look inwards, but to look outwards, to behold with astonishment and enthusiasm a divine company and a divine captain. The only fun of being a Christian was that a man was not left alone with the Inner Light, but definitely recognized an outer light, fair as the sun, clear as the moon, terrible as an army with banners. G.K. Chesterton (“Orthodoxy”, Ch.5) By Paladinan

The troubling thing described in this particular news article is how the mirror here replaces the tabernacle, and also, the Sanskrit phrase above the mirror which says “I AM GOD.” Just as the tabernacle should not be replaced by a mirror, the merely human self should not replace … nor in any way be confused with being … God. By the phoenix

9. And this sari-clad woman is a Catholic sister??? She sounds like a Gnostic heretic. She said that God isn’t “in a church.” What about the holy Eucharist??? 😮 By Matariel

10. I think the person who meditates in front of a mirror seeking God within himself — or even worse, to recognize that HE is God (as the Sanskrit says) — is not meditating in the same way as the rosary. The rosary is about meditation on the mysteries of Christ (using the Hail Mary and the Our Father as “mantras”, if you will, while our minds consider the mysteries). This mirror is vague, general, “universal” (in the worst sense). It is not Christocentric, it needn’t even be theistic! An atheist could look into the mirror and recognize that he truly is (his own) god. By Japhy

11. Staring at yourself in a mirror is very “un-christocentric”.It is a simple attempt to focus on yourself. It also marches against idea of Christian community since it can only be done as a solitary exercise.
Basically it is a reflection of
what adam and eve did…that is, they turned their focus away from god and towards themselves.
The sign above the mirror says “I am God”. Which is the exact same thing that caused the fall of Man. Ironically the sign saying this is an advertisement for the root of all evil and that is
pride.
Call no man father. (I am God is just saying that)
I personally think this mirror exercise is borderline
diabolical. By Thurifer2

12. I think we’re taking the article at its word. I’d expect the author of the article did research and got a proper translation of the phrase. Looking “Aham Brahmasmi” up in Google, I get this link first, which renders it as “I am Brahman”; following the link for “Brahman”, I learn this:

Brahman, the Absolute God of Hindus, is a very mysterious Being. In Hinduism He occupies the highest place, as the creator and enjoyer of all creation. He is the Light and Delight of the Universe, the Ruler and the Lord, without a beginning and without an end, indestructible, indescribable, blissfully immersed in Himself and all by Himself. The concept of Brahman and His relationship with individual souls and Nature and His manifestations are the subject of many schools of Hindu philosophy. Some schools believe that He is both the efficient and material cause of creation. Some believe that He is only an efficient cause and that Prakriti is the material cause. There is also considerable speculation about the relationship between Brahman and the individual souls. Some believe that both are the same and some believe that they are different. Now, in some ways, “Brahman” sounds like God: mysterious, creator, Light, Ruler, Lord, without beginning or end, indestructible, indescribable… but Hinduism is not Christianity (let alone Catholicism) and has a vastly different take on spirituality, theology, etc.

 

 


Whether or not “Brahman” and the LORD God are the same being, the phrase “I am Brahman” means the same thing: “I am God”. And that is
heresy. By Japhy

13. I would put it in its context. It’s a Hindu expression/mantra (with a very particular interpretation, I would imagine). The place is owned by the “Universal Solidarity Movement”. They’re a borderline pantheistic movement, if you ask me. They visualize “a society/nation/world with the universal family spirit of Hinduism; the discipline and fellowship of Islam; the courage of Sikhism; the compassion of Buddhism; the non-violence of Jainism; the creativity of the Parsi religion; the indomitability of Judaism; the forgiveness of Christian faith.” It sounds like they seek to transcend religion (or create a new, all-encompassing, universal one).
Here’s more [from their website]:
The Movement is based on the spiritual foundations of all the world religions. The vision statement is inspired by some of the unique and positive values of these religions. The statement promotes a paradigm shift from a narrow understanding of religiosity to a broad and liberative spirituality.”
Here’s their universal prayer:

God our friend, mother and father, may you be praised
in your diversity of name and forms by the whole universe.
May we experience a world guided by your values of justice,
fraternity, equality, freedom, peace, hope and love.
May your will be the motive force of all our dreams and actions!
Give us our daily food for our body, mind and soul.
Strengthen us to forget and forgive without counting the cost!
Forgive us our offences as we forgive those who offended us in the past.
Bless all those who offend us now with your peace.
Strengthen us always to stand for truth without fear and
walk in the path of light with hope, trust, optimism and creativity!
Protect us from all evil forces and
liberate us from hatred, despair and depression!
Om Shanti! Om Shanti! Om Shanti!

I’ll pray the Pater Noster, thank you very much.
The movement is not Catholic, and I think it’s harmful to Catholics to get involved with such a pluralistic and indifferent movement. By Japhy

She still denied the Real Presence when she said, “God is… not in the church.”
14.
This is a serious heresy for any Catholic to commit, as the Real Presence of the Eucharist is the very centerpiece of the Catholic Faith! By Matariel

USM WEBSITE:

The writer of the comment no. 13, above, apparently decided to check out the USM website [http://www.universalsolidarity.org/about/intro.htm]. So, take the time to study Japhy’s comments once again, as they are extracts from the USM website. My comments follow further below, after the Bishops’ testimonials.

I myself googled USM and I have copied some information relevant to our report, here:

ABOUT USM:
http://www.universalsolidarity.org/about/legal.htm:

The legal holder of The Universal Solidarity Movement is Dharma Bharathi Service Society. Each member – school where the programme of value education is introduced gives an yearly contribution of Rs. 500/- for the activities of the Movement. Several persons give their own ‘widows mite’ which they collect from their ‘skip a meal’ programme.

FOUNDING THE MOVEMENT:
http://www.universalsolidarity.org/about/founder.htm Varghese Alengaden was the Youth Director of Madhya Pradesh Regional Bishops’ Conference… [He was exposed to the Taize, France, programmes of Bro. Roger, and was inspired to start something similar in India. Then,] He and John Sachidanand from Hyderabad, who had similar dreams, launched the Movement on the 16th July, 1993 at Indore. After a couple of years Sachidanand left the Movement to organize his own programmes.

ACTIVITIES:
http://www.universalsolidarity.org/activities/seminars.htm By March 31st 2008, the Movement has reached 600 schools and colleges in 20 states of the large country. Over 300,000 students and 40,000 teachers have so far attended the orientation programs organized by the animators of the Movement in different Indian languages. Several seminars were also organized for parents in different schools. 160 seminars were organized exclusively for the heads of the educational institutions in different parts of the country. During this short span 39 Knit-India gatherings were organized in different states. However where institutions did not take up the follow up seriously, the Movement is not very active.

CONTACT:
http://www.universalsolidarity.org/contact.htm
Universal Solidarity Movement
of Value Education for Peace
P. B. No. 150,  100 – Saket Nagar, Indore – 452 018, M.P. India, Ph ; 0731 – 2566018 / 4072057 usmindore@yahoo.co.in


FROM FR. ALENGADEN’S WEBSITE, TESTIMONIALS:
http://varghesealengaden.com/testimonials.html

1. What people say about Varghese Alengaden (from the book “A life More Radiant”): “Father Varghese is able to inspire the youth whether they be in the schools or colleges. I do not think that he gets tired.  He is a messenger of universal brotherhood. You are a champion of the downtrodden and relentless crusader against discrimination against women.”
Bishop Chacko Thottumarickal SVD., (Bishop of Indore Diocese)

 

2. “Father Varghese has come across to me as a dedicated priest, committed missionary, a dynamic leader, and a trend setter. He is a man of convictions and is prepared to face any challenges, undergo any hardships to stand for his convictions.”
Rt. Rev. Dr. George Anathil SVD., (Former Bishop of Indore)

3. “Any one who has had first hand experience of living with Father Varghese can vouch that he genuinely tries to practice what he preaches.”
Father Clarence Srambical SVD., (Editor, Renaissance, Rector, Regional Theologate, Ashta , M.P.)

MY COMMENTS:

1. The priest who founded the USM never identifies himself as one. I have noted this in the original DHARMA BHARATHI reports of August 2002 ad August 2003. He is always, “Varghese Alengaden”.

2. The USM is forced to admit its connection with DHARMA BHARATHI [The website states: “The legal holder of The Universal Solidarity Movement is Dharma Bharathi Service Society”].

The USM is in fact DHARMA BHARATHI in a new avatar. It was necessary for the Indore unit to disassociate themselves from the DHARMA BHARATHI name for reasons that will be given below. They include the unfavourable publicity that resulted from the release of my 2002 report on the three DHARMA BHARATHIS.

3. Both, the USM’s website as well as Fr. Alengaden’s website do not give the true history of the USM which is that of DHARMA BHARATHI. If an organization that purports to promote “values” withholds or reinvents the truth, it is a lie. Anything that is founded on lies and deceit cannot be from God or be blessed by God.

4. The USM targets Catholic educational institutions. It targets the teachers and students of our colleges and our schools. Our children are sitting ducks. The parents do not have a say in what their children are exposed to, and this is New Age that we are talking about. The “Mirror meditation” is only a symptom of the disease.

Nuns like Sr. Lissy, Sr. Anjali, Sr. Sunita and Sr. Loretta Pinto make your decisions for you and your children.

Priests like Fr. Varghese Kunnath and Fr. Clarence Srambical SVD are also influencing your child’s future.

5. One affected parent reminded me that the contribution of even just Rs. 2 per child per annum from a child’s skipped meal to make a contribution to the USM, multiplied by the number of children in a school and the number of schools targeted [in the hundreds] is big money.

6. The USM has the complete support of the past and present Bishops of Indore and from the SVD priests of the Indore province, as can be seen from the glowing tributes paid to Fr. Varghese Alengaden.

7. A small peek at the USM’s website was enough for “Japhy” to decide that: “The movement is not Catholic,” he wrote. What if “Japhy” have said had he read my detailed report on DHARMA BHARATHI?

 

THE UNIVERSAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT AND DHARMA BHARATHI-INDORE

For a complete understanding of the USM, my August 1, 2002 report [updated twice] at http://ephesians-511.net/articles_doc/NEW%20AGE%20IN%20EDUCATIONAL%20INSTITUTIONS_DHARMA%20BHARATHI.doc
is a
must read. However, I shall try to reproduce some relevant points here with my explanations.

In that report, we discussed not one but three DHARMA BHARATHIS [DBs], the main one being the Dharma Bharathi National Institute at that time located in Hyderabad. We identified it as
DB-H
to distinguish it from two others, one at
Indore
and the other at
Lucknow
which we identified as
DB-I
and
DB-L, respectively.

Most importantly, the report, which concentrated almost exclusively on DB-H, conclusively proved that DB-H is New Age, and promotes Syncretism, Indifferentism, Relativism, and Religious Pluralism. The aims, values and programmes of the other two DBs are not different. What applies to DB-H applies to DB-I and DB-L.

DB-H has since shifted its base of operations from Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh to Kerala, the home state of its founder Swami Sachidananda Bharathi, a Catholic layman who took acharya diksha from Ashram founder and New Ager Father Bede Griffiths, where he has the support of Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil of Ernakulam

The original DB was the one founded at
Indore, the one that I identified as DB-I and which is now the USM.

Swami Sachidanand did not “leave the Movement
to organize his own programmes”
as Fr. Alengaden falsely claims. The Indore priest [page 9] wrote to me that Fr. Alengaden had “hijacked the ideas” of the Swami, but he did much more than that. After 5 years of working together with the Swami, he hijacked the DB-I office [see following page] and enterprise itself and ousted the Swami from Indore, who then moved to Hyderabad to re-start operations there as DB-H. I reproduce from the original report [all quotes are from documents]:

 

In the Introduction to Swami Sachidananda Bharathi’s ‘Disciples of Christ for Peace’ we read that some persons “could not really understand Swami Sachidananda’s ‘call’ (and) many of them, including his wife parted ways with him.”

These ‘some persons’ include one Varghese Alengaden and a few others who broke away in July 1998 from the original DB founded by Swami Sachidananda, having incorporated a second DB based at Indore under the slightly modified name of DHARMA BHARATHI NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF VALUE EDUCATION FOR PEACE.

A look into the background, as obtained from inter-DB correspondence and letters from DB to me, is revealing.

Alengaden is a Catholic priest (though you will find him nowhere revealing it), associated with Sachidananda and DB as its Director from inception in 1993. “Starting his own Society and Institute, using the name and modules of the original Institute which was shifted (from Indore) to Hyderabad in December 1998”, Alengaden asked Sachidananda to “hand over the DB National Institute with its assets” (to the new DB Society) “to avoid confusion
and scandal to the people… associated with the… Programme which we had been promoting since 1993.”

 

 

On October 15, 2001 the Director of DB-H wrote to Fr. Thomas Kunnunkal SJ, then Advisor to DB-H, and later founder of his own DB, DB-L at Lucknow, to “help us find an amicable settlement with… Fr. Alengaden…
who started another Institute under the same name
even though he was requested not to do so
. This is now creating much confusion and suspicion in the minds of people, affecting our own credibility … When our
earlier attempts for reconciliation had failed(we) had resolved to initiate legal action if necessary against… Fr. Alengaden
for betrayal of trust and fraud.” The idea was dropped “as it might affect the whole Indian Church adversely.” The moderation of Fr. Kunnunkal “did not elicit any favourable response. Instead, it drew sharp and negative criticisms from Sr. Loretta“, (President of the newly formed DB-I) “as can be seen from letters she wrote (to us).”

DB-H had demanded that Alengaden “should not use the name Dharma Bharathi National Institute” etc., “return all files, properties, photo albums, account books… to the legal owner immediately… Sr. Loretta* in her letter (to DB-H) had made a strong statement that these would not be returned.”

Sachidananda wrote to me that Fr. Kunnunkal “spoke to Fr. Varghese after he received the letter… However Fr.
Varghese was elusive** and Fr. Kunnunkal could not do anything further.” Read the letters in the detailed Dharma Bharathi report.

*Sr. Loretta Pinto CSST is Visiting Professor to the Papal Seminary, Pune.
See my separate report on the Seminary.

**I can believe that because Alengaden ignored all my letters to him.

CHURCH SUPPORT FOR SWAMI SACHIDANANDA AND THE THREE DHARMA BHARATHIS

Writing to me on July 10, 2002,”Unfortunately there are two organizations under the same name Dharma Bharathi” and that “because of temperamental and character differences, the two split up”, Fr. Kunnunkal added that he himself was “making moves for a (third) DHARMA BHARATI (dropping one ‘H’)
centre
here in Lucknow.”

I wrote on June 28, 2002 to Archbishop Arulappa (DB-H), Bishop Anathil (DB-I) and the Bishop of Hazaribag, Charles Soreng SJ who is the Chairman, Education and Culture Commission of the CBCI***, asking for clarifications about the DBs while expressing my apprehension that the DBs are ‘introducing, along with genuine values, a subtle mix of syncretism and New Age in our Catholic institutions.’

***the Education and Culture Commission of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) was the chief organizer of the DB National Seminar at the Renewal Centre, Kaloor from 12 – 14 December, 2002

I received a response dated August 16, 2002 from Bishop Soreng saying “Recently I met Swamiji at Patna while giving a Seminar which I attended… I find Swamiji’s position very sound and I am quite pleased with him. He has been giving talks to priests and religious as well.”

Meanwhile Fr. Avin Avinash SVD., was made the Managing Trustee of DB-H.

Bishop George Anathil SVD
of Indore supports the Alengaden faction, DB-I (He is Patron of their ‘Renaissance’ magazine). From Fr. Kunnunkal’s letter to me of July 20, 2002, “what is important” for Bishop Albert D’Souza
of Lucknow is “to push the ideals and vision of Dharma Bharathi… We have a small inter-faith group including Muslims, Hindus, Bahais, Brahmakumaris etc. besides Christians.” (The use of the word ‘Catholic’ is skillfully avoided by Fr. Kunnunkal.) As for DB-H, Hyderabad emeritus
Archbishop S. Arulappa is its co-founder and Patron, and Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil C. Ss. R.
of Ernakulam (he ‘invoked God’s blessings’ on the Seminar, while Hyderabad Archbishop Joji sent ‘best wishes for its success’) and Archbishop Thomas Menamparambil SDB
of Guwahati are its Patrons. Its Advisors are Bishop Anathil of Indore, Bishop Prakash Mallavarappu of Cudappah and Bishop Jacob Manathodath of Palakkad.

Of these, I have sent copies of my first report on Dharma Bharathi to the Bishops of Indore (DB-I) and Lucknow, (DB-L), and to Cardinal Vithayathil (DB-H), but was not favoured with a response from any of them.

DB-H is patronized and supported by individual priests and nuns and several congregations like the Orders of Friars Minor (OFM), Society of Jesus (SJ), Society of the Divine Word (SVD), the Ursuline Franciscans etc. according to DB literature.

DB-I is supported by the SVD and a large number of congregations: St. Joseph of Tarbes (SJT), the Carmelite and Loreto Orders, Sisters of Charity, Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM), JMC, FCC, JMJ, MSMI, IBMV, MSJ, UMI, CSST, OSB, etc.

This information is almost 3 years old as I write in 2003, and the DBs would certainly have cast the net wider by this time.

Fr. Alengaden hijacked the Indore office lock, stock and barrel, including “all records, accounts and subscribers list of the journal ‘Renaissance'” from Sachidananda and DB-I. And, the attitude of DB-I’s Sr. Loretta to the real founder and owner of DB-I has been seen, from her letter to the poor fellow, to be anything but Christian.

It is a matter of great surprise (or is it, really?) that, with so many reverend Bishops involved, the split in DB could not be resolved and unity restored by their intervention. It is a matter of even greater surprise (or, again, is it?) that these learned Bishops and theologians have not taken care to carefully scrutinize the DB programmes and see them for what they are.

I can conclude with certainty that the issue of litigation threatened by the Swami was dropped not out of Christian charity but because it would have made public the truth about the internal DB fall-out. This way, one could cuts one’s losses, avoid a public scandal and get on with the business of infiltrating the Catholic educational institutions with New Age.

The million-dollar question is this:

Seeing that DB-I separated violently from the parent DB-H and there continues to be no charity, unity and peace between the two of them, what unity and peace do they propose to promote in our nation; what ‘Value Education’ can DB-I give our youth, when it has forcibly occupied the DB-H
office in Indore, annexed its name, goodwill, and all its assets and evicted the original owner of the Institute; and, when the founders of the 2 rival DBs themselves cannot get along with each other “because of character and temperamental differences, the two split up” (according to the founder of the third DB, Fr. Kunnunkal), how do they justify that they are deserving or even capable of ensuring the correct formation of our children?

 

 

DHARMA BHARATHI, INDORE. TRUE HISTORY INTENTIONALLY OBSCURED

It is only fitting that we devote some attention to the organization ‘founded’ by Fr. Varghese Alengaden.

The early history of DB-I, as recorded in their literature is, to put it simply, vague, relating to the period from 1993 to 1998 because it was really the history of the true, parent DB, the present DB-H [shifted from Indore to Hyderabad to Kerala] and so must be avoided. A lot of nice words to hide the truth and cover up a lie: “The movement came into existence through a collective effort of a group of peace-loving (peace-loving?) and pro-active citizens… to provide an alternative to the present system (whatever that means). The movement in its present form evolved in the course of time… Dharma Bharathi came into existence when Varghese Alengaden moved into a rented apartment in… Indore as its Director”.

The information given here is collected from a DB-I Brochure and from the Souvenir of their 2nd National KNIT-INDIA 2000 Seminar held at Bangalore (December 29, 2000 to January 2, 2001) at St. Joseph’s Convent/St. Francis Xavier’s Girls’ High School, under the auspices of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Tarbes.

As with DB-H literature, New Age jargon is frequently employed in the Brochure as well as by speakers at the Seminar:

Cosmic solidarity, harmonious co-existence, (the explanation for the DB-I emblem also uses the terms ‘harmonious’ and ‘cosmic’), harmony, global union, global, spirit of oneness, holistic, paradigm shift, inner voice etc. DB “promotes a paradigm shift from a narrow understanding of religiosity to a broad and liberative spirituality… It is basically a spiritual movement whose unifying element is its spirituality.” (Brochure, pages 4, 10). The Brochure is with the compliments of the SVD congregation of priest, Central Province, Indore.

In the editorial, one Sr. Humbline describes DB-I as a ‘cosmic marvel (for) creating a new civilization of love’ (see DB-H parallel and my comments in the original report). According to the Brochure, this is the goal of DB-I.

Sr. Loretta Pinto saw the participation of around 115 Catholic institutions as a ‘confirmation from God to fulfill the mission and vision of Dharma Bharathi.’ ‘The growth and expansion of this Movement is a fact that it is… very specially inspired by God. All who were responsible for its origin and growth are only instruments of God’. (Brochure, page 13)

‘Dharma Bharathi is a Divine movement’. (Gyanendra Purohit, Brochure, page 19)

If numbers are an indication of God’s blessing, then Nazism and Communism are top contenders.

Maria Menezes, one of the celebrities at the Seminar, is President of the All India Catholic Union and holds a Doctorate in the philosophy of J. Krishnamurti, the Theosophist and adopted son of Annie Besant, leading occultist and New Ager.

She believes that DB ‘can only bring about peace leading to the development of nations’. (Souvenir, page 8)

Like with DB-H, DB-I wants to promote peace within the individual, peace within society and peace with nature. When a person (it teaches) is able to experience these three dimensions of peace, he/she will have peace with God. Hence their programme of Value Education for Peace has four important dimensions namely, psychological, sociological, ecological and theological. (Brochure, page 4). See the DB 2003 report for my comments on this “peace” that they promote.

How will they achieve this? Through an
inter-religious spirituality
. (Brochure, page 20)

The fruit? A testimony from Lavina D’Souza, Dharma Bharathi full-time animator and a young Catholic:

“After entering DB I began respecting all religions… Till then I was holding the view that my religion alone is the superior one.” (Brochure, page 19)

Some of the practical aspects of DB-I as culled from the Souvenir:

Singing of inter-religious songs, reading of scriptures of different religions to promote inter-religious harmony, inter-religious prayer meetings, inter-religious prayer in hospitals with patients and staff, reading the teachings of great religious leaders and verses from different religious texts in the school assembly, listening to the ‘inner voice’ etc.

The original target group of students and youth has been enlarged to include parents, teachers and institution heads.

And all that, dear reader, is what your children will get when DB-I infiltrates your children’s schools.

The first DB-I National Award was made to Janak Palta McGilligan.

She ‘believed both in Hinduism and Sikhism’, then went ‘in search of a religion where she can experience equality between man and woman for she never wanted to be dominated by a man… She spent some time with all the world religions… One day she came in touch with Baha Ullah… Her dream was fulfilled’. (Souvenir, page 75) Who next? Sai Baba?

McGilligan probably didn’t settle on Catholicism because our feminist theologians haven’t had their unfettered way. Yet.

Lavina D’Souza’s “acquaintance with Dharma Bharathi was casual when she happened to read a copy of ‘Renaissance’ magazine” and “decided to give her services as a fulltime worker.” (Souvenir, page 22)

The Editor of ‘Renaissance’ is Clarence Srambical, an SVD priest, I found out. I have just one issue, that of March-April 2002. While the 8-page magazine many noble reflections, there was nothing in it even vaguely Christian.

Awaken the Woman in Man” is the title of an article by Fr. Varghese Alengaden to celebrate Women’s Day on the 8th of March. “Women will be empowered only when men are able to awaken the woman in them[selves],” he says.

Page one contains an ode to “Pluralism, A Unique National Heritage.”

Alengaden gave a seminar for the heads of institutions run by Dominican sisters in Kerala and another for the Franciscan Handmaids of the Good Shepherd. The fruit: “Both have resolved to promote pluralistic spirituality.

DB-I released a bi-lingual Hindi/English pocket book (Sangam) containing “readings from various Holy Scriptures and a brief introduction of all religions.”

St. Mary’s Convent, Kanpur was introduced to DB by Fr. Siby, Fr. Cyril and Sr. Marion IBMV. “We conducted a
prayer service… based on
DB spiritualityand selected readings from various Holy Scriptures
.”

On page three, “Stella Maris High School, Bangalore celebrates DHARMA BHARATHI DAY.”

Animators Prasad IMS and Stella Joseph FMM conduct an orientation programme for the girls of St. Mary’s School, Gajraula.

 

 

 

Page five runs a report on Knit India Agra 2002 in which 14 schools of UP participated. They “prayed together using readings from various holy scriptures.” (Fr.?) George Paul, Principal of Christ the King School, and (Fr.?) Varghese Kunnath, DB-UP Regional Coordinator addressed the gathering.

Page six. DB Programme launched in Loreto Convent, New Delhi. “The students committed to promote the pluralistic vision of the movement… Principal Sr. Mercy encouraged the students and teachers.

Interaction for ten selected students of the DB Core group of St. Mary’s, Nainital with 32 principals and managers of schools at Jeolikot who had gathered for an orientation programme.

‘Education: Vision and Ambition’ on page seven. “We need Ramakrishna Paramahamsas to give birth to Swami Vivekanandas …But the basic question we need to ask is whether we want Swami Vivekanandas, Mahatma Gandhis and Mother Teresas at all.”

In 1998 alone DB-I influenced over 200 participants in 5 seminars for heads of institutions. The following year there were nearly 700 from 10 institutions. In 2000, 22 seminars for 1200 heads were conducted.

That year, in the first 2 months alone, nearly 1400 participants attended 6 regional conventions in Goa, Andhra Pradesh & Tamil Nadu. As on January 1, 2001 DB-H has “helped to start a post-graduate diploma in ‘Peace and Value Education’ under the Dept. of Inter-religious Relations, Madurai Kamaraj University”, conducted a I-year training programme for 23 teachers at Hyderabad, training and motivation for more than 2,500 teachers and leaders and over 300,000 students, and “conscientisation courses for more than 10,000 parents.

The DBs are pro-actively indoctrinating the heads, teachers and students of Catholic institutions exclusively, with their ideologies. I possess no evidence that they are promoting their programmes in non-Catholic schools.

With the DBs being instrumental in targeting Catholic students for exposure to the teachings of the founders of the world religions and to their religious texts, I do not find that the teaching staff and students of non-Christian schools have been targeted in order to expose them to the Bible and the beliefs of the Christian faith. To maintain a proper equilibrium and to achieve the DBs’ global objectives, both sides must be given doses of the same medicine.

Shortly before I completed my first report on DB, Swami Sachidananda telephoned me and invited me to meet with him and Fr. Avinash SVD during their forthcoming visit to Chennai. The Swami did not make it, but I met Fr. Avinash at Sathya Nilayam, the Jesuit seminary. During our two hour-long meeting over lunch, I explained to him the nature of my ministry. He went through some of my reports with interest. However, he declined to accept from me copies of any of my material.

Fr. Tom Kunnunkal of DB-L had written to me on July 10, 2002, “Both Dharma Bharathis (DB-H and DB-I) are doing good work and reach out to many parts of India through several hundred schools… Neither has and neither is interested in
(Church) affiliationHe (Sachidananda) gives retreats to priests, to congregations of sisters and to provinces. Is it necessary that every good activity that we start should immediately get official approval?

In a subsequent letter dated July 20, 2002 he revealed his connection with DB-I and his plans, “I am going to Indore to spend a couple of days with Varghese… I am not affiliated to DB Indore or Secunderabad. Our Bishop is clear that what is important is not to swear by this or that group but to push the
ideals and visions of Dharma Bharathi… As for literature, I really do not have much to give as I am at the beginning stage. I had another young Jesuit with me last year, but he is gone for studies. I am trying to get another, a priest or sister to help. I am sending you a folder that I passed around to our people during a CRI (Conference of Religious of India) meeting, aimed at the Catholic audience and hence specifically the mission of Jesus to build up the Kingdom, which to me is a good translation of the aims and goals of DB.”

Those aims and goals appear to be exactly along the lines of those of DB-H and DB-I.

To the Catholic parents who may have their children in schools not yet invaded by the DBs, I ask,

“How long will it be before Dharma Bharathi reaches their classrooms? Will you wait till that happens?”

To those whose children are already compromised by exposure to DB, I say:

“Resist DB through joint public action (parent-teachers associations, parish councils, Catholic Associations etc.), enlighten others with information on the truth about the Dharma Bharathis, meet with your local Church leaders, parish priests and Bishops, and re-educate your children with the knowledge that you now possess.”

Fr. Tom Kunnunkal of DB-L explaining to me the split in DB, wrote “Varghese Alengaden is not inclined to give up his freedom of action.” But your children do not have the same choice, and neither have you. You are obliged to watch impotently while their impressionable minds are being conditioned at school towards a theology of syncretism, religious pluralism and the ‘New Age’. “Dharma Bharathi spirituality” is not Catholic. It is anti-Catholic.

 

‘DHARMA BHARATHI’ CAN THIS SAVE INDIA??

is the title of a flattering report on DB-I by Fr. R.H. Lesser, “a renowned veteran missionary and author” published in the Bombay Archdiocesan weekly, The Examiner of May 11, 2002. Excerpts, emphases mine:

“The Indore-base Dharma Bharathi… spread now to 22 states… more than 3 lakh [300,000] students and 30,000 teachers. The movement springs from the major foundations of all the major religions. Avoiding the narrow sectarian religiosity, it incorporates the main religious tenets of (all religions)…

The schools which experience the effects of DB recommend it to others. There is never any attempt to incorporate people to any particular religious belief or practice. In fact, THIS IS A VERY PRACTICAL AND POSITIVE MEANS OF EVANGELIZATION AND ESTABLISHING THE KINGDOM OF GOD IN OUR COUNTRY. Already several courses have been held to inspire Bishops, major superiors, priests and religious. It is my hope and prayer that this movement will spread even wider and achieve the…” (the article ends abruptly)

 

 

This Catholic ‘missionary’, Fr. Lesser, is either awfully ignorant or terribly deceived [see page 20]. His conclusion is apparently representative of the opinions of the leaders of the Church in India, meaning our Bishops who are active supporters of the Dharma Bharathis, and the superiors of religious congregations who attend ‘courses’ such as those conducted by these organizations or depute their priests to attend them [as seen in the October 1-15, 2001 The New Leader news story reproduced below.]*

My answer to Fr. Lesser’s question
CAN DHARMA BHARATHI SAVE INDIA?

was carried as a letter to the editor in

The Examiner, June 29, 2002
under the caption

“DHARMA BHARATHI ALONE CANNOT SAVE INDIA”

Part of my letter reads: “I disagree with Fr. Lesser’s contention that Dharma Bharathi is ‘a very practical and positive means of evangelization… In fact,

when Dharma Bharathi is introduced in Catholic Schools, all TRUE evangelization ceases.

Dharma Bharathi may have a role to play as a social movement to ‘build a civilization of love and peace’, but… only the Good News of Jesus Christ can save India. Dharma Bharathi, or any other movement, sans Jesus, cannot.

 

*A ‘National Seminar on Holistic Education’
was held in Agra from the 18 to 22 August exclusively for the principals of
schools that have welcomed the pluralistic spirituality**

promoted by
Dharma Bharathi National Institute, Indore
… There were more than a hundred participants from across the country-covering north to south and east to west…

Varghese Kunnath, the Coordinator of the UP Region of Dharma Bharathi, Dr. Loretta Pinto, the President of Dharma Bharathi, the chief guest Archbishop Oswald Gracias of Agra***
spoke.

Varghese Alengaden, the Director and National Coordinator of Dharma Bharathi explained the dynamics of the Seminar.

A major outcome of the Seminar was the region-wise planning to strengthen the Value Education movement.

The New Leader, October 1-15, 2001 Report by Shalini Mathew

**Never mind that Rome repeatedly warns of the dangers of religious pluralism. [see my August 2003 report]

***Secretary-General of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI), now Cardinal in Bombay

 

NOTE: Starting page 13, I had quoted from my August 1, 2003 report on the Dharma Bharathi movement. The initial report was written on August 1, 2002 [The 2003 report is the updated version]. So, my June 2002 letter of protest to The Examiner pre-dates my initial report on Dharma Bharathi.

As mentioned by me on pages 13 and 14, the Indore Dharma Bharathi of Fr. Varghese Alengaden continued to use the original name of “Dharma Bharathi National Institute” after hijacking it from Swami Sachidananda and despite his protests, but later modified it to “Dharma Bharathi National Institute of Value Education for Peace”, finally changing it to “Universal Solidarity Movement of Value Education for Peace”.

 

Fallout of the UCAN report on the USM:

1. The UCAN report [pages 1, 2] was published August 20, 2008. My letter to select individuals is dated August 22 [page 8]. One of them wrote to the late Bishop of Indore [page 9]. The Bishop probably forwarded the letter to the USM. Sr. Loretta Pinto, who had hijacked the Indore DB from the Swami along with Fr. Varghese Alengaden, responded with the following letter to me [I did not respond] on behalf of the USM:

From:
Universal Solidarity Movement [usmindore@yahoo.co.in] To:
michaelprabhu@vsnl.net

Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 11:29 AM

Dear Mr. Prabhu,

With reference to your e mail to Mr. G. Victor, Bishop G. Anathil and others, I would like to respond to your objections to our ‘Mirror Mediations’ as you call it.  I realise that for people accustomed to praying in the conventional way, ‘mirror meditation’ seems preposterous. I recall asking Fr. Varghese, “Why can’t I pray before the mirror in my own room?” “No,” he replied, “here you discover God within you. That is why ‘God within ‘ is put up. Having tried it myself, I did find the difference; firstly, that God is willing to live within me and identify with me, is very humbling and touching. You meet a very personal, living God who knows your troubles and weakness before you tell them to him; and he knows it from your perspective. You don’t need to explain; he understands. When you are sad or angry, he understands before you tell him. All you need to do, is look at him. He reads your disturbed body language.

Secondly, because we pray before the mirror it does not mean we never pray before a tabernacle. We do.

Thirdly, Fr. Varghese celebrates Mass for us daily, and we all share the Gospel message too. He makes the Mass very meaningful. We receive the Eucharist and we realise the “God within” and that we are ‘living tabernacles’.

St Paul himself says “You are the temples of the Holy Spirit”, so if I look at myself in the mirror and see the Living God dwelling in me, I am taking St. Paul seriously. Right?

I have lived with Fr. Varghese for the last 10 years and can vouch for the fact that he lives the Eucharist and teaches  others to do the same. When Christians of the Khandamal district of Orissa were under attack in November, last year, he went at his own expense and despite the dangers involved, to visit and reassure them. How many bishops did that? Is that not living the Eucharist dear Mr. Prabhu?

I suggest you buy some of his books and particularly his ten volume daily Gospel meditations; ‘God in Flesh and Blood’, you will understand him better.

With kind regards, Yours sincerely, Sr. Loretta Pinto

 

 

 

2. UCAN did a follow-up on the original story. The interview below could have been prompted by the many criticisms and negative responses received by UCAN [see pages 3-6] or may have been requested by Fr. Alengaden himself in an attempt to answer the objections of Catholic UCAN readers or the Bishop of Indore:

UCAN Interview – ‘Christians Must Promote A Pluralistic Spirituality’

http://www.ucanews.com/2008/11/07/christians-must-promote-a-pluralistic-spirituality/ November 7, 2008  

INDORE, India A Catholic priest who began a movement for evangelization in India says Christians have the responsibility to promote India’s pluralistic spirituality.

Father Varghese Alengaden, based in Indore, 810 kilometers south of New Delhi, founded the Universal Solidarity Movement to promote peace, unity and progress through animation of students.

The 56-year-old priest founded the movement 16 years ago to combat sectarianism that was then sweeping across India and left more than a thousand dead in riots, mostly Muslims. Recently, Hindu extremists destroyed thousands of Christian homes and around 150 Church buildings and institutions in Orissa over seven weeks beginning on Aug. 24. The anti-Christian violence left at least 59 people dead and displaced 50,000 others.

The movement aims to promote harmony among India’s various groups by drawing on the spirituality of various religions to develop a generation of Indians who respect the constitution’s declaration of India as a secular state and its guarantee of religious freedom. Hindus account for more than 80 percent of India’s 1.1 billion people, while Christians make up 2.3 percent. Muslims, comprising 13.4 percent of the population, form the country’s largest religious minority.

Father Alengaden also discounts criticism of a mirror-meditation method he encourages to promote harmony and solidarity. The meditation room at his center has no crucifix or tabernacle but a 2-square-meter mirror above which is written “God within” in English and Aham brahmasmi (I am God) in Sanskrit.

The interview with UCA News follows:

UCA NEWS: How is your movement different from other Church organizations and movements?

FATHER VARGHESE ALENGADEN: The difference is that our members believe in transforming the world by transforming themselves. We insist in practicing before preaching. Each one experiences the change within before trying it with others.

Another unique aspect of the movement is its pluralistic spirituality, a heritage we have received from Jesus. It is also the national heritage of India. Hence, as Christ’s disciples we have the greatest responsibility to defend and promote a pluralistic spirituality, which is threatened by fanatic religious groups. Every human being in the world is related to each other through values, and religions should help us see this relatedness and not divide us.

How do you help people find this interrelatedness?

We help people to concentrate on the spirituality of values rather than the religiosity of rituals. When people start concentrating on religion and rituals, there are differences of caste, creed and color that ultimately create division. From division, all kinds of evils — hatred, jealousy and revenge — take birth. Religiosity is based on belief, whereas spirituality is based on truth. More people have died for their religion than for truth. To help them understand the difference between spirituality and religiosity, we conduct seminars and classes.

What do your seminars focus on?

It is a two-way approach. One, from our point of view, is to bring back the Church to the period of Jesus. Jesus started Christianity not as a religion but as a way of life, a spiritual movement. So, we are trying to have a kind of paradigm shift in evangelization. We seek conversion to a new set of values, a new way of life, by concentrating on the spirituality of values of the Gospel [rather] than the religiosity of rituals.

Today many people are concentrating on rituals, but it is important to understand the vision of Christ’s spiritual movement that aimed to transform the whole world to the kingdom of God. If we share that vision, we should become an integral part of that movement. It needs new orientation.

Aiming at this, we conduct seminars for people such as Religious provincials, superiors, principals and head of institutions in dioceses and congregations. Once they are convinced about the program, we do a follow-up. This will help them put new wine into new wineskin.

Second, we go to schools and colleges and invite students to attend leadership training programs. This helps them rediscover their interrelatedness and uphold the spirituality of values. We ask children to become new leaders of history just as Abraham Lincoln and Mahatma Gandhi were. We ask them to build a new humanity, a new generation with a new vision — beyond caste, color and religion. The whole idea is to create a civilization of love and join nation-building. This is the mission of Christ. That is why we have people from other religions staying with us. They are also committed and work like us. This is an evangelization.

Why do you do this when Hindu fanatic attacks on Christians are increasing?

We should think about why Christians face increased attacks now. It is because we are carrying on with old wineskin. Our Lord has asked us to put new wine in new wineskin. His way of life was different from the tradition of the Jews. The system we are following was quite okay 50 years ago. Now, we have to change our way of life.

How? What kind of change?

Like our Lord Jesus did, we have to have a new wineskin to handle these problems. To handle this, religious formation has to change. The ministries have to change. Our schools, colleges and other institutions should develop a different outlook toward these problems. We should have a new way of dealing with the people. The Church remains simple, humble and passive all the time. It should look at these problems in a different way. Our campus-bound priests and nuns have to come out and get into the mainstream of Indian life.

 

 

 

Are you suggesting an overall change in the rules of Religious?

Yes. There is no sense in having a community where people do not agree with each other but live under the same roof saying some prayers. Instead, we should have communion, communion by charism. A nun may live far away from another member of her congregation but both should relate to each other in the spirit of their charism. If we remain campus-bound, thinking only of building institutions and maintaining them, we suffer. We will be eliminated. We need to shed our colonial image and way of life.

I do not see a chapel or a tabernacle here. Do you have regular Eucharistic services here?

Yes. We have regular Eucharistic service here. But we don’t have a designed chapel.
We have people from all religions, and therefore we don’t have a chapel or a tabernacle here. We celebrate Mass in a hall. We have a common meditation room with only a mirror in it.

Many people have criticized the ‘mirror meditation’ room, some even calling it new age spirituality and Satanism. What is your response to such criticism?

People who do not understand the concept and those suffering from a spiritual poverty will have problems accepting the mirror room. Their criticism is based on kindergarten spirituality. People who believe only in worshipping Jesus and are not able to follow his example and values will find it a lethargic and lunatic theology.

Jesus did not teach us to follow rituals blindly. What he taught us was the spirituality of values. He rejected all rituals that did not make people spiritual. For people accustomed to praying in the conventional way, our mirror meditation may seem preposterous. It is easy to worship Jesus, but difficult to follow him. I would also like to say that many bishops and priests have offered Mass in our center and seen the mirror room. They all have appreciated the concept. Even some priests from overseas too appreciated the concept after seeing the mirror room.

Have you discarded the tabernacle?

No, not at all. I have full regard and respect for the tabernacle. We receive Jesus in the Eucharist and he lives within us. The number of Religious and priests who have stayed with us have appreciated the Eucharistic celebration the most. The welcome, the hospitality and the way of life they see here have proved that we are the living tabernacles. Saint Paul says: “You are the living temples of Holy Spirit.” So, if I look at myself in the mirror and see the living God dwelling in me, I am taking Saint Paul seriously, right?

That borders on New Age heresy, some critics say.

No, I am not advocating or promoting any New Age spirituality or a new doctrine. It is purely a way of finding God within. I do not know what the new forms of heresies and dogmas are.

Surely blind people can find God without a mirror?

The blind can find God in everyone more easily than visually gifted people, because for them the tabernacle, mirror room, church, chapel, temple and street are the same. So, intellectually and spiritually they are more blessed than the visually gifted.

MY COMMENTS:

1. Fr. Alengaden describes the USM as “a movement for evangelization”. If any reader agrees with the priest [“evangelization” as in any of the Church’s documents] on the basis of any evidence available, kindly let this ministry know. Nowhere in his interview is there any appearance of evangelization. If anything, the priest and his team are de-evangelizing nuns in the mirror room and young Catholic students by their programmes.

2. The parallels with the Catholic Ashrams are only too clear if one has studied my report on that issue. Meditation replacing the Eucharist as the centre of community and worship because it is inclusive in respect of people of other faiths whereas the Eucharist is exclusive, and the rejection of the restrictive “religion and rituals” [organized religion] in favour of “spirituality” which is broad and all-encompassing. The result is that anything Catholic has no place in the USM scheme of things. In fact, Catholic tradition is a threat to the USM.

3. Despite the claims of Fr. Alengaden and his Sr. Loretta Pinto that they celebrate Daily Mass at the Centre, it is evident that they are not spiritually benefiting from it in the way that thousands of Catholic saints have, needing nothing else but the Body and Blood of Jesus for their spiritual nourishment. They still need to invent New Age gimmicks like the “Mirror meditation”. St. Paul warns us about just these things coming to pass in the Church, 2 Timothy 3: 5 and 6, and several other places. Read also 2 Peter 2: 1-3.

Both Fr. Alengaden and Sr. Loretta quote St. Paul to justify their “Mirror meditation”. Read Derrick’s letter:

From:
derrick d’costa
To:
Michael Prabhu
Sent: Sunday, November 09, 2008 3:44 PM

Subject: Mirror technique priest-Repudiation of the first commandment

Dear Michael He even twists Saint Paul — look at the words marked in bold.  Did St Paul say he was God?  I suppose he also feels like the New Community Bible commentators that the Gospels were not factual accounts and contained exaggerations God bless, Derrick BAHRAIN

4. Fr. Alengaden’s argument that “many bishops and priests have offered Mass in our center and seen the mirror room” does not mean anything. The St. Pauls’ New Community Bible was released in June 2008 by Cardinals and Archbishops. Its commentaries were written by thirty theologians. It had a certificate from the Superior General of the Paulist Fathers, and a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur from two senior Bishops. But there were enough problems with this “Bible” for the Bishops to suspend the printing of a second edition following protests initiated by this ministry and supported by many good priests and lay Catholics.

 

Here is a letter to the Bishop of Indore from Richard Mascarenhas of Muscat:

From:
richard mascarenhas
To:
cdindore@sancharnet.in; anathilm@sancharnet.in

Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2008 10:52 AM Subject: Your diocese

Dear Bishop MOST REV. GEORGE M. ANATHIL, SVD,

I understand that your diocese is making a name for itself for programmes such as Dharma Bharathi headed by Fr. Varghese and now the Universal Solidarity Movement.  That you also have the distinction of leading your diocese away from Jesus (the Blessed Sacrament) as the centre of ones life to “The Mirror” or ones own self as the centre for reflection.  You also have the distinction of blessing Priests and Nuns to carry out these programmes by your indifference and silence.  That you see no harm or wrong in practices such as looking inward instead of looking upwards towards God and outward towards God’s people, were you ordained Bishop to lead the believers and non-believers to the Good Shepherd or assist those that would lead them astray. I say this because such programmes run by priests and nuns cannot flourish without the Bishop’s knowledge.  If nothing is being done to stop this, it only means that it is given permission.  The Church will stand against all odds because of the promise of Christ, but what about those who allow and practice such things?

I pray that our Bishops may have the courage to stand for Christ and not bow down to the Father of Lies and his agents.  Through the New Community Bible our Bishops have done the Master Liar a great favour.  Will it be withdrawn?  It seems as though the Word of God that has been the only weapon to win battles against the devil and evangelise in the most difficult of regions and situations, which is called “A two edged sword” has become blunt and lost its power.  That the name of “Jesus” has become so powerless that it can not work any more miracles.  The Word of God even failed to understand the present day people and therefore is found lacking.  And what is found lacking is now being inserted by the wise and learned theologians of our times?? 

It seems we have now warriors “Enrolled for Christ against Christ.  Enemy within the camp?” Like the angels turning against God and waging a battle.  The result of course is well known.  Or do we call even that part of the scripture also a myth?

May Christ’s Kingdom Come. With love in Christ Jesus. Richard Mascarenhas MUSCAT

 

Two leading Catholic magazines, The New Leader and The Examiner have published articles on the Dharma Bharathis at regular intervals, some of them even written by Fr. Alengaden and the Swami themselves:

1. THE EXAMINER. A VEHICLE FOR PROMOTION OF FR. VARGHESE ALENGADEN, DB-I

The Examiner, May 11, 2002,
“DHARMA BHARATHI” CAN THIS SAVE INDIA??

My response to Fr. Lesser’s question was carried in The Examiner of June 29, 2002 under the caption “DHARMA BHARATHI ALONE CANNOT SAVE INDIA”. [see pages 16, 17]

The Examiner, September 10, 2005, tells us who Fr. Lesser is.

Born in London, “he was ordained by his Indian bishop on June 4, 1955… and spent most of his life in India… He has shown great interest in the bhakti saints of India and he has written two books and several articles about them. He has translated some of the Dohas of Kabir into modern English verse… He has also published a collection of Muslim prayers. A recent book published by Intercultural Publications, Delhi, is called ‘Saints and Sages of India’. It includes Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Sikh saints… He has also started Inter-Faith Fraternal Associations in Ajmer and Udaipur where people of different religions meet to discuss each other’s religion and pray together.”

Is it any wonder then that this priest, Fr. Lesser, believes that only Dharma Bharathi can save India?

The Examiner, August 2, 2003, Universal Solidarity Movement by Adrian Khare

The almost one-page article tells the story of Dharma Bharathi-Indore which became the Universal Solidarity Movement.

“Today, 600 schools in 17 states have been covered by this programme. 1,000 core groups of students spread the vision of this movement… USM’s journals in Hindi, English and Tamil – Sanjeevani, Renaissance and Ezuchimalar respectively, give an added dimension. Varghese Alengaden is the national coordinator…”

The Examiner, April 16, 2005, Catholic scribes meet in Goa [SAR news]

Catholic editors, publishers and journalists… have called for a new vision, new priorities, strategies and targets for Christian publications in the country. Deliberating on the theme, “Should Christian Publications Step Out of the Church Walls?” author and editor of the Indore-based Renaissance weekly, Fr. Varghese Alengaden, lambasted the ostrich-like attitude of the Church hierarchy and called for a revamp of the text and content of Christian publications…

The Examiner, May 12, 2007, ICPA elects new team of office bearers [CBCI news]

The Indian Catholic Press Association organized its 13th National Journalists Conference in Bangalore on May 5, 2007…

Eminent journalists attended the conference. They included Renaissance magazine editor Varghese Alengaden

The Examiner, July 14, 2007,
Sanyasin on a peace mission to Kashmir valley
[SAR news]

Swami Sachidananda Bharathi DB-H [read full report in my detailed 2003 article on DHARMA BHARATHI]

The Examiner, September 22, 2007 pages 10, 11

Paradigm Shift in Religious Life for 21st Century- I
by Fr. Varghese Alengaden

The Examiner, September 29, 2007 pages 14, 15

Paradigm Shift in Religious Life for 21st Century – II by Fr. Varghese Alengaden

The above two articles call for a paradigm shift “from external rituals, rules and regulations”, “from religiosity to spirituality… a spiritual movement free from institutionalized… and hierarchial structures” as against the “stagnant Church institutions which are rejected by the people [and] could be compared to broken wineskins”. It cannot be disputed that these calls are a rebellion against the institution of the Church.

The Examiner, December 15, 2007 Christmas, a celebration of surprises
by
Fr. Varghese Alengaden

 

2. THE NEW LEADER AND THE PROMOTION OF SWAMI SACHIDANANDA BHARATHI, DB-H

The New Leader, November 1-15, 2000, “The world at the dawn of the third millennium urgently needs peace… We are discovering the fact that lasting peace and unity on earth needs a religious motivation.” “From a presentation made at the Millennium World Peace Summit by Acharya Sachidanand on 28-31 August 2000, United Nations”. A two-page report “The Answer is Peace and Value Education” on Dharma Bharathi in the section “Issues-Religion”.

The New Leader, October 1-15, 2001, Report by Shalini Mathew [see page 17] USM/DB-I

The New Leader, March 1-15, 2002, Two-day workshop on human rights at Lucknow, 26/27 January 2002 DB-L

The New Leader, March 16-31, 2002, Dharma Bharathi award to Daya Bai
USM/DB-I

The New Leader, May 1-15, 2004 cover story. Interview
with Swami Sachidananda Bharathi, with a full-length colour photograph of the kavi [saffron]-clad swami on the cover, accompanied by the large, bold slogan, “LET THIS SWAMIJI SUCCEED!

Half the editorial “Hail and help this sower” of this issue was a glowing tribute by Fr. M. A. Joe Antony S.J. to this Swami who sows New Age tares, not wheat. Fr. Joe Antony describes the Swami as having “spent years under [sic] the feet of great gurus of all religions… his spirituality is inter-religious” as if it were a plus point for a supposed disciple of Christ. The priest finally blesses the Swami’s Kerala Regeneration Project and prays that “God help him succeed”.

Four pages of The New Leader are given to “The Swamiji who spells hope for India”, interviewed by the NL. Swami states that his Kerala Regeneration Project [KRP] was “formally inaugurated on 01 November, 2003 at St. Teresa’s College, Ernakulam by Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil.”

Fr. Avin Avinash SVD., is the Director-in-charge of the Kerala Regeneration Project.

He confirms that his 12-14 December, 2002 National Seminar at [Kaloor, Ernakulam] Kochi “was sponsored jointly by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India…” The Swami had appealed to the Chief Guest, the Chief Minister of Kerala Mr. A. K. Antony [now Union Defence Minister] to make his Dharma Bharathi programme “an integral part of the education in the State”. A similar appeal was made by Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer, Patron, Dharma Bharathi-Kochi to the Chief Minister, to make the DB programmes “an integral part of the syllabus in schools and colleges of Kerala… and to establish chairs of Peace and Value Education in the Universities of Kerala”. If such an appeal were to be taken seriously and implemented, it would spell doom for the Catholic faith of hundreds of thousands of Catholic children in Kerala.

The interview records also the Swami’s statement that he started an Ashram in Mulanthuruthy, Kerala: “Dharma Bharathi Ashram was inaugurated on 17 December, 2003 by Justice Jagannadha Raju, Chairman of Dharma Bharathi Foundation, to serve as the spiritual home and formation centre of KRP. Archbishop Daniel Acharuparambil, OCD., blessed the Dharma Bharathi programme.” The Archbishop is well known for his pro-yoga position and his support of the Catholic Ashrams Movement. The acharya of the ashram is an ex-Carmelite nun who left her religious order to be ordained by the Swami. The New Leader tells the Swami, “We wholeheartedly wish you and KRP all success.” READ THE DETAILS IN MY DHARMA BHARATHI REPORT.

The New Leader, June 1-15, 2004. My response to the above interview was published in the letters to the editor under the caption “Well-intentioned, but however…”:

Your cover story [NL, May 1-15, 2004] on Swami Sachidananda Bharathi [and his organization Dharma Bharathi] in the form of an interview with the Swami is well-intentioned and well done. His aims and goals, and those of Dharma Bharathi, are commendable. However, I conducted an in-depth study of Dharma Bharathi teachings and practices that result from his being “guided by Christian and Hindu monks” and his association with “the famous British Benedictine… Fr. Bede Griffiths“.

From this study, two things stand out with crystal clarity.

Despite all good intentions, many of the means now being used to achieve the said commendable aims are

(1) syncretistic, diluting the Gospel and denying the unicity of Jesus [as opposed to Ecclesia in Asia, Dominus Iesus etc];

(2) ‘New Age’, from Swamiji’s association with Fr. Bede and other Western New Agers at Bede’s Ashram, and which aspect becomes clear when they are seen in the light of the 3rd February 2003 Vatican Document on the New Age Movement.

The New Leader, August 16-31, 2004, “Ten suggestions to the Prime Minister”, the second of the seven contributors was Swami Sachidananda Bharathi

The New Leader, August 1-15, 2005, Independence Day Special, with a photograph of the Swami, “Mother India and Lord Jesus” by Swami Sachidananda Bharathi

The New Leader, September 1-15, 2005, “Dharma Bharathi unit launched in Delhi
by Fr. Victor Edwin, SJ.

Swami Sachidananda Bharathi, the founder of Dharma Bharathi, inaugurated the Dharma Bharathi Delhi unit at the Indian Institute of Public Administration on 5 August. He then released the book, “The Role of Teachers in National Regeneration” edited by Fr. Thomas Kunnunkal SJ.* The Prem Jyoti students of Holy Child School put up cultural programmes.

Fr. Kunnunkal said Dharma Bharathi is a socio-spiritual movement of people of India. Its goal is regeneration of India.

A number of schools, colleges, organizations and institutions have joined this movement. *see following page

The New Leader, January 1-15, 2007, “India’s second freedom struggle” by Swami Sachidananda Bharathi

The New Leader, February 16-28, 2007, Letter to the editor
Heed Swamiji’s call
by Dr. Rita Vas UFS., Mangalore

The New Leader, October 16-31, 2007 pages 33, 34 “Desh Vandana–2007
by Swami Sachidananda Bharathi

 

The Swami records his gratitude “to the Bangalore-based Xavier Board of Higher Education which is a network of Catholic colleges in the country for the whole-hearted support it has extended to” this year-long trans-India programme.

The New Leader, February 16-29, 2008 pages 27, 28. This issue has two articles on the Swami.

1. “A Swamiji’s Struggle for an India free from hunger, caste and corruption, Interview with Swami Sachidananda Bharathi”

This is a follow up to the previous article, towards the close of
Desh Vandana–2007.

These two statements in boxes in the two-page interview help summarise the Swami’s spirituality:

“I have accepted Jesus as my master and lord but I preach or promote no religion.”

It is true. He has no programme for evangelization. Neither does he ever quote Jesus or Gospel passages or from anywhere at all in the Holy Bible in any of the articles that I have read, whereas he quotes Hindu gurus and Hindu leaders.

“I do not believe that religious conversion can ever make anyone a better person. What is important is the values by which one lives.”

He is obviously ignorant of the lives of many Catholic saints including those of St. Paul and St. Augustine.

2. “How can the Church in India help to [sic] build a new India?” by Swami Sachidananda Bharathi.

The New Leader, September 1-15, 2008

Book Review by Swami Vikrant, SDB. “God’s Own Land” by Swami Sachidananda Bharathi

The New Leader, June 16-30, 2008 page 15 “The Qs that enhance the quality of life
by
Fr. Thomas Kunnunkal, SJ

DB-L
[see below]

The New Leader, August 16-31, 2008

Priest’s attempt to build solidarity in India USM/DB-I [UCA news] EXTRACT:

USM has so far reached out to about 1,000 groups in more than 800 schools in India to organize training programmes…

 

3. INDIAN CURRENTS

Indian Currents, 21-27 April, 2008 page 17
A New Vision on Education, I Cannot be Indifferent
by Varghese Alengaden DB-I

Indian Currents, 28 April-04 May, 2008 page 29 –do- “But God was There!” by Varghese Alengaden DB-I

 

A HUMAN BEING HAS NOT ONE BUT THREE BRAINS: FR. TOM OF DHARMA BHARATHI-LUCKNOW

Fr. Thomas Kunnunkal S.J. was once the Chairman of the Central Board of Secondary Education [C.B.S.E.].

He founded the third Dharma Bharathi at Lucknow.

This should amply demonstrate how even the best of priests can be subverted by New Age philosophies:

The New Leader, June 16-30, 2008 page 15 The Qs that enhance the quality of life EXTRACT:

“The focus has to be on inter-connectivity or interdependence*Recent brain research has revealed that we have not one brain, but three real brains, one in our gut, another in our heart and the third in our head.”

Fr. Thomas Kunnunkal, SJ is the Superior and Research Director at the Indian Social Institute, New Delhi

*Read the February 3, 2003 Vatican Document on the New Age and the 2003 DB report to understand the New Age in these monistic ideas about the inter-connectivity and
interdependence of all things.

I wrote a letter to the editor of The New Leader:

From:
prabhu
To:
M.A. Joe Antony, SJ
Sent: Friday, June 20, 2008 6:45 AM Subject: LETTER TO THE EDITOR

I refer to the article by Fr. Thomas Kunnunkal, SJ ‘The Qs that enhance the quality of life’ in
The New Leader
, June 16-30, 2008, wherein he states that “Recent brain research has revealed that we have not one brain, but three real brains, one in our gut, another in our heart and the third in our head.”

I would like to have from Father Thomas the reference of the scientific papers from which he has quoted.

Michael Prabhu, Subscriber, Chennai

My letter was published in the NL of August 16-30, 2008.

There was no response from Fr. Thomas Kunnunkal, S.J., founder of the Lucknow DB.

 

From:
prabhu
To:
Bishop Chacko ; tjchacko@hotmail.com ; chackoji
Sent: Saturday, May 30, 2009 9:34 AM

From:
prabhu
To:
chackoji ; tjchacko@hotmail.com ; Bishop Chacko
Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 8:23 AM REMINDER

Subject: INDORE: ‘Mirror Room’ Helps People Discover Divinity Within Themselves [UCAN report]

KIND ATTENTION: MOST REV. CHACKO THOTTUMARICKAL, SVD.,

BISHOP OF INDORE

Dear Bishop Chacko,

How are you? I am writing to you after a long time, the first time since you have come to Indore from Jhabua. I pray that God gives you all the anointing and physical strength for you to administer effectively in the new diocese.

I am copying below here the UCAN report on Fr. Varghese Alengaden whose Universal Solidarity Movement was supported by the late Bishop George Anathil, SVD. I have completed a 15 page report on this priest and his organization showing that they are New Age. I thought that you should be the first to be informed so that you can do something to correct this priest. I have copied the first part of my forthcoming report here for your kind perusal.

I look forward to receiving your kind response. Michael Prabhu www.ephesians-511.net
Catholic apologist, Chennai

[The first seven and a half pages of this report, without the photograph, was copied for the Bishop.] NO RESPONSE RECD.

 

 

 

Who is Virginia Saldanha? [ctd.]

Forum calls for Women Empowerment [SAR news] From The Examiner, March 6, 2004 EXTRACT:

Pune. The Women’s Forum of the Jesuit-run Institute of Philosophy and Religion, Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth (JDV), celebrated the International Women’s Day, February 5. Over 300 participants affirmed the need for women to move from enforced passivity to a partnership in mission, both in the Church and in society at large.

The Secretary of the CBCI Commission for Women, Ms. Virginia Saldanha spoke of the obstacles faced. “There is need for theology and spirituality to be viewed and scripture to be interpreted from a feminine perspective,” she emphasized…

Jesuit Fr. Kurien Kunnumpuram, retired Professor of Theology, Jesuit Father Noel Sheth, president of JDV, took part in the celebrations.

Women need space in the Church for theologizing From The New Leader, June 1-15, 2009 EXTRACT:

The 9th annual meeting of the
Indian Women Theologians Forum (IWTF)
consisting of 19 women from various Religious congregations, Secular institutes and the laity, coming from different states of the country, was held in Sanjeevan Ashram, Pune, on [sic] 23-25 April, 2009. The Forum reflected on the theme, “Space Women can claim in the Church for Theologizing” from a Biblical perspective, and “Feminist Ethics- Perspectives and Challenges“…- Virginia Saldanha

Lay Faithful Servants of the Word From The Examiner, June 21, 2008 by Virginia Saldanha EXTRACT:

Recently, on a visit to an ashram in Kerala for an inter-religious exchange, our group of women
were [sic] impressed to hear the swami quote…

MY COMMENTS:

On page 7, I had tried to explain why Virginia Saldanha had defended the USM in her comments posted on the UCAN [Union of Catholic Asian News] site. The three short extracts above confirm my earlier statements. She is in sync. with the liberal theologies of the professors of the seminaries about which I have written in my other reports. Fr. Kurien Kunnumpuram S.J. is one of the priests who publicly defended the erroneous New Community Bible. She also participates in the activities of the seditious Catholic Ashrams movement.

 

CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE UNIVERSAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT:

From:
angelamariemendonza@gmail.com
To:
usmindore@yahoo.co.in
Sent: May 29, 2009 6:06 PM

Subject: HELP REQUIRED
Dear Sister Loretta, I am a teacher by profession.

If I am correct, you are bringing out a monthly or quarterly periodical.  I would like to subscribe to it if it will be useful to me. If I am eligible, what will be the subscription cost and mode of payment from India, etc.

Are a few back issues of the same available at a discounted price?

Could I also have the email address of Fr. Varghese Alengaden in case I would like to correspond with him.

Thanking you in advance, Kind regards, Angela Marie

From:
Universal Solidarity Movement
usmindore@yahoo.co.in
To:
angelamariemendonza@gmail.com

Sent: Jun 8, 2009 3:10 PM Subject: Re: HELP REQUIRED

My dear Angela, Thank you for you letter asking more details about the journal Renaissance. This journal has not special subscription .We send them to people and they send some contribution every year. There is no fixed amount. Please send me your postal address. You can also read it from our website www.universalsolidarity.org.

You may write to father Varghese. His email address is this: usmindore@yahoo.co.in Yours sincerely Sister Loretta.

Universal Solidarity Movement, P.B. No. 150, Indore (M. P.) 452 018. Tel: 0731- 2566018, 4072057, Fax: 0731-2492440

From:
angelamariemendonza@gmail.com
To: usmindore@yahoo.co.in
Sent: Jun 9, 2009 8:40 AM

Subject: Re: HELP REQUIRED
Dear Sr. Loretta, Many thanks. I would also like some back issues of Renaissance for study.

Angela Marie Mendonza, c/o [withheld], 34, 9th street, A. K. Swamy Nagar, Kilpauk, Chennai 600 010, Tamil Nadu

 
 

WHAT CAN HAPPEN TO YOUR CHILD IF PROGRAMMED BY USM [DHARMA BHARATHI-INDORE]?

He/she will seek to find peace not through Jesus and the Sacraments but “through an
inter-religious spirituality
“.

He/she will “hold the view that his/her Catholic faith alone is not the superior one“.

He/she will “pray together using readings from various holy scriptures“.

He/she will pray
the USM’s
universal prayer,
chanting
Om Shanti! Om Shanti! Om Shanti!

He/she will
conduct prayer services… based on
DB spirituality
“.

He/she will “resolve to promote pluralistic spirituality“.

He/she will
commit to promote the pluralistic vision of the Dharma Bharathi movement“.

He/she will
discover more meaning in praying before a mirror than in meditating before the tabernacle or in a church“.

He/she will
realize that God is within me, not in a church“.

 

 

 

 

CATHOLIC WRITINGS FOR ONE TO REFLECT ON:

A. CONTEMPLATION/MEDITATION [SEE SEPARATE ARTICLES ON THESE AND ON CENTERING PRAYER]

1. What’s in a word?
By Catholic Evangelist, Eddie Russell, FMI
http://www.flameministries.org/
Sep. 23, 1998
“If your prayer life is only meditation, it is like being married and only thinking about your spouse.”


 

B. THE PRIMACY OF THE EUCHARIST AS OPPOSED TO “MEDITATION”

1. The Examiner, August 6, 2005, The Heart of the Priesthood is the Celebration of the Eucharist

Editorial “Pastoral Priority” by Fr. Anthony Charanghat.

Extract: Because a diocesan priest is actively engaged in the many demands of a busy ministry like counseling, teaching, visiting the sick… he can quickly run into shallow activism… It is significant that Pope Benedict XVI has called priests to live this year of the Eucharist rediscovering the friendship of Christ and making it the key of their priestly existence in his Discourse to the Parish Priests of Rome (May 13, 2005).

It is significant that Pope Benedict XVI has called priests to live this year of the Eucharist rediscovering the friendship of Christ and making it
the key of their priestly existence
,
in his Discourse to the Parish Priests of Rome (May 13, 2005).

Pope John Paul II in his addresses to diocesan priests has described priestly spirituality as relational or one that stems from a relation with Christ present in the Eucharist… Benedict XVI tells priests that their relationship with the Eucharist grounds their relationship with the Church as the ecclesial Body of Christ.

It is from the Eucharist that pastoral charity is born and constitutes the fundamental attitude of the diocesan priests which is one of service and love.

The invitation of Christ himself, “Stay in love, you are my friends,” …underlines that the relational dimension of friendship with Christ through the Eucharist is the key or secret of priestly existence.

 

2. Pope says Eucharistic is secret to holiness [from The Examiner, September 24, 2005] A ZENIT news item.

Extract: The Eucharist is the secret to holiness” particularly for priests, says Benedict
XVI.

In his Angelus address to crowds gathered at the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, the Holy Father dedicated his words to the topic of the Eucharist and its importance in the spiritual lives of priests… Benedict XVI directed his address in particular to priests, “in order to underline that in the Eucharist is precisely the secret to their sanctification. In virtue of Holy Orders,” he continued, “the priest receives the gift and the commitment to repeat sacramentally the gestures and words with which Jesus, in the Last Supper, instituted the memorial of His Pasch. In the priest’s hands, this great miracle of love is renewed, from which he is called to convert himself into witness and herald, every day more faithful,” the Holy Father said.

For this reason, the priest must be, before all else, the one who adores and contemplates the Eucharist.”

 

3. The Eucharistic celebration is the greatest and highest act of prayer
Vatican City, May 3, 2009
http://www.zenit.org/article-25770?l=english

Extract: Benedict XVI is encouraging priests to pray a lot and pray well, saying that in this way they will be increasingly united to Christ. The Pope made this invitation today when he ordained 19 new priests for the Diocese of Rome at a Mass held in St. Peter’s Basilica…
“The Eucharistic celebration is the greatest and highest act of prayer and constitutes the center and the fount from which the other forms of prayer receive their ‘sap’: the Liturgy of the Hours, Eucharistic adoration, lectio divina, the holy rosary, meditation,” the Holy Father stated.
“The priest who prays a lot and prays well becomes ever more detached from himself and ever more united to Jesus, the Good Shepherd and Servant of his brothers,” he went on. “In conformity with him, the priest too ‘gives his life’ for the sheep who have been entrusted to him.”

 

4. 40 Hours Devotion Taken up in St. Mary Major Ambassadors Come to Adore the Lord
Rome, June 9, 2009
http://www.zenit.org

Thousands of the faithful are approaching Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in the Basilica of St. Mary Major, where the age-old tradition of the 40 Hours Devotion has been taken up in preparation for this Thursday’s feast of Corpus Christi.

The basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary is part of the Pope’s traditional celebration of the feast of the Body of Christ; there, Benedict XVI will give the blessing with the Blessed Sacrament at the end of the procession that starts after Mass in the Basilica of St. John Lateran…
The archpriest of the Basilica of St. Mary Major, Cardinal Bernard Law, has promoted the 40 Hours Devotion.

Monsignor Adriano Pancelli, master of liturgical ceremonies at St. Mary Major, told ZENIT that the initiative aims to remind Catholics of the central role of the Eucharist..
“It’s enough to look at the lives of the saints,” he said. “The Eucharist is the living rock of the Church. It’s about adoring the Blessed Sacrament and feeling that the Lord is present. The most sublime, most high, most true and effective mystery.”

 

Visitors to the website and readers are welcome to send in their suggestions, criticisms, encouragement and information on USM activity in their regions for further documentation.

 

 

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Nuns’ schools to read Quran for harmony September 22, 2010

http://www.cathnewsindia.com/2010/09/22/catholic-nuns-new-way-to-promote-communal-harmony/

A group of Catholic nuns say the schools they run across India will read Hindu and Muslim scriptures in an effort to promote religious harmony. “We have decided to include readings from holy books of every religion in our school assemblies,” said Sister Tessa, an official of the
Teresain Carmelite Sisters.

The nun, who is also the congregation’s general councilor of education, said the schools they run in India’s eight states are committed to mould the “nation builders of tomorrow.”

She said their “mission will be successful” when their schools become the “centers of socio-political transformation.”

Sister Tessa led a team of 13 school principals from eight states in a week-long training program organized by Universal Solidarity Movement, a Catholic group promoting religious harmony through schools.

The nun said following the training, the principal nuns “unanimously decided” to sing songs and include readings from other religions’ Scriptures, especially of Hindus and Muslims.

Their schools would also sing Vande Mataram or homage to the mother, considered to be the “national song” of India, which created some controversy recently. Groups including Muslims and Christians have opposed to singing it. They say the song pays homage to a Hindu goddess Durga, personified as India.

“Our institutions are the face of the Church and we should inculcate religious pluralism in students,” Sister Pushpa, principal of Carmel Convent School in Faridabad said.

According to Sister Priya from Kerala, “Vande Mataram is our national song and singing it will promote and inculcate patriotism in our students. So we will make it a practice in our school.”

Sister Therese Ann, principal of Mount Carmel Convent High School in Karnataka state, asserts that her institution should spread religious harmony, in light of severe anti-Christian attacks two years ago in the state. “Our schools are the most sought after, and we should take advantage of the situation,” she said.

 

From:
Universal Solidarity Movement
To:
USM
Sent: Saturday, March 19, 2011 3:06 PM

Subject: CHANGE OF USM OFFICE

From: Universal Solidarity Movement usmindore@yahoo.co.in
Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2011 10:33:41 +0530 (IST)

Subject: CHANGE OF USM OFFICE To:

My dear friends,

Greetings from USM community! We write this letter to inform you that we are moving to a new premise from 1st April. From the time we shifted to the present building 9 years ago our activities expanded beyond our own imagination. Various groups of principals, leadership teams of the congregations and student leaders were coming to USM community for exposure and training. Now the demand for such trainings have increased and we found it necessary to have more space to accommodate them. Hence the need for shifting the office and community. It is very much in the city not far away from the railway station and the airport.

This is the third building we are changing since we started in a small apartment in 1993. We are convinced of our movement-spirituality of not having any permanent property and building. This changing is confirming and affirming our conviction that we need to build up people instead of lifeless infrastructures. The rent and expenses are met by the generous love offering of individual friends and by the hard work of the committed animators through training sessions. No funds come from government or funding agencies (rather we do not apply for the projects). We firmly believe that it is God’s mission and he will provide the means when we work hard. Thank you for your support and prayers. Continue your solidarity!

Hearty welcome to our new community! As usual we will have our AGM on 15 July and the 19th FOUNDATION DAY celebration on 16 July. Make it possible to be with us on this occasion. You are welcome also at any time convenient for you.

The new address is the following:

 
 

UNIVERSAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT
of Value Education for Peace

R. 847, Mahalakshmi Nagar

(Near Bombay Hospital)

Indore – 452 010, M.P.

Email: usmindore@yahoo.co.in

 

Varghese Alengaden

 

From:
angelamariemendonza@gmail.com
To: “Universal Solidarity Movement” <usmindore@yahoo.co.in>

Sent: Monday, March 21, 2011 12:49 PM Subject: Re: CHANGE OF USM OFFICE

Dear Varghese Alengaden, and Sr Loretta Pinto
Thank you very much for the intimation, but, as you can see below from our earlier correspondence below, you promised to send me Renaissance journals to see for future subscription, etc. Angela [SEE PAGE 23]

NO RESPONSE

 

Crown the living gods

http://www.cathnewsindia.com/2009/09/11/crown-the-living-gods/

September 11, 2009

Religion has to promote life beyond temples and churches, says Father Varghese Alengaden, who aims to promote religious harmony through his Universal Solidarity Movement.

In the following article Father Alengaden stresses the need of people of various religions living the values of their respective religions.

Constructing large churches, temples and centers of worship was more a hobby for many emperors and kings of yesteryears than devotion to God. They constructed these monuments not with their hard earned money but with wealth they accumulated by looting poor countries and taxing the common people. They did this to get rid of their guilt of murdering hundreds of innocent people to conquer and plunder the wealth of the land. The religious leaders blessed them for their benevolence.

Appeasing gods by way of offering money, gold and other material things was promoted by the priestly class for their own profit. They exploited the common people in the name of God. The priests injected the fear of hell and curse of God for their sins. The common people who were drugged with religion had neither the capacity nor the courage to think other wise. This priestly conspiracy was common to all the religions. Any prophet who spoke against this business of the religious leaders was silenced and eliminated.

Though the world has developed due to scientific progress, religion continues to be a strong force controlling the life of human beings. The institutional religions succeed in establishing the supremacy of belief over truth; religiosity over spirituality. Superstitions and dogmas still control religious rituals and rules. Fundamentalists in every religion have succeeded not only to safeguard the rituals but to prevent any attempt at renewal by prophetic personalities.

Recently, Karnataka’s Minister for Tourism and leading industrialist Gali Janardhan Reddy presented a diamond-studded gold crown, estimated to be worth Rs.45 crore, to the famous Lord Venkateswara temple at Tirupati. The crown weighs 30 kg and it took nine months for the diamond workers to make it. This is the eighth and the largest crown to be presented to the temple, whose annual earnings from offerings and other sources are over Rs. 2,000 crore. There are several temples, churches and other worship places where people offer large amounts of money, gold; silver and other materials to gods.

This display of wealth at the worship places is a clear sigi1 of spiritual poverty. While people offer gold and silver to a lifeless statue they refuse to see millions of living gods deprived of the necessities of life, roti, kapada aur makan (food, cloth and shelter). Janardhan Reddy, being a minister, surely knew the millions in his state who live in poverty and deprivation. Did he not know the thousands of living gods who are in need of food, shelter and clothes? Why didn’t he see thou- sands of living Venkateswaras sleeping without a roof over their heads while he placed a diamond crown on a lifeless statue?

Jesus and many other spiritual reformers liberated God from the clutches of institutional religions and made him available to the common people. They transformed religious life into a mature spiritual Movement. Religion was made a way of life which demanded sensitivity, justice, love and forgiveness from the followers. The human being got a predominant place and role. He was liberated from the burden of expensive rituals, mysterious dogmas and enslaving superstitions.

The practices and beliefs of pilgrim centers give an impression that God sells blessings according to the money offered. If this argument is accepted, the poor and the marginalized will never be able to have access to God. He will remain a God of the rich and the powerful. Does it mean that God also takes bribes to give His blessings to people? The money and gold which the rich and famous offer to Gods will not be the money earned by these devotees. Does it mean that God accepts black money?

Truly spiritual persons see God in living human beings. When millions of people starve for food they should feed them instead of crowning the lifeless statues with gold and diamonds. Instead of spending millions to construct churches and temples they could provide shelter to thousands of homeless gods.

It is time to revitalize ritualistic institutional religions. Religion has to become a way of life. It has to promote life beyond temples and churches. Jesus made it crystal clear when he said we should worship God in truth and spirit.

SOURCE: Indian Currents

Comments 

Virginia Saldanha on Fri, 11th Sep 2009 10:28 pm 

Thank you for this excellent and insightful article. It is applicable across the board to all religions.

Fr. Conrad Saldanha on Sat, 12th Sep 2009 1:03 am 

Looks like Father Alengaden and his Ilk are the only saints among priests! Rest all are a band of thieves and rascals, working for self profit, gang of soft drug peddlers intoxicating the people’s consciences. The emperors and kings only knew one thing, how to assuage their conscience of guilt and deceiving people.

Shame on you! How can you call yourself a catholic news agency and carry news items and ideas that are not only heretical in nature but also are based on ulterior motives and misplaced judgments. Such talk deceptively appeal to the emotions and many who are not familiar with the modus operandi of the deceivers, these fathers of lies, do get carried away, that too all in the name of the poor. These are the ones who are not sure where their bearings lie. In his verbal assault in the article (para 5); “Though the world has developed due to scientific progress……….”

 

 

He clearly communicates that he is a priest not of God but of science and the poor his god. Christ is construed for one’s own end and to promote one’s own agenda. If he is not true to his vocation and deceptively and boldly presents himself as a saint, then it is a clear indication of his misplaced motives. He has failed to see the mole in his own eye before setting out to clean up the plank in someone else’s eye. That too a plank of his imagination! Unfortunately, such clowns reap a harvest for disintegration in the name of universality. I have heard enough of this junk in my formative years in the seminary and I am sure he will definitively find sympathetic ears among these bands of fraudulent crooks.

Sr. Philomina Thomas RA on Mon, 14th Sep 2009 9:09 am 

The article is very much thought provoking and a challenge to the imperial church structures. The people who should read this article will never read it because of the fear their eyes may be opened.

Thanks for your courage to challenge the system. Philo

NOTE: Sr. Philomina Thomas and Virginia Saldanha are radical feminists.

See

VIRGINIA SALDANHA-ECCLESIA OF WOMEN IN ASIA AND CATHERINE OF SIENA VIRTUAL COLLEGE-FEMINIST THEOLOGY AND THE ORDINATION OF WOMEN PRIESTS

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VIRGINIA_SALDANHA-ECCLESIA_OF_WOMEN_IN_ASIA_AND_CATHERINE_OF_SIENA_VIRTUAL_COLLEGE-FEMINIST_THEOLOGY_AND_THE_ORDINATION_OF_WOMEN_PRIESTS.doc

VIRGINIA SALDANHA-WOMENPRIESTS INFILTRATES THE INDIAN CHURCH-CATHERINE OF SIENA VIRTUAL COLLEGE

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/VIRGINIA_SALDANHA-WOMENPRIESTS_INFILTRATES_THE_INDIAN_CHURCH-CATHERINE_OF_SIENA_VIRTUAL_COLLEGE.doc

 

From:
Universal Solidarity Movement
To:
undisclosed-recipients:
Sent: Monday, August 20, 2012 6:44 PM

Subject: URGENT NOTICE – EMAIL ID CHANGED

Dear friends,

Please note the change in our email ID.  The new email ID is usmindore93@gmail.com.

The old ID is not valid any more. 

Varghese Alengaden

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Categories: Eastern Meditation, Hinduisation of the Catholic Church in India, new age

1 reply

  1. Magnificent web site. Lots of helpful information here.
    I am sending it to a few buddies ans also sharing in delicious.

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EPHESIANS-511.NET- A Roman Catholic Ministry Exposing Errors in the Indian Church Michael Prabhu, METAMORPHOSE, #12,Dawn Apartments, 22,Leith Castle South Street, Chennai – 600 028, Tamilnadu, India. Phone: +91 (44) 24611606 E-mail: michaelprabhu@vsnl.net, http://www.ephesians-511.net

EPHESIANS-511.NET- A Roman Catholic Ministry Exposing Errors in the Indian Church

Michael Prabhu, METAMORPHOSE, #12,Dawn Apartments, 22,Leith Castle South Street, Chennai - 600 028, Tamilnadu, India. Phone: +91 (44) 24611606 E-mail: michaelprabhu@vsnl.net, http://www.ephesians-511.net

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