Thus Spake Bodhi

I remember spotting the chapel’s nave speckled with ladies draped in Kerala saris. It seemed aeons past but could not really have been earlier than a month. When mallu New Year is here Onam cannot be far behind but Onam seems very evasive and far-flung; the scant occurrence of an almanac going awry. Onam is AWOL! Rain drenched us for days in a stretch, robbing all the romance out of it, baring its villainous side and gave us a breather of few weeks and has come calling in again. I wonder whether there will be a chorus of rain each time I dip the quill in the inkwell, something like a contrapuntal coincidence (à la Kundera), the quill and the raindrops each playing a discord but somehow managing a melody thrown at your ears. When these written words finally come to you, I fear they will not reproduce this melody because a quill would have been, for all practical purposes, supplanted by a 0.7 mm bold jotter nib gliding inaudibly over a slip of paper which further gets digitized by a clattering QWERTY board and subsequently hardened again by a jumbo printer. Too much noise for such a subtle piece of music!

This issue of the mag is pretty ill-timed, opines our Chronicler, but nevertheless a delight for the editor who can top it with a generous scoop of the themes surrounding it. Though a bit sulky about the prospect of having to serve the closely impending colossal events stale and cold, the Chronicler has agreed to serve you the delicacies handpicked from the past few months which cannot boast of many outlying events, convinced that it is the bane of reporting.

A black swan…

One could very well have sighted a black swan than learning that Br.Manuel Mendez spent a week in the hospital. His greatly renowned aversion for sickbed could not excuse him from the clinic; a bout of viral fever carrying a lot of clout with it. Yet his heart was not at home within the green draping. Dotage is a myth or perhaps Br.Mendez is indeed a Black Swan.

Urbs Ruber

What city’s vesture glows with crimson deep as thine, O! Rome.

            Even when he describes how Rome enjoyed the bloodbath of the proto-martyrs, Br.Peter never relinquishes his disarming smile. He welcomed the feast day of his heavenly namesake, the Holy Apostle Peter (and Paul too) with tell-tale equanimity. The festal mass was celebrated by him with Br.Guardian and Br.Thomas Palelil (St.Joseph’s Province) as concelebrants. Cricket aficionados with their skipper Br.Dany split into two leagues- Pietro and Paulo- and drew the contention of the Holy Apostles into the pitch. The very same day Br.Mendez came home. A few days later we had the joy of honouring Br.Thomas Palelil on his feast day.

 Green are the pastures…

…that the Lord gave me to graze. Br.Provincial was here now in his ministerial capacity for the canonical visitation. He was busy meeting all the brothers of the fraternity and conveying their sentiments in the concerned forums. He briefed the community and the brothers about the state of affairs and exigencies of their respective vocations. Br.Provincial’s burdens were considerably eased as Br.Joseph D’Cruz heralded him as Economic Visitator.

Bona Ventura…

…would be the only one aspiration one could have as one watches man and wife walking down the aisle. As a matter of fact, these benedictions are of no avail when marriage becomes a bed and board issue. Br.Sinoy’s exposition on this theme was a confluence of Canon Law, Spirituality and Pastoral Theology with lots of pragmatism. The seminar presentation was moderated by Rev.Msgr. Johnson of the diocese of Punalur. Br.Shotin offered a critique. Much flak was drawn and an intense debate was sparked off. As you maybe knowing, it was the feast day of Doctor Seraphicus Bonaventura.

And those things which I would like to call the episode of Ugly Madonna and Rubrica etc

Br.Provincial has a penchant for making the Blessed Virgin endearing. (It seems that even the wider world is in the know of it as is evident in the welcome address delivered by a compere in the screening of latest play from Assisi Arts.) Giovanni Quareschi’s Don Camillo has a hilarious story of “Ugly Madonna” worth reading. Just like that Br.Provincial unmasks all the misconceptions on Blessed Virgin and brings out her preciosity. In his Mariology lectures he was even accommodative of a brainstorming session with no-holds-barred on Marian doctrines.

Rome was painted red not just by the Holy Martyrs but also by the eternal laws of divine worship, literally written in red- the rubric, or rubrics as known widely. The brothers got an exposition of the Liturgy of the Eucharist by Br.Marian, complete with “dry mass” and the friary replete with his contagious joviality. Various faculty members like Fr.Joseph Thondipparambil, Fr.Laurence  Culas, Fr.Sugun, Br.Arumai Nathan( Immaculate Province) very dear brothers Essow and Pius Antony lectured these days.

‡Red Earth

Tricolour aka threefold joy

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin was celebrated with great joy. The Tricolour was hoisted by Br.Marian. The next day marked the third aspect of joy: the birthday of Br.sebastian Tobias. His involvement in the pastoral activities was lauded. Definitor General Br.Michael F. was the guest of honour that day.

A peer preview and a peer review

Br.Albert brought forth his youngest brainchild in the social drama “Ente Makalkk,” based on contemporary breakup of families and surge of abortions. A preview was offered to the Bishop, other dignitaries, nuns, seminarists and select audience in Sopanam Auditorium. Br.Guardian showered praises on the caliber of Br.Albert with a tinge of prank. Br. Provincial gave his felicitations too.

Br.Giampiero animated sessions on “Economic Self-Reliance and Fundraising” for the Financial Administrators of the various houses, as part of the Governance of economy in the Province. A CCMSI meeting was on the charts to be hosted a few days later in San Pio.  Those days saw Bodhi teeming with Provincial Ministers in the most down-to-earth fashion, though it harbours an element of celestial joy. There were many brothers, includimg missionaries, who visited us these days. Thanks for that grace.

Wayyehi ereb, wayyehi boqer, let’s call it a day

After all, Br.Sunil has decided that the brothers have had enough of the Hebrew and Greek lessons. The final years are deep into their preps for Super Universam. The last I saw him Br.Captain was sticking group lists for Onam spree.

We celebrate, even while we have largely misplaced the origins and meanings, with great nostalgia and gratitude even more.

Happy Onam.



About bodhicap

This is the journal-blog from the Capuchins at Bodhi Institute of Theology, Tillery, Kollam, India.
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