Hail Mary ,full of Grace

“Kairé” which means “Rejoice.” In Greek.Then Gabriel says “Kékaritoméné” which means “who has been filled with grace”.

As a child I often struggled to understand, even argued with Sisters who taught me Catechism as to why Catholics pray to Mother Mary, when Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” John14:6
I knew Mary is significant, but yeah I kept her at a distance (always) .Born of a Protestant tradition, I had a hard time wrapping my head around to allow Mary into my life because it felt like betraying Jesus. I was afraid if I would elevate Mary into the position of my Saviour. I was always afraid that somehow my relationship with Mary would take the place of my relationship with my Saviour, Jesus.
But we cannot deny that Mary is the Mother of Jesus Christ and consequently Mother of God. Mary is the Church’s model of faith and charityMary is the one eyewitness who was there for all of it – from birth to death to resurrection.
Mary is the perfect disciple, the perfect apostle, and the perfect woman to imitate if I want to love Jesus perfectly.
“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)
The display of amazing boldness , trust and confidence that she placed in God’s will for her life encourages me to say “Yes” to God when I have multiple options of measuring the pros and cons of my doubts and really question , is this really the best for me?
I find no other way to explain my belief ,than to say that there is something about Mary ,something Incredible, Something Blessed. As a Protestant, I have struggled here. But its clear that The Gospel says that the generations will proclaim her blessed .
My devotion and honour towards her does not take away my devotion to Jesus; in fact, it strengthens it. We honour her simply and solely to honour Him all the more perfectly.

We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek – Jesus, her Son. Its exactly the same way we go to Pastors/friends and family to pray for us not because that our prayers don’t reach God but because we find comfort in knowing that others are praying on our behalf. Yes, She is in paradise with Jesus, She can lay our requests to God.Its a simple interpretation that if the good thief is in heaven with Jesus, If Elijah and Moses appear and talk to Jesus then Will not Mary(Full Of Grace) – whom all generations must call blessed not in Heaven with God?

I now understand what Saint Teresa meant, “Mary, give me your heart: so beautiful, so pure, so immaculate; your heart so full of love and humility that I may be able to receive Jesus as the Bread of Life and love Him as you love Him and serve Him in the distressing guise of the poor.”

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Of Facades and Misconceptions

They say that ‘life’- or a person for that matter- is never black and white. I haven’t really mulled over the fact as to who ‘they’ can be, but it seems rather appropriate to me. ‘Cause black and white would mean simple and easy to decipher, it would mean uncomplicated. And life is anything but… It is freaking layers of grey; that you need to peel off one layer a time in order to finally see the truth of it all. Most of the time, we’re just so tired of all the layers there is, that we just think it’s easier to make our own opinions than to see the real truth behind those layers. And people can get really opinionated, if you ask me. If you don’t talk much- you’re proud, if you talk a lot- you’re annoyingly talkative (and I’ve had my fair share of people who’ve called me both). If you don’t have a boyfriend- you’re a prude, and you’ve had many boyfriends- you’re a player. Wow, people do have a lot of opinions based on what they see outside, never bothered to see the person behind those layers, who’s just as bare and just as afraid as they are- of false assumptions and accusations.
Enough about layers and opinions, and whatnot. Now let us get back to the actual matter at hand; that may seem totally irrelevant to many people, or if you just look close enough, may find a connection there. It’s just me being one of those people hiding behind those layers so that no one sees the real me. Coz what if people don’t like what they see. And not that it actually matters what they think, but it doesn’t mean it won’t hurt. You see, I’ve always had this notion in my life… ‘What you don’t know won’t hurt you’. So, I’ve always pushed people away, the moment they get in my comfort zone, the moment they start seeing the real me. It was always better, not knowing. Has it ever happened to any of you? Or is it just me- the odd duck amongst the crowd? *chuckles* Have you ever been so afraid to show who you actually are, that you build up an acceptable facade in front of others? What would you do if you’ve been in that facade for so long a time that now you seem to have lost the real you?
All my life, I’ve wasted my time and energy thinking about what would others think of me that I’ve never stopped and asked myself- what do I think of me? I’ve made up lies in order to blend in the crowd, I’ve attested to things that I have never ever done before, so that people don’t think I’m some sort of a freak. Why did I do that? Why would anyone do that? Am I that afraid of others’ opinions??
‘Cause, yours is the only opinion that should actually matter, right? In the end, it’s your story… your shoes. If I quote Tyrion Lannister, “Never forget who you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armour and it will never be used to hurt you.” I am a 24 year old girl who had her first drink after graduation, who hasn’t had her first kiss (coz I choose to ignore the sloppy lip-lock that I had in 10th grade), who doesn’t have a boyfriend and who hasn’t lost her V-card yet (even though most of my friends seem to think that it’s high time. Seriously??). So, there goes, four layers of my facade. Those things shouldn’t be what defines you, right? It’s the choices you make that defines you. Not the preposterous list of do’s and don’ts that others expect you to fulfill.”
That’s all for now, I guess.
P.S. – Yes, I’m still going as Anonymous. Let’s just say that bravery comes gradually to me. And this is my first post ever, so… let’s not be dicks about it. And if you did reach to this very last point… thanks a tonne for bearing it with me.

Easy Sambhar

Hey Guys,
I’m so excited to share this quick sambhar recipe.
Sambhar is also a healthy vegetarian dish . I love green vegetables and so I use almost all of that I get.
I often take a lot of time if I use coconut or grind sambhar masala on my own. But when I have to prepare sambhar at a quick pace because I have to leave for office without compromising to get the taste I use this technique.
Ingredients:
Tuwar dal – 1 .5bowl(take like u wanna prepare dal, as much as that wen mashed well.in cooker looks thick)

Vegetables:

Potatoes :-1-2
A small piece of pumpkin enough as the size one small potato , carrot cut into small pieces, beans cut into small pieces, long beans cut into small pieces, ivy gourd(tendli) cut into small pieces.

Turmeric -3-4teaspoons
Chilli powder(one that gives color) – 3 teaspoons
Coriander powder – 3teaspoons,hing – a pinch

Put some tamarind into a bowl of water for 10mins to bring sour taste

1.Whistle vegetables and toor dal together for 6 whistles with turmeric

2.In a pan(kadai) use cocunut cooking oil(preferably)or any other oil, splutter mustard seeds in hot oil add two dry chillies followed by onions garlic, ginger, two strands of fresh curry leaves,slit 4-5chillis, ..add salt ..keep stirring till transparent,

3. Add turmeric, hing, corainder, methi powder and chilli ppwder
Add coriander and chilli ppwder around two spoons others can be 1spoon

4.Add eastern sambhar masalla in abundance like 4- 5 spoons
Stir well till raw smell disappears. Then add soaked tamarind (a little less than handful) into the pan, add that water too in which it was soaked.

5.You can Add the masala from pan to boiled veggies and toor dal fin the cooker

6Add water as per u need …let it boil..

7Good and proper boil. Once done off the gas stove and cover it with lid for min of 15mins.

Note:The flavour will remain stacked..

Here is my soft idlis and sambhar reafy to be packed for office… Do try and let me know 🙂

Rohu/Rui Fish

My friends have been asking me to help them with recipes. Well ! the first dish I prepared was a non – vegetarian dish and thereby I begin with a non vegetarian dish

I’ve always liked sea fishes prepared in Kerala style.
But when it comes to some river fish, I prefer making it in a little bengoli style.
Here are the ingredients:
  1. Cleaned rohu fish/ rui/river fish
  2. One Onion cut into small pieces
  3. 7- 8 gloves of garlic
  4. Three slit chillies
  5. Two small tomatoes/one big size tomotao
  6. Ginger (an important ingredient) quantity equivalent to garlic
  7. Coriader leaves for garnish/flavour
  8. Mustard seeds that aren’t dried much(preferably brown color) – Main Ingredient
  9. two teaspoons of turmeric
  10. 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  11. salt to taste

Preparation technique:

  1. Fry the raw fish(marinated in salt and turmeric only)in sunflower oil till its brown to reddish color in frying pan (kadai) or cooking pot
  2. While the fish is being fried, you can soak the mustard seeds in water
  3. Also, you can take the cut onions, 7- 8 peeled garlic cloves , ginger and one teaspoon of cumin seeds and grind it into a paste by adding just little water.
  4. One the fishes are fried , in the same oil add the ground paste after the fishes have been removed.
  5. Crunch the soaked mustard seeds using pestle and mortar or using belan and chakla
  6. Add salt/ turmeric along with crushed mustard seeds.Cook and stir well in between till the oil is completely absorbed
  7. Add the cut tomatoes, slit chilies and wait till the tomatoes becomes mushy
  8. Add enough water to drown all the fishes. Wait for it to boil.
  9. Add the fried fishes
  10. Add coriander leaves
  11. Cover the container with a plate/lid
  12. Turn off the gas. Let the pan(kadai) remain covered for 15 mins to retain the flavor.
  13. It serves best with plain rice .

Try and let me know you’ve liked it..
I’v hardly used any additional masala’s ,just three slit chilli’s along with turmeric and salt. It gives u a very authentic taste because of the mustard seeds
Its also easy / quick to cook and what else , its also delicious 🙂
Drop me your comments or email me at eliza17nicy@yahoo.com if you have any queries/ suggestion.

Come As You Are

The previous day, I had to go to a place that I’d never been to before and I lost my way somehow… For 20 minutes, I was loitering around with an address in my hand and no directions in my stead. And I was running very late.
After few more minutes of searching every nook and cranny for the correct way… I finally gave up. Even my phone’s navigation system had given up. And so I stopped looking for the path, stopped bothering passerby’s asking for directions. I decided that ‘today’ was just not the day for me. Making up my mind to come up with some excuse for my absence, I began to head home when I came across the junction- cursing myself a little for not being conscious enough to ask more about the destination in the first place. I crossed the road and strutted ahead when google map announced “your destination is on your right”. To my surprise, I stared at the building ahead of me, astonished to see the building that I had been looking for.
What perplexed me was the moment I stopped looking for my destination, stopped trying to analyse the pathway of the google maps… I found my way. And trust me, my happiness knew no bounds.
Maybe that’s why it’s said that God works in mysterious ways. When we have no way, Jesus makes a way for us. The door has probably always been there somewhere in the dark… we’ve only been unable to see it, and the Almighty guides our way with light. He wants us to depend on Him, to have faith that He be our light.
“Not that we are competent in ourselves, but our competence comes from God”
2Corinthians3:5
The moment when we fall to our knees, give up on everything else He comes to help us, to heal us. When everything is shattered to pieces so small that we are lost trying to get those pieces together again… that is when His grace holds us from falling apart. And we’re only left with one feeling deep within, “How great thou art!”.To have faith that He’ll be our light.

Are you tired? Are you worn out?
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”
Matthew 11:28-30

Playing on repeat : The chattering thoughts

The beginning of a new day- new adventures, new mistakes and new lessons. That is how I started my Wednesday morning, with a newfound enthusiasm to implement all the plans that I had made for the day. But there was just a small hiccup- I woke up late. And since I was late, I couldn’t actually start my day with the daily routine.

I can’t do this. I can’t do this when I have minutes to spare.” These thoughts kept hovering in my mind.
Putting all those thoughts to a halt, I rushed to the kitchen to prepare my lunch. But that didn’t turn out to be in my favour, either.

The batter I had prepared the previous night for idlis had turned out to be thinner than expected- much better for a dosa than idlis. I’m not usually one to believe in stuffs like- one bad thing leads to another. But that was just what it had turned out to be.

I was already starting to believe that today was just not my day. I was already running late, and to be able to reach office in time after clearing out the mess that I had already made in the kitchen seemed like an uphill battle. At the moment, the biggest problem that I was facing was this- Should I make dosa or idlis? *chuckle*
I knew that if I prepared idlis rather than dosa, I could save some of my time to get ready for work. Yes, it wouldn’t be as perfect as the dosa this batter was meant to make… but it would be the more plausible choice. Ergo, my lunch turned out to be very tasty but very flat idlis. They didn’t have that puffy.

Anyways, wasting no more time in brooding over my lunch, I packed my tiffin, grabbed a bite or two of the idlis and got ready to finally leave for office.

However, the odds were not in my favour. The maid chose that very moment to come, which meant I had to wait until and unless she was done with her work. When she hadn’t arrived for so long, I had assumed that she wouldn’t be coming. But, here she was… subtracting even more minutes of my time than I was left with.

As I was patiently waiting for the maid to be done with her work, I realized that I hadn’t even had my tea this morning. By the time I finished preparing a cup, she was done. Deciding that I could not waste any more time, I made my tea to go, and placed it in the side pocket of my bag. That was what I never should have done, coz I was going to face its consequences in a few minutes.
Shoving all the odds- that had not been in my favour- aside, I had somehow managed to reach my destination almost in time. That was when I realized that the tea I had packed for myself, had spilled all over my bag and my clothes. ‘This could not be happening to me.’ ‘I can’t go to the office like this.’ ‘This could not be happening to me.’
I had already wasted so much of my energy and calm, trying to avoid something that had already been set in motion. My day was bound to go out of sorts from the moment the sun rose up. But I’m glad that I could manage to work out my plan- though it didn’t always go my way- even through the amusing conspiracies the universe set against me. I had managed to reach my office on time(ish), even though I was semi-drenched on my tea.
The moral of the story- don’t lose heart just coz some things don’t go the way you want them to. They might take a u-turn and choose another route… but they will always find the destination. And you can’t make lemonade unless you have lemons, right?

The Game is On – Part II

It’s only during our struggles, that faith is treated as a question mark.When we struggle through faith, our faith grows. When we look back , its eventually or instantly clear that all that you’ve ever done, everything that you’ve been through, everything you had overcome in life — had prepared you for some special day…Today.
So Stay in the game. Don’t give up. Fight for four quarters. Overtime if you have to. Keep going. And someday, someday, if you stick it out, all that stuff that didn’t make sense is gonna make some sense. It’s gonna pay off. It’s gonna add up to something.
In The words of Kerri Rawson
“We live in a fallen world but we don’t have to live like fallen people. Whatever you’re going through, you can get through. ”

~ApennyOfSundayASermons

Metamorphosis

A few weeks ago, there was a demonstration of transformation in our church for the children .A very well-known example of how a caterpillar transforms into a beautiful butterfly. While the example particularly aimed at teaching the kids, I was fascinated as to how a larvae turns into a butterfly as it passes through the various life stages.

Psalm 27:13-14 ,”I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.”

The caterpillar’s journey of entering the changing room (cocoon), spoke to me profoundly. It was a self-reflection of mirroring my life journey. It was a time while I was so tired of looking for answers, while I had no idea of what to do next. All I knew was that a change is coming, with unclear answers to the questions of how long it will take. I seemed to have been tired of trying to break out of the cocoon and all that was left was darkness.

The butterfly’s remarkable changing journeys carried answers to my innumerable questions shedding light on my own transforming, unfolding yet magical life journey.

Romans 12:12,“Be joyful in hope, patient in tribulation, be in prayer.”

As the butterfly struggles to come out of the cocoon, Things seemed to be painful while I strived to come out of my changing room (cocoon). Exactly like the butterfly that stops to force itself after several struggles through the cocoon hole, I paused a while too to understand if I am trying on the wrong side as things really seemed to not work out. Similar to the cocoon, everything around me looked limiting. I also found several people helping me out without any effect.

Galatians 6:9 Let us not grow weary of doing good, for at the perfect time we will reap a harvest due season, if we do not give up.

Everything seemed to be of absolute uncertainty. Either I had to trust the changing process or doubt it. While I was constantly under the fear of what will happen next, I had no idea that the cocoon provided me with insignificant moments shaping my personal belief and life path. What seemed to be obscure and elusive was an eye opener to me. The phase where I seemed to make zero progress of coming out of the cocoon was actually helping me stand strong. The cocoon was not crippling me; it was providing me with all the nutrition that the wings of the butterfly require to prepare me for my flight. People around me helped me fight my troubles, when I felt they only seemed to have tiny effects on me. While I blamed the cocoon for blindfolding me, there seemed to be much more than what my eyes were seeing. The series of small events had a monumental effect. While I said, “ I can’t, I give up” , I also saw myself surrounded with wise people who guided me as my patience , faith and belief appeared to be tested.

Inquisitor for answers, I ventured on the unknown and what I got was an experience, a lesson much greater than I expected.

John 13:7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

Habakkuk 2:3 “For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”

The uncomfortable situation now seems to be deceptive. Sometimes, it’s important to take time to go with the flow of nature, to allow Almighty to work in us during each of our transformations, to help us grow into beautiful creations that He planned for each of us. God will work in every situation to bring the good from it. Trusting His purpose will help us orchestrate all the topsy-turvy events of our life with the right attitude.

Someone said it right, “In our waiting, God is working”.

John 5:17, Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.”

Attitude

The word ” Humble” has been constantly hitting me . If at all I could just adopt this feature in myself , I’d be grateful. I do not know how many of us actually realize the importance of being being humble.
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But isn’t it wonderful that even in this complex generation when life is hitting so hard we still see so many people around us everyday adept “humbleness” .
This week , we can follow few rules of humility.
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Gratefulness: Amidst all the storms , the unwanted complex situations , those opposing your desires , be Grateful for all the assets, the skills , the gifts , the people , your life…and so many innumerable opportunities.
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Patience and Kindness : Both these nouns glue each other. While time is pacing and the younger generation find it difficult seeing their life constant. We kind of hate to wait for the good , for the better . We don’t want to accept things. And when life turns upside down, we are just too impatient to deal with it . So we pour our anger on the people around us, because its more easier. Kindness can not just take us a long way to surprise people but also fill our souls with happines.. Do It Today
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Love and Compassion : compassion is placing yourself in other’s situation, understand them. It is called empathy. We are exactly a vapor that would someday vanish, so who are we to judge anybody. Someday we could or must have already been there in their place. If you could actually keep yourself in their place you’ll be gentle to them and also understand them. And I tell you, its just the beginning of Love

Philippians 2:3-4
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of the others.”
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Have a beautiful week ☺️

#APennyOfSundaySermons

The Game Is On

Over the years I’ve been quite stubborn about getting certain plans fulfilled. And The way my life has been turning out for past few years , I realize that my plans were not the authority the Universe operates by. But then things get confused between the waiting game and decide “Okay, This plan isn’t going to work out”
While we often have quotes to tell , ” Good things come to those who wait”
And the other is the contradiction, ” If plan A isn’t working out, then surely there is that plan B that God has for us, which is so much better.”
In both of these cases , I understand one thing, You cannot give up. In all of these we tend to experience change, and here is where we need to refocus my mind.
My experience over a year has been quite a bit emotional , tremendous and also horribly beautiful. Most of it, was based on game called “Waiting”. Turning the tables is so easy for God… But it isn’t just like that things occur as we want. In the waiting… there is a lot of things happening…we grow , we change, situations change, plan A flips to plan B. We fight..we battle… We wait…we cry ..we laugh…we gain and we also lose. Amidst all of these, we just cannot afford to give up, because if we do, we fail…n then its more of frustration n all the extra vices added to it. In all of these, I understand our dreams our plans don’t come before time and neither is it too late..it just appears at that perfect time… Please don’t give up.
Galatians 6:9, the apostle Paul tells us, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up”
Over a year ago, while I gave up on something that was quite close to my heart… I’m not sure if I actually regret about it.. because may be I wouldn’t have had this mixture of experiences of people places and circumstances. All I know is that I’ve been living on the promises and on hope , the stories that I am living and dreams of re creating them are still alive.
The Gospels are true examples of stories of people facing ups and downs in their faith .
Mary and Martha had to wait three days before Lazarus was raised from death.
While my plans have been constantly changing, I kinda find it funny and curious to know , now what next and how? But the process or the journey is an in-depth experience and all I know is, ” God is in the business of changing my plans to His plan” and interestingly that is the only reason I cannot give up because things aren’t the way I had been wanting it to be.

The wise sayings from Proverbs 16:9, ” In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.”

P.S Keep believing and do not dare to give up, coz the Universe has always something, the Best to offer us. It’s up to us whether to accept it with gratitude or reject them.

Have a great week !