Book Review

Undelivered LettersUndelivered Letters by J. Alchem

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Letters will never die because they are immortal

The letters Aron forgot to deliver made a nostalgia in the mind of me. I used to wait for the letters from my parents when I was away from me. When I read their letters it is as they are coming in front of me and speaking to me. Now in our generation we are losing such moments where post office and letters are becoming memories. The novel which combined the four different family stories gives an involvement to the thread of the novel. With one sitting we can finish this novel because of its small structure.
The main characters Zara and Adam (Postman) who decide to deliver the letters they forgot to deliver twenty years before. As the story develops we come across three life situations where the love becomes the main actor. Love makes us to wait (story of Cathy, Adam and Kary family). Love is too blind that even death cannot make separate the heart of such people (Samuel and Elizabeth story). Love helps us to become someone in our love, take the revenge which help others (Detective Carl and Bankintin Lentin).
At the end the letters they received from the hand of Adam make some impact in our life. Though the years past the letters have much value.
Recommended to all…

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Bible is a book inspired by God and written by the human hands. It is an expression of human beings. The problems related to the human reality are dealt in the Bible. In the Old Testament it deals with the life of the Jews whom God has chosen as special race. The 46 books of the Old Testament, authors wrote about the different periods of Israel history. The main story is evolving around the covenant God made with the Israel people. The fidelity and infidelity towards covenant reflected in the books of the Old Testament. In the book of Deuteronomy God makes covenant with the people. Their life in the coming nation will be according to their obedience and disobedience to the law (Deut 28).
After the arrival in the land of Canaan the people forgot about Yahweh. They started to worship other gods. There emerged lot of Charismatic leaders among the people known as judges. These judges also were unable to make clear the path of the people. With the coming of the monarchy in Israel made them as a nation. David an ideal king shown a right way to the people and he led the people in right way. God favored him because of his fidelity towards the covenant and gave him the nation. The Davidic dynasty became so stronger with the arrival of King Solomon the Son of David. During his late stage Solomon became infidelity towards Yahweh and there arose the problems in the nation. The predecessors of King Solomon were gone astray and the punishments fall on the entire country as exile.   

Whenever the Israel went astray from the paths of the God, God sent Prophets to his people. Prophets were known as mouth piece of God. There were good prophets and false prophets. This made a great confusion among the people and many times they listed to false prophets. People went to worship the other gods and goddesses. Prophets came with lot of images in front of the people to show their ways. These metaphors helped people to come to know about their situation. Different times the prophets shown various metaphors. The pre – exilic, exilic and post – exilic all the three times are different ways of expressions they used. I am trying to point out some images prophets used in order to show the people about God’s goodness. Even these are anthropomorphic expressions it is having a great meaning beyond what they represent.
The great bond between Israel is mainly shown in the expression of a Father. The father figure is always have more respect than any other relationship. The God who is a creator also have the image of father. “Have you not just now called to me, my father, you are the friend of my youth” (Jer 3:4). “I thought how I would set you among my sons, and give you pleasant land, a heritage most beauteous of all nations, and I thought you would call me My Father, and would not turn from following me” (Jer 3:19). “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord has spoken: “Sons have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me” (Is 1:2). “For you are our father, though Abraham does not know us and Israel does not acknowledge us; you, O Lord, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name” (Is 63:16). “Yet you lord are our Father” (Is 64: 8a). “Have we not all one father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers?” (Mal 2: 10). Later in Christian view this Father figure of God receives more acceptances. Jesus introduced in a great way, God as the Father.
The great bond between the mother and a child is a real expression to show the relationship between the Israel and God. Motherly affection is always having greater value to any people.  God is caring as a mother cares for her children. That nearness of mother gives certain warmth to everyone’s heart. “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you” (Is 49: 15). “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem” (Is 66: 13).
The relationship between husband and wife is made in a covenant. The Relationship of Israel and God also build in a covenant. Different prophets show this marital covenant as an expression of Israel’s relationship with God. “For your maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name” (Is 54:5). Hosea expressed this covenantal relationship in a strong way. His relationship with the Gomer is represents God’s covenant with Israel. Prophets shows the love of God towards the Israel even though they betrayed Him. God stood a really committed to his people while they went astray (Cf. Hos 2:4 – 3:5). God is also is represent as lover forsaken by His bride. “I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown” (Jer 2:2). God also shown as a lover who never stops loving, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you” (Jer 31: 3).
In the life of Israel God has a position of king. “Set forth your case, says the Lord; bring your proofs, says the King of Jacob” (Is 41:21). He always tries to make be friendly with the people. He reconciles with the people even in the midst of their sinful conditions. He remains as an advocate to the people. “Come now let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool” (Is 1: 18). When Israel went so much astray God remained as an enemy in order to bring them back to the real love. “He has bent his bow like an enemy, with his right hand set like a foe; and he has slain all the pried our eyes it the tent of the daughter of Zion: he has poured out his fury like fire” (Lam 2: 4). God also stood as Divine Warrior who fought for the people of Israel. God is fighting for His people (Cf. Is 59: 15 – 20; 63:1-6, 19-64; Zech 9:1-17; 10:1-12; 14:4, Zeph 3: 17).
God stands as a creator of the whole universe. “He redeems and rescues precisely because he is creator. The word ‘to create’ only with God as subject occurs 17 times in Deutro – Isaiah (40:26, 28; 41:20; 42:5; 43:1, 7, 15; 45:7 (twice), 8, 13, 18 (twice); 48:7; 54:16 (twice)” (The Anchor Bible Dictionary. Vol II). This creation of God is expressed in different ways in the prophetic literature. God as Maker, “In that day men will regard their Maker, and their eyes will look to the Holy One of Israel” (Is  17: 7). God as Potter, “Yet you are our Father, we are the clay, and you are our potter, we are all the work of your hand” (Is 64: 8). God as Metal Worker, “I will turn my hand against you and will smelt away your dross as wit lye and remove all your alloy” (Is 1:24). God as cloth maker, I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I clother you, though you do not know me” (Is 45: 5). God as house cleaner, “And I will makje it a possession of the hedgehog and pools of water, and I will sweep it with the broom of destruction, says the Lord of Hosts” (Is 14: 23).   
In the prophetical literature prophet Hosea uses the images of animals to show the relationship the greatness of Yahweh. God as Lion, “They shall go after the Lord, he will roar like a lion; yes, he will roar, and his sons shall come trembling from the west” (Hos 11: 10). “So I will be to them like a lion” (Hos 13:7a). God as Leopard, “Like a leopard I will lurk beside the way” (Hos 13:7b). God as bear lost her cubs, “I will fall upon them like a bear robbed of her cubs. I will tear open their breast, and there I will devour them like a lion, as a wild beast would tear them” (Hos 13: 8).
There are also other imageries used in the prophetical literature to show the love of God. These expressions give to the people an understanding of the great love of divine nature. I would like to quote some of these images about God. God as singer, “The lord your God is in your midst… he will exult you over you with loud singing” (Zeph 3:17). God as Holy one, “And one called to another and said: Holy, Holy, Holy, is the lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory” (Is 6: 3). God as redeemer, “Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I will help you, says the Lord; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel” (Is 41:14).

Prophets are lived among the people they are prophesied to the people. Their speeches were in human language particularly because they want to convey the message of people to the people. The metaphors used in the prophetical literature are mainly to give an idea to the people about their problems. The biblical imagery which the prophets were used is great theological values. People should be aware of the situation of the society. If they preach is more complicated way people may not be able to grasp those messages. Instead when they speak this allegorical method it will be more comprehensible to the people. The Semitic mentality is very much reflected in this way of presentation. Keep their tradition as precious and uncorrupt they should use these various allegories. These Metaphors helped them to convey their message in a proper way. 

Paschal Triduum

Every Christians in the world have very much aware that the Cross of Christ is the real way to salvation. Through the death and Resurrection of Jesus we all redeemed from the sin. Different churches in the world were observing the Lenten season during last 40 days. It was a real preparation for everyone to celebrate the paschal mysteries of the Lord. Easter Triduum, Holy Triduum, Paschal Triduum or The Three days is the period of three days that begins with the liturgy on the evening of Maundy Thursday and ends with the vigil on Easter Sunday.
Maundy Thursday.
Maundy Thursday is the day of celebration which Lord Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples. It is also known as last supper. On this day Jesus instituted the sacrament of Eucharist. The word Maundy derived from Old French mande, from Latin Mandatum ‘Mandate, Commandment’ From mandatum novum new commandment (see John 13: 34). The Eucharist has got a great importance in the Christian Faith from the early centuries of Christianity onward whenever the church gather together the had sharing of the body and blood of Christ. “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. 1 Cor 11: 26” These words of Paul give witness to this fact. The early Christians really believed in the real presence of Jesus in the Sacrament of Eucharist. Jesus on the Maundy Thursday gave a new commandment to his disciples “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so  you must love one another. John 13: 34” Every Christian is bound to this commandment as Jesus loved us we all must love each other for that Jesus showed by washing of the feet. In the liturgy of the day the washing of the feet included purposefully. When priest are washing the feet of the people each and everyone of us are reminded of the commandment of Jesus.
Good Friday.
On the Good Friday we are reminded of the death of Jesus in the Calvary. The Pascal Mystery becomes alive on the Calvary. When Jesus died on the cross it was really a salvific event which he anticipated on the Last Supper by sharing bread and wine to his disciples. His death on the cross gives us salvation. Jesus died like a sinner on the cross. Cross was a sign of shame in Roman culture but Jesus made it the sign of salvation. His death is a victory over death.
Easter Sunday.
The real symbol of Christianity. Jesus Resurrection from the death is really the victory over death. It is the end of the season of Lent. It proves that death has authority over man. It occurred third day after death of Jesus has he foretold early. It is the culmination of the paschal mysteries. 

Single Parenting – Influences in the children

There was a family in Nazareth, Catholic Church named it as Holy Family. This year pope francis also urged all the family should be consecrated to the holy family of Nazareth. This family of Nazareth has a great specialty that God incarnated in that family. This family gave a good example to the world about the purity of the family life. Joseph, Mary and Jesus a perfect example to all the family. They were understanding each other, whenever there is a need each members of the family did according to the need. Joseph as a father of the family protected Jesus from the evils which could have come from the external world. Mary as a perfect example of motherhood kept everything in her heart about Jesus and give great attention to all the needs of Jesus. Jesus a perfect model of Son gives a great respect to the parents, even in the last breath showing this care and respect to his mother.
  Today’s society is more drawing towards a kind of unsteady family life. Many family relations are in the brim of divorce and other separation. It is leading to a single_parenthood. The reason behind this situation is increasing level of divorce and the lack of job in the native places. Indian family system was once upon a time very strong it was really model for all the western societies. The family bonds between the husband and wife was really praiseworthy. Today the Indian society adopts everything from the western world so it also adopted their culture also. As a result of it our families are growing towards a great danger. Increasing level of divorce and other social issues in the families give light to this.
When a family is not stable the most suffering ones are the children. The issue of divorce and running away with another was there from the beginning of family life. Today it is becoming more worse. The understanding between the couples became less and less. Many family couples can’t live together so it end up in divorces. 
A parent who is alone should find the income to run the family. So there will be over load of works at this point the child will be alone. When the children are not look after well there is always a possibility of lack in emotional maturity and other problems in them. In order to avoid the loneliness they will go after some elements which may end up in trouble. There is always an increase use of alcohols and drugs when these children are grown up. A chance of sexual abuses to the children of these families by the child takers or other members of the family is always there. If a child is not taking care during his/her adolescence he/she may become the anti – social elements in future. 
I am living in Khasi land where I found lot of families have only one parent. The issues is very much affected in this society. While doing our family apostolate many parents shared about their difficulties looking after their children. Many of the children are addicted to drugs or alcohol. When a father or mother is alone looking after their child, child will get more freedom and very often they misuse this freedom. Even though the children are growing towards the danger of social evil parent is not aware of it because of the lack of time and they have no time to spend with the child.
It is a great danger for our society that we are going like this.  The Holy Family of Nazareth is real example to every family. Their life in the family will help us to build a good relationship in the houses. We must learn from our elders also how they lived their life so faithfully. Couples should keep in mind that they are joined not only for the purpose of some enjoyment but for the betterment of the world. Once they are living together as a good parents the children also will grow in a good condition it will help our society in the future.

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