Thursday, October 21, 2010

Modesty Of Dressing

Dressing Attractively, NOT Dressing to Attract!
Every human being craves for love...and no wonder, because God had created each person for love. We try all possible things to get a little love, a little attention, a little appreciation.
A majority of women (and a few men) try to 'show' people that they are worth loving, by the way they dress. Though women may dress to cover that hole in their heart, their soul (and some other body parts) remain bare. Does that mean women have to go around in something looking like sack-cloths or astronaut suits? Of course not! Dressing with modesty does not mean dressing like someone from the 17th century or dressing without taste. Women can dress tastefully and with style, yet still look modest.

We dress modestly OUT OF LOVE:
• for others (men and other women)
• for oneself
• for God
*In increasing order of importance

For love of others

When a woman is dressed immodestly, it becomes very difficult for a normal man to avoid falling into sin. Men who are visually stimulated, are aroused due to the release of hormones by their Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) which is an involuntary reflex. They cannot control their arousal, they can only choose their behaviour after that. Though they are responsible for their action, the responsibility of the arousal is partly borne by the woman. Will we leave our brothers to struggle, or will we help them avoid sin? Remember that the good of a soul is more important than the good of a body.

“…love, to be true, has to hurt. I must be willing to give whatever it takes not to harm other people and, in fact, to do good to them.” – Mother Theresa

Women must also dress modestly as an example to other women.

“Numbers of believing and pious women…in accepting to follow certain bold fashions, break down, by their example, the resistance of many other women to such fashions, which may become for them the cause of spiritual ruin…once these styles have been accepted by women of good reputation, decent women soon follow their example…” – Pope Pius XII
Jesus said, it is better to cut off your hand or to pluck out your eye than to go to Hell (Mt. 5:28-29) and it is much better to refrain from wearing clothes that cause us and others to sin.

For love of oneself

Suppose men did not struggle with sexual temptation by the way we dress, would it then be alright to dress in any manner? Not really, because more importantly, we dress modestly out of love for ourselves. Anything that is loved and treasured by us is taken care of very carefully. A woman’s body is a sanctuary. It is a master-piece, a sacred place, a delicate divine dwelling place where NEW life is first formed. It is a place where the miracles take place – the miracle of the conception of a NEW life, a soul that lives forever.
A pregnant mother carries two souls within her body – her own and that of her child.” Dr. Alice von Hildebrand. All sacred things are veiled, like the tabernacle in the church. A woman’s body must be veiled not because it is ugly, but because it is SACRED.

On the other hand, if you 'have it' should you 'flaunt it' because it is perfect or ‘sexy?’ A woman's body, when veiled, brings about an air of mystery. And this is fascinating!
No wonder, that women who expose are often referred to as 'cheap.'
Remember it is only the cheap stones that are kept on display in a shop. The precious jewels are kept safely out of reach. Isn't your body much more precious than jewels?
Women need not dress to advertise. Clothing sends a powerful message. The package of a product gives us a message about a product. Products are advertised, people are not.

For love of God

If we are able to dress modestly for our brothers and sisters and for ourselves, we will be honouring God who has created each one of us. We will be honouring and caring for the souls He has put in each one of us. We will be honouring Him who lives in each one of us. And we will be respecting His laws made for the good of our lives.
“Do you not know that your body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit within you?...You are not your own…For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

So how can we dress modestly?

Choose clothes that you can worship the Lord with. Bow to the Lord by touching your forehead to the floor. Check your neckline. A modest dress will not fall away from your chest, giving a tunnel view of your body. Necklines should be not lower than two fingers' breadth below your collar bone. At the same time while you're still bowing, touch your back near your waist. Can you feel skin? If so, your waist line (of your skirt or pants) is too low.

Raise your hands to praise the Lord. Can you see skin on your waist line? If so, your top is too short. Sit on the floor cross-legged in the Lord’s presence. Is your dress covering your knees and any possible tunnel view again? If so, the length of your dress is modest. The length of your dress/skirt should be at least 2 inches (or more) below your knees.

All fashions have a focal point. Your clothes should not make a body-part the focal point, but should direct attention to your face.

Slits on clothes makes the eye move up towards where the slit ends and completes the view in the person's imagination. If sewing your slits makes it difficult to walk, it means your dress is too tight for comfort...or elegance. Sleeveless dresses, low backs, and transparent material have the same effect.
Avoid using your bosom as a billboard. Say no to tops with messages written on it as again the focal point is not at a desirable place.
Check for undergarment lines showing through your dress or peeping out of it. A lady of elegance and grace never shows traces of that which is worn below.
Pick clothes that accentuate your feminine form...but not cling to it.

“When a woman is feminine, she has the strength God gives her. But when she is de-feminized, she has only the strength she gives herself.” - Cardinal Siri (1960)

Choose clothes that enhance your femininity. When a woman wears pants, she feels different, walks, sits and stands and acts differently. Studies that tracked men's eyes when women wear pants show that 95% of the time, their eyes travel to a woman's most private area (from both the front and rear view). If you must wear pants (due to occupational or other unavoidable reasons) pick pants that are loose, and worn with long tops.

For Indian wear:
When wearing a salwar kameez, avoid churi pants (as they are too tight) and slits that are too high as both reveal too much of the mystery of a woman's body. Slits should end below your buttocks. When draping a saree, check that no skin shows as per the guidelines above.

Dressing modestly does not hide a woman's worth. Dressing modestly only REVEALS a woman's dignity. And it allows your inner beauty to be noticed.

Woman, you are full of grace. Let this, and only this through your dress surface.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

By Kapil Dev

Like everyone else I, too, had heard of Mother Teresa but never met her till the very end of her life. I wonder why. Some things have no explanation.

The Indian cricket team won the Prudential Cup in 1983. It was a great victory. I was married to Romi, a Pakistani, and leading a life of fulfilment. But the happiness of having a child eluded us. Even 14 years after marriage, we remained childless. We were written about in newspapers, and we appeared happy. But no one saw one aspect of our life that had created a vacuum.

In 1995, we visited Kolkata for some work. It was then that a friend of mine took us to meet Mother Teresa. The friend introduced us to Mother. She appeared frail. Despite her health issues, the meeting made us very happy. Our friend informed Mother about the unhappiness in our life. She blessed us and then said, “Do not worry, God is kind.”
I felt as if she would allow us to adopt a child from one of her orphanages.
She spoke in such a peaceful manner and kept saying that God would look into the matter. I felt at peace.

Months passed and I forgot about the visit. Suddenly, one day the same friend from Kolkata called. She said that Mother had inquired about Romi. I was happy because by then Romi was five months pregnant. We had not informed Mother about her pregnancy.
I realised then that Mother must have inquired about Romi because she had knowledge of Romi’s pregnancy.

A growing feeling inside told me that the pregnancy was occasioned by Mother’s blessings. It was a unique and spiritual experience. Our daughter was born a few months after that. I did not return to see Mother after her birth, but I always tell my friends that Mother knew all along of Romi’s pregnancy.

Mother passed away a year later in 1997. I am thankful that I got an opportunity to meet Mother and be blessed by her. My daughter, Amiya, is a gift from Mother Teresa.

(Kapil Dev was captain of the Indian cricket team that won the World Cup in 1983)


Tuesday, October 12, 2010


“Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.” — Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II was born Karol Józef Wojtyła on18 May 1920 in Wadowice, Poland. As a youth, Wojtyła was an athlete and often played football as a goalkeeper. He also performed with various theatrical groups and worked as a playwright. During this time, his talent for language blossomed and he learned as many as 12 foreign languages, nine of which he later used extensively as Pope.

He stated that he began thinking seriously about the priesthood only after his father's death, and that his vocation gradually became ‘an inner fact of unquestionable and absolute clarity.’
He returned to Poland in the summer of 1948 with his first pastoral assignment. His first action was to kneel down and kiss the ground. This gesture, adapted from French saint Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney, would become one of his ‘trademarks’ during his Papacy.
In 1960, Wojtyła published the influential theological book Love and Responsibility, a defence of the traditional Church teachings on marriage from a new philosophical standpoint.
In 1967, he was instrumental in formulating the encyclical Humanae Vitae, which deals with the same issues that forbid abortion and artificial birth control
In 1978, Wojtyła won the election and chose the name John Paul II in honour of his immediate predecessor. The traditional white smoke informed the crowd gathered in St Peter's Square that a pope had been chosen. He accepted his election with these words: ‘With obedience in faith to Christ, my Lord, and with trust in the Mother of Christ and the Church, in spite of great difficulties, I accept.’ When the new pontiff himself appeared on the balcony, he broke tradition by addressing the gathered crowd: “Dear brothers and sisters, we are saddened at the death of our beloved Pope John Paul I, and so the cardinals have called for a new bishop of Rome. They called him from a faraway land - far and yet always close because of our communion in faith and Christian traditions. I was afraid to accept that responsibility, yet I do so in a spirit of obedience to the Lord and total faithfulness to Mary, our most Holy Mother. I am speaking to you in your - no, our Italian language. If I make a mistake, please ‘correct’ me...″

Thus the papacy of Pope John Paul II began on 16 October 1978. As part of his special emphasis on the universal call to holiness, he beatified 1,340 people and canonised 483 Saints, more than the combined tally of his predecessors during the last five centuries.
In spite of critics who accused him of inflexibility, he explicitly re-asserted Catholic moral teachings against murder, euthanasia and abortion that have been in place for well over a thousand years. “As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.” —Pope John Paul II
John Paul II had a special relationship with Catholic youth and is known by some as The Pope for Youth. Before he was pontiff, he used to camp and mountain hike with the youth. He still went mountain hiking when he was pope. He was particularly concerned with the education of future priests and made many early visits to Roman seminaries, He established World Youth Day in 1984 with the intention of bringing young Catholics from all parts of the world together to celebrate the faith. These week-long meetings of youth occur every two or three years, attracting hundreds of thousands of young people, who go there to sing, party, have a good time and deepen their faith. The 19 World Youth Days celebrated during his pontificate brought together millions of young people from all over the world. During this time his care for the family was expressed in the World Meetings of Families, which he initiated in 1994.
On 6 May 2001, Pope John Paul II became the first Catholic pope to enter and pray in an Islamic mosque. Respectfully removing his shoes, he entered the Umayyad Mosque, a former Byzantine era Christian church dedicated to John the Baptist (who is believed to be interred there) in Damascus, Syria, and gave a speech including the statement: "For all the times that Muslims and Christians have offended one another, we need to seek forgiveness from the Almighty and to offer each other forgiveness." He kissed the Qur’an in Syria, an act which made him popular amongst Muslims but which disturbed many Catholics.
President George W. Bush presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honour, to Pope John Paul II during a ceremony at the Vatican 4 June 2004. After receiving the award, John Paul II said, “May the desire for freedom, peace, a more humane world symbolised by this medal inspire men and women of goodwill in every time and place.”

As he entered St. Peter's Square to address an audience on 13 May 1981, John Paul II was shot and critically wounded John Paul II was rushed into the Vatican complex and then to the Gemelli Hospital. When he briefly gained consciousness before being operated on he instructed the doctors not to remove his Brown Scapular during the operation. The pope stated that Our Lady of Fátima helped keep him alive throughout his ordeal. “Could I forget that the event [Ali Ağca's assassination attempt] in St. Peter’s Square took place on the day and at the hour when the first appearance of the Mother of Christ to the poor little peasants has been remembered for over sixty years at Fátima, Portugal? For in everything that happened to me on that very day, I felt that extraordinary motherly protection and care, which turned out to be stronger than the deadly bullet.”
Two days after Christmas in 1983, John Paul II visited the prison where his would-be assassin was being held. The two spoke privately for 20 minutes.[5][115] John Paul II said, “What we talked about will have to remain a secret between him and me. I spoke to him as a brother whom I have pardoned and who has my complete trust.″
A second assassination attempt took place on 12 May 1982, just a day before the anniversary of the first attempt on his life, in Fátima, Portugal when a man tried to stab John Paul II with a bayonet. He was stopped by security guards.

John Paul II was considered a conservative on doctrine and issues relating to reproduction and the ordination of women.While the Pope was visiting America he said, "All human life, from themoments of conception and through all subsequent stages, is sacred."
A series of 129 lectures given by John Paul during his Wednesday audiences in Rome between September 1979 and November 1984 were later compiled and published as a single work entitled ‘Theology of the Body’, an extended meditation on the nature of human sexuality. He also extended it to condemnation of abortion, euthanasia and virtually all uses of capital punishment, calling them all a part of the "culture of death" that is pervasive in the modern world. He campaigned for world debt forgiveness and social justice.
On 22 October 1996, in a speech to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences plenary session at the Vatican, Pope John Paul II declared the evolutionary theories of Charles Darwin as factual, and wholly compatible with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Although accepting the theory of evolution, John Paul II made one major exception - the human soul. “If the human body has its origin in living material which pre-exists it, the spiritual soul is immediately created by God”

While taking a traditional position on sexuality, defending the Church's moral opposition to marriage for same-sex couples, the pope asserted that persons with homosexual inclinations possess the same inherent dignity and rights as everybody else.

On Saturday 2 April 2005, at about 15:30 CEST, John Paul II spoke his final words, “pozwólcie mi odejść do domu Ojca”, (“Let me depart to the house of the Father”), to his aides, and fell into a coma about four hours later.The mass of the vigil of the Second Sunday of Easter commemorating the canonisation of Saint Maria Faustina on 30 April 2000, had just been celebrated at his bedside,
His feelings are reflected in his words, as written in 2000, at the end of his Last Will and Testament “As the end of my earthly life approaches, I return with my memory to its beginning, to my parents, my brother and the sister (whom I never knew because she died before my birth), to the Parish of Wadowice where I was baptised, to that city I love, to my peers, friends from elementary school, high school and the university, up to the time of the occupation when I was a worker, then in the Parish in Niegowic, to St Florian's in Kraków, to the pastoral ministry of academics, to the milieu of... to all milieux... to Kraków and to Rome... to the people who were entrusted to me in a special way by the Lord.”
Since the death of John Paul II, a number of clergy at the Vatican and laymen throughout the world have been referring to the late pontiff as "John Paul the Great"—only the fourth pope to be so acclaimed, and the first since the first millenniumHis successor, Pope Benedict XVI, referred to him as "the great Pope John Paul II" in his first address from the loggia of St Peter's Church, and he referred to Pope John Paul II as "the Great" in his published written homily for the Mass of Repose. At the 20th World Youth Day in Germany 2005, Pope Benedict XVI, speaking in Polish, John Paul's native language, said, “As the great Pope John Paul II would say: keep the flame of faith alive in your lives and your people.” In May 2006, Pope Benedict XVI visited John Paul's native Poland. During that visit he repeatedly made references to “the great John Paul” and “my great predecessor”

Inspired by calls of "Santo Subito!" ("Saint Immediately!") from the crowds gathered during the funeral,[ Benedict XVI began the beatification process for his predecessor, by passing the normal restriction that five years must pass after a person's death before the beatification process can begin. This decision was announced on 13 May 2005, the Feast of Our Lady of Fátima and the 24th anniversary of the assassination attempt on John Paul II at St. Peter's Square.

In early 2006, it was reported that the Vatican was investigating a possible miracle associated with John Paul II. Sister Marie-Simon-Pierre, a French nun and a member of the Congregation of Little Sisters of Catholic Maternity Wards, confined to her bed by Parkinson's Disease, was reported to have experienced a "complete and lasting cure after members of her community prayed for the intercession of Pope John Paul II".
On 28 May 2006, Pope Benedict XVI said Mass before an estimated 900,000 people in John Paul II's native Poland. During his homily, he encouraged prayers for the early canonisation of John Paul II and stated that he hoped canonisation would happen "in the near future."
On the fourth anniversary of Pope John Paul's death, 2 April 2009, Cardinal Dziwisz, told reporters of a presumed miracle that had recently occurred at the former pope's tomb in St. Peter's Basilica A nine year-old Polish boy from Gdańsk, who was suffering from kidney cancer and was completely unable to walk, had been visiting the tomb with his parents. On leaving St. Peter's basilica, the boy told them, "I want to walk," and began walking normally.

On 19 December 2009, Pope Benedict XVI signed the first of two decrees needed for beatification and proclaimed John Paul II "Venerable", in recognition that he lived a heroic, virtuous life. The second vote and the second signed decree would recognise the authenticity of his first miracle (most likely, the case of Sister Marie-Simon-Pierre, the French nun who was cured of Parkinson's Disease). Once the second decree is signed, the ‘positio′ (the report on the cause, with documentation about his life and his writings and with information on the cause) is regarded as being complete. He can then be beatified. Some have speculated that he will be beatified sometime during (or soon after) the month of the 32nd anniversary of his 1978 election, in October 2010.
“It will be a great joy for us when he is officially beatified, but as far as we are concerned he is already a Saint.” —Stanisław Dziwisz

Dear Readers, I express the same feelings about my favourite Pope as is written above by Stanislaw, and, together with my family, I dedicate myself to the causes he upheld. May John Paul the Great be canonised a saint soon. Please pray for this intention daily when you kneel before the Blessed Sacrament or at your regular Rosary time at home. We choose today to install his picture on our homeschool wall and pray for a miracle to happen this week that will declare him a saint.. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us and this intention. Amen.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Throughout the world birth rates and total fertility rates are plunging faster and further than ever recorded in human history. Despite all the apocalyptic doomsday predictions of overpopulation propagandists, the fact is that population growth rates in many countries are already below replacement level and the world's growth rate is rapidly approaching that figure. If current trends continue, the world's population will peak by the middle of the century and then begin demographic freefall.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in each of the following 100 nations the current total fertility rates are now at or below the population replacement level-generally held to be 2.2 births per woman per completed reproductive lifetime.
Total Fertility Rates (TFR) at or Below Replacement Level
Country Population Total Fertility Rate
Albania 3581655 2.1
Andorra 71201 1.3
Anguilla 13477 1.7
Argentina 39921833 2.2
Armenia 2976372 1.6
Aruba 71891 1.8
Australia 20264082 1.8
Austria 8192880 1.4
Bahamas 303770 2.2
Barbados 279912 1.6
Belarus 10293011 1.4
Belgium 10379067 1.6
Bermuda 65773 1.9
Bosnia & Herzegovina 4498976 1.7
Brazil 188078227 1.9
British Virgin Islands 23098 1.7
Bulgaria 7385367 1.1
Burma 47382633 2.0
Canada 33098932 1.6
Cayman Islands 45436 1.9
Chile 16134219 2.0
China 1313973713 1.7
Croatia 4494749 1.9
Cuba 11382820 1.6
Cyprus 784301 1.8
Czech Republic 10235455 1.2
Denmark 5450661 1.7
Dominica 68910 2.0
Estonia 1324333 1.3
Faroe Islands 47246 2.2
Finland 5231372 1.7
France 60876136 1.8
French Polynesia 274578 2.0
Georgia 4661473 1.6
Germany 82422299 1.4
Gibraltar 27928 1.6
Greece 10688058 1.4
Guadeloupe 452776 1.9
Guernsey 65409 1.4
Guyana 767245 2.1
Hong Kong S.A.R. 6940432 1.3
Hungary 9981334 1.3
Iceland 299388 1.9
Iran 68688433 1.9
Ireland 4062235 1.9
Isle of Man 75441 1.6
Italy 58133509 1.3
Jamaica 2758124 2.0
Japan 127463611 1.4
Jersey 91084 1.6
Latvia 2274735 1.3
Lebanon 3874050 1.9
Liechtenstein 33987 1.5
Lithiuania 3585906 1.5
Luxembourg 474413 1.7
Macau S.A.R. 453125 1.3
Macedonia 2050554 1.7
Malta 400214 1.9
Martinique 436131 1.8
Mauritius 1240827 2.0
Moldova 4466706 1.8
Monaco 32543 1.8
Montserrat 9439 1.8
Netherlands 16491461 1.7
Netherlands Antilles 221736 2.0
New Zealand 4076140 1.8
North Korea 23113019 2.2
North Mariana Islands 82459 1.8
Norway 4610820 1.8
Poland 38536869 1.4
Portugal 10605870 1.5
Puerto Rico 3927188 2.0
Romania 22303552 1.4
Russia 142893540 1.4
San Marino 29251 1.3
Seychelles 81541 1.8
Singapore 4492150 1.3
Slovakia 5439448 1.3
Slovenia 2010347 1.3
Spain 40397842 1.3
South Africa 44187637 2.1
South Korea 48846823 1.6
Sri Lanka
St. Helena
St. Lucia
St. Pierre & Miquelon
St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Excerpted from Global Population Profile: 2002,
U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce,
March 2004. Mid-year 2002 populations,
in thousands, from Table A-4, *Population by
Region and Country: 1950 to 2050*; 2005 Total
Fertility Rates from Table A-9, *Total Fertility by
Region and Country: 1990 to 2050.*
Total Fertility Rate (TFR):
The average number of children that would be born per woman if all women lived to the end of their childbearing years and bore children according to a given set of age-specific fertility rates.
Calculating the TFR involves determining the fertility rate for various cohorts of potential mothers (from age 15 to 19 through age 45 to 49); summing these; and multiplying by the size of the age interval (five).
The TFR is one of the most important fertility measures; it answers as nearly as possible the question: How many children are women currently having?
Replacement Level Fertility (RLF):
The level of fertility needed so that a child is born to replace each person in the parents' generation. Over a period of time, the continuous occurrence of replacement level fertility will produce zero population growth in the population under consideration. The Magic Number 2.1 : In the industrialized nations, and in particular, in the United States, the RLF that will produce a condition of zero population growth is widely accepted as 2.1, i.e. 2.1 births per woman per reproductive life span. Most demographers agree that if a nation's TFR=RLF= 2.1, population growth will ultimately cease and the country's population will stabilize. In the less developed countries of the world, the impact of higher mortality rates on replacement fertility levels results in RLF figures greater than 2.3. In certain Asian lands like China, the strong cultural preference for boys, now readily implemented via sex-selection abortion, has led to such unprecedented imbalances in the malefemale sex ratios that current RLF numbers are probably higher than 2.4 or even 2.5.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Tuesday, October 5, 2010


When we speak of love, we automatically think of romance. The word ‘Love’ has become synonymous with sexuality. The English language is thus limited in its usage. In the Greek language, love has three forms – philos (platonic love), eros (romantic love) and agape (brotherhood). If you love someone as a friend, your love is platonic. You don’t feel any sexual attraction towards a friend. That is why people of opposite sexes can relate to one another. Siblings in the family relate to each other by this love as well. Erotic love is associated with romance and is expressed in the sexual union between husband and wife. Agape is love for my brother/sister who is not related to me but who shares the same planet with me.
The five languages of love helps us to relate effectively to all three forms of love.

Language 1: Words of Affirmation.
All of us like appreciation. When I write for Herald, I appreciate the letters and phone calls telling me someone liked it. If I am down and my husband takes time to encourage me out of my despair, I feel loved. Kind words, encouraging words, words of praise and thanks, compliments are all ways of affirming a person and building up their self-esteem. As a parent, my role is nurturing. If I behave like a policeman, constantly dishing out orders, you bet I will not have the same results as when I use this first language to express my love for my kids. If I say ‘Please’ ‘Thank you’ and ‘Sorry’ to my spouse, my children are bound to imitate me. Let us treat our family members as we treat our boss and colleagues at work.
Language 2: Quality Time.
The term ‘quality time’ has been used often by working mothers and workaholic fathers to express the little time that they manage to squeeze from their daily grind for their families. In quality time, we give undivided attention to the person we want to show our love to. This means we need to switch off the office mobile as well as the computer and TV. We have to do whatever the other person want to do whether it is playing with the kids or listening to the spouse. Many a times, we spend quality time completing chores together. There is no communication and, at the end, we know the spouse or child no better than before. The needs of the other person remain unsatisfied.
Listening intently is the key to successful quality time. You need to make eye contact with the person not your newspaper or cookery book. Interpreting feelings and body language is an essential tool for effective listening. For example, my child may not say much but the way she pouts or the unshed tears glistening in her eyes speaks a lot of the turmoil within her. When teenagers say that nothing is wrong but their body says otherwise, you know its time to spend some quality time with them. You know, when our babies couldn’t speak, we observed their body language and interpreted their needs. In the same way, as a person talks, non-verbal clues will give us pointers on how to tackle the issue at hand.

Language 3: Gift-Giving.
A gift is something you hold in your hand that opens your heart. When you receive a gift, don’t you say in your mind “See, he remembered me!” Yes, a gift tells you that somebody cared enough to take time out to bring something to make you feel special. When two lovers are courting, they shower each other with gifts. The thrill is not the gift but the gesture. The gift may never be used but the person is never forgotten. Spouses often forget this important aspect of expressing love. I recall a husband say “I used to give her gifts when we were courting but now I cannot afford it.” Or “He never appreciates anything I bring for him so what’s the use of buying him anything.” A gift is not a toy or a pacifier, to be given to get something out of it. Gifts must be carefully chosen to please the recipient. For example, if my husband plucks a flower from a shrub growing by the wayside and presents it to me or puts it in my hair, I am thrilled. Gifts should be given with much forethought and with the sole purpose of pleasing the other. God has given us so many gifts – our life, our family, our children, our jobs, people around us who make us happy. He did not do it to get something out of it but to please us. Likewise, we too ought to give gifts to others and in doing so express our love.

Language 4: Acts of Service.
A mother once told me that her children never appreciated the work she did in the home. “I toil day in and day out but they just don’t care.” she said. I asked her whether she made time to hug her kids or play with them. She had forgotten to connect in her flurry of housework. Acts of service does not mean only doing the ordinary chores of the house; it goes beyond that. For example, taking your child to a movie he has been longing to go for, despite the many jobs you could have done in that time, is an act of service. Sacrificing your afternoon sleep to accompany your wife to watch the latest tiatr is another. Preparing a bottle of nimbu pani for my son to take when he goes for his basketball practice could also be considered as an act of service.

Language 5: Physical Touch.
When I mention physical touch, many people may misinterpret it to mean sexual touch. That is not true, although it is one of the ways to express love. It is said that one must hug a person one loves at least three times a day. When you hug a person, you say, “I looooove you” which is more potent than just saying “I love you.”
Touch is very vital for growth. A nurse in an orphanage testified to this saying, “In the ward where children were not carried and fed, they did not thrive. But in the ward where the orphans were held and caressed as we fed them, they grew healthy and happier.” A child neglected at home, left in the care of servants who have no time to love him and who is never fondled or hugged or cuddled will be a lonely individual as an adult. Such children seek love elsewhere when they become teenagers and could fall prey to wicked people. To show appreciation by a pat on the back or a squeeze of the shoulder, to pinch a baby’s cheeks gently as we speak nonsense to it, by kissing our spouse on the neck as she cooks in the kitchen or simply hugging her around the waist from behind are some of the million ways one can express love in this last language of love.
Remember, we are on this planet for a short while. What we leave behind is only this heritage of love. Our children, our spouse, our relatives, friends and those who come into our lives from time to time must receive this love from us in a tangible way. Each person has a different response to the languages of love so you must first discover by trial and error which one suits that person the most and use it to make him/her happy. A small child may appreciate hugs, a teenager responds well to words of affirmation, a spouse thrills at gift-giving, your aged parents will surely love you for your acts of service and so on.
So find time to love and be loved. To love is not a feeling; it’s a decision. Decide to use the languages of love to make your planet a Heaven on Earth.

Sunday, October 3, 2010