St Philip Neri the founder and the life time General of the Oratory Congregation was known for his compassion and benevolence towards the helpless and the poor. He was known as the 3rd Apostle of Rome. He once saw some police taking a hardened criminal and a crowd was gathering to see the criminal. The people who were crowded around the criminal shouted and screamed at him. Seeing this he exclaimed, “There goes Fr Philip Neri without God.” By this he actually meant that if he was not protected by the Lord and God had not provide him the right things at the right circumstances even Fr Philip who is considered as a saint by all could be a worse criminal than that person.
There are many moments in our lives where we see the hand of God protecting us. But we fail to notice those invisible hands caring and protecting us. We must realize that our home, family friends and all those whom we meet and believe to be ours are all gifts from God. St Paul questions, “For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift?” (1 Corinthians 4:7). The word of God shows us that every time the people of God trusted the Lord and placed their lives in His hands they saw his protection. The Holy Bible also shows us that disregarding the providence of God is the reason for our downfall. “Because they have no regard for the deeds of the LORD and what his hands have done, he will tear them down and never build them up again” (Psalm 28:5).
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17). Let us live in the knowledge that everything in our life is a blessing from God. Let us not be fools who forget the creator and run behind His creations. Let us be in the presence of God with a heart filled with gratitude. Let us entrust our lives in the hands of our powerful God who clothes the flowers in the fields and provides food for the birds in the sky.
Fr Prince Chakkalayil CST