ASIA/INDIA - The grace of God, the true strength for the suffering faithful in Orissa

Monday, 20 March 2017 priests   spirituality   local churches   ecclesial movements   persecutions   violence  

Cuttack (Agenzia Fides) – It is the grace of God that gives strength to Christians in Orissa. It is the trust they have in Him that allows the faithful to overcome the difficulties of the present: this is the experience of over 3,000 Catholic faithful gathered in past days in the Cathedral in Cuttack dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary, under the guidance of Archbishop John Barwa.
Christians were victims of violence in 2008 in Orissa, of massacres in the district of Khandamal, and still live stories and experiences of discrimination and suffering.
The day of Lenten retreat was organized for the faithful who follow the spirituality of Charismatic Renewal in the diocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, to whom the Archbishop said: "In God everything is possible. If we are not with the Lord our life will be empty. Strength, power, faith, knowledge and wisdom are obtained if God is with us. It is possible only through prayer and the gift of His grace".
The retreat saw the participation as preacher of Fr. Anil Dev, of the "Indian Missionary Society", which mainly focuses on the Word of God, love of God, the sacrifice of God, also speaking of spiritual and physical healing.
As reported to Fides by the parish priest of the cathedral, Fr. Chitoranjan Nayak, the faithful renewed their relationship with God and neighbor through this retreat, during the Lent season, it gave great opportunity for introspection and to review one’s own spiritual path.
Snehakruti Baxla, a college student, said: "I was more interested in spending time seeing a movie or on the phone rather than reading the Bible. Now I fully understand the value of prayer and the grace of God that has accompanied all my life".
Preacher Fr. Anil Dev told those present about the special experience of a "Hindu-Christian" center of spirituality and contemplation, the "Matridham Ashram", in Varanasi. "Matridham", which means "the dwelling of the Mother", is an ashram (meditation center in Hindu style, ed) dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
"It is a place open to all, irrespective of religion or caste. We welcome all people of good will, be they priests, bishops, laity, people of all faiths, poor, rich or sick", reported Fr. Anil. "It is a place that promotes interreligious dialogue", he said, calling the faithful to always have a welcoming spirituality and dialogue, in an authentically evangelical style. (PN-PA) (Agenzia Fides 20/03/2017)