on the News
A Program of
Spiritual Formation for Candidates to the Priesthood
The Lay Monastic
Community of Caryana
THE PRODIGAL SON
A father had two sons. The
younger one asked for his inheritance and the father gave it to him.
This inheritance that God gives to all are reason and free will. God
cannot say no to this request.
And the son went to a far
land. He wanted to use his reason and free will the way he wanted,
far from his father's supervision. As what happens when we use our
free will the way we want and not in accordance to God's commands.
There he lived a life doing what he wanted until famine hit
that land. This happens when we do our will; eventually we find our
So he let himself be employed by a citizen of
the city to feed pigs. This employer in the city is the devil. Those
who live lives indulging in their desires end up employed by the
devil feeding pigs, i.e. eating, living and sleeping with sinners.
In the piggery, he ate the husks that the pigs ate. Husk is
the outer covering of wheat or rice; if eaten it gives a feeling of
satisfaction but has absolutely no nutritional value. Those who
indulge in the pleasures of the world, eat the world's pleasures and
get a feeling of satisfaction but do not nourish their minds and
The prodigal son begins the preliminaries of
repentance: "He came to himself." We always see the faults of others
but none of our own. Here the prodigal son begins to look inside
himself and finds his mistakes. He rises up and says I will go back
to my father. To repent, we must first rise up from our present
state of doing our own wills and propose to return to a life of
obedience to Christ's commands. But this is not yet repentance.
He continues: "I have sinned against heaven and against
you." Indeed all sins are against love of God and love of neighbor.
But merely saying that you have sinned is not yet repentance.
True repentance is shown in the next words. And he said: "I
do not deserve to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired
servants." And he meant it. To be a servant requires humility,
perseverance, meekness and fortitude. It is the shortest way to
holiness. Christ himself said: "If you wish to be the greatest in
the kingdom, be a servant to all." Man always wants to be lord and
master, a sign of an unrepentant soul.
If we repent as the
prodigal son, then God promises He will meet us on our way back to
Him and embrace us with a multitude of graces and clothe us with
knowledge of Christ's commandments and, with a ring, restore us as
His own children once more…if we are truly sincere in desiring to be
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The Winnowing Fan hopes ..."
to do what little it could to solve the evils that beset the
- Teresa of Avila
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