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6: Paralysis

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We had a young partly paralyzed mother in the call with her little son of five years. It was wonderful how this little boy did everything for his mother, bringing her her tinned plate of rice, helping her to get up with her crutches. He was her legs and hands. Apparently she had suffered infantile paralysis when he was still a baby, so he had been accustomed from very early on to take care of his mother. At times the mother seemed hard on her small son, but she said ruefully to us; "I have to be tough on him for his own sake, otherwise, an I an so handicapped, he won't survive. The quicker he can look after himself the better, an he may have to face the world alone without even me in the days ahead." He never sulked nor complained, and he was an amazingly independent, calm character. In spite of being only five years old, he seemed to have already an inner source of strength. He never turned to any of us for help. It never entered his mind that he had a lot of capable adults in the cell who could give him a hand; instead he considered his mother to be his responsibility.

All the children in the cell were an example for us. They never complained nor asked for food, knowing it was useless. They accepted everything with much more grace than the adults. By watching this partly paralyzed mother coping with life in a prison cell we became aware that each one of us was in part paralyzed spiritually. Some of us could cope with broken sleep, but not with the hunger. Others managed the interrogations but suffered deep depressions caused by the "uncertainty" of our future. We were all being trained in endurance, patience, and the will to fight against all aorta of fears, despair and anger. What differences there were among people in terms of inner resources of strength. Those who had never given a thought to anything also but the gaining of material wealth, careers, sport, art, marriage, social life and children were bewildered and broke down the quickest. It taught me that life on earth is like a school where, at times, examinations take place. It is no good not preparing for them because it only means failure and set-backs. Prison taught me that life in full of various crises and that the only thing we are certain about in that we are going to die. In that case surely we should prepare for death an we do for an examination. It does not mean that one stops living life to-the full, while realizing that one is moving towards death during one's life on earth. Death is not the "end of things", but the beginning of something new. How marvellous or terrible this new beginning will be, depends on our death. Didn't Christ say,- "I shall judge you in the way I find you?" All through life we have to fight many battles, but the most important battle is the Last Battle. If we have not got hold of Eternity while we are in Time, then we have missed out and "failed" to realize that Eternity in the Infinite God.

By being put in prison without books, radio, T.V., sport, art etc., we had been put on a great fast. We realized through this, that all that this world has to offer us belongs to Time and are vanities, because when Time is no more, with one's death, all these things (sport, science, arts, career etc.) stop having any significance. It in never too late to start preparing for death. Death is a birth into a full life where we will be able to understand what in impossible to grasp here. Death in like a final examination when the Judge will determine which of us can move from human beings to become Sons of God. In the womb a baby sleeps constantly, until born on earth. Our life is partly being asleep, partly awake. After death there will be a constant awakening. Instead of living in time, subject to change and decay, one is in Eternity. It is a state of being instead of becoming.

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