Thursday, April 01, 2010

“God always wants the best for you,” says Bishop Bosco Puthur


By Shevlin Sebastian

At 5.15 p.m. on May 13, 1981, Fr. Bosco Puthur was in the square outside the St. Peter’s Basilica, at the Vatican. “I was just 10 metres away from Pope John Paul 11,” he says. As the Pope shook hands and blessed people, there was the sound of shots. “Immediately, the doves in the nearby buildings began flying helter-skelter and I wondered what had happened,” says Puthur.

Then Puthur saw the Pope put his hand over his heart and fall down slowly. Instantly, the Pope’s secretary, Fr. Stanisław Dziwisz, placed the Pope on the seat of the Popemobile. The vehicle sped to the back of the Basilica where the Pope was shifted to an ambulance which took him to the Agostino Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome.

Meanwhile, the people in the square looked dazed, even as the assassin, Mehmet Ali Agca, was apprehended by bystanders. Suddenly, a woman standing nearby, took out her rosary from her pocket, raised it high, and said, “This is our weapon. Let us start praying for the Pope.” A crowd of 20,000 began praying.

“Even as we were doing so, I was doubtful that the Pope would survive,” says Puthur. “But, later, I realised it was God’s intervention that saved the Pope’s life. It was indisputable proof to me that He exists.”

Every morning, Fr. Puthur, the newly-appointed Curia Bishop of the Syro-Malabar Church goes to the chapel at the St. Thomas Mount at Kakkanad, Kochi, where he stays. “I pray to find out the will of God,” he says. “Any decision I make, I am trying to find out whether it is pleasing to Him or not.”

Puthur also takes part in daily common prayers with the other priests, which includes the mass, as well as the reciting of the Rosary. Ever since he witnessed the attack on the Pope, he always carries a Rosary in his pocket.

Despite his deep belief, Puthur admits that when bad things happen, he gets angry with God. “My reaction is like a son who, sometimes, gets irritated with his parents,” he says. “So, I say, ‘God, why did You do this to me?’ Sometimes he keeps silent. On other occasions, He tells me that it is for my good, and that I will understand everything later.”

Puthur then recalls a story about Justice Cyriac Joseph. The latter was going to attend a meeting in Mexico. However, because the connecting flight from Singapore to Los Angeles was delayed, Cyriac could not get the connecting flight to Mexico City.

A day later, Cyriac explained to the woman at the ticket counter why he had missed the earlier flight. The lady heard him out calmly and then gave Cyriac the stunning news that the particular flight had crashed, and everybody on board had died.

So, what is Puthur’s concept of this caring God? “He is father and mother, brother and sister, son and daughter,” says Puthur. “Every religion, whether explicitly or otherwise, declares that God has both male and female attributes. I believe in that.”

(The New Indian Express, Kerala)

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