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  Opinion   Oped  16 Mar 2017  Mystic Mantra: Operating out ‘spiritual cataract’

Mystic Mantra: Operating out ‘spiritual cataract’

Father Dominic Emmanuel, a founder-member of the Parliament of Religions, can be contacted at frdominic@gmail.com
Published : Mar 16, 2017, 2:36 am IST
Updated : Mar 16, 2017, 6:35 am IST

The joy of being able to see so clearly even at far distance is indescribable.

(Representational image)
 (Representational image)

For those of you who have undergone a cataract operation, like I did in the past two weeks, the joy of being able to see so clearly even at far distance is indescribable. I now observe details in nature, observing distinct colours everywhere and can well imagine how eagles see minute objects down below while flying so high in the sky. I realise too how those cataract blockages have prevented me from appreciating the beauty around me. Needless to say that I am constantly thanking God for this newfound wonder!

On the other hand, however, there is a strange kind of discomfort emerging in my inner self, particularly in this season of Lent, when I am being constantly reminded and am duty bound to remind others of the need to look at one’s inner being. The discomfort sometimes turns into torment on realising how much of divine beauty and divine presence in nature, in people and indeed in my inner self I must be missing because of my “spiritual cataract”. From the physical reality of my new vision, I am forced to reflect about the blockages within me. Do these prevent me from seeing the marvel of God’s creation? Does my “spiritual cataract” come in my way of appreciating the beauty of human beings, whom God created, as the Bible says, “in His own image and likeness”?


I am further led to reflect on the types of inner blockages that prevent me from exercising my full potential in living the way God created me. The picture of a bubbly child comes to mind. Apart from the fact that they are beautiful to look at, to hold and to cuddle, they are innocent, transparent and without any guile. I ask myself, “How on earth along my life’s journey, besides losing that innocence and thrill for life, did I collect bundle of hurts, prejudices and hatred which now effectively function as ‘spiritual cataracts’ in my daily interactions with God, people, and myself?”

There could not have been a better time for a cataract operation than this season of Lent. It offers us all anew, everyday opportunities through Bible readings to precisely look at our inner blockages. The Church also recommends to us three special spiritual practices — of fasting, praying and almsgiving — to help us purge, nay incise, our spiritual cataract, so that we could see more clearly who we really are and what God’s purpose of creating us truly is.


One of the most striking Bible passages that keeps challenging me every day comes from Jesus’ mouth, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…’” Jesus places before us a challenge that can bring us all a deep spiritual healing.

Tags: spiritual, bible