>> 20 June 2013

  The legend of Androcles and the lion has undergone several modifications through ages. It was adopted by Aesop in his famous fable where Androcles is portrayed as a fugitive slave who ran away from his cruel master and befriended a wounded lion which later refused to harm him. In his famous play, 'Androcles and the Lion' (1912) , George Bernard Shaw(1856-1950) presents Androcles as a compassionate Christian tailor who was saved in the Roman amphitheatre by the lion he once nursed. The following is a variant version of the old legend.

                     A king was influenced by the priests of pagan gods. They considered the Christians as their enemies because the Christians refused to worship idols and preached against idolatry. The pagan priests conspired against the Christians and inspired the king to issue an order that everyone must worship the idol of the king in public and offer incense and sacrifices as acts of adoration to the king. Anyone who refused to adore the king's idol publicly was to be thrown into an arena before a  hungry lion. The king's army was ordered to arrest anyone who refused to adore the king and bring the culprit before the king for trial and judgment. Hundreds of Christian martyrs were killed by the king's lions and thousands of people used to gather around the arena to enjoy the public massacre.

                     Fierce lions were captured from the forest by the hunters appointed by the king and kept in strong cages in the palace.  They were starved before being let loose in the fenced arena into which the helpless Christians were thrown down mercilessly amidst the applause of thousands in the gallery around the arena.

                     Androcles was identified as a practising Christian and was chased by the king's armed guards. He escaped into a dense forest and sought refuge in a cave. A wild lion with a large thorn stuck in its right paw entered the cage, limping on three legs and crying in great pain. He raised the swollen paw and showed it to Androcles who examined it with great care and compassion. He carefully removed the thorn and applied the fresh juice of medicinal herbs to alleviate the pain and cure the wound.  The lion felt relieved and licked the hands of Androcles as a mark of gratitude and love. He wagged his tail like a tame dog and left the cave thankfully. A few days later, the king's men traced Androcles and captured him. He was produced before the king. As Androcles refused to renounce his Christian faith, the king ordered that he shall be thrown to be eaten by a wild lion in the arena the next day.

                     Thousands arrived to witness the cruel murder. The king and the queen was seated in a special box. Androcles was brought to the arena . He knelt down and prayed to God fervently. A hungry lion was brought in a cage in a carriage. Its heavy grating was opened and the lion was let free to attack the helpless Androcles. The hungry lion jumped from the cage into the arena, roaring fiercely, ready to pounce upon his prey.

                      But, quite unexpectedly the lion became tame as he approached Androcles. He wagged his tail and licked Androcles with great affection. The lion recognized Androcles as the person who removed the thorn from his painful paw and affectionately nursed him before the lion was caught from the forest and was taken into the custody of the king's troops.

                       Everyone was struck with wonder. The king learned from Androcles  the story of his encounter with the lion and praised his kindness. The king was deeply impressed by the religion of Androcles which enabled him to show mercy and love even to animals. The king stopped the persecution of Christians and allowed Christians to practise their religion with full freedom. Androcles was appointed as an important officer in the king's palace but he thankfully declined the offer and devoted his life to care for the poor, the sick and the illiterate people of his country.

                       Jesus said, "And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. If you have love for one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciples"{John 13: 34, 35}.

                      "Happy are those who are merciful to others; God will be merciful to them! Happy are the pure in heart; they will see God!" {Matthew 5: 7, 8}.

© By: Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India. For more moral stories, parables and anecdotes for students, catechists, teachers and preachers, kindly visit my web-site: http://www.moralstorieschristian.blogspot.com

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God and Gold

>> 21 May 2013

  There was a saintly sage in ancient India. He resided in a hermitage in a forest. He was a great scholar, philosopher and gifted physician who had mastered the science of Ayurveda, the superb system of indigenous medicine which is very popular in India even today. He used to provide free medical aid to the poor people of the neighbouring villages. He had several students who stayed with him and learned under his expert guidance.

                      On a stormy night, a young man rushed to the hermitage and sought the help of the sage to save his father, a poor villager who was very sick and bed-ridden. He was actively involved in the festival of the local temple when he suddenly fainted and fell down and was carried home and laid on bed.

                      The sage collected the necessary medicines and asked one of his disciples to accompany them. He lighted the traditional portable oil lamp from the lamp of the hermitage and handed it to the student. "Carry it carefully as the night is dark and windy. See that it is not extinguished by the wind and that the oil is not spilled out from the lamp." The student led the way carrying the lamp carefully. The sage and the young man followed. They reached the end of the forest and proceeded along the narrow path through the village. They could see at a distance the temple which was illuminated and decorated beautifully in connection with the festival. They reached the patient's house. The sage examined the patient in detail and gave him all necessary medicines. He gave directions to the family members and started his return journey. He volunteered to carry the oil lamp and the student followed.

                      On reaching the hermitage, the sage asked the student about the decorations and illuminations he saw on the way. The student innocently informed him` that on their way to visit the patient, he could not watch the scenes as he was carefully guarding the lamp from the wind and possible spillage of oil. But he could watch and enjoy every scene during their return journey. The sage then told him, "You could not enjoy the scenes when you were concentrating on the lamp. But when your attention was not fixed on the lamp, you could enjoy the scenes. This incident teaches us an important lesson about spiritual life. We cannot give equal attention to God and gold. If you want to be with God, you must avoid worldliness. If you are immersed in worldly pleasures, you cannot please God. If your aim is a pure and saintly life, leave all interest in amassing wealth and focus on studies, meditation and serving the poor people, practising poverty and austerity with sincerity."

                   "No one can be a slave of two masters; he will hate one and love the other; he will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money" {Matthew 6: 24}.

© By: Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India. For more moral stories, parables and anecdotes for students, catechists, teachers and preachers, kindly visit my web-site: http://www.moralstorieschristian.blogspot.com

Click Here to Buy Moral Stories from Flipkart.com 


Inspirational Parenting Stories

>> 01 March 2013

A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year old son waiting for him at the door.

SON: 'Daddy, may I ask you a question?'

DAD: 'Yeah sure, what it is?' replied the man.

SON: 'Daddy, how much do you make an hour?'

DAD: 'That's none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?' the man said angrily.

SON: 'I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?'

DAD: 'If you must know, I make $50 an hour.'

SON: 'Oh,' the little boy replied, with his head down.

SON: 'May I please borrow $25?'

The father was furious, 'If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I don't work hard everyday for such childish frivolities.'
The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door.

The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy's questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money?

After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down and started to think:

Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $25.00 and he really didn't ask for money very often The man went to the door of the little boy's room and opened the door.

'Are you asleep, son?' He asked.

'No daddy, I'm awake,' replied the boy.

'I've been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier' said the man. 'It's been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here's the $25 you asked for.'

The little boy sat straight up, smiling. 'Oh, thank you daddy!' he yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills.

The man saw that the boy already had money and started to get angry again.

The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father.

'Why do you want more money if you already have some?' the father grumbled.

'Because I didn't have enough, but now I do,' the little boy replied.

'Daddy, I have $50 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you.'

The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little son, and he begged for his forgiveness.

It's just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life. We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts. Do remember to share that $50 worth of your time with someone you love.

If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of hours... But the family & friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives. courtesy : greatdad.com

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Test by Tempest

>> 26 February 2013

A ship  was sailing through the open sea with several passengers. The captain’s wife was one of them.The ship was caught in a violent storm. The ship swayed dangerously in the turbulent rough waters. The passengers cried aloud in fear.. But the captain remained very calm, cool and bold, using all his skills to keep the vessel under control. The staff offered all necessary assistance to the captain. Many passengers started to pray fervently.

The captain’s wife could not tolerate the calmness of her husband. She complained, “How can you be so cool, while we are frightened to death?” The captain quickly drew a pistol from his pocket and aimed it at her. He touched the trigger and asked her, “Are you not afraid that I will shoot you?” “Not at all,” she replied. “Why?” asked the captain. “Because the gun is in your hands,” she answered.
Then the captain explained, “That is the situation here also. There is one who controls the storm and the sea. He is our loving Lord. God is more concerned about us than we are. So do not worry. Pray for His help with confidence. He will save us from any disaster.”

Inspired by his confident words, she joined the group engaged in prayer. Their prayer was answered soon. The sea became calm and they could sail safely.

When the disciples of Jesus were sailing across the Sea of Galilee, Jesus was sleeping in the boat. Suddenly a strong storm hit the boat and the waves were spilling over into the boat. They feared that the boat would sink. They woke up Jesus and sought His help. He commanded the wind and the waves to be calm and they obeyed Him. There was a great calm {Matthew 8: 23-27, Mark 4: 37-41, Luke 8:23-25}. To the startled disciples, Jesus asked, “Why are you frightened? Have you still no faith?” {Mark 4:40}.

Our life is like a boat, sailing through the sea of the world. We may be threatened by the tempests of troubles and temptations. But we can sail safely if our faith is strong. Jesus has control over the forces of nature.

He may give us tests and trials so that we may grow further and stronger, but he never abandons us during hard times. He is with us through our joys and tears throughout our life. Let us pray, “Do not bring us to hard testing,but keep us safe from the evil one” {Matthew 6: 13}.”

© By: Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India. For more moral stories, parables and anecdotes for students, catechists, teachers and preachers, kindly visit my web-site: http://www.moralstorieschristian.blogspot.com


horse and a goat

>> 08 February 2013

There was a farmer who had a horse and a goat…..

One day, the horse became ill. So he called the veterinarian, who said: 

"Well, your horse has a virus. He must take this medicine for three days. 
I'll come back on the 3rd day and if he's not better, we're going to have to put him down. 

Nearby, the goat listened closely to their conversation. 

The next day, they gave the horse the medicine and left. 

The goat approached the horse and said: “Be strong, my friend. 
Get up or else they're going to put you to sleep!” 

On the second day, they again gave the horse the medicine and left. 

The goat came back and said: "Come on buddy, get up or else you're going to die!
Come on, I'll help you get up. Let's go! One, two, three..." 

On the third day, they came to give the horse the medicine and the vet said: 
"Unfortunately, we're going to have to put him down tomorrow. Otherwise,
the virus might spread and infect the other horses". 

After they left, the goat approached the horse and said: "Listen pal, it's now or never! 
Get up, come on! Have courage! Come on! Get up! Get up! That's it, slowly! Great! 
Come on, one, two, three... Good, good. Now faster, come on...... Fantastic! Run, run more! 
Yes! Yay! Yes! You did it, you're a champion...!!!" 

All of a sudden, the owner came back, saw the horse running in the field and began shouting: 
It's a miracle! My horse is cured. We must have a grand party. Let's kill the goat!!!!

The Lesson: 
Nobody truly knows which employee actually deserves the merit of success, or who's actually contributing the necessary support to make things happen. 


If anyone ever tells you that your work is unprofessional, remember: 

AMATEURS BUILT THE ARK [which saved all the species] 



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