Your Gift

Die kleine Lachlustige (Bild aus Seite 037 des Journals Die Gartenlaube, Auguste Charodeau, 1881,

Die kleine Lachlustige / Auguste Charodeau, 1881 /


The purpose of life is to discover your gift.

The work of life is to develop it.

The meaning of life is to give your gift away.

David Viscott


Die Bestimmung des Lebens ist, Deine Gabe zu entdecken.

Die Aufgabe des Lebens ist, sie zu entfalten.

Der Sinn des Lebens ist, Deine Gabe zu verschenken.


(Usually wrongly attributed to Shakespeare: Link)


Prayers and Miracles

Pietà (Detail, Liebfrauen, Zurich) © Barbara- Paraprem, 2015
Pietà (Detail, Liebfrauen, Zurich) © Barbara-Paraprem, 2015


Prayers and Miracles

Not every miracle for which I have prayed,
I received.
And I don’t understand that,
as well as I don’t understand God or myself.
Miracles that I really needed,
on which would have been absolutely nothing,
that would not have been a great blessing to all those involved.
But still I know:
Prayers help and can work miracles.
Why it works sometimes,
also in a extremely surprising way,
in a manner, in which I would have never expected,
and at other times not: I don’t know.
All I know: prayers can work miracles.




Muslim Imam became Catholic Priest


Mario Joseph grew up in India in a Muslim family. He studied philosophy and theology for 10 years. He became an imam before he reached the age of 18. After someone asked him about who Jesus was, Mario Joseph began to investigate Christianity. Studying the Quran, he noticed that the Quran would give more preference to Jesus and at some point he decided to accept Jesus.

This conversion to Christianity triggered a violent reaction from his family. When he awoke, he found himself naked in a small room. His arms and legs were bound and hot chili had been placed in his mouth and his wounds. He was deprived of food and water for several days and that his brother forced him to drink urine as a punishment. After as many as 20 days, his father entered the room, choked him and threatened him with a knife and would kill him.

Mario: “When I knew that it was my last moment, I thought: Jesus died, but He came back. If I believe in Jesus and die, I too may get my life.”
At this point he felt energized, pulled his father’s hand down, and cried out “Jesus!”. His father then fell down and was cut severely by his own knife, and foamed at the mouth.

When family members took his father to the hospital, they forgot to lock the room. Mario ran out, put on some clothes from his father and caught a taxi. The driver was a Christian and helped get him food and drink.

Mario Joseph is now staying at a Catholic retreat center in India, where he gives talks in various languages. People are still trying to kill him, and his parents held a mock funeral ceremony for him to signify that he was an outcast. On the mock grave, they marked as his death date the date of his baptism. He has had no contact with his family, but he prays for them and believes that “God can touch them within a moment.” He explained: “Even if they never accept Christianity, I’m always saying: Jesus, please take them to heaven.”


POWER JESUS © Barbara-Paraprem, 2015
© Barbara-Paraprem, 2015



Kingdom of Heaven

The Annunciation (James Tissot, bet. 1886 and 1894,
The Annunciation (bet.1886 and 1894)
James Tissot –


Kingdom of Heaven

O worl invisible, we view thee,
o world intangible, we touch thee,
o world unknowable, we know thee,
inapprehensible, we clutch thee!

Does the fish soar to find the ocean,
the eagle plunge to find the air –
that we ask of the stars in motion
if they have rumour of thee there?

Not where the wheeling systems darken,
and our benumbed conceiving soars! –
the drift of pinions, would we hearken,
beats at our own clay-shuttered doors.

The angels keep their ancient places; –
turn but a stone, but start with a wing!
‘tis ye, ‘tis your estranged faces,
that miss the many-splendour thing.

But (when so sad thou canst not sadder)
cry; – and upon thy so sore loss
shall shine the traffic of Jacob’s ladder,
pitched betwixt Heaven and Charing Cross.

Yea, in the night, my Soul, my daughter,
cry; – clinging Heaven by the hems;
and lo, Christ walking on the water,
not of Gennesareth, but Thames!

Francis Thompson, 1859 – 1907


Francis Thompson ( studied at Ushaw College (Durham) Catholic theology, medicine later in Manchester. Both courses were not finish. He moved 1885 to London to become a writer, but could only find menial work and became addicted to opium, and was a street vagrant for years. His life was marked by poverty, deeply religious and his opium addiction. A married couple read his poetry and rescued him, publishing his first book Poems in 1893. Thompson lived as an unbalanced invalid in Wales and at Storrington monastery (Sussex), but wrote three books of poetry, with other works and essays, before dying of tuberculosis in 1907. His most famous poem is “The Hound of Heaven”. (Photo: