The penny in the vase


                   "I will go with you and PROSPER all that you do"


Salvatore's antique shop in the heart of Valletta was a veritable cornucopia of dusty treasures.  Ancient oil lamps, brass candlesticks, spotted mirrors, china chamberpots and willow-patterned plates jostled for position with Venetian glass-ware, gilded chairs and a plethora of bric-a-brac. Rarely could Rosina pass the green window without pressing her nose tightly against the pane, in order to feast her tired, brown eyes on the magic of its contents.

  She never entered the little shop, because her slim purse did not make allowance for such extravagance,  and the hungry brood at home made big inroads into Lino's weekly pay packet.  

  One fine day, as this magnetic window held our dear Rosina, she caught sight of the slim-necked Chinese vase of exquisite proportions, which had been knocked down to the reasonable price of ten shillings.   On the spur of a mad moment, she dove into the shop and slapped a note on the counter.    Triumphantly, she bore it home, well jammed-in between the cabbages, carrots and bags of macaroni in the old children's pram, which doubled as a shopping trolley. 

  Arriving at her house, the precious prize was placed in the centre of the kitchen table, for all to touch, to view and to admire.   Four-year old Dion, demanding closer inspection, was hoisted on to the table and without much more ado,  plunged his hand down the neck of the vase and was unable to pull it out.

  Consternation ensued in Rosina's  kitchen.   The neighbours were called in and, despite prayers, coaxing, pleading and eventually threats, all was in vain, until the wise old Pawlo solved the problem.   Calmly, he instructed the child to fold over his fingers in order to reduce the diameter of the little hand, but Dion cried out: "If I do that, Nannu,


  And so will it be with me, if I disregard the Word of the Lord and refuse to put it into practice.  I will go through this  life - which God intended to be a great journey  had I listened to His Word - with my hand permanently trapped in a vase, grimly holding on to my penny of pride which aptly has

been called by the poet; "the never-failing vice of fools."

  "I will miss out on a marvellous and exciting adventure, where God has assured me: "I will go with you and PROSPER all that you do." (Exodus 33:I4).   Imagine!  And for this journey what do I need ?   A new heart, and the humility to pray with fervour:  "Come Holy Spirit, fill the heart of your servant, and enkindle in it, the fire of your  Divine Love".

Do not let yourselves be guided by the spirit of self-indulgence.

Look at the legacy self-indulgence produces:

bad temper, fighting, jealousy, cruelty, meaness, revenge, fornication ,idolatry and drunkenness

Rather, let yourself be guided by the Spirit of God.

Look at the legacy the SPIRIT brings :


These are beautiful things and make life joyful.

They are a foretaste of the joy of heaven.

Spirit of the living God, FALL AFRESH ON US!"


Complaining and murmuring are deadly sins because they are an expression of disbelief and disrust and an insult to God.      Read (  1 Cor. 1O - 1O ).   'And don't murmur against God in His dealings with you as some of them did in the wilderness, for that is why God sent His Angel to destroy them'.


It is the things that we like that make our characters.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen.

Holy Spirit, Lord of light / from the dear celestial height / Thy pure beaming radiance give.

Come, Thou Father of the poor / Come with treasures which endure / Come Thou light of all that live!

Thou, of all consolers best / Thou, the soul's delightful guest /  Dost refreshing peace bestow.

Thou in toil art comfort sweet / pleasant coolness in the heat / Solace in the midst of woe.

Light immortal, light divine / Visit Thou these hearts of thine / and our inmost being fill.

If Thou take thy grace away / nothing pure in man will stay / 

All his good is turned to ill.

Heal our wounds, our strength renew / on our dryness pour Thy dew / wash the stains of guilt away.

Bend the stubborn heart and will / melt the frozen, warm the chill / guide the steps that go astray.

Thou, on us who evermore / Thee confess and Thee adore / with Thy sevenfold gifts descend. 

Give us comfort when we die / give us life with Thee on high / Give us joys that never end.


Anita Kilbride-Jones,

St. Paul's bay,  Malta.

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