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What is neeed today is open mind & large heart: Goa Archbishop

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Panaji, Dec 28 :  Amid debate over intolerance, Archbishop of Goa and Daman Fr Filipe Neri Ferrao Friday called for developing more positive perception of people and groups one does not belong to.

He said what is neeed today is open mind and large heart.

"We tend to think less generously of people or groups whom we are not familiar with or whom we perceive to be different from us or even oppose to us," the Archbishop said.

He was addressing customary reception hosted by the Church on the occasion of Christmas here.

"It’s a time when we open ourselves to Gods dream for us. Gods dream becomes our dream when we bring joy, peace,  forgiveness and service to all and work together to built a civilisation of love," Ferrao said

"For this we must develop more positive perception of other people and groups," he said in his 10-minute long address at the event attended by prominent personalities from political and business circles of Goa.

Ferrao called for embracing the poor and downtrodden sections of the society.

"Making Gods dream our own reverses this process helping us consciously to think better about the same people and the group.

"Partaking in God's dream we are challenge to open horizon of our mind and embrace people whom we are naturally not inclined to love like poor and downtrodden for example."

Referring to the concept of Sangam (confluence) as mentioned in Hindu scriptures, Ferrao said, "We can take the image of Sangam, a point of confluence of two rivers which is regarded as sacred by our Hindu brethren since ancient times.

"Humanity reaches a Sangam with the divine in Jesus Christ and Christmas is a celebration of divine Sangam of the human and divine quest for each other."

The Archbishop saidChristmas is a feast that transcends religious affiliations.

"Many people who are not followers of Christ are seen donning St Claus caps doing Christmas shopping, merry making and even decorating their homes with Christmas trees and lights.

"Actually doing this has no meaning if one does not know what Christmas is all about," he said.

"We all need open mind and large heart today. Such openness will enable us to be witnesses of divine," he added.

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