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Monthly Reflection by
Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC
"I dwell with the crushed and the dejected“ (Is 57:15)

- Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC

Prayer of the Month

Divine Call Archives

GOD'S INSTRUMENTS OF BLESSINGS - By Rev. Fr. Michael Payyapilly V.C.

Recently I was on a trip to Chennai for a convention. The trip both ways was very interesting. I was supposed to travel to Chennai by the 6:30 p.m. train but my tickets reached me only by 7.00 p.m! Though late, I should have given it a chance knowing how our Indian trains are 'always on time'. Instead, I had to catch the flight to get to the venue the next day. I got there and then had to rush back after my session to catch the night train back to Kerala. I was assured that my tickets were booked. As I reached the station, I held the ticket in my hand. Taking one look at it, my heart sank because I was waitlisted 38. But the travel agents assured me that they had everything 'under control' and that they had 'seen' the Ticket Collector. In India when you use words like 'under control' and 'seen the Ticket Collector' it has deeper connotations. Of course at that time I did not look at the right or wrong of things as I was desperate to find a place to 'lay my head and rest'. The agents gave me an assurance and showed me a berth which was empty and told me that this was meant for me and that the Ticket Collector would come and will do the 'needful'. I felt assured with their confidence not knowing that agents in India have the ability to even make a ticketless passenger feel at ease with their words! I sat there on 'my' seat in the coupe. When I entered that coupe, I saw two people lying down on their berths. To me they looked drunk. The man who was lying down on the lower berth looked every bit a drunk. I was so disappointed and told the Lord in my mind, "Lord out of so many in this train, why this drunk?" Grumbling within my mind, I waited for the Ticket Collector to come in so that I could confirm my seat.

An hour later the Ticket Collector walks in to the coupe and behind him a line of nearly twenty people looking on like vultures - waiting for a small berth anywhere on that train. I showed him my ticket confidently and he looks at me and tells me that I am on a waiting list and I have no berth! I looked at him with eyes that meant to say, "But my agents had 'seen' you." And he looked back at me like as though I never even existed. The problem now was that I was an hour away from Chennai and could not think of getting off the train but at the same time, technically, I was not supposed to be on that train because I was holding an unreserved ticket. 'My' seat was given to one of those 'vultures' who were walking behind that Ticket Collector. As they settled into 'my' berth, I was left with nothing. I went and silently sat down at the foot of the 'drunk' who moved his leg a bit to give me a little space. That is when I saw this man's leg heavily bandaged. My heart sank as I felt embarrassed at having condemned this man as a drunk. That man was in tremendous pain as he kept getting up from his sleep clutching his legs in agony. I sat there at his feet and tried to find some kind of sleep. I sat that way for an hour or so. Then all of a sudden, this man gets up and taps me on my shoulder and moves his legs to one tiny little corner of that berth and shows me half the berth and tells me to lie down and sleep there. It was a very touching moment for me. I had tears fill my eyes -tears because I was humbled and learnt something. Initially I condemned this man for what I thought was wrong. I looked at him as a 'disturbance and a problem. Little did I know that the Lord would use this man to bring in a blessing for me that night. I was humbled that night. What I thought as useless and problematic, the Lord used as a blessing.

This incident taught me a lot. Every person around us is a blessing through which the Lord brings in blessings. The world might condemn them for their faults and mistakes but for the Lord they are all very precious 'instruments'. Instruments He uses to touch our lives. In the Gospel of St. John Chapter 4 we read about the incident between Jesus and the Samaritan woman. The woman did not live a very good life. She was condemned by those around her. That is why she is forced to come by to the well at noon to carry water - an indication that she was not accepted by the people in the town. As she spoke to Jesus, she got closer to the Lord and understood Him as the Messiah. The word tells us what she does after that. In verse 28 we read, "Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, "Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?" They left the city and were on their way to him." She was a woman who was condemned as a good for nothing and an embarrassment to that community. But she is the one who becomes an instrument in the hands of the Lord to touch the lives of those people in that town. They condemned her but the Lord used her. This does happen to us as well. The very same people we condemn end up being the ones used by the Lord to bring in blessings into our life. We might think that they are not worthy enough but for Jesus they are precious instruments.

Even the Lord Himself recognised this and never pushed aside anyone from him. We read about the 'Anointing at Bethany' in the Gospel of Mark Chapter 14:3-9. When the woman who was sinful came to the Lord and started washing His feet, he did not push her away. All those around Him were upset. But the Lord says, "She has performed a good service for me." (Mark 14:6) Then in verse 8 He says, "She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial." The Lord saw the blessing she would be for Him. The instrument she would become though everyone condemned her. This is why the Lord never condemned those who came to Him. He saw them all as instruments.

What is our attitude to those around us? Irrespective of their way of life, are we able to love and care for them? Are we able to look at them as sources of God's blessings? Let us remember that the very same people we condemn and sideline could one day be responsible for numerous blessings to flow into us and our families. They are God's gifts. Let us be able to see them and accept them as the Lord's gift. All of us are children of a loving God who has a plan for us and for our future. Let us not push anyone out lest we end up pushing out a precious source of blessing!

Divine Updates

39th National Youth Retreat

Our annual National Youth Retreat will be held at the Divine Retreat Centre. Come and let the word of God refresh you. Simultaneous retreats for couples, children and Bible nursery to be held. Contact Divine Youth for more details.

Date: May 19 - 24, 2019

Retreats at the Divine Retreat Centre, Somersby, Sydney

Divine Retreat Centre, Somersby to hold retreats throughout 2017. For bookings, email Fr Roni George, Director - Hurry, as admission is limited.

Date: January 2018 - December, 2018

Retreats in Divine Retreat Centre, UK

Divine Retreat Centre, Ramsgate UK, has announced several English and Malayalam language retreats to be led by Fr. George Panackal VC and Fr. Joseph Edattu VC. All are welcome.

Dates: Jan - Dec, 2019

POWER 2019 at Divine Retreat Centre

DRC is back with the highlight of the year: the 14th International Youth Conference - POWER 2019. The very best international preachers and gospel bands will be here to lead us into worship. Be there to experience a totally different atmosphere of prayer. A Couples' Retreat and a Kids' Retreat will be held simultaneously. Don't miss it.

Date: July 21 - July 26, 2019

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English retreats are held every week from Sunday to Friday. Special retreats are conducted for priests, religious and laity as well. Come and experience the Lord and grow in Him.


Inner healing retreats, growth retreats, couples' retreats and youth retreats in Malayalam, are led by Fr. Joshi Kochukudiattil, Fr. Mathew Naickomparambil and Fr. Binoy Chackanikunnel.


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Every week, retreats are held in five different regional languages of India, apart from in the local language - Malayalam. The retreats are led by Vincentian priests and supported by powerfully anointed laity of God.

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