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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


We Catholics know that our faith is based on the Sacred Scripture and the Church's Teachings and Traditions. In fact, if any Catholic was asked, "Who is Mary of Nazareth to you personally?" We would definitely say, "She is my Mother". But then if we are asked a second question, "Why do you honour Her?" Most of us would be dumbstruck! Is it because the Church teaches us to? Is it because our parents and elders taught us so? Or are there some other reasons? For me, there definitely is. It is because I receive my Saviour Jesus' parting gift - the most valuable gift - His own Mother to be my Mother. What an honour and privilege it is!

The Bible tells that Mother Mary is a virgin. But it is also mentioned in the Bible, "Then his mother and brothers came." (Mark 3:31) Who are these brothers of Jesus? Did Mother Mary have other children? Jesus answers in the Gospel of Mark 3:33-35, "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?" He looked at the people sitting round him and said, "Look! Here are my mother and brothers! Whoever does what God wants him to do is my brother, sister and my mother." By saying this, Jesus showed the whole world that His Mother is the first human being who always did the Will of His Father in Heaven. Jesus raises Her up as a model for all of us to follow and thereby become His brothers and sisters too! Thus who were 'Jesus' brothers'? They were not children borne by Mother Mary but those who were doing the Will of the Father. That is why Mother Mary also insists, "Do as he says." (John 2:5) Thus, Mother Mary is not someone who takes us away from Her Son - but on the contrary - She is the one who brings us closer to Her Son Jesus through Her most powerful intercession.

Do we really need Mother Mary to intercede for us? Is it wrong to seek the intercession of Mother Mary? St. Paul wrote, "For there is one God, and there is one who brings God and mankind together, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself to redeem all mankind.' (1Timothy 2:5-6) In Deuteronomy 18:11, it says. "...don't let them consult the dead." Is Mother Mary dead? Are the Saints dead? The Bible very clearly tells us that Jesus died on the Cross. But the Bible also clearly testifies that it does not end there. Jesus rose again! In the Gospel of Luke 24:4-5, we read that "two men in bright shining clothes stood by the women and asked them this important question. 'Why do you look for the living among the dead?'" The words 'look for the living' implies many not one - then who are the living? God told Adam that if he ate of the Forbidden Tree, he would die. What death is this? God means not the death of the body but of the soul. Remember what Jesus said, "Whoever eats of me will live forever." (John 6:58) If we live with Jesus, there is no death for our soul. The Church's Dogma tells us that Mother Mary was assumed into heaven - body and soul - because she is the Mother of God!

St. Paul told the Corinthians, "Now you are the body of Christ and individual members of it." (2 Corinthians 12:27) Being members of Christ's Body, no one can separate us from Christ! He is the Head of our Church. Thus, when Christians were being persecuted by Saul, Jesus asked him. "Why are you persecuting me?" (Acts 9:4) If Jesus can give each of us such an honour to be one with Him, why should we think of ourselves as separate entities? If you and I as individual members of His Body can be intercessors for the Church with Him and through Him, then what about Mary, the Mother of God? She always obeyed the Will of God till her life ended on earth and she took her rightful place as Queen of Heaven. If God can give us mere human beings the honour of interceding for each other to Him, will God not give Mother Mary, who Jesus gifted to us as our Mother, the greatest honour to be the most powerful Intercessor for each of us?

I have experienced the Glory of God in so many ways in my life through the powerful intercession of Mother Mary. I would like to share with you an incident of Mother Mary's intercession in my life. On 19 August 2005, I received a wonderful gift from God - my son, Dominic. Immediately after his birth, I sensed there was something wrong with him! After two days of investigation, the doctors found that my son had an intestinal block and needed surgery. This was a time of trial and great distress for us. With great reluctance, we handed over our son to the doctors for surgery. Reluctance because the doctors had just informed us that our baby weighed just under two kilos and he would have to be given an anaesthetic - which meant no guarantees that he would wake up from it. The doctors advised that though the tests showed there was an intestinal block, it did not reveal what was really wrong. The doctors gave a few scenarios that really frightened us regarding the block - it could be inside the intestines or maybe his intestines were to thin at one particular place; in which case they would have to cut that portion off and rejoin the intestines again.

As we handed over our baby for surgery, we just said this prayer, "Oh Jesus, we hand over our baby to You. Let it be Your hands Lord. Every cut and stitch, my God, let it be Your hands - for Your hands can do no wrong!" I really do not know where this prayer came from but my faith reminds me, "The Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how to pray." (Romans 5:26) The Spirit definitely helped!

As I waited in the lobby outside the Operating Theatre, I reached out for my Rosary and started praying. I could feel the comfort of my Mother Mary praying with me. My mind was no longer on my child but on the Word of my God telling me, "Fear not! I am with you," (Isaiah 43:5) This is my personal experience.

Mother Mary never comes alone. She brings Her Son along! I could not make out the time passing by. Suddenly, my name was called and I rushed to the door of the Operating Theatre. The doctor told me everything had gone well. There was a block but it was outside the intestines and hence there was no injury to it. Thus, my baby boy would be well again! I asked the doctor when my son would regain consciousness and the reply was in 3-4 hours. That was the time of waiting and tension - a very difficult time. But with Mother Mary praying for you, can any time or period be difficult? We went back to our room and within ten minutes, we were informed that Dominic had regained consciousness. When we pray to Mother Mary, there is no time for tension - there is only time to be comforted! The recovery was quick and within week, our son was discharged from the hospital and taken back home - He has had no problems with his intestines ever since! Mother Mary was there comforting us and we also believe She was with our son in those moments when we could not be with him.

Why does the intercession of Mother Mary help us? God the Father in Heaven asked Mary, who was a virgin, whether she would bear His Son, and she unhesitatingly said "Yes". From then on, until the end of Jesus' life on earth and Her own life, no matter how difficult it was, Mother Mary continued to always do the Will of God. Thus, would God the Father say "No" to anything Mother Mary asks of Him now? Let us take advantage of this truth and receive the graces of God the Father and Jesus, the Son, through the most powerful intercession of our Mother Mary!

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

Divine Retreat Schedules


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.


Retreats in Konkani, Kannada, Tamil, Hindi and Telugu

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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