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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

Amazing Grace How Sweet The Sound That Saved A Wretch Like Me - Maneesha Matthias

Beautiful words of a very meaningful hymn that matches my sentiments exactly!

When I first heard the hymn, Amazing Grace, I was so touched by the words that it soon became one of my favorite hymns. I have noticed in my life that I am quite often like St. Paul says who said, "For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want is what I do."(Romans 7:19) And then we read the words of St. Paul who laments, "What wretched man I am!" (Romans 7:24)

Many a times we do a lot of wrong in our lives which look so right at that moment when we commit the act. Yet immediately after, we are overcome with guilt and then we feel so horrible and this feeling persists putting us to shame. This feeling lingers on making us feel very low and eventually we end up having a very low opinion of ourselves - thus affecting our day to day lives, making it impossible for us to be successful or happy. It is almost as if it is impossible to lift our heads up or to put our best foot forward.

In the Gospel of St. John 4:6–40, it is very clearly said that Jesus sat by the well of Jacob, because He was "tired out of His journey." And then we read that a Samaritan woman came there to draw water. The time of the meeting as stated in the Bible is "noon". Which woman in her right mind would choose a time like this to walk a great distance away from home - in the scorching heat of the sun to draw some water even if she was very thirsty? Is it not common sense that the job done in the scorching heat of the sun is not only tiring but also dehydrating? Then is not this labour, a labour in vain? Why did this woman take the trouble of coming to the well at such a time? The women knew that at a time like this, there will be no one at the well - which means she would not have to talk to anyone or answer their questions. The hidden truth which can be made out from her actions is that she wanted to hide because she thought she had a reason to do so. The reason being the very same – "I do the evil I do not want to do." - her sinful life which Jesus later reveals saying, "For you have had five husbands and the one you live with now is not your husband." (John 4:18) A shameful life of which she was ashamed but unable to withdraw from!

Then came Jesus - the Saviour - uninvited into her life! Speaking words of wisdom, He began drawing her out from the darkness and bringing her to light. At that moment, she starts hoping - may be, just may be this man may set me free. And Jesus does set her free! The same woman who kept living in sin, craving for love from men now says, "Give me this living water and I will thirst no more."

What is this water she asks for - the water which if one drinks, one will never thirst again? Is it not it the power of the Holy Spirit? And what a transformation comes into this Samaritan woman! The one who was in hiding now comes to the open and reveals exactly the very things she was trying to conceal for the Glory of God! There she who was a sinner, a slave of the devil now becoming a mighty weapon in the hands of God Almighty! She became a great labourer for the kingdom of God. It was after this meeting with Jesus that she testifies that Jesus is the Messiah to the whole of Samaria. The people of Samaria were the same people whom she once feared and evaded. But when she met Jesus there was a total transformation in her - a sinner woman was set free from her sin, a woman who once thought that it is sin that gives her whatever she was craving for now realized the truth and the truth set her free! From darkness to light she was brought to by the powerful Word of Jesus. Once a sinner but now an evangelizer - it was through her that Jesus drew the whole of Samaria to Himself.

Like the woman at the well, I was seeking for things that could not be found in my life. Then the Saviour came seeking for that one sheep that was lost - me! As He spoke to the woman of Samaria, He spoke to me the words of Compassion and Love, bringing me back to Himself. When I realized how wrong I was in my life, the light of His Word dispelled the darkness and I was filled with His Light. The thoughts came to me of how unworthy I am of His choosing - something like a broken pot which could hold no water. Of what use could I be to Jesus? It was at a time like this that God started showing me how to use the mistakes of my past to better my future and more importantly to learn to be compassionate to those who fall into the same worldly traps that I too had fallen into. I still do make mistakes in my life but I know Jesus is always there to forgive me and to help me do my best to live for Him.

Today, when I see someone doing something wrong I can only understand and pray - "Be merciful O Lord to this brother or sister of mine like you have been to me. I was never faithful to You and Your Love. I was like a dried leaf that flies with the wind - I was scattered aimlessly! Yet with great love, You gathered me O Lord, restored me to life instead of letting that what usually happens to dried leaves to happen to me. You chose me to be an instrument in Your hands. Use these people according to Your Holy Will."

Whatever may have been our past, however sinful we might have been, God does not ask you or me, "Why did you do it?" Instead He says, "I understand what has happened. Come back to Me." Where else can we expect loving non-judgmental comfort like this? Let us forget our shameful past and come back to Him. We can be united with Jesus again through the Sacrament of Reconciliation and let us choose to remain in Him. Then, we will joyfully experience the bliss only God can give us!

I once was lost but now am found - it is Grace that sets me free!

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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