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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


Right through the ages, we see how God longed to draw near to man. It was to and through the humble that God could speak his mind and have a relationship with man. "Draw near to God and he will draw near to you" (James 4:8) - this bible verse speaks volumes to us! Without a desire on our part to know God's ways and desires, He will not be able to reveal Himself to us. Today in a busy world where man sustains himself with his own pride, God is unable to relate or reveal His concern. Many thus believe that God does not exist.

Obviously God is looking for something in us that could permit Him to draw near to us - to assist, deliver and bless us! As human beings are attracted to each other because something in the other relates to the desires of the one attracted, God can connect to us only through what draws Him to us. In the Bible, it says, "God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble." (James 4:6) The more we humble ourselves before God, the more He can share His mind, His plans, His authority and His power with us and through us.

For some of us, drawing near to God would mean spending time in prayer, worship, studying God's Word and engaging in ministry work. For others, making sacrifices would mean drawing near to God. There are also those who choose to live their lives obeying all of God's commands and following His Word. In all that we do, what brings us to experience God's awesome Presence is being humble and allowing God to have His way.

A chain smoker who was struggling with his habit told me, "As long as I am in the retreat centre, I can hold back the temptation to smoke, but the moment I would leave these premises I am afraid that I would have no control in resisting the temptation." By his statement, I knew that the secret desire to smoke was still in him. We cannot get rid of a habit as long as the desire still lingers. Our pride would never want it to leave, but in humility as we approach God to help us, His power never fails!

Another chain smoker who came for a retreat to the centre knowing too well his weakness and his failure to give up the slavery, turned whole heartedly to God and depended on Him - and Our Lord took away completely the desire to smoke. Till today, he has never had the urge to smoke. St. Paul in his weakness says, "thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 7:25) who can change everything for us. In humility, Christ conquered everything of the flesh and as we connect our lives to the humility of Christ, we are "more than conquerors through him that loves us." (Romans 8:37) Unless our basic desires are offered to Christ Jesus in humility, the desires of Christ will not be able to take root in us and destroy the power of the destructive desires within us.

St. Paul says, "My desire is to depart and to be with Christ."(Philippians 1:23) The joy of existence and true freedom from all slavery can be experienced only through Christ where every desire is held captive to God's desire. In the Gospel of John 8:44, Jesus speaks to the Jews around him telling them, "You choose to do your father's (satan's) desires." We have the freedom and the option to choose - the stronger the pride, the stronger the temptation. A humble stand destroys the sting of the temptation making it possible to ward of the attacks with the "shield of faith." (Ephesians 6:16)

In Romans 13:44, St. Paul tells us, "put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh to gratify its desires." In the Book of James Chapter 1:14, the Word of God reveals that, "each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires." What then stand in the way of God drawing close to us is our own desires!

Over five years ago, I went through a period of spiritual darkness. One night, my mind went blank and I was lost in darkness. Somebody was telling me, "What if there is no God? You will be lost." My whole body started shivering and my heart felt like it was going to stop. It was like a panic attack. I thought I was starting to suffer from a strange disease. However, a neurologist friend of mine examined me and could not find anything wrong with me. He felt it could have been a spiritual attack as he knew about my ministry.

These episodes continued for nearly a year. I would even get these attacks when I was driving the car. These attacks, as St. Paul tells us, wage war against our souls. I learned to fight back with more prayer, love and purity in my life. These attacks shattered my confidence. In prayer, the Lord showed me demons attacking me. I stopped watching television – I was very addicted to watching it - as well as useless talk and frivolous thoughts. My dependence on God increased. I have learnt that to serve our Holy God, we have to strive for holiness. God opened my eyes to see how disastrous a separation from Him could be and how often we drift away from His Presence by our careless attitudes and life styles.

My wife, Teresa, was an additional strength to me and together we have understood the importance of dependence on God – through prayers and patience, Our Lord will strengthen us!

Let us establish a relationship with our Creator by understanding His desires. The whole Bible, a book on relationship between God and man, reveals God's desires and man's desires are constantly in opposition only because of the pride in man. Jesus tells that "we go wrong because we do not know the scripture or the power that it contains" (Matthew 22:29) to save, deliver and bless us.

King Solomon a man who desired God's wisdom and desires to run his empire was alienated from God because his desire for God's ways gave way for his wives desires. He had 700 wives and 300 concubines! If we continue to walk in God's ways "God reveals His faithfulness, He will strengthen us and deliver us from evil." (2 Thessalonians 3:3)

Jesus calls the generation of His time perverse, and perversion has continued into our times because of the fact that God could not draw near to man. Perversion in sex, relationships and breakdown in marriages has reached unimaginable levels. When one takes part in the sins of others by watching pornography and other dishonorable passions and enjoy this addiction, the wrath of God which is going to come on those who perform such acts will also come to those who partake by watching and absorbing the thoughts and desires of others. What we desire is what ultimately controls us! Therefore, let the words that touched St. Augustine and led to his conversion from worldly passionate desires to desire God's ways which he reveals as true freedom to convert our hearts today. We need to be ready to take our place with our Lord in our Heavenly Home! Let us keep the Word of God as a constant reminder that our live on earth is finite – we should be preparing for our life with God! "Besides this you know what hour it is, it is full time now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light; let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provisions for the flesh, to gratify its desires."(Romans 13:11-14)

Let us then draw near to God not only with our physical bodies but also with our desires and humility to allow Him to be a part of our lives from today. It is the best gift we can ever offer to Jesus!

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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