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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

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POWER 2009 - "TO LIVE IS CHRIST" (Phil 1:21) at Divine Retreat Centre, Kerala, India - Bishop Thomas Maria Renz of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, Germany

My dear Brother Priests, my dear Young Friends & my Brothers and Sisters,

"What are you looking for? Whom are you are searching?" - this was the question of Pope John Paul II at the first meeting of the World Youth Day in the Holy Year 2000 in Rome. I don't know if any one of you took part in the World Youth Day in Rome. What are you looking for? Pope John Paul II asked this question in front of a huge crowd of young people. For some moments, there was quiet silence in the Square of St. Peter. Then suddenly after a few moments of silence, the young Christian people shouted, "Jesus! We are searching for Jesus!" The whole Square of St. Peter was filled with the shouts of young people shouting, "We are searching for Jesus!" Then from this point on, the song, "Jesus Christ, You Are My Life" became a standard theme song for the following World Youth Days in Toronto, Cologne and Sydney. Do you know the song, "Jesus Christ, Your Are My Life"? It's a beautiful song which the young people sing on the World Youth Day - it is an expression of the search of so many young people for Jesus.

I had the joy of taking part in the last five World Youth Days - three with John Paul II and two with Pope Benedict XVI - always accompanied by young people of our diocese. What are you looking for? Whom are you searching? These are also the questions for us in these days, in this week of "Power 2009" here in Kerala. In the Gospel of St. John 1:38-39, you can read the two disciples of John the Baptist were following Jesus and He turned around and asked them, "What are you looking for?" They answered, "Rabbi, where are you living?" And Jesus replied, "Come and see." This is one of the shortest but also one of the most deepest dialogues in the New Testament. This is exactly the spiritual movement of these days here at Divine Retreat Centre, Kerala during this International Youth Conference. This is the question Jesus is asking each of us and we are invited to give Him our personal answer - "Rabbi, where are you living?" And Jesus is saying. "Come and see."

We have come here searching for Jesus. And Jesus is asking us what we are looking for in these days. It would be good and marvellous if each of us would give the same answer as the Gospel of St. John 1:39. When Jesus answers, "Come and see" - it means, "Come and taste"; "Come and experience"; "Come and take part of me"; "Come and be with me"; "Come and dialogue with Me"; Come and stay with Me"; "Come and be in permanent communion with Me." "Jesus Christ, You are my life!" - it would be great if this could be the answer of everybody here at the end of this week.

The theme is "To live is Christ." (Philippians 1:21) To be a Christian is to live with Jesus Christ. Jesus is our Saviour and we are nothing without Jesus as Christians! Our lives would be so empty without Him. We need to understand the Scriptures and therefore it is good to read the beautiful Chapter 12 of St. Paul's 1st Letter to the Corinthians - where St. Paul speaks of the Church as the Body of Christ. Jesus Himself is the Head of this Body and we are all the limbs and organs of this organism which is the Church. It is the same blood which flows through the whole organism. It is just like my own organism - it is not a different type blood that flows in my head compared to my arms and legs. It is the same blood that flows through my whole body. So when Jesus shed His Blood on the Cross, it is the same Blood which went through His whole organism, which is us - the Church!

Under this point of view (1 Corinthians Chapter 12), the Church is much more an organism than an organization - there is a difference in the meaning of these two words. Since the beginning of the Church, there is also and always necessary to have a certain degree of organization. For example when we think of the miracle of the increase of bread, Jesus only got five loaves of bread and two fish from the little boy (John 6-9). Jesus increased the bread and fish because this was necessary to address the problem of hunger among the large crowd. But it was more than just an organizational event of the people, it was a miracle with a very deep meaning from the Heart of God. From the view of her deepest essence and final destination, the Church is much more an organism than an organization. An organism is the life itself - the life in its fullness. An organization is also necessary. For example to hold this International Conference here, there is a lot of work to be done before we all came here - but it is not the main thing of this meeting. Organization is necessary to make possible the life of the organism but it is not the organism and the life itselfThe main aspect is the life itself which St. Paul reminds us to keep in our mind and heart - the picture of the Body of Christ which is the Church itself. Jesus Christ - You are my life! You are my life!

A second text in the bible which shows us the meaning of these words is the Parable of The Vine and The Branches in the Gospel of John Chapter 15. When a branch of the vine remains as a part of the vine, it will be fertile. Remaining in Jesus, staying with Him and being with Him, being in dialogue with Him, means "To live is Christ." (Philippians 1:21) Jesus Christ, You are my life! This means I only have the life of Christ in myself - in my own body and life - when I remain in Him and with Him. "Come and see" - the two disciples stayed with Jesus for the whole day - not just for a few moments. Staying with Jesus means to live with Him. What is most important is the personal relationship between Jesus and each of us - between Jesus and me - it is a gift from God Himself!

There are three attitudes which are necessary and indispensable for every good relationship between mankind:

  • Firstly, I am interested in the other person
  • Secondly, I listen to the other person
  • And thirdly, I am sharing my life with the other person - the good and bad experiences of my life

Without these three indispensable attitudes, a relationship has no future in our life. Without our readiness to be interested in the other person, to listen and to share our life with him/her, there is no real relationship. These three fundamental attitudes are also important in our relationship with God. What is necessary in our relationship with mankind is also necessary in our relationship with Jesus.

The greatest miracle of the love of God, is for myself, being a human being of God Himself. The Parable in the bible that is very deep and expressive to us of this point is in the Gospel of John Ch 15:9-15. I will read this short bible passage to bring to mind this grace that is given us from God. Jesus said, "As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment; love one another as I love you." "As I love you" - the measure of our love for Godt hat God Himself becomes a human being and for our brothers and sisters is this measure of the love of theJesus dying on the Cross to show us and the whole world His love for us.

"No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father." We are saying in this week, dear young friends, to Jesus - "You ARE my life! You are my Life!" And Jesus is telling to you and me, "You are my friends." This is one of the greatest words God has ever said to man. God is coming to me and not that I am going to God! This is a very unique and new aspect of the Christian faith. God is coming to my level - to my eye level. It is only when we are at the same level that it is possible to have a good relationship and friendship - not when one is looking from upstairs to the other downstairs but at the same level so that we can look into the eyes of the other. This is Christmas! God is coming to us not the man to God - the greatest miracle of the Love of God. The friendship of God to me is His Son, Jesus Christ.

So this is my wish for all of us in these days here at this Youth Conference in Kerala - that we are searching from a new point of view and with all my heart, Jesus Christ who is Love and that we confess to Him, "Yes, Jesus Christ, You are my life". Then we can hear from Him these wonderful words, "Yes, and you are my friends!" Amen

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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