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Monthly Reflection by
Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC


You bear much fruit"(Jn 15:8) - Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC

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I am the Bread of Life John 6:35 - Rebecca Poo, Singapore

The Eucharist – My Strength

I joined a retreat conducted by the Divine Retreat Centre in 2001. It was one of the most powerful experiences I ever had. At the end of the Inner Healing session, strong gusts of wind blew through the entire retreat hall. I sensed an atmosphere of excitement in the air.

It was there that the Lord gave His messages to us through Father Augustine Vallooran. I recalled these words which were directed to me - "Give Your Life to Me." Though I was thrilled, I was not sure what exactly I was supposed to do - "Does the Lord want me to be a nun? Or does He want me to serve Him in some ministry on a full time basis?" Whatever it was, these words meant that I ought to change my life.

I was then in the initial years of my working life. It was a tumultuous period for me as I had difficulty coping with the demands of my profession. I found myself often working into the wee hours. The long hours that I put in did not help me to catch up with my work. In fact, my work was fraught with every kind of setbacks. The long hours put a great strain on me emotionally and mentally. I was going to cave in under all the stress.

It was God's providence that I had a group of friends who were strong in faith and a few of them prayed over me. After the praying-over, I felt all burden lifted from me. I was also given the advice to start going for daily Mass.

The next few days, I literally dropped everything and left office on time at 6.00 p.m. for the 6.30 pm Mass near my home. I kept to my daily Mass commitment as I did not suffer the relapse again. Had I been less desperate, I would have lots of concerns which would have prevented me from committing myself, such as: Would I be able to complete my work if I do not stay late like I did before?

Some of the fears I had were unfounded. I noticed that as long as I tried my best and put God first, things somehow worked out by themselves. Either I had less of the strange problems at work or the deadlines were being pushed back.

This "appointment" with the Lord also imposed on me the discipline to plan and finish my work in order to make it for the daily evening Mass. This was very helpful in preventing me from slipping back into working long hours again.

Four years later, when the Mass was brought forth to 6.15 p.m., I could no longer make it there in time. That was when I learnt that there were churches near my workplace that had Masses in the morning, during lunch time and in the evening. In cases when I could not avoid staying late for work, I was still able to go for Mass.

I marvel at how the Lord adjusted Himself to my shaky steps. It is truly God's blessings that the sacrifice of the Holy Mass is readily available! Since the Lord has given me the grace to go for daily Mass, my part is to keep the "appointment"!

The Lord made it such a way that I had to take that first step to avail myself to His blessings and protection in the daily Eucharist. The positive changes at the workplace took quite a while to happen. Through the process, I had to learn the lesson of waiting for Him to sort things out for me.

By leading me to go for daily Mass, the Lord was gradually pulling me out of the unhealthy and destructive lifestyle of overworking. The simple words of St. John Vianney are very true "Man is not only a work horse...he has needs of the soul..."

The first time when I attended a weekday Mass, I felt the sense of peace within me. It was comforting to know that I can see Him at the end of the day. Going for weekday Masses is a practical way for me to connect with God throughout the week, as compared to going for Mass on Sunday only. By placing all my burdens in His Hands, I also need not bring the stress home.

A booklet titled "The Wonders of the Mass" by Father Paul O'Sullivan, gives me the additional encouragement to go for daily Mass. It explains to me the tremendous spiritual value of a single Mass.

I learn that Holy Mass is the same as the sacrifice of our Lord on the Calvary but in a non-bloodied manner. I cannot fully grasp how this great moment two thousand years ago is made present whenever Mass is celebrated. But the words "With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day" (2 Peter 3:8) give me some idea what it means.

The Lord throughout the ages also endorses this reality with the many Eucharistic miracles like the one in Lanciano, Italy in 8th Century A.D. The hosts were turned to real Flesh and Blood upon consecration. They still exist for all to see till this very day!

Someone once told me, "I felt all my burdens lifted from me whenever I gaze at the Eucharist during the consecration." It is true because we are standing near Jesus at Calvary during the Mass. It is there that we receive the greatest consolations, blessings and graces – graces that we could not possibly receive in any other way! Jesus won them all for us at that every moment on the Cross. Most of all, this is the best time to give Him our love and thanks, to repay Love for love.

One blessing I experience is the greater ability to recall things that needs to be done. In the past I used to be quite forgetful and would spend a lot of time writing them down so that I would not forget. I also used to complain about things - be it a tight deadline or simply feeling out of sorts. The daily Eucharist gives me the grace to bear these things more patiently.

Another thing that I found very trying was to answer the many phone calls in the midst of my work. The Lord gradually gave me the strength and the patience to put down everything and to immediately pick the call up so that my colleague, who is transferring the call at the reception, will not need to wait for long, as she too has many things to do.

These are all very trivial and mundane things but I see that they somehow contribute to a more agreeable environment in which I live and work with the others. I hope I have the strength to practise these little things faithfully so that they speak of God's love in a secular environment.

I find the words of St. Francis of Assisi challenging - "Preach the Gospel at all times, use words when necessary". It takes a lot to speak about God without the use of words! Only through the Eucharist can I hope to have the constancy to bear witness to God in my actions. Yet on the other hand I should also "Be ready at all times to answer anyone who asks you to explain the hope you have in you." (1 Peter 3:15)

The Lord in the Eucharist also healed me of my excessive negativity and melancholy. Through the years I see that He works silently, patiently and skillfully within me. He heals my brokenness from within and strengthens me from without through the events and trials of my life.

While I experienced the blessings from the daily Eucharist on my temporal needs, a question that resonated in my heart was – "How do I make use of these blessings to work for His Kingdom instead of using them to work for my temporal needs? "Do not work for food that goes bad; instead work for the food that lasts for eternal life. This is the food which the Son of Man will give you, because God, the Father, has put his mark of approval on him." (John 6:27) What do I work for?

The time I spent in daily Masses are not wasted time. On the contrary, it seems that I have more time. Through God's blessings I am able to be part of the ministry work as a Serran. The Lord has given me all that I need for myself and more than enough for His cause. (2 Corinthians 9:8) There is also a great sense of fulfillment to be able to do my part, helping others with the same help that I myself have received from God. (2 Corinthians 1:4)

In the light of the tremendous graces handed out to me in the Holy Eucharist, there is a responsibility on my part, which is to receive the Lord in the state of grace. During the RCIA class, my attention was brought to these solemn words of St. Paul, "so then, everyone should examine himself first, then eat the bread and drink from the cup. For if he does not recognize the meaning of the Lord's body when he eats the bread and drinks from the cup, he brings judgment on himself as he eats and drinks." (1 Corinthians 11: 28-29). Those who were in charge of us made sure we understood what it meant!

It then follows that the frequency of receiving the Holy Eucharist ought to be matched with the frequency in Confession, to avoid profaning the Body and Blood of the Lord. As I am also aware of the poor response I give in relation to these great graces given to me, I am constantly in need of the Lord's forgiveness through confession.

Through the various circumstances in my life, I come to understand that the Lord does not expect me to be a nun, nor does He want me to leave my secular job to serve in a full time ministry. He wants me to work and live in the midst of the world, to experience the same toil and the same joy as my fellow brothers and sisters out there BUT yet to live it with a difference – a life that is centered on Him, with an inner disposition that flavours all my actions. That inner disposition called love = for only actions born out of love have eternal fruit.

The Lord promises that such eternal life can begin here on earth. "I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full," (John 10:10) For my case, He builds up my life with the daily Eucharist. He wants my "old life" which was enslaved to work, so that He can exchange it with the "new life" of fulfillment. All this is possible because of the graces offered to me in Jesus, "the Bread of Life". (John 6:35)

The words of our late Holy Father John Paul II sum it up beautifully:

"Dear young people, like the first disciples, follow Jesus! Do not be afraid to draw near to Him... Do not be afraid of the "new life" he is offering. He Himself makes it possible for you to receive that life and practice it, with the help of His grace and the gift of His Spirit." (Message for 12th World Youth Day, 1997)

Divine Updates

MAGNIFICAT in Bangalore

Celebrate an evening with our Lord in Bangalore at the 'Magnificat' on March 23, 2019. Services to be led by Fr John Prince VC. Special session for children. All are welcome.

Venue: St. Joseph's Boys' School Chapel, Museum Road, Bangalore

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

Kannada Convention 2019

Divine Retreat Centre will conduct our annual Kannada convention in May, 2019. The convention will be blessed by the vibrant preaching of many anointed servants of God. Please come.

Date: May 5 - May 10, 2019

Konkani Convention - Kuttumb-Utsov-2019

Divine Retreat Centre's annual Konkani Convention will be held at the centre. The convention will be led by Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC, Director. Talks to focus mainly on the renewal of the family. All are welcome.

Date: April 28 - May 3, 2019

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

Hindi Convention Ojas 2019

The Divine Retreat Centre will conduct our ninth Hindi convention, in 2019. Two retreats will be held simultaneously on the campus; one for adults and another for couples and youth. All are welcome.

Date: May 26 - May 31, 2019

Divine Retreats in Canada

Divine healing Masses and retreats to be held across various venues in Canada. Masses to be offered by Fr Augustine Vallooran VC. Praise and worship by Glen and Teresa La'Rive. Please bring your loved ones.

Date: 15 - 27 March, 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

Retreats at the Divine Retreat Centre, Sydney

Divine Retreat Centre, Somersby to hold retreats throughout 2019. For bookings, email Fr Roni George, Director - or Hurry, as admission is limited.

Date: January 2019 - December, 2019

4th India Catholic Deaf Retreat 2019

A Divine Mission Retreat will be held at the Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor, for those with hearing disabilities. The retreat is organised by the Catholic Deaf Association of India. Please spread the word.

Date: May 24 - 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 Vincentian priests.


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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