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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

THE ANGELS AND THE MESSAGE - Rev. Fr. Michael Payyappilly V.C.

We have just celebrated the end of the Christmas season - a season that signifies hope, joy and peace. It is a time that enchants every Christian irrespective of age, language, culture. It is a season that we have grown up with. Gifts, celebrations, snow and Santa are among the highlights of this season. It is a time when certain characters in the Bible are highlighted. The Little Infant, the Blessed Mother, a protecting Joseph, the Magi, the shepherds. Why, even King Herod is recalled, though not very fondly. Out of all of these, the characters that stand out in my mind are the Angels. They have a very special role during this season. In fact they have a special role right through the Bible. They are those special Beings that are considered higher than us. Beings having exceptional beauty and who capture our imagination.

We find the Angels not only during the time of the birth of the Saviour. They have been such an integral part of our faith. Starting from the time we first see them coming to Hagar in the desert in Genesis 16:7 and till the time we find them speaking to St. John in the Book of Revelation 22:8. All throughout, the role of the Angels is highlighted. We find them walk with men in disguise. We read this in Tobit 5: 4 "So Tobias went out to look for a man to go with him to Media, someone who was acquainted with the way. He went out and found the angel Raphael standing in front of him; but he did not perceive that he was an angel of God." Like a friend, we find Angel Raphael walk around with Tobias, guiding and protecting him. In the Books of Zachariah, Daniel, Ezra, Kings and in nearly all the Books of the Bible we find the Angels play a very special role.

The one thing we can see in all of these is that, the Angels always come with a purpose. They come with a Message. The coming or the sightings of these angels by the people are always dramatic. Our imagination goes onto their beautiful wings and their glowing figure. That is the very common way of depicting the angels in paintings down the centuries. The beauty of the angels is beyond measure. The numerous pictures do give us this idea. But inspite of their great beauty, the fact is that the Angels have come in to give a Message. And nothing is more important than the Message the Angel comes to give. It is true that the Angel, being a messenger of God and being in the presence of the Lord, will have immense beauty. But ultimately it is the Message that is important and not the messenger. The Angel who came to Joseph in the dream conveyed an important message. The Angel Gabriel in all his glory came to the Blessed Mother. But though he was in His glory it was the Message that was important. It was the Message that was breathtaking. The Angels always brought in a Message that was more breathtaking and more significant than their own beauty.

When I was on a trip to Europe I came across a young Italian. He was heartbroken after a break up with his girlfriend. He came in to meet me. His face was so distraught. He told me, "Father, I cannot believe that she has moved on in life. I loved her from the depths of my heart. She meant everything to me." He then spoke about how he was a very irresponsible person when he was young. He got into wrong company. He entered into addictions and was totally frustrated with his life. How ever much he tried, he was not able to come out of his situation. That is when he came across this young woman. He met her through a mutual friend. Initially they were just friends who enjoyed each other’s company. The two would spend hours together with each other. He told me that things in his life started to change. He gave up on his addictions and started getting a direction for his life. Slowly the two of them fell in love. Life seemed all okay when one fine day she decided to move on in life – when she started feeling that he was not the one for her. She conveyed this to him in a very loving way. It broke the heart of this young man. He could not take it in the right spirit. He sat there in front of me totally broken. He said, "Father if she had to go, then why did she enter into my life?" I prayed for him. The Lord led me to tell him about the Angels. The Angels always came with a message. Once they conveyed the message, the Angel left. The Angel never stayed on. This girl was the Lord’s angel to help him clean up his life. After her work was over, she moved on.

That particular insight I got in prayer made me think a lot. We do come across many Angels in the course of our lives. Angels who bring us a lot of joy and happiness. Angels who guide us into the right path. Angels who soothe our broken hearts. They enter at critical junctures in our lives. At times when we are distraught and broken. At times when we have nowhere else to go and have no way out. They bring us hope and help put our lives back on track. Maybe we get very fond of them during this time and we get attached to them. But though they do so much for us, ultimately these Angels will have to move on. The Message they bring is what is important, not them. They, like the heavenly Angels, are good and of immense beauty but the Message they bring us is more important than them. Once the message is given, they might have to leave. And it is important that we let them leave. When Mary received the message, Mary must have had many more questions to ask of this Angel. But she let him go. Letting go of the Angels in our lives is so important. If we do not, we could end up giving more importance to the Angel than the message. The Angels could be in the form of anyone. It could be our parents; it could be our teachers who came in at a very important stage when we were struggling; it could be a good friend who guided and stood by us in our most difficult moments or it could even be a priest who helped us out in life. It is true that they passed on a message of hope and love. But after their duty and task of love is performed they will have to leave, in order to pass on this message of love to someone else.

Apart from coming across Angels in life, we might become Angels for others- bringing the message of peace and hope to a broken and wounded heart. If so, then we have to come to the realisation that all Angels came to – we will have to move on once our Message is given and our task is completed. The Angel cannot wait around after the work is completed. The Angel has to realize that (s)he has to move on for another task is awaiting us.

All this does not mean, that the people who made a difference in our lives, have to all go away. No, that is not the idea. How long an Angel is supposed to take, to pass on the complete Message, depends on the Lord. It could be a very long Message and might end only after death. Or it could be a Message that is only a few sentences long. The importance is that one day the Angel will have to go. We should be mature enough to let go and hold on to the Message that was given. The Angel is not the Message. But if we hold on to the Angel, the Message could get lost.

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.


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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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