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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

OPEN THE GATE OF BLESSING - Babu Panackal, India

Beauty of life is lost and the purpose of our existence is defeated when we become blind to what is right and wrong. To keep us in the dark, not knowing what is good and evil, is the game played by the powers of darkness. Devoid of a sense of wrong, we are condemned to justify everything and as a result, self-righteousness becomes the ruler of our life. In such a situation, we deny the possibility of becoming a new person. The key to becoming a new person is repentance – yet self-righteousness will not let us repent of any wrongdoing we do.

Repentance is the key to the Kingdom of God. Jesus proclaimed, "Repent, for the Kingdom of God has come near." (Matthew 4:7) The Word of God tells us of two persons who came to pray in the temple (Luke 18:9-14). Of the two, one being confident of his own righteousness, came in as a saint feeling himself justified in everything. But he went back from the Temple as a sinner. The other one came in as a sinner and he did not justify himself. With a sense of unworthiness and repentance, he presented himself before the Lord. The result – "I tell you, this went down to his home justified rather than the other. (Luke 18:14) To be justified by the Lord is a great blessing!

Since all of us are sinners, the way to be justified is not to justify ourselves but to acknowledge our sinfulness and thereby allow the Lord to justify us. In self-righteousness, we consult ourselves and we do not analyze our life in the Light of God's Word. To know what is wrong and where I have gone wrong, I must place myself before the Truth. God is Truth and His Word is Truth.

If the division between right and wrong is not clear in our hearts, then we are in danger of being deceived, for the evil one is the deceiver – father of ies – and he will present a lie as truth and truth as a lie. God's Word makes us come to our senses and know what is right and wrong. The psalmist said, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." (Psalm 119:105)

Jesus said, "You went wrong because you know neither the Word of God nor the power of God." (Matthew 22:29) The Word of God invites us saying, "Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today when you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion." (Hebrews 3:7) We need to "prepare the way of the Lord." (Matthew 3:3) The way of the Lord is perfect. Repentance clears the way for the Lord in our lives.

My lay ministry to serve in Divine happened when I learnt to forgive from my heart – this is the reason why I do know each us need to be truly repentant so that the grace and power of Our Lord's Spirit can work through us. Shortly after my father's death when I was twenty-one years old, Fr. George Panackal, who is the Director of this Retreat Centre came to my ancestral home and my mother noticed his arrival. We expected him to visit us too as my late father was the elder brother of Fr. Panackal's father. We waited for a long time but he did not visit us. I was furious! I found out the Potta Retreat Centre's address and in my anger I wrote to him that I was Joseph (my baptized name), son of the late Jacob, and I wanted to know if I had to ceased to exist as part of the Panackal family because my father had died. It was a letter full of anger and frustration!

A month later in December, Fr. Panackal came to our home. I did not bother to acknowledge him. In fact when he asked me how we were, I replied, "We are not dead yet." My mother has a special fondness for priests and my reply shocked her. She cautioned me about my speech. As I was about to go out of the house in anger, Fr. Panackal caught me by my shirt, and asked me to attend a retreat in Potta. He wanted me to pray. He was very cool and insistent and in an authoritative voice said, "I am telling you in prayer that you shall come for another retreat before the end of this year." I had no intention yet just before New Year, I found myself attending the retreat in Potta! What is even more important, God brought me to the retreat so that I could remove all the barriers in my heart that stopped me from truly experiencing His Love and His Peace in my life. Once I truly repented and forgave all who hurt me – God opened the gate of blessings into my life. From then on, I have served in Divine Retreat Centre.

Those using computers will know how that it is by using a specific file name that the file gets opened. Any file name other than the specific file name that should be used, will not get the file opened. God has a file of blessing for us - for He is a God of Blessings! This wonderful file is opened through the file name "Repentance". Any attempt to enter into the Kingdom of God experience, using any file name other than "Repentance" will not work!

If there is no repentance, we reject God's Mercy and leave ourselves to His Judgement.

"And if my people, upon whom my name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, and seek my presence and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and revive their land. Now my eyes shall be open and my ears attentive to the prayer of this place." (2 Chronicles 14-16)

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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