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EVERY PROBLEM IS A POTENTIAL MIRACLE - By Rev. Fr. Michael Payyapilly V.C.
Travelling is something that I really love. I love the train journeys that we have in India. In Europe the journey by train is really beautiful with the wonderful scenery outside. But still their train journeys lack the same charm that the Indian train journeys give. All those who have travelled by train in India will definitely agree to that. The people around us, the noise, and the adjustments we have to make are all really exciting.
"Out of anguish he shall see light” (Is 53:11)
Recently I was called to take a one day session in Christ Church, Manipal. It was supposed to be for the youth who are studying there in the University and who do frequent the church for Sunday Mass. We had to catch a train that would halt at a station that was a two hour half drive from the Centre. We reached the station at around 10:30 pm. The train was supposed to reach the station at 11:30 pm. We waited at the main entrance because the authorities could not tell us in advance which platform the train would halt at. I had my musician with me who was carrying his keyboard which weighs a ton and it looks like a coffin that has been thoroughly used. Not knowing which platform the train would roll into we kept walking around at 12 am with that ‘coffin’ in hand. We waited for an hour and that hour turned into another and then yet another and there was no sign of the train getting to the station. We had to reach Manipal at 9:30am for the session and we were sure that we would not be able to make it. I was getting increasingly frustrated as the time went by. My eyes were drooping and I was dead tired, not having slept the previous day because of extra work. That ‘coffin’ became a chair for the two of us as we waited for the train. At the end of it, I was even wishing that the train never came in and we could go back and get some sleep. My body was speaking and complaining a lot. Ultimately the train rolled into the station a good four hours later. It was 3:45 am by the time we got into the train. We were sure we would not be able to make it in time for the session. We tucked up into the berth. As was bound to happen we reached the venue as late as the afternoon. We began our sessions. My eyes were still drooping as I took the sessions. Half my mind was on my journey back that night which would once again kill my sleep. We celebrated the Mass and we had a very responsive audience. There were as expected a lot of healings and many felt the touch of the Lord. After finishing the session, we were about to leave when a young girl came up to me weeping saying that she was healed. I was getting late for the train and so I did not ask about the details of the healing but I just prayed for her. On reaching Divine the next day we received an email from this girl explaining her wonderful healing.
“O LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me” (Ps 30:2)
She was born with a physical defect of her left leg and the left arm. Both were shorter than the other. She walked with a very visible limp for twenty three years. The doctors at the hospital could not do anything about it. It was a pain she held in her heart for all these years. She always had the desire to be able to walk normally like the others. She was also one who was struggling to believe in the Person of the Holy Spirit. But during that session she cried out to the Holy Spirit. As she was at the session that day, the Lord touched her leg during the Holy Eucharist and she could feel the trembling of her leg for the whole period of time, till the final blessing. On her way back after the session she found to her surprise that her very visible limp had disappeared and her leg was as normal as can be. She was healed of this problem in the presence of the Lord. Not only that, her hand, one of which was shorter than the other was now of the same length! The power of the Lord worked in her. In her words, “twenty three years of walking with a limp and now in two blessed hours, no limp!”
As I sat in my room reading this testimony, I began to wonder at the way the Lord works. That trip was filled with blocks that would not make me get to this place. My mind itself was filled with a lot of blocks. I was so frustrated that I even wanted to go back from the station. But that day changed the life of a young girl and it taught a little priest a lesson in the ways of God. Anyone looking at us travelling with that big ‘coffin’ in hand and dead tired bodies would say that the journey was a disaster, typical of the Indian train journeys. But through a so called disaster, the Lord showed us His presence. When we think that certain situations are total disasters the Lord brings out some good from it. The normal human way of reacting would have been to go back home, which I must admit, I really wanted to do. But like the Lord says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways” (Is 55:8). He showed us a different way.
“I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us” (Rom 8:18)
The ways of the Lord are really different. Out of every situation, good or bad, He brings out something nice that goes according to His plan. He never wastes a situation. He works on it and brings out a solution that our little minds could not have thought about. We call it a miracle. The miracles of the Lord don’t come from perfect situations. All of them come out of broken and difficult situations. We might not see what lies behind the pain of it all. We have a natural tendency to complain about it too. But we must always remember that a miracle comes out of a broken situation. It was when the Israelites were faced with the problem of the Red Sea that the miracle of the sea parting took place (Exodus 14). It was when they were faced with the difficulty of survival that the miracle of the Manna was given to them (Exodus 16). It was when Bartimaeus was faced with the difficult situation of being blind all his life, that the miracle of his sight was performed (Mk 10:46) It was when the sisters, Martha and Mary were broken because of the death of their beloved brother, that the miracle of the Resurrection of Lazarus took place (Jn 11).
The broken situations brought in greater miracles. We are people who struggle with our daily problems and brokenness. At times we feel like giving up, when the going gets really tough. But let us be inspired by all the Biblical accounts of miracles where the Lord worked through a tough situation to come out triumphant. Like the Lord told Moses, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt, I have heard their cry” (Exd 3:7). We have a God who ‘observes’ and who ‘hears’. Therefore we are protected. We could be going through a tough situation at work, let us know that in that tough situation, lies a miracle of God that will be revealed. If you are struggling in your marital relationship, know that the miracle of the Lord is just round the corner. If things at school or college are not going according to plan and you feel disillusioned, do not break, because in this situation lies a miracle waiting to unfold. Let us never get bogged down in life by the troubles we face and the difficulties that we go through. Let us know within our hearts that the Lord is preparing us for a great miracle. For behind every problem and behind every difficult situation, lies a miracle of God. Be assured within yourself that, every problem is a potential miracle.
Hindi convention DIVYA VANI 2013
Divine Retreat Centre will conduct our third Hindi convention in June, 2013. Two retreats will be held simultaneously on the campus; one for adults/couples and another for youth. His Excellency Bishop Vincent Barwa of Simdega Diocese will inaugurate the convention.
Date: June 2 - June 7, 2013
33rd National Youth Retreat
National Youth Retreat to 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.
Date: May 19 - 24, 2013
POWER 2013 at Divine Retreat Centre
DRC is back with the highlight of the year: the 8th International Youth Conference - POWER 2013. 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. Couples' retreat and children's retreat will be held simultaneously. Don't miss it.
Date: July 14 - July 19, 2013
Divine Residential Retreats in the UK
Two residential retreats will be held in English and Malayalam, in the UK, by the Divine team in July/August, 2013. Services to be led by Fr. Mathew Naickomparambil VC, Fr. George Panackal VC, Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC and Sr.Theresa FCC. Limited seats.
Dates: 31 July - 7 August, 2013
Healing Masses in Australia
Fr. Michael Payyapilly VC, Director, Divine Retreat Centre, Somersby and Fr. Joseph Edattu VC, Assistant Director, Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor to minister together in Australia. They will celebrate several healing Masses. Praise and worship to be led by Glen and Teresa La'Rive.
Date: 5 - 12 June, 2013
Konkani Bible Convention
A Konkani convention will be held at the Divine Retreat Centre in November 2013. The convention will be led by Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC, Director and Fr. Joseph Edattu VC, Assistant Director. All are welcome.
Date: Nov 3 - Nov 8, 2013
Charismatic Marian Cruise
Enter the experience of worship, with a Charismatic Marian Cruise brought to you by Divine. Sail from Rome to Sovana, Italy, Katakolon & Athens, Ephesus, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Israel and Egypt. To be led by Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC and Fr. Ermelindo, San Giovanni Rotondo (St. Padre Pio's shrine, Italy) Music by Glen & Teresa La'Rive.
Dates: 30th October - 10th November, 2013
Faith Festival in Germany
Fr. Mathew Naickomparambil VC, Fr. Kuriakose Punnolil VC, Fr. Joby Kachappilly VC and Sr. Teresa Varakulam FCC, will lead a Bible convention at Freudenstadt, Germany.
Date: 12th August - 16th August, 2013
Malayalam Residential Retreat in the UK
Fr. Mathew Naickomparambil VC, Fr. George Panackal VC, Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC and Fr. Isac Maripatt VC, along with Sr. Therese FCC, Glen and Teresa La'Rive, will lead a Malayalam residential retreat in the UK.
Date: 5th August - 7th August, 2013
Retreats at the Divine Retreat Centre, Somersby, Sydney
Divine Retreat Centre, Somersby to hold retreats throughout 2013. Fr. Michael Payyapilly VC to minister. For bookings, email email@example.com. Hurry, as admission is limited.
Date: May 2013 - December, 2013
Divine Overseas Mission in Hong Kong
Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC, along with Glen and Teresa La'Rive, will lead a Divine Oversea Mission in Hong Kong. Holy Mass will be celebrated; Eucharistic Adoration, talks, praise and worship sessions will be held in various venues across Hong Kong. Come and be renewed by the power of God's Word and anointed by His Spirit.
Dates: 25 May - 2 June, 2013
Divine Europe Fest
Divine Television to mark the fifth anniversary of its transmission in Europe. Programmes in Malayalam and English to be held in the UK, by the Divine team. Welcome to a spiritual banquet of God's Word and Christian music.
Date: 3 August, 2013
Retreats for Priests, Religious & Lay Ministers
Two retreats will be held for those in ministry - one for priests, religious and lay leaders, and the other, an inner healing retreat for priests, at the Divine Retreat Centre, in 2013. The retreats will be led by Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC, Director and Fr. Joseph Edattu VC, Assistant Director. Prior registration not required.
Date: July 21 - 26, 2013 & Sept 22 - 27, 2013