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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

HIDING PLACE - By Glen La'Rive, India

For all of us, the Book of Psalms speaks to us on a very personal level and also relates to our very personal relationship with God. In Psalm 32, the psalmist in his personal conversation with God says, “Thou art a hiding place for me, thou preserveth me from trouble, thou does encompass me with deliverance.” (Psalm 32:7) Obviously this comes from the heart of a person who truly experienced what it is to be hidden in the Lord and protected from all sorts of dangers. This speaks volumes to us; either we hide from the Lord or hide in the Lord or the Lord hides us and as Prophet Isaiah says “In the shadow of His hand He hid me.” (Isaiah 49:2) In the Book of Genesis, we read, “The man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord.” (Genesis 3:8) Instead of confessing their sin and once again hiding in the Lord, they chose to blame one another for their sins and hide from God.

Even though I personally had hidden from the Lord by not accounting for my sins or getting reconciled to Him, I would often turn back to the Lord by searching for His restful Presence- “Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears then you also will appear. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you, immorality, impurity, passion, evil desires, and covetousness which is idolatry.” (Colossians 3:2-5)

This is the reason why I find myself attracted to the Lord – for it would not have been impossible for me to reach this stage of my life if I had not been hidden in the moments of danger that would have destroyed me. Being the only son of my parents, surrounded by three sisters, my mother explained that after 2 daughters, she had longed for a son and so she decided to turn to a mother who had a son – Mother Mary! She knew whatever Mother Mary would ask God, she would receive it for she was able to give God whatever He had asked of her; and He is a righteous God. My mother would pray promising Mother Mary that if through Her intercession, She would grant her the gift of a son from God , she would consecrate this son to her Immaculate Heart. My mother believed it would happen and it did and she kept her promise! Right through my life, I had strange experiences of Mother Mary and Jesus guiding me and helping me. Also a deep love for Jesus constantly emerged in me from time to time leading me back to base. Little did my mother know what a beautiful gift she had made out of my life to God! Because I belonged to Him, He would fetch me, discipline, correct, mould and melt me and of course hide me too! God the Father made a beautiful hiding place for His only begotten Son, Jesus, who was well hidden in the holiness and obedience of Mother Mary. He was nourished with Her intercession to take on the challenges of sin and temptation that He would face in the flesh and conquer it for the salvation of the whole world – for those who would hide in Him. That is why when I was getting too spiritually ugly with sin because of hobbies and professions which involved careless living and love for created things. He made me meet people who were hidden in Him (one of them being Mother Teresa) to make me realize that I was hiding from Him. This realization opened a way for me to attend a retreat at Divine Retreat Centre and to a good confession that helped me climb back to His Hiding Place.

I remember an Incident that happened, which I read in the news, when we were in the United Kingdom. Two individuals from India who desired to go to UK without a passport or shelling out money decided to somehow get onto a plane that left for UK by hiding in the wheel hatchet. Little did they know that they were not well hidden from the -40 degree temperature and the pressure difference at an altitude of 35,000 feet above the ground level. Both managed to reach their destination but frozen and dead! It is only those who went through the proper channels and were safely hidden in the plane from the outside temperature and pressure could reach their destination alive and well.

To be hidden in Christ is to be hidden from the wrath that is going to come to this world unless there is repentance. ”Before Him no creature is hidden” (Hebrews 4:13) as God said, “will forsake them and hide my face.” (Deuteronomy 3:17) Being hidden in Christ does not mean a life without suffering. Sufferings hide us from sin. To be hidden in Christ then means salvation and eternal life. God opened my eyes to see this truth when I met a Brahmin boy who had come to the Divine Retreat Centre not to attend a retreat but to hide from His enemies. He was told that Divine Retreat Centre was the safest place to hide from his enemies. He was in fact involved in a situation in Goa from which he had to escape. On his arrival at the retreat centre, he did as he was told by his friends – that he need not take part in the retreat but just need to sit in the hall and he did not have to respond to the various talks or sessions . A few days later, he came in a hurry to meet me behind the stage – excited and full of joy! I could feel the joy and the anointing of the Holy Spirit on him . He told me that every night that he was in Divine, when he slept he could see Jesus in a dream coming to Him and offering him the Holy Eucharist and he did not know what to do! The day he met me, he was sitting in the hall and everyone was standing up and praising God. He suddenly felt some power come on himself and he stood up and began shouting out ‘Halleluiah’! At that moment he felt deep joy and power all over him! The Holy Spirit had come upon him. He promised that he would go back after the retreat and bring back many with him. True to his word, he came back with many people. They chose Jesus as their Hiding Place.

When God told the Israelites, “for I will pass through the land of Egypt, both man and beast, and on all the God’s of Egypt I will execute Judgments. I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you, upon the houses where you are and I see the blood I will pass over you and no plague shall fall upon you to destroy you. When I smite the land of Egypt” (Exodus 12:12), He hid the Israelites by the blood of the lamb offered without blemish when applied on the door posts and lintels of the door. Similarly In 1 John 1:7 we read, “if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his son cleanses us from all sin.” We are hidden in Christ, by the Blood He shed, that washes us through repentance.

The great secrets of God are seen revealed in the Book of Daniel because Daniel was hidden deep in the depths of God’s love – for He was faithful to God in love, obedience , godly fear and prayer. Daniel thus says, “He reveals deep and hidden things.” (Daniel 2:22) This is the Promise of God – “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things which you have not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3) This is God’s call to us, “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me: for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” (Mathew 11:28-30)

Let us find this rest which is the ultimate fullness of life! Make God your Hiding Place, the only place we are safe from the perversions that enslaves the earth we live in. Let us make this our prayer – “Lord Jesus, come in to my life and allow me to make You my Hiding Place.”



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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