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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

Are we spiritually pretty?

- By Fr. Michael Payyapilly VC

Recently I overheard a conversation between a couple. A couple who are very much in love. I happened to be around when they got into an interesting discussion. The husband was frowning at the casual way in which his wife dressed and kept insisting that his wife be dressed prettily so that he could admire the beauty of his wife. His wife kept arguing that her normal way of dressing was more than enough. It was a kind of a cute argument going on with the husband insisting that he wants to see his wife at her beautiful best. In the end they turned to me to make a final statement. I don’t know what made them think, I of all people would find a suitable answer for this! How would I know an answer that is so exclusive to a couple? But of course typically like a priest, I had to act like I knew the answer to everything in life, and blurted out something I can’t even remember today. I am sure my answer was so insignificant that the couple too would have thought - why did they ever ask me! But this incident got etched in my mind.

‘Being at our Sunday best’ is a phrase that was used very often. The meaning is obvious. Back in the old days, people would wear their very best clothes on Sunday for Holy Mass. This term then came about to being used for being dressed impeccably. Going for Sunday Mass dressed well was a long standing tradition, though now days this phrase cannot be taken literally with the shabby way we come to Church. But that dressing up for Sunday Mass would show that, that day was different from every other day of the week. Crisply ironing their best clothes and seeing to it that not a crease is seen. Being perfect for a Sunday service was important to everyone. This phrase then became very commonly used for being dressed well for a special occasion.

When I heard that cute little argument between the couple and then thought about the phrase ‘Sunday best’ I could not but help thinking about how our Lord would want to see us spiritually dressed. Does our Lord want to see us only at our Sunday best? In our spirituality as well, do we use the theory of being at our Sunday best? Is our spiritual life restricted to its best only on a Sunday? If the Lord looks at us would He feel that our spirituality is not pretty enough on a daily basis? Would He feel that we are restricting our beauty to a Sunday Mass? Is our spirituality pretty enough to the Lord on a daily basis?

In Matthew 25:1 onwards we read about the parable of the ten bridesmaids. The Lord gives a beautiful parable to bring out the importance to be at our spiritual best all the time. The ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. That is something nice. They did not ignore the bridegroom but they made an effort to take their lamps to meet the bridegroom. But five of them took extra oil along with them and the other five did not take anything extra. They had the bare minimum. They all expected the bridegroom to come soon but the groom came in late. All were asleep and when they heard of his coming they all woke up. But the ones who had no extra oil ended up looking so dry without the oil. Their glow had vanished. They ended up losing the opportunity to be with the groom. Their initial intention was very good. They had a desire to be with the bridegroom but they were caught off guard. All the ten were very sincere. All the ten of them wanted and desired to meet the bridegroom but five of them made the mistake of just having enough. They were glowing for some time and then it died out.

Do we have the same attitude in life? Many of us have belief. We go to Church, we attend the services. The intention is good but in the end are we caught off guard because we restrict our spirituality to Sundays? Do we have a 24/7 spirituality? A youth was one day brought into my office by his mother and his mother was complaining about him to me. She kept telling me how he has changed over the years. And she seemed to be embarrassing him big time in front of me. But he looked at me and argued and said that he is a boy with faith but he cannot understand why he has to let spirituality spill over outside the Church. He bluntly told me, “I go to Sunday Mass and I feel I am a good Christian. Then why is it that no one leaves me in peace the rest of the week? My dad and mom are complaining about my drinking with friends and my late night partying.” And then in frustration he cried out, “Leave spirituality to Sunday!” This boy was good. Unlike so many other youth, he has not stopped going for Mass. He makes an effort to go for Mass on Sundays but the problem is that the Lord does not find him beautiful dressed spiritually on a daily basis. He wants to restrict His spirituality to a Sunday. The Lord wants His child to be beautiful on a daily basis. That is why he tells us to “keep awake and watch”. He says, “Be on your guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap” (Luke 21:34). Then again in Luke 21:36 he says, “Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place and to stand before the Son of Man.” For this boy Jesus was about a Sunday.

Are we to give only Sunday worship to the Lord? Will the Lord feel bad seeing how shabbily we are dressed deep within our spiritual realm. An elderly religious brother told me once, “If a person cannot be spiritually filled outside the Chapel that person can never be spiritually filled when inside the chapel”.  That is so true. If a person cannot be a Christian on a daily basis then they can never be one on a Sunday. It is a farce when we restrict our spirituality to one day of the week. Does the Lord watch us only that one day of the week? Is he is not looking at us every moment of the day? Isn’t he trying to see the beauty of our spirituality at every second of our being? Are we still going to be only at our ‘Sunday best’?

St. Paul says, “It is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20) For Christ to have ‘lived’ in Paul that means at every moment he was at his Sunday best. At no moment did he let his faith be restricted by time limits. His whole being was with Christ. He lived Christ. He had nothing else to boast but to boast in Christ. If we take a look into the Scriptures we would find that every prophet in the Bible were people who oozed Christ in their whole being. It was not restricted. They were in a state where the Lord could look proudly at the beauty of their spirituality. Every minute cell of their body was on its ‘Sunday best’.

Let us make an effort to be spiritually pretty for the Lord at all times. Let us shine forth at all times. It is not so difficult because the Bible says, “Look to Him and be radiant.” (Psalm 34:5-6) As long as our eyes are fixed on Him we will be radiant. Just like Moses in Exodus 34:29. Moses came back from a God experience and he was so radiant. The glow of the Lord shone forth from him. Let us have our eyes perpetually on Him and be radiant. Let us be at our Sunday best 24/7.

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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