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Monthly Reflection by
Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC

I have come to set the earth on fire" (Lk 12:49) - Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC

Prayer of the Month

Divine Call Archives

We have something special in store for us

By Fr. Michael Payyapilly VC

I was on my way to Bangalore recently, for the monthly Magnificat programme that DRC conducts. I took an early morning flight, which was not packed, but had the right mix of tourists and businessmen. Fifteen minutes after we were airborne, the plane hit an air pocket and began to shake violently. I have been on many flights before and have experienced turbulence in the past. But this one was a bit scary. The pilot’s fearful and hurried instructions to the crew to take their seats, only added to the tension. I closed my eyes, said a prayer and a gentle calm came over me, knowing that my Lord was keeping watch over me. I then looked around and saw a lot of anxious faces - many of them stiff with fear, some with eyes closed in obvious prayer, some expressing a deep sense of calm as well. By the grace of God, after a minute that seemed really long, the flight stabled and I could sense relief all around me. There were people from all walks of life and people of all age groups, but one thing all of us had experienced was fear and anxiety. I would say it was only natural.

After those few anxious moments, I began thinking about how different people approach the uncertainties of life. So much is based on what we believe in and what we have our faith in. I remember speaking years ago to a person who used to study with me. He was a professed atheist. He once met with an accident. A huge tanker came and banged into his parked car while he was inside. By God's grace, nothing much happened to him. He described to me the horrifying experience of seeing this tanker come towards his car and how he did not have the time to even open the door and run. As he watched the tanker coming, he said he thought about how small his car was. He remembered that his car did not have safety airbags. In his mind, he decided that 'all was over' and a deep sense of sorrow engulfed him.

Many times, I am reminded of this incident. For a person who does not believe in God, there is not much to hold on to or look forward to. It all ends there. What they believe in is the structure that man has put around them. But man’s structures are not foolproof. There are always chinks in it. When people put all their trust in it and then the structure falls apart, they find their world crumbling and falling apart. They have nothing to hold on to because the only thing they were holding onto has now crumbled. They have nothing to look forward to. But those who believe in the promises of the Lord always have something to look forward to. The promises of the Lord are many. He promises His presence. He promises His healing touch. He promises His deliverance. But more so - He promises us a place in His kingdom. Now this is something that we an always count on and look forward to. Healing and deliverance need not always take place. And everyone in this world, believer or atheist, will go through sickness and pain. But for one who holds onto the Lord there is always the promise of a room in His palace. In John 14, the Lord describes this so lovingly. In John 14:2 we read, "In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?" The Lord promises a place for us. He is giving us something to look forward to. This is why the Lord came to this world and kept speaking about the Kingdom of God.

Time and again the Lord spoke about the Kingdom of God. He would use parables to describe the Kingdom of God. To all who hold on to Him, He is giving us something to hope for. In John 14, He said that He was going ahead to prepare a place for you. He is already preparing something beautiful for us. And in verse 2 he says, "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and I will take you to myself, so that where I am, you maybe also." The Lord's coming into this world and His message were not focused on this worldly healings and blessings. His message was more about what He has kept in store for us after this life. His messages were all about the way to get there.

Therefore, those of us who have placed our trust in the Lord have something always to look forward to. It is true that we too will go through our moments of pain and suffering. There will be times when our bodies give way and in spite of praying in faith, we might not see any change in our conditions. Sometimes life might be a struggle for us. Every step might seem daunting. But let us always focus on the promise of the Lord that He is preparing a place for us. And every step of ours is towards this place the Lord prepares. There might be times that even climbing the next step can seem impossible. But let us know that the Lord will be by our side like a railing. When we are tired, the Lord invites us to hold on to Him. Holding onto Him does not mean that the steps will disappear. The steps of difficulty might still be there but we have the Lord to lean on to. Just as the railings that we hold on to, to help us take the next step, the Lord will help us take the next step. When the climb becomes difficult let us remember the promise of the Lord that at the end of all this, He has prepared a place for us.

The prophets of the Bible did not have life easy. They struggled. There were times when no one liked them. Life was a constant struggle for them. The apostles had it tough too. But what kept them going? What kept them fearless? All these men of God realised that there is something special that is in store for them. Isn't that why the very same disciples who were afraid that they would perish when the storm hit the boat, were now fearlessly moving around in dangerous waters amid the storms of persecution, still unafraid. They knew that there was something more special waiting for them. Let us always realise that there is something special awaiting us. The storms of this world, the paralysing pain and trials of this life should never overwhelm us. We should move forward - knowing deep within our hearts that there is something special awaiting those who hold on to Christ Jesus.

 
Divine Updates

MAGNIFICAT in Chennai

Divine comes to Chennai with the 'Magnificat on October 21,2017. Fr. Jacob Arimpur VC will lead the services. Music by Worship Culture. With special sessions for children.

Venue: Stella Maris College, Cathedral Road

MAGNIFICAT in Bangalore

Celebrate an evening with our Lord in Bangalore at the 'Magnificat' on October 14, 2017. Services to be led by Fr Jacob Arimpur VC. All are welcome.

Venue: St. Joseph's Boys' School Chapel, Museum Road, Bangalore

Retreats at the Divine Retreat Centre, Somersby, Sydney

Divine Retreat Centre, Somersby to hold retreats throughout 2017. For bookings, email Fr Roni George, Director - drcsydney@gmail.com. Hurry, as admission is limited.

Date: January 2017 - December, 2017

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, 2017

Divine Mercy Mega Convention

Answer God's call and experience His burning love for you. A three-day convention to be led by Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC and team at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Bangalore. Please spread the word.

Dates: October 27, 28 & 29, 2017

Divine Retreat Schedules

ENGLISH RETREATS

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.

MALAYALAM RETREATS

Inner healing retreats, growth retreats, couples' retreats and youth retreats in Malayalam, are led by Fr. Mathew Elavumkal, Fr. Mathew Naickomparambil and Fr. Binoy Chackanikunnel.

OTHER LANGUAGES

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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