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Monthly Reflection by
Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC
"A Chosen Generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation"(I Pet 2:9) - Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC

Prayer of the Month

Divine Call Archives

The betraying back-up plans

By Fr. Jacob Arimpur VC

No slave can serve two masters' is an emphatic statement which Jesus makes in Luke’s gospel. Luke is the evangelist of prayer. It is evident from the fact that he presents Jesus as a man of prayer more frequently than the other evangelists. The Jesus portrayed by Luke prays during all the important moments in His life, at all the critical junctures of His ministry. Luke introduces the motive of prayer into texts unlike in other evangelists’ writing. Some of the most beautiful parables in which Jesus teaches about prayer, like the parable of the two friends, the parable of the unjust judge and the widow; and the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, are exclusive to Luke. We also see in the book of Acts how Luke presents the early Christians as a community gathered together in prayer; a community that turns to God in all the important circumstances of  life. In short, the theme of prayer is given a special treatment by Luke.

The verse above is one such instance where Luke is telling us how to pray. ‘No slave can serve two masters’could point to the double standard with which we approach our prayer life. It can symbolise the divided devotion we have, while spending time with our LORD – No slave can serve two masters. “Do not approach me with a divided mind,” states the Word of God (Sir. 1:28) It is similar to the good old saying, “Never put your feet in two boats”. There is no doubt that such a journey will end, even before it begins. However, today majority of people undertake such ventures because the World has become competitive and almost everyone is forced into multi-tasking knowingly or unknowingly. As a result people want to be in two boats at the same time, and are not troubled by the anxieties or fears inherent in such journeys. But does that mean that since majority follows this way, it is not dangerous? Never! Everyone knows the perils of this way and yet no one hesitates to take this way. After all what is the reason that motivates the present generation to embark on such a risky journey? Why do an increasing number of people feel comfortable with such an endeavour?

I remember an old joke. A person got into a bus to reach his home and he was in a hurry. But unfortunately, he was forced to wait, because the driver wanted more passengers in. He was agitated. He requested the driver to start the bus, but when all his requests were turned down, he came up with a ‘brilliant’ plan. He began to run inside the bus to make up for lost time.

It may sound funny, but the fact is that we are no different. Even we act stupidly when we serve two masters; when we put our legs into two boats. We do it so that we can get our things done as soon as possible. We do not have the time to wait. We do not have patience. We expect quick answers and quick solutions to our problems. And that is the mindset with which we approach our prayer lives also. We don’t persistently seek, knock or ask. Since we want every answer before an eyeblink, we often feel that our prayer is not heard, that God does not answer our prayers. And this often tempt us to give up prayer and execute our back-up plans.

This was the mistake that King Saul committed. When he felt that his prayers were not answered by God, he consulted a necromancer which eventually became the reason why Saul lost the LORD’s favour. It is said that St. Theresa of Avila had to wait for 26 long years for the answers she sought through her prayers. She could not discard the habit of praying because she was convinced that her prayer life was her vocation. More than a kind of give and take relationship, prayer is a Way of Life for us. In the words of St. Paul, it is a life that the Lord has assigned to us (1 Cor.7: 17-24). When we lead this lifestyle, then prayer becomes more to do with listening than speaking. When God sees that we are duly disposed to accept His Will, He will speak to us and we will be able to listen to the answers He is giving us. To listen to Him, we need to have the faith to wait until then, rather than make our own back-up plans that actually deceive us into going the wrong way.

Those who wait for Him will not be put to shame is the promise of God (Is. 49:23) So, this waiting is never an empty exercise; instead, its a period of purification, that slowly makes us more open and more docile to God and to His Word. Therefore, never ever give up on God by yielding to the temptation of serving two masters.

 
Divine Updates

MAGNIFICAT in Bangalore

Celebrate an evening with our Lord in Bangalore at the 'Magnificat' on July 21, 2018. 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 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, 2018

POWER 2018 at Divine Retreat Centre

DRC is back with the highlight of the year: the 13th International Youth Conference - POWER 2018. 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 22 - July 27, 2018

Divine Retreats in USA

Fr. Augustine Vallooran and team will lead several special retreats across the US - in Florida, Texas, Oregon, Washington and California. Please bring your family and friends. Hear the Word and be refreshed. 

Date: August 4 - 19, 2018

Divine Retreat Schedules

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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.

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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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