Select language
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

Monthly Reflections

God Is Our Refuge And Strength… (Psalm 46:1) - Fr. Augustine Vallooran V.C.

Let us meditate on Psalm 121: I lift my eyes to the hills from whence does my help come. My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be removed, he who keeps you will not slumber, behold he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper. The Lord is your shade. On your right hand the sun will not smite you by day nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all the evil. He will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever more".

O God you are my keeper. You are my refuge, even when everything seems to go wrong around me, I would know you are there for me. You are there to console me. You are there to comfort me. You are there to show me the way. I trust in Your Love for me, my God. Let me never slip into despair in the moments of my troubles rather help me to turn to You and to find refuge in Your Love. Amen

For God’s Glory To be Manifested

For those of us who believe in God, life is not always pleasant. Life is not always easy. Our walk with God is not always in bright light or in heavenly comfort. There are dark shadows falling on the way and often we are confused and disillusioned in not finding the face of God. There is a very familiar passage in the Bible of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead to life. "Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters said to him, "Lord he whom you loved is ill" but when Jesus heard it he said, "This illness is not unto death, it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by means of it". Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, so when he heard that he was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was." (John 11:1-6) The way this miraculous incident is reported to us indicates something very significant.

This last sentence is somehow very strange. Jesus loved Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary. We are told when Jesus was preaching in the temple of Jerusalem, it was to the house of Lazarus that Jesus retired in the evening for the night rest. Jesus loved him and he comes to know that Lazarus is very seriously sick and yet Jesus stays over for two more days at the place where he was. It is very unusual. Something does not fit here. We would have expected like Martha and Mary, I believe, that Jesus would come running as soon as he heard that Lazarus was sick - and yet Jesus waited for two more days and then started to Bethany. It took him two days to reach there. By that time, Lazarus was dead and had already been buried in the tomb for four days. Martha said to Jesus "You are late. If you were here, my brother would not have died." (John 11:21) Martha could not understand this delay, this delay of God.

Why is God Silent?

Nor do we understand often why God delays. We prayed for God’s intervention but nothing really happened. It often happens to us - we pray for guidance from God and there seems to be no response at all. We prayed because someone whom we loved fell ill and he was not healed. Not only was he not healed but he died. We prayed for a financial problem and we waited for God to intervene but it was in vain - the problem became more acute. We wanted a job because we had to feed the family, a family that God gave us and yet God was silent. We wanted understanding, fellowship, friendship, companionship and we prayed for it all but things turned worse. We do not understand the ways of God, the delays of God, the silence of God.

The Gospel sheds light on this aspect of our life. Why is it that God is silent? Why is it that we are not able to see His Face and be comforted by Him in the moments of our troubles? Why is it that God is late? I believe there are two reasons why God delays?

"Believe and you shall see the glory of God"

Firstly, when God delays, it is always for the glory of God to be manifested in that particular situation. In John 11:4, Jesus tells us "this illness is not unto death, it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by means of it."

In John 11:14, Jesus says to Martha. "Did I not tell you that if you believe you would see the glory of God?" What does that mean? A delay in God’s intervention is for the manifestation of God’s glory. I believe that Jesus wanted Martha and Mary and disciples to know that God was in control. God is in control of our sickness, of our life and of our death and that is why Jesus is challenging Martha, "Believe and you shall see the glory of God."

Often we want things to happen our way. Yet, how do I know my way is the best way? God knows everything and whatever God does is to manifest His glory. At the right time he will intervene. In John Chapter 2, The Lord intervened in the problem of the family at Cana, There was no wine and nobody could help. That is when Jesus intervened and the water was turned to wine. Thus the glory of God was manifested and the disciples believed in Him. Every moment when things go wrong with us, we pray that God will intervene - that is the promise but in God’s own time, in God’s own way, and in God’s own place. I must wait for God’s glory to be manifested. He is in control and everything that God does is to manifest His own glory to us.

God Turns Everything For Our Good

Secondly, when God delays, it is always for our good. Often we do not understand because our intellect and our thinking is very narrow. We can see perhaps ten years, or twenty years ahead but God looks at things from an eternal perspective. God knows that at the right time, He will turn everything for our good and that is what Jesus said in John 11:14-15, "Lazarus has died Jesus said and then he added, "I am glad for you that I wasn’t there." God is waiting so that we may trust in Him, that we may put our faith in Him, that we may turn to Him and we become mature in our faith.

In Romans 8:28, there is a beautiful assurance given to us. "We know that in everything that God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose" . God is waiting to work for our good. In fact we are told, Jesus loved Lazarus, Martha and Mary and yet he waited for their sake and for the sake of the Apostles.

Suffering Produces Endurance

James 1:2 states, "Count it all joy my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know the testing of your faith produces steadfastness and let steadfastness have its full effect that you may be perfect and completely lacking in nothing - that you may be perfect." To make us perfect and be completely lacking in nothing, St.Paul tells us in Romans 5:3-5, "More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings knowing that sufferings produce endurance and endurance produces character and character produces hope and hope does not disappoint us because God’s love has been poured into our hearts, through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."

The Love of God

Sufferings do come our way. There are problems - dark shadows come our way all around. We trust in God and that trust will make us mature and we will be filled with the great love of our God. Yet, what are we to do in such moments? Moments of trial - when we are confused and disillusioned with the silence of God. The one thing to do is to display our confidence in the love of God. There is a beautiful word that Jesus said Mathew 10:13, "Nothing escapes God’s attention, even a hair falling down from my head is all counted by him. In Psalm 56:8, "God has counted all our tosses and our tears are collected in his heart. No sigh, no tear, no pain escapes God’s attention. God knows everything at the right time God will turn everything to our good." It may not be in my time-table, it may not be as I wanted but as God wants it according to God’s purpose as in Jeremiah 29:11 - a purpose that God has kept in His heart. From all eternity for my good future, for my prosperity I should know this. When things go wrong with me, I should know this - that God is there for me waiting to turn everything to my good according to His purpose.

"Here I Am"

My God is such a great loving Father who has kept that purpose hidden from me but not hidden from Him. He loves me more than I love myself. He cares for me more than anyone cares for my welfare and he is in control. In the moments of trials, I must declare my submission to the authority of God. In the Gospel of John 11:16, Thomas the disciple says, " Let us also go, that we may die with him". Whatever happens to me I trust in him and submit myself to the authority of God. I do not want my way. I tell my God, " My God, I want Your way to happen in my life. Like Mother Mary telling God, "Here I am your Handmaid, let it happen to me according to your word." It is this submission to the authority of God that enables us to become mature in our faith. A maturity that would sustain us in all the troubles of our life. We will turn to God and we will begin to praise Him and thank Him for all such moments when we thought that God was silent. When we could not understand the ways of God.

I praise Him and I thank Him because I know my God is my loving Father.

Let us pray:
O God, I have been very distressed in the past when I thought you did not care. I know my God, you understand I am such a small man with a very limited understanding. Now I know whatever happens to me, You will turn it all to my good. In the moments of trials and problems of my life, send me O Lord, a ray of hope and strength of faith - that I may never lose my hope in you and slip into depression. Rather that I may turn to You and put my whole trust in Your Love.
Amen
 
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 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.

Facebook Twitter Blog 
Online Donation
We run purely on your contributions.

We invite you to donate and spread the Good News to millions
Read more about it
Copyright © Divine Retreat Centre, All Rights Reserved
Web design and maintenance by Preigo Fover Technologies