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Monthly Reflection by
Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC

Through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous" (Rom 5:19) - Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC

Prayer of the Month

Monthly Reflections

"My Soul Thirsts For God, For The Living God" (Psalm 42:2) - Fr. Augustine Vallooran V.C.

"Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about His people, from this time on and forevermore. (Psalm 125:1-2)

O God, you are always there with me round about me to protect and to save. It is in you that I trust. I shall never be moved, I shall never fear, I shall never be afraid. Give me a strong faith in my heart that I may trust in you and remain firm close to you O God. Amen.

"There Is No Fear In Love" (1 John 4:18)

A young man came to meet me and he confided that he was always very nervous. He was a highly educated young man. Yet he said he could not face an interview successfully because he would be nervous all the time. Little problems would upset him. He could not even think of facing the challenges of life! There was always fear in his heart. Then he said, "Father I pray; I go to the church; I believe in God." I told him, "Faith in God and fear do not go together. Perfect faith will cast out all the fear because faith is power." St. Paul tells us in Romans 1:16,"I have complete confidence in the Gospel; it is God’s power to save all who believe." But then it depends on the God you and I believe in! Do I believe in a God who is present to me? If I know God is the Almighty; if I know God loves me; that God is my dear Father; if I know that God is always there by my side, why should I be afraid? Faith and fear do not go together. It is good for us to ask ourselves this question," Does our faith gives us the courage to face life? Am I able to face the problems of life with God’s power in my heart?"

There is a beautiful event recorded for us in the First Book of Samuel, Chapter 17 - the fight between the young boy David and Philistine giant Goliath. It is a story many of us are familiar with – David, the young shepherd, who defeated Goliath the giant. At first, the King Saul clothed David with armour, helmet and other weapons. David tried to walk. However, he could not and very humbly he told the king, "O King! I am not used to such things. I am only used to a sling and a stones." King Saul asked him, "Boy, how are you going fight against the strong man Goliath with staff, with slings and stones?" David replied, "King, I am a shepherd. I believe in my God. When I go to the field with the sheep, if a lion or a bear come to attack my sheep, I will catch the lion by the beard and smite him. I have killed lions and bears in the name of the living God. When the King saw the faith of this young boy, he was impressed! David then went forward. When Goliath, the big man saw him, Goliath began to disdain him. Goliath said, "Am I a dog or something that you come to fight against me with sticks and sling? I will kill you and take your dead flesh and throw it to the birds of the air and beasts of the field." David replied, "I am coming to you in the name of the living God." Then David took out a stone and slung it. The stone went direct to the forehead of Goliath and struck him. The stone sank deep and Goliath fell on the ground. Thus, David won the battle in the name of the living God! This particular phrase is very popular in the Bible, ‘My God is a living God’.

"For He Is The Living God And He Endures Forever" (Daniel 6:26)

What does it mean, 'My God is a living God’? It means that my God is not a dry dead power somewhere far away in the horizon; In fact, it is just the opposite! My God lives with me; my God lives for me and I live for my God. My God is with me and I am with my God. My God is present to me and I know my God loves me. I know my God lives for me. This strong faith in the Living Presence, Loving Presence of God gives us great power - a power that empowers us to never be nervous or afraid. Wherever there is the admission in the bible that God is a living God, there is great power. We find it in Mathew, Chapter 16:13-19, Jesus asks His disciples, "Who do you say that the Son of Man is? And then the personal question, who do you say that I am? And Simon Peter boldly replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." You are the Christ the Son of the living God! And that is when Jesus said, "Simon, you are blessed. It is not flesh and blood that revealed it to you but my Father in Heaven and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Wherever there is faith there is power and the gates of hell and the powers of evil shall not prevail against any one who has deep faith in God, in the living God!

In this present age, many people are afraid. The hectic lifestyle of the day has made a lot of people nervous, angry and bitter. My answer to this is faith. I should know that my God is there for me! I remember visiting a cancer patient in the hospital. The doctors told me that there was no more treatment to be given. This man was dying and that too in unbearable pain. I went to him, this cancer patient, and I asked him, "my friend, how are yo u?" He said, "Father, I know my situation. I know all the medicines are inadequate. No medicine can heal me, but I am not afraid. My Jesus is there for me. The living God is with me all the time!" That faith gave him great courage to face death. Even death did not frighten him. He was ready, ready to die because of his faith in the living God!

This must be lesson to every one of us. We have problems to face everyday; challenges to look at. Yet, when I believe in the living God, in the Loving Presence of the living God, nothing would frighten m! I will be able to face all the problems of life. What St. Paul tells us, Romans 8:15, "For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship, a spirit of sonship that enables us to cry, "Abba Father." If my God is "my Abba", and I am a beloved son of my God, I know He is there for me. In every unfavourable situation of life, He is there for me and I shall not be afraid. St. Paul reiterated this again in Romans 8:31, "If God is for us who is against us? If God is for us who can be against us?"

It was this faith that enabled the first century Christians to proceed to martyrdom without any fear. They were not afraid; they were singing hymns and praising God while seeing death face to face. Even death could not frighten them, because they knew, as St. Paul said in Philippians 1:21, ‘Death is a gain for me; whether I live or I die’; I know my God is there for me, I will be with my God. What a confidence of faith! When we have this confidence of faith, we will not be anxious.

"Love is Perfected In Us" (I John 4:17)

Remember Jesus said in John 14:1, "Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe in me." As St. John tells, perfect faith, perfect love will cast out all fear, all nervousness and all anxiety. Jesus is asking us in Mathew 6:26-27, "if you know that God is your loving Father, why are you anxious? Look at the birds of the air; look at the lilies of the field. And you know your Heavenly Father is clothing them perfectly and feeding them always. Not one of them falls to the ground. And you men of little faith why are you anxious? Why are you afraid? Don’t you know that God is there for you?" From this moment, let us open our hearts to this great faith in the Love of our God!

Unfortunately, many people are afraid of Satan today. There are preachers who speak more about Satan than about God. Jesus said, "Do not be afraid of Satan, I have conquered it. Satan is a defeated enemy." The Lord has conquered Satan for me. I will not be afraid. The whole world could do black magic or any other occult against me, but my God is here for me - the living God. My faith is in the living God! I will not be afraid of any occult power. I will not be frightened of any demonic force. I will hold on to my God and my God is there for me.

Let us pray:
O God, thank you for your revelation that you are a living God; always with me, always there for me; always protecting and saving me. Even a hair falling down from my head is all counted by you, O God. Why should I be afraid? Give me a deep faith in your love O God.
Amen
 
Divine Updates

MAGNIFICAT in Bangalore

Celebrate an evening with our Lord in Bangalore at the 'Magnificat' on December 16, 2017. Services to be led by Fr Augustine Vallooran 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 2018 - December, 2018

Emmanuel Conference at DRC

Welcome to the season of blessings - mark this Advent with special retreats for discipleship, couples and children at the Divine Retreat Centre. A time to strengthen yourself in the Lord, before the end of the year. Led by Fr Augustine Vallooran and the Divine team.

Date: December 24 - 29, 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, 2018

Hindi Convention Ojas 2018

The Divine Retreat Centre will conduct our eighth Hindi convention, in 2018. Two retreats will be held simultaneously on the campus; one for adults and another for couples and youth. All are welcome.

Date: May 27 - June 1, 2018

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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