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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

Monthly Reflections

"COME, LORD JESUS!" (Revelations 22:20) - Fr. Augustine Vallooran V.C.

"Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus Come!" (Revelations 22:20) This is the ultimate prayer, the final longing that we find rising out of the scriptures. And this longing for the coming of the Lord is encrusted in every human heart. In fact all of creation joins this chorus of waiting and longing - "The whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons." (Romans. 8:19-23) And there is a wisdom in this waiting, for we have this assurance that "They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." (Isaiah 40:31) The Word promises us that the Lord will neither turn away nor disappoint those who trust in Him and wait on Him.

"Wait For The Lord!" (Psalm 27:14)

The season of Advent is a blessed time of waiting for the Lord. It is a time given to us to renew our participation in this holy longing. Advent reminds us of the long waiting of the people of God for the promise of the Saviour to be fulfilled. In fact the whole spiritual mood of the Old Testament is an urgent longing for the coming of the Saviour. Isaiah gives expression to this longing as he prophesies of how the heavens shall rain down a saviour - "When they cry to the Lord because of oppressors he will send them a savior, and will defend and deliver them." (Isaiah 19:20)

Salvation has been accomplished by those who agreed to wait on God. The event of the birth of Christ showcases for us different people who were waiting in accordance with God's will and who thus allowed God to accomplish His grand plan of salvation. "Simeon… righteous and devout was waiting for the consolation of Israel." (Luke 2:25) Anna too waited and "did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day." (Luke 2:37) The first to offer worship the Lord were "the shepherds who had been out in the field, keeping watch." (Luke 2:8) The star flashed brightly across the sky. Many looked up and were astonished. But the magi who had been waiting for the manifestation of salvation understood the significance and followed the star to see the Face of God.

"You Are My Servant... In Whom I Will Be Glorified." (Isaiah 49:3)

What this waiting entails is revealed to us by the response of St. Joseph to the worst crisis of his life. When he was betrothed to Mary she was found to be with child. He was deeply disturbed and confused as the gospels reveal to us. The easy solution for him would have been to report this to the synagogue. Mary would have been stoned to death according to the prescription of the law. He could have then gone ahead with his life. However he waited upon God to know what God had to say about his predicament. And that is when the angel came with the great revelation of God's plan for the salvation of humankind. The angel declared to Him, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." (Matthew1:20-21) Joseph who could have been an instrument of destruction thwarting God's plan of salvation now by his decision to wait to know God's will, became a most crucial partner for God in the history of salvation.

This sacred season above all reminds us of the great love with which Mother Mary waited for the birth of her Son. The heart of waiting is the trust of love. The gospels clearly lay out for us that the salvation event began with Mother Mary's fiat, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." (Luke 1:38) She committed herself to God as a servant waiting to know His will and ready to do it. This commitment she lived out right from Nazareth to Calvary. In the many moments of crisis and darkness that came up along this journey, though she did not understand, "she kept all these things in heart" and transformed these into holy moments of waiting (Luke 2:51).

"For What We Do Not See, We Wait For It With Patience" (Romans 8:25)

This waiting on God generates a great inner strength necessary for us to allow God to take charge over situations. When Mother Mary and Joseph reached Bethlehem at that trying hour of childbirth, when all the doors were shut on them, they did not for a moment fret, complain or fear that the Lord had abandoned them. They trusted and so all things could happen according to God's grand and mysterious plan. When temptation came to Eve, she refused to wait. Satan managed to sow the seed of doubt about God's love. Eve did not go to God and have the darkness dispelled. And this brought on thick clouds of darkness upon all of mankind.

It was the courage of the faith of the second Eve who dared to wait upon the Lord that ushered in the light of Christ to dispel the curse of darkness. Hence the exclamation of Elizabeth, "Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." (Luke 1:45) Jesus Himself waited at Gethsemane. When He had to enter that most precious moment of salvation with his suffering and death, He had to wait in prayer to move from His own agony to a realization of God's will for glory that would prevail over the present passing circumstances.

Salvation could begin because of the Mother's commitment to God and could reach its culmination because of the Son's prayerful waiting.

"The Truth Will Make You Free" (John 8:32)

Indeed the whole attitude of Christian life reflects this kind of constant waiting for the Lord. The psalmist gives expression to this attitude of faith - "I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry." (Psalm 40:1) We are committed to know and to live the will of God at every moment of life. This call of a servant of God necessitates a watchfulness to know what God wants of us in every situation and to be equipped to pursue His will.

This spiritual attitude is perhaps contrary to the culture we live in today. It is the age of instant solutions available at your fingertips – the fast track culture as some could call it. On the contrary, when we are committed to the Lord we need to wait upon God to understand every situation by the revelation of the Holy Spirit and to make every decision according to God's will. We see the Risen Lord commands the disciples to wait before doing anything else and to wait until they are clothed with the power from above (Luke 24:49). Waiting is essential to our living and our mission.

Earlier while giving the promise, Jesus said the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth who will lead us into the whole truth (John 16:13). That means those who wait upon God will be led by the Spirit to understand the whole truth of every situation of life beyond what our human intellect reveal to us. The great tragedy of our life is that we are often led by half truths and total falsities. When this is so, even daily life incidents become launching pads for satan to inject destruction into our life. For example, there can be a moment when the wife is neglected by her husband. A painful experience as this makes the woman most distressed. What comes to her mind instantly is the suggestion that the husband does not love her. The thought cripples her and crushes her spirit. This is the moment she could give entry to satan into her distressed heart and satan takes over her thinking and reactions. However painful this experience might be, if she waited in prayer, the Holy Spirit would have lead her to the whole truth about this experience. Every hour of distress was an invitation for her to turn to God waiting for the power of love to flow into her enabling her to forgive the husband. Waiting on God would have opened out the floodgates to allow a rush of love to fill their hearts and renew their marriage.

"Speak, For Thy Servant Hears" (1 Samuel 3:10)

Moses was shocked at the sight of the bush burning but remaining green. He removed his sandals and waited upon God. The Word of God could now be given to him entrusting him with God's most precious mission of leading His people out from the land of exile and oppression.

A key moment in this passage is the obedient decision of Moses to remove his sandals. To wear the sandal indicates there is a destination waiting for one to rush to. On the other hand, to remove the sandals is to declare that "I have no destination for my one goal is to remain in the presence of God. I consult with Him and proceed according to the direction He makes known to me as I wait on Him in prayer."

"Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation" (Matthew 26:41) Jesus enjoins us to remain watchful in prayer. This is the one guarantee against falling in the time of temptation and trial. The Word warns us repeatedly that evil waits in the shadows ever watchful - waiting to take over our lives and bring destruction. "Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." (1 Peter. 5:8)

I remember this man who was happily married. One morning he had an argument with his wife. He went to his office and was sad and disturbed the whole day. A lady colleague enquired of him about why he was not himself that day. Because of her persuasive and concerned tone, he slowly revealed the reasons for his anguish. She consoled him. A few days later there was yet another quarrel. This time he confided readily. He steadily grew closer to this lady. He used every opportunity to talk to her and there was an urgent desire in his heart now to be close to her. This was when he came for the retreat and shared with me his predicament. I explained to him that there is a demonic plan being unfolded here. Apparently it looked like an innocent relationship. But the fact was that his desire was for this lady all the time and he was spending more time with her than with his wife and child. The plan of satan to wreck the marriage and family which began at paradise was continued in his own home. When he waited upon God and received the truth of his life situation, he could readily make the decision to mend his relationship with his wife and give himself to God's will. He went back with peace in his heart and salvation for his family.

"Rest A While" (Mark 6:31)

This season of Advent is given to us as a type of Sabbath rest. We take a step aside to wait and renew our strength as God speaks His life-giving truth for our life situations. We don't rush to unhappy conclusions and settle for partial truths. As we wait in prayer the Word promises that the Spirit will reveal "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him." (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)

We recommit ourselves to our Christian call to a constant waiting on the Lord. This is the moment to pause and see our life in the Light the Lord sheds over us. Whatever the circumstances of our life may be and the situations around us might indicate, we rejoice for beyond our seeing we realize there is good news - a plan for our welfare that the Lord waits to reveal to us. It is the Lord who promises us great revelations, "Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things which you have not known." (Jeremiah 33:3)

We wait for the Lord, trusting in His unchanging Love that extends to the heights of the heavens. This love went even further to descend to this earth and be born among us that we may be redeemed from the curse of sin, sickness and death in human existence. This is the love that our hearts cry out for even as we join the chorus of the ages - "Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!" (Revelations 22:20)

Lord God of heaven and earth, You have summoned us at this appointed hour of grace. You give us this marvelous privilege to come into Your Presence and place our lives in Your Hands. Open our hearts to the truth that Your Love governs our life. As we wait on You, O Lord, we know Your Spirit will strengthen us to understand Your Will and follow the path You have set for us for this alone shall lead to life.

Jesus, Light of the world, come into our hearts and our home and take control. We long to see Your Face and know Your Salvation. We long to hear Your Voice and be redeemed by Your Love. Come Lord Jesus, Come!


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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