Lethargic IITian
Musings of a 20-something lethargic IITian on India and Catholicism.

Sunday, July 28, 2002  

Divine Retreat Centre - Day 1

The retreats in the English center of the DRC commence on Sunday afternoon and wind up by Friday afternoon. The week we went (July 14th - 19th) featured the special Couple's Retreat - so my brother and I attended quite a few sessions not immediately relevant to us (someday, however ...)

Anyway, each day had 4 sessions ( 6am - 9am, 10am - 1pm, 2pm - 5pm, 6pm - 9pm) followed by a Silent Adoration for half an hour at 10pm. The first three sessions usually had two lectures apiece - preceded by a decade of the Rosary and some songs of praise and thanksgiving.

On the first day (Sunday), the retreat officially begins in the afternoon. Since we got there in the morning itself, we were able to hear testimonies of people who benefitted from previous retreats. Besides the usual cures from drinking, smoking, depression and various bodily ailments; we also heard the extraordinary testimonies of two people whose lives were saved (despite grave injuries) by the grace of Christ. It being the Lord's Day, we also listened to a lecture about the blessings given to a person who observes the Sabbath. We all know the Third Commandment:

Remember to keep holy the sabbath day (Exodus 20:8)

But the following verses really struck home:

If you hold back your foot on the sabbath from following your own pursuits on my holy day; If you call the sabbath a delight, and the LORD'S holy day honorable; If you honor it by not following your ways, seeking your own interests, or speaking with malice--
Then you shall delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will nourish you with the heritage of Jacob, your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken. (Isaiah 58:13-14)

The other major emphasis of the morning sessions was the following:

It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. (John 15:16)

Many are invited, but few are chosen. (Matthew 22:14)

So, it really wasnt my decision to attend the retreat at all. I was chosen. Some of us who attended had wanted to come down for a retreat for a long time, but various obstacles kept mounting. Some others who thought they'd never make it for this retreat due to various sudden obstacles found these hurdles vanishing twice as fast. And yet others (like me) who never wanted to come found themselves at the Retreat Center anyway. We were all chosen.

But you are "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises" of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)

The afternoon session focussed on the Salvific action of Christ:

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. (John 3:16)

There was an Adoration in the last hour of the third session followed by Mass in the fourth. Rev. Dr. Augustine Vallooran was the chief minister of this Mass. Rev. Vallooran is the Director of the English Retreat center. (You can read an article about the Divine Retreat Center here.)

posted by Kensy | 5:02 AM
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past blogs of interest
Hinduism as a religion
Pederasty and the American Church
Caste in Indian Christianity
Syro-Malabar engagements
Syro-Malabar weddings
Divine Retreat Centre
Varsha Bhosle and Ideological Relativism
Anti-Conversion Ordinance and the Church stance
Self-Righteous Rightism
The Hindutva Attack on St. Francis Xavier
Varsha Bhosle and the Church (U-turn)
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