I hope you are well and at peace.
At the end of August I travelled to England to do a
talk at a youth conference for a group called Jesus
Youth. There were about 400 young people
attending. I gave my testimony followed by a time
for questions. These were very deep and to me
expressed what the young people were struggling
with, ranging from accepting themselves to
sometimes feeling isolated and lonely.
In answer to self acceptance I would say that we
have to start looking past our brokeness and
sinfulness to see the reality that God uses us in
our weaknesses for His glory. This is not to say
that we shouldn’t examine our conscience, but
that we shouldn’t focus on where we get things
wrong, but bring these things to God’s mercy.
As for feeling isolated, I think a lot of people old and
young, are deep down very lonely and are always
trying to be what other people want them to be in
order to win their friendship. But these relationships
have no grace as they are based on a lie. So it may
appear that we have many friends around us but the
reality is that no one truly knows us as we are never
real and never ourselves, hence this only adds to
our loneliness rather than relieving it. The opposite
is true when we are real and not wearing any masks,
that’s when we have deep friendships that are based
on truth, because our friends really know and
understand us. The isolation is then automatically
Next I travelled to Canvey Island to do a mission
with a good friend of mine Fr Eamonn. He is
someone who has great discernment and a lot
of experience when it comes to spiritual warfare.
It’s always a blessing to see the fruits of God
working in the parish missions. Because we have
Mass, adoration, confession, the rosary and call
upon all the angels and saints of heaven, one
priest said it is like us standing aside and
allowing Jesus to do the mission.
My next stop was Los Angeles to give some talks.
While I was there I met my good friend Paul
Kelmenson, the film producer who is still very
interested in making my first book into a film. Also
while I was there I had the joy to meet another
friend of mine, James Pinedo who is a young
man who has stepped out in faith to make pro life
films. His first venture seems to be very exciting
and hopefully will be on the big screen very soon.
On returning to Ireland we ran a mission in the
Divine mercy church in Lucan South. One of the
things that touched my heart was seeing the primary
school kids come every night of the mission. They
seemed to be captivated by wanting to know Jesus
more. One little boy aged nine asked when we were
coming back because he didn’t want the mission to
stop. It reminded me that Jesus said “Come to me
as little children!”
I then caught a flight to Washington where I did a
number of talks and a parish mission in Maryland
near Washington DC. I was in a parish where there
are amazing graces happening with the young
people with great work going on in the local schools,
summer camps and various parish youth groups.
The have had a number of vocations to the
priesthood and religious life and it was great to see
so many people, including the parish priest on fire
with the desire to bring the Gospel alive. In the high
school where I spoke to 700 students, 250 young
people are receiving monthly spiritual direction,
which I thought was a brilliant idea and the fruits
of this were self evident. At the end of my time in
the parish it was wonderful to have 4 people of
different ages come up to me saying how the
mission had changed their lives. It always amazes
me how God is so faithful and can use the most
broken of instruments, if we give Him permission!
People sometimes say to me that I am doing
so much good, but the truth is that it is God who is
so good and it is a privilege to speak on His behalf.
May God bless you in his deep love