I hope you are at peace.
As always the last few weeks have flown by, the mission in Sligo was a great blessing, the Cathedral being full every night and many people coming back to their faith. I heard of one man who went back to confession for the first time in 59 years. What joy he must have brought to Gods heart.
After the mission I had the chance to spend a few days at home and I took the opportunity to tile the bathroom, which I really enjoyed because it is always nice when you finish a job to look at the work you have done. I'm sure the Lord loves to look at us and even though we are not the finished article, we are his creation and he rejoices in us.
Next I went to speak in several schools across Ireland. After the first school I spoke in I received an email from a girl Who had been really suffering from loneliness and was feeling at rock bottom, she was also self harming. She felt that no one loved her. Thank God that after hearing my talk and speaking to her by email she is feeling a lot better and I know that God has great plans for her life, so please pray for her that she would truly know the deep love that Jesus has for her and how he loves to be with her.
I went to speak in Blackrock College in Dublin and was deeply impressed by the RE department, the Chaplain and the Principle who are instilling a profound sense of the faith and how each boy can make an incredible difference in this world. There was a great response to my talk from the boys and many of them took books. I have so much hope for the future when there are still schools like this who put God at the centre of all they do.
After the schools were finished I headed for Donegal for a short break. The hotel I had booked had changed the original dates and had given me my stay for a discount, otherwise I probably would have gone somewhere else. But as always God had his plan. While I was eating in the restaurant the first night I got talking to a married couple and I ended up sharing my story with them and I gave them a copy of my book "from Gangland to Promised Land". The next day I saw the man sitting in the Lobby reading my book, so I asked him what he thought of it. He answered me "To be honest John I have been very emotional while reading it" I could see tears in his eyes and he told me that he hadn't been to mass in a long time. It reminded me once again that there is no such thing as a holiday from God, he wants to use us to reach his beloved children wherever we are and whatever we are doing, and that is what I live for.
Also in Donegal I met up with two of the Priests of the local church and went out for a meal with them, what a joy to make new friendships in the Lord. I have found that the promise Jesus made when he said whatever we give up for him, he will give us a hundredfold in return, is totally true and what greater gift could he give us than friendship, firstly with himself and then with so many others that he puts in our paths.
Finally I met up with my old friend Fr Eamonn Kelly from Letterkenny and spent some time with him. His mother has 19 children and is still going strong. when I met her this time she was praying her Rosary by the fireside in her house. She looked so content and peaceful and that is the gift that God imparts to us when we place him in the centre of our lives.
Please know that you are in my heart and in my prayers.
God bless you in his deep love