Saturday, January 17, 2009
I hope that you have had a blessed Christmas and you are at peace.
For Christmas this year I went away for a few days with my mum. First we went to Paris where I visited the beautiful church of the Rue de Bac where our lady appeared to St Catherine Laboure and gave her the miraculous medal. She said anyone who wears this medal will receive many graces and protection from God. I've given out literally hundreds of thousands of these medals to young people and Our Lady says they are an outward sign of how much we are loved by her.
Next we went to Bruges in Belgium and we went to Sunday mass after which they were venerating the miracle of the precious blood. Many years ago there was a Priest who was having doubts about whether Jesus was truly present in the blessed sacrament and during the Mass the wine turned into real blood and he doubted no more. They keep that blood of Christ in the church unto this day. It just reminded me of the incredible gift that Jesus gives us each time we go to mass.
At the beginning of January I started a tour of schools in England. I talked to over 4000 young people over the course of two weeks sharing with them how God has changed my life and brought me to a greater freedom and peace than I'd ever dreamed was possible.
In the schools many of the young people came up to me and shared the painful situations that they were living and asking me if God can really help them. I prayed with one girl who said she didn't believe that God exists asking God to show her he is with her in her suffering, and many others were asking for prayers to help with very difficult situations at home. I think God's heart bleeds for these his beautiful children and he asks all of us to reach out to them.
Before the tour began I had arranged for a meeting with a good man who has helped us out financially to make these tours possible and where we were to meet him was a long distance from the two talks I was doing that day. Then, an old friend from Ireland, who is a teacher, called me and said she had started work in a new school and would it be possible for me to come and speak to the students? Sure enough her new school was right beside where we were meeting the man who helps us. I knew this was God, only he can arrange these things to the smallest detail.
The talk was really blessed and all the students were so open to God's love for them. After the talk I ended up praying with a few teachers, including the headmaster. He asked if it might be possble for myself and my community to come to his school and help run a retreat day for his staff. I felt so thankful to God to be part of his plan and to see him working his miracles!
I am never ceased to be amazed how when we try to serve God he looks after us in the smallest details. One day we had been very busy since the early morning. We were on our way to another talk when I turned to Will and Niall who were in the car with me and said it would be just nice to sit down and have a nice meal together for an hour or so. Soon after I took a wrong turn and right in front of me was a harvester restaurant. I thanked God for his goodness that he gives us everything we need and loves to see us happy. It is often in the little things that God can show us just how precious we are to him and I pray that our eyes would be always open to see these gifts of love.
One of the days we had finished quite early and I really wanted to go for a walk to get some exercise, but unfortunately it was pouring down with rain. The only indoor place where I could get a decent walk was the Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham which was a fairly long drive away, but off I went and while mooching round the shops I ended up giving my book to two girls who worked behind the counter and I know it was going to be a blessing for them. Also because I was in Birmingham I met up with My old Friend Fr Richard Aladics who was visiting from Australia at the Chaplaincy of the university of Birmingham. We had a great chat with some of the students and it was a truly blessed evening. If it hadn't been raining I wouldn't have been in Birmingham at all. I love the way God can use everything to guide us.
One of the vital things on these tours of schools is the satellite navigation system for the car which guides us to all the addresses which we otherwise would struggle to find. It is the same in our lives, without the gift of Gods Holy Spirit we will always struggle and often get lost. When we surrender our lives to him and let him guide us then miracles start to happen and life becomes an exciting adventure. Somebody once said that the word faith could stand for a Fantastic Adventure In Trusting Him!
You and those you love are in my prayers every day.
God bless you.
Posted by John Pridmore