Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I hope you are well and have had a blessed summer.
I have been preparing over the last couple of weeks
for my upcoming trips. I will be doing a lot of
traveling. I have started in Scotland where I am
currently doing a parish mission in Newarthill, near
Glasgow. The Church has been absolutely full each
night and there have been some beautiful stories of
how God has been touching peoples lives. Two girls
who are sisters went to confession for the first
time in years, both of them had experienced incredible
difficulties but after going to confession they
attended a healing service where Jesus in the Blessed
Sacrament comes to each person. Both of them said that
they felt a powerful presence of God's love and that
they were going to start going to Mass every Sunday.
I received an email from a man I met whilst on holiday
who read my book and he said that not only he but also
his wife and children had stared going to Mass again.
It is amazing how the Holy Spirit works in peoples
lives. I try to pray about everything I do and beg
God to show me where to stay and even the smallest details
of my trips. Time and again God has shown me that he
hears these prayers and little miracles are always
happening that only he could bring about.
I also had a personal retreat for myself and the
community given by my Spiritual director Fr Jim Finn.
The theme was scripture and it reignited the passion
in my heart to read God's word. It is incredible how
God can speak to us through the scriptures and sometimes
a couple of sentences can feed us for weeks at a time.
I ask for your prayers because over the next few weeks
I will be visiting Florida, The Cayman Islands, Hong Kong,
Australia and Thailand to do talks. What a blessing it is
to be able to do this work for the Lord and the adventures
he leads us on when we try to follow him.
You and all those you love are in my heart and prayers.
God bless you in his deep love
Saturday, August 1, 2009
I hope you are well and at peace.
Since the last blog I went to Spain to visit the shrine
of the Apostle St James (the brother of John) at Santiago
de Compostela. St James was the first of the twelve
Apostles to be martyred for his faith and as I knelt
before his tomb I really felt the power of his intercession.
It was here in August 1989 that Pope John Paul II gave a
famous speech where he told the young people of the world
not to be afraid to "proclaim the Gospel from the rooftops"
A young man called Ernest Williams listened to the speech
and was inspired to start a group called Youth 2000 which
is young people evangelizing other young people. This
is the group God used to bring me to a deep knowledge of
his love and mercy. So while I was there I felt a renewed
desire to do all I can to proclaim his love in my life.
After Spain I went to Switzerland to speak at a retreat for
youth. I was leading a small group and I asked them if they
knew they were loved by God. They all said yes. Then I said
is it a knowledge in their head or do they know it deep in
their heart? All of them said that they weren't really
convinced that God accepted them warts and all. I shared
with them the freedom I had received in understanding that
God loves me totally, especially in my weakness, and that
because of that I don't feel ruled by what others might
think of me. One teenage lad called Samuel suddenly said
"Can I have that?" I replied "I'd love to give it to you but
I can't, but you can give it to yourself!" One of the greatest
lessons I have learned in my life is that we shouldn't live
for others opinions of us, but for God.
After this I returned to Ireland where my community and I
were filmed by RTE for a programme called nationwide which
will be screened on September 11th at 7pm. I was also on
another RTE show called Spirit Level with Joe Duffy.
It can be viewed at the following link.
It was a real blessing to have my old friend and spiritual
director Fr Denis Herlihy with us to lead a retreat on
healing the child within. All the members of the community
were deeply touched by the grace of God and they were
shown the roots of the fears that can sometimes control
their lives. There were many tears and I know it was a life
changing experience for them as it had been for me when
I first did this about 9 years ago, it is only looking
back to see how many things God has changed in me since
then that I just thank him and praise him for all he given
I'm going to be spending a few weeks at the house now and
preparing for all the missions and talks which lie ahead
in the coming months. Please pray for me especially that
I might have good health and know that I am praying for
God bless you in his deep love