Saturday, August 1, 2009
DO NOT BE AFRAID TO PROCLAIM THE GOSPEL FROM THE ROOFTOPS!
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
Posted by John Pridmore