During this season where the child Jesus comes into
the world to bring his light and healing I am reminded
that many people ask me how can they find true
peace? I have always felt Mother Teresa's description
is not only wise but profound.
She said "The fruit of silence is prayer, the fruit of
prayer is faith, the fruit of faith is love, the fruit of love
is service and the fruit of service is peace."
Sometimes in our lives it is very easy to take our eyes
or our hearts off what really matters and what is
important to God. I often feel when I am leaving to
start a mission what a privilege it is to serve Jesus
and there is a joy in my heart. But when I feel the
burden of tiredness or selfishness and the desire
of what I want, the joy is always lost and I am left
with a begrudging heaviness.
When we ask Jesus for the grace to really give, and
to give until it hurts, we receive all the graces Mother
Teresa speaks of. So as this year comes to a close
I look back at all the miracles Christ has worked
through his broken servant and am in awe and
wonder of the servant king as the shepherds and
the magi were.
After Ballyfermot I travelled to Kildimo in Limerick
to run a parish mission for Fr John Donworth which
was a very blessed time. I had the privilege to speak
at a school that was dedicated to St john Bosco and
it was beautiful to see the Salesian priests reflecting
the joy and patience of the great man. For the
last 20 years I have been giving talks to young people in
schools and prisons and have met some who are
very wounded and very angry. St John Bosco said
"The more a young person screams at you, the more
he is saying please love me." In my own life I was
someone who was hurt when I was young and would
never let anyone get too close to me and would get
angry if anyone tried to give me attention, thinking
this protected me, but all it did was isolate me from
love. But when Jesus showed me in his patience
and unconditional love that he would never stop
trying, I was melted as I feel young people are if
we reflect that patience and unconditional love.
I then travelled to Galway to give a mission for an
old friend Fr Tadgh. He is a priest who has a joy
and a happiness and when I asked him on my last
visit why he is so happy, he said "It is because I
work hard at being a priest" and the words of
Mother Teresa came back to me "Give until it
hurts!" It was a very blessed mission with lots of
I then flew to Chicago where I gave a talk at a
mens conference in the great lakes. I always
have a deep joy in seeing men gather because
of their love for Christ.
After this I flew to Sacramento in California. The
priest and the people were very open and loving
and there was a depth of faith in this parish.
While I was in Sacramento I made a special friend
called Jack, who is a boy who serves for Jesus in
Mass and has a deep gift of love in his heart.
(Merry Christmas Jack!).
During this time one lady came up to me and
said that she was terminally ill with only a few
months left to live and she had felt a great fear
and trepidation about meeting Jesus. But at the
mission she had made a wonderful confession
and now felt an excitement and joy, like the
sunshine had come after the rain. May we all
make a wonderful confession this advent. Our
lives are short on earth but when we open our
hearts to the wonder of our saviour, the servant
king who teaches us to not only give and give
until it hurts, but to give our very everything for
others. This is peace, may we embrace it.
Merry Christmas to you and all your loved ones.