Good morning all!

Yesterday evening I was at mass in Kensington at the Carmelites. I always like going there as St Therese of the child Jesus was a carmelite and my first confession was in the Carmelites off Grafton street in Ireland’s Dublin!

‘Follow him’ the old priest said as I told him of the experience of Jesus! Little did I know what that would entail!

Another reason I like going to the Carmelites is because I like the priests there and the prior (superiour) is an old aquantraince of mine. Fr Chris used to be prior in Dublin and he let me stay at the monastery in grafton street several times when I lived in Ireland a few years ago!

How delighted and surprised I was to see him again here in London and how nice to hear an irish accent from such a kind and loving man!

In a further irony, I used to stay with the Carmelites in Dublin when I wanted to attend the catholic prayer meeting ‘Pure at heart’ in Dublin and so how surprised was I to find the same ‘Pure at heart’ prayer meeting here in London 3 weeks ago at the Carmelite church!!!

God has humour!!

And yet none of that is the subject of today’s blog!

After receiving communion yesterday the priest said the prayer which went something like this:

“Grant that its effects and not our desires may be achieved in our hearts”.

It reminded me of a teaching I heard years ago on how as we eat the eucharist, it is actually the eucharist that ‘eats’ or consumes us!

In other words, when we eat food the food gets absorbed into our bodies, our digestive system transforms it and we become stronger!

But when we eat the eucharist, the opposite is happening! We are being transformed into Jesus and not Him into us!

If this were the case with food it could be dangerous! After a good steak for dinner we might wake up the next day with horns! If we had pork we might grow a little piggy tail and perhaps fish lovers might grow scales!

However mystically when we receive Jesus, this is what is happening and hence this prayer:

“Grant that its effects and not our desires may be achieved in our hearts”

In other words we are asked to let Jesus grow in us, let him walk, talk, act, heal, inspire, write, preach, teach in us and through us!

And this requires us to let go of our desires and ideas to make way for His!

This prayer is very linked to the ‘Our Father’ prayer and the line “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.

And so this brings me neatly to the conclusion of today’s blog by high lighting the critical importance of listening prayer!

Especially in those moments after communion in the silence of your heart you can present your life situations to Jesus and say “here is my plan but what’s yours?”

The Queen of listening prayer is Our Lady who listened to the angel Gabriel that day and said yes!

So if you really thirst to grow spiritually, invoke the Holy Spirit through the intercession of Our Lady and then put some time aside to sit down with God and to listen!

It may take time but over time you will get much better at it and ultimately it’ll be the best investment of your life!

So Jesus, thank you for the gift of your body and yes, grant that its effects and not our desires may be achieved in our hearts.

Bless your day,

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Pray for us!

Mike