Good morning!

The weather is getting colder and yesterday I had to purchase a coat for myself (again Primark). Some may accuse me of supporting child-labour as I am quickly becoming Primark’s best customer!! Rest assured, it is not the case!

On Wednesday night I had the opportunity to go to the Corpus Christi catholic church in London!

There was a mass in honour of Our Lady of Walsingham which was the day before.

Our Lady appeared in Walsingaham (England) in the 11th century and asked for a replica of the house at Nazareth to be built. Since then and up to now it is a very big place of pilgrimage and I’m praying that somehow she brings me there with Seamus and Toni !

It is wonderful for me to see such strong faith here as my only prior familiarity with England came from what I’d heard as a child and most of that wasn’t positive due to historical tensions.

Back to the Corpus Christi Church where a bearded Francisan friar of the renewal celebrated the sacred mystery. An inner voice said to me “sit up the front” and I felt escorted by a supernatural force to the front pew. Left to my own devises I’d have sat at the back as I’ve always liked to be anonymous!

All of a sudden it hit me! I knew the priest! I’d met him in Galway before he joined the order 3 years ago and we had exchanged quite a bit!

I was ecstatic to see him so happy and fulfilled and full of the Holy Spirit! After mass I went to talk to him and he quickly remembered me! God is good and as our parish in Notting Hill is soon to host a mission run by the franciscans, it seems likely I’ll meet him again and hopefully have a coffee!

The real message I wanted to share this morning came from his sermon. It went like this!

A man was climbing a very high mountain and was finding it difficult. His friends were advising him to give up.

‘It’s too hard, just stop half way…”.

Yet the man would not give up. His friends asked him

“How are you going to make it to the top?”

To which he replied

“My heart is already there, the rest will follow”.

Jesus perhaps said the same thing as He climbed calvary. In His heart He had already died for us (He even celebrated the first mass the night before He died). But on good Friday He had to follow it through!

It was not easy and He fell 3 times as His body surrendered to the pain. Yet His heart of love and determination rose Him back up to the top of the mountain and to His crucifiction.

You or me may not be mountain climbers or ever be crucified and yet we too have our own mountains to climb!

Often they are inner mountains of deprssion, addiction, pride, impurity, laziness, sloth etc and often we too are tempted to give up!

Our bodies rebel against us. We feel tired and lazy, we get muscle pains and migraines. The negativity tries to take us when we seem to slide back!

Yet, if we believe in our hearts that we can do it, if we can already taste and feel the victory through the eyes of our hearts then when hard times come along and when people ask us how we are going to continue, we too can reply

“My heart is already there, the rest will follow”.

So friends, keep our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus and we too will climb our mountains, smiling victoriously one day as all the people who didn’t believe in us are put to shame!

Have a great day!

Mike