Good morning!

I hope that you are all well and that St Therese looked after you as she did me!

My day was interesting and I found myself spending a wonderful evening with the homeless!

It started with evening mass with the french marists at Leceister Square. It was my first time in this church and I was overjoyed to meet a french priest who was happy to forgive my many sins and have a chat! I’ve always loved speaking french so I think Therese led me there!

What hit me as I waited for mass was the amount of homeless people sleeping on the pews. In Ireland they’d be kicked out but I was touched to see that over here in England they allow them to stay and even sleep and as long as they don’t make trouble there is no problem.

The french priest kindly and gently asked them to sit up on the benches as mass was about to start. His gentleness touched me.

After mass we went to St Patrick’s in Soho where over the winter months they offer dinner to the homeless!

To be honest I was amazed at the way it was done with military percesion, excellent food and lots of love and community!

I’ve travelled for many years all over the world but this was up there at the top of the table!

The parish priest who has an obvious heart for the poor and a gift for organisation had the relics of St Therese there and we were all invited to venerate them!

It reminded me that Jesus sees no difference between rich and poor, homeless or other. We are all the same!

A young man from eastern europe sat beside me. He has been homeless for 6 years because of mental health problems. His face was bright like an angel as he told me the hell of his life!

Inside I felt a deep gratitude to Jesus. Living on providence in some ways is like being homeless in the sense that you have no permanent home but because it is a charism you are filled with love and hope and so you live it as a gift!

Homelessness on the other hand is not a charism and often homelessness brings his ‘brother’ hopelessness and that is the worst affliction of all!

As I reflected on this I said to myself that we need to pray more for the hopeless homeless that Jesus will infuse in them the virtue of hope and the belief that they can be healed and get out of this situation!

And this is where intercessory prayer and the healing power of the sacraments and adoration are needed to free them from the inside out by restoring meaning to their lives and sufferings as very loved and valuable children of God.

Many homeless people carry a lot of pain and anger. Many are victims of abuse and have fallen into the snares of addiction.

They so desperately need the healing power of Jesus and the grace to forgive.

It was beautiful to see them line up to touch little Therese’s relic and I can only imagine the heavenly blessings that she poured on them.

Jesus is extra close to the suffering and the afflicted and so I thank Jesus and of course Therese for this very privileged evening of receiving Jesus at mass and being with Him through the homeless!

A big thank you also to St Patrick’s Church where heaven meets earth through prayer and action. It makes one filled with gratitude to be catholic when one sees things like this!

So thank you Therese and may every homeless heart be transformed into a hopeful heart as we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and our heavenly home to come!

Bless you all today with peace, love, charity and hope!

Mike