This month of extraordinary mission is well underway and yesterday was yet another day of it!
Toni wasn’t feeling too well (asjusting to a new life takes time) and so I brought him to Westminister Cathedral.
At times we don’t realize how spoilt we are as Catholics with masses on all the time and round the clock priests available for confession!
Anyway after visiting the cathedral we left to come home and on the way were 3 Jehovahs Witnesses!
“What does your religion teach about gay people?” I asked as I went straight for the jugular!
They replied calmly and politely and the conversation opened!
They were very surprised to discover that I was catholic and that I knew Jesus and as I spoke one lady began to cry!
Toni was praying for me as we discussed all sorts of things from our differing beliefs in the Trinity to the current state of the world and church!
I finished by saying a prayer with them and they told me that I have a gift of teaching!!
I went away laughing and pondering!
1. How have I become so bold! From the shy little boy in the country to the confident man in the city is transformation that really only I can fully appreciate!!
2. If I’m witnessing to Jehovahs Witnesses….what does that make me!!We all thought that they were mad when we were growing up…and now I’m worse than any of them!!
3. How impressed I was with their love for God and for getting to heaven even if their theology was off!
Perhaps Jesus was reminding me that when we die we will be measured by love rather than by theological truth even if the ideal would be to have both!
If getting to heaven was an academic exam then only scholars and theologians may get in (although that statement is quite debatable judging from some of the things I hear).
But just like the story of the good samaritan, of the woman caught in adultry, of the good Larron who all pleased Our Lord through their humility rather than their learning we can’t but think of that beautiful little catholic book ‘The imitation of Jesus Christ” and what Thomas A Kempis has to say in
“What good does it do to speak learnedly about the Trinity if, lacking humility, you displease the Trinity? Indeed it is not learning that makes a man holy and just, but a virtuous life makes him pleasing to God. I would rather feel contrition than know how to define it. For what would it profit us to know the whole Bible by heart and the principles of all the philosophers if we live without grace and the love of God? Vanity of vanities and all is vanity, except to love God and serve Him alone.”
And so once again it is a call to us to put our learning and knowledge of the truth to the service of love because as A Kempis puts it in chapter 2 of the imitation!
“The more you know and the better you understand, the more severely will you be judged, unless your life is also the more holy. Do not be proud, therefore, because of your learning or skill. Rather, fear because of the talent given you”
So may we all on this extraordinary month of mission have simple loving hearts loving God through prayer and service to the poor!
Bless your day!
Michael, Seamus & Toni