This morning we are all excited here at St Mary of the Angels in Notting Hill where we have the francisan friars of the renewal staying with us until Thursday!
There is a parish mission. Early morning mass at 7.30 followed by adoration. Morning mass at 10 and after the chance to meet the friars over a coffee and a service every evening at 7 with different themes (God’s love, reconciliation, healing…)
So if any of you readers are in the area drop by to St Mary of the Angel’s Church, Moorehouse Road, Notting Hill and if not then keep us in your prayers!
There are 5 brothers and priests from all over the world (2 english, 1 australian, 1 nigerian, 1 american) and as they began yesterday they joked about their diversity!
Me too I found it sort of funny as I met them! It was like:
“O you’re from Sydney, I used to live there”
“O you’re from Long Island, I used to live there”
“O I know you already when you lived in Ireland”
I just haven’t lived in Nigeria!
It got me thinking of the madness of God and even of my own life and how this little guy who has never liked travelling has travelled over the world!
As I prayed I thought of Edel Quin who was an irish missionary linked to the legion of Mary. She famously travelled to Africa and love for Jesus pushed her on!
Love for Jesus gives us love for others and love crosses borders!!
Love not only crosses geographical borders, it also crosses social borders!
I will always remember meeting my dear friend and brother Toni in Croatia. When he told me that he had spent 5 months in a psychiatric hospital with no visit from his parents my heart cracked. I’d lived 10 years all over the world, gone through unspeakable abuse and pain and my parents or siblings never visited me either. I knew what it was like!
Jesus gave me this love for him and despite losing nearly all my friends in Croatia for helping this ‘mental patient’ who also happened to be trans, I didn’t care!
Why? Certainly not because I’m great or anything special but because Jesus is and Jesus died for each soul and ‘especially those in greatest need of thy mercy’.
When we are full of His love we cross boundaries too and we reach out beyond our comfort zones to help others!
Love for Jesus pushes me to share about being gay and catholic despite the great cost to myself and the torrents of abuse and rejection I get!
But borders don’t stop there, there are also spiritual borders which in my case the Lord has had me cross!
Crossing spiritual borders brings one into direct contact with angels, demons, souls, saints and indeed God himself!
One becomes aware of the terrible suffering of Jesus and Mary, of their cry of pain and of the anguishing pain of so many souls in purgatory!
Speaking about it as Jesus has asked me comes at an enormous cost in today’s secular mindsight but yet love pushes me on!
So you see Jesus is asking us all today to cross borders because that’s what He did!
1. He was God and became a man
2. As a man He broke all the rules by hanging out with tax-collectors, prostitutes, lepors.
3. He then crossed the death border on the cross before resurrecting and coming back scaring the daylights out of the bewildered apostles!!
And when we look to the saints they all did the same! Mother Theresa is a prime example giving her life to helping the poorest of the poor despite no encouragement from her order at the time!
The curé of Ars and Padre Pio spent their lives in prayer and in the confessional fasting and praying for the lost souls of the time.
St Faustina spent torturous hours in agony as the Lord used her suffering for conversion of sinners.
Many other saints and missionaries crossed continents and never seen their families again all for the love of Jesus and love of the poor!
So today, what borders may Jesus be asking us to cross and if we don’t cross them, who will?
How can we die more to ourselves and live more for Him and for others?
Can we give Him all our fears and take that leap of faith?
Which souls need us and need Jesus the most?
Jesus, give us the grace today to love you and to forget ourselves. May we love beyond all borders whatever the cost just as you did!
God bless all missionaries today, fools for Jesus!!