Good afternoon from London’s Victoria station where I’m having my lunch.

Today I cycled to the cathedral for 12.30 mass and as it’s locked the only place to sit down and eat my sandwich was the nearby station.

Anyway as you may have read yesterday I had the police over in relation to a complaint made. Séamus filed a similar complaint so between the two complaints the guy will be arrested over the next few days and it will go from there. Praise God!

As I was being interviewed I reflected on how much emphasis was put on what the guy said, in other words on concrete evidence and it got me thinking on all the other ‘invisible evils’ that go unpunished and are far worse.

Name calling is of course awful but how many kids at school suffer a worse type of bullying, being ignored, gossipped about and bullied silently.

And it doesn’t only happen in school and to kids, it happens in the workplace, in the royal family as we know from last night and yes, in the church!

These type of bullies are cowards because while they may smile and be nice to your face. Behind your back they are plotting all sorts of evil. I guess Judas must have been a bit like that….two faced!

As I spoke to the police about the mentally disturbed homeless guy calling me names, I felt like telling them also about another mysterious disturbed person who has gone out of their way to bully us since arriving in London.

Last year as we slept on the floor on the hall the heating mysterious stopped in the middle of winter. Someone had turned the thermostat for the room off!

Another while afterwards there was a mysterious burst pipe upstairs that sent water flooding into the hall where we slept and just a meter from my ‘bed’!

And if I wrote about some of the things that have been said about us which have a funny way of getting back, you’d be shocked!

Yes, the real bullies often hide behind smiles and plot to destroy you secretly in their hearts and while often they leave no proof of their acts, deep down we have a fair idea of who they are.

Reflecting on all this I went to mass and the sermon was on forgiveness.

21 Then Peter went up to him and said, ‘Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven times?’

22 Jesus answered, ‘Not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven times.

So what does this mean? That we should be like doormats and allow people to abuse us continuously and not defend ourselves?

The parable continues and speaks about a man who asked his master for forgiveness and then refused to forgive his servant when he asked for it.

However did you notice that they both asked for forgiveness? What do you do then when the person does not ask for forgiveness and continues to persecute you unjustly?

Well in these cases we must pray, we must forgive before God, we must try to talk to the person and reason with them and if all fails we have no option but to cut them off and to report them to the relevant authorities.

In other words, forgiveness is about being merciful, not being an idiot and people who do not ask for forgiveness for their faults will taste the hand of justice.

And even though some bullying and evil seems to go unpunished and the bullies seem to get away with it, we should not despair for God sees everything and one day sooner or later He will answer our prayers and bring all the hidden evils to light.

In the meantime we must keep on going, we must keep on trusting and we must not let bullying get to our hearts or discourage our ministries. God uses these situations at times to strengthen us and to grow us so that we can become more like Jesus and also so that we can offer prayers and sufferings for those miserable and bitter-hearted people who seek to destroy us.

Have a great day and keep on smiling! The truth will win out in the end.

Michael