Good afternoon from a sunny Soho where I’m having my lunch after a lovely mass at Warwick street.

I went to confession and the priest was lovely. As a former Anglican he told me that he too wrestles at times with some of the attitudes in the catholic church around homosexuality and same sex relationships. Our church is learning.

And speaking of learning, we are all learning and if we are not then we are doing something wrong.

One of the best ways Jesus uses to help us is others and because we live in society of critics, if we are humble we are in privileged soil to grow.

As you all know I’m no stranger to being criticized and here is what Jesus has taught me over the years!

Firstly though an opportunity to say thanks to Jesus and my readers as I was notified of 50,000 all time views the other day.

Of course if I was famous I might have 50k viewers per day but helas, I’m not!!

So ok, enough of that and back to the subject at hand.

Jesus taught me to ask myself one question regardless of whether I’m being corrected with love or criticized with hatred.

Is there some truth in it?

You see your worst enemy can actually be your best friend in a way because if they don’t like you then they’ll probably tell you and this might provide the ideal food for growth.

Think of X-factor’s Simon Cowell who although very harsh and critical has actually got good advice! If you could swallow your pride and put aside his attitude you could actually grow a lot!

Next step is not to talk too much and if you are angry not to talk at all until you have calmed down. Replying too quickly can be a sign of pride and that you haven’t prayed about the situation and for the person involved.

After this comes humility where you can say “yes, it’s true that I’m not perfect and I have to grow in that area….”

And now if appropriate while keeping your peace you can hold your ground and defend yourself as necessary.

By acting accordingly, what was perhaps meant for bad can be turned around….

And old ‘666’ gets a taste of His own medicine.

Never forget that God uses Satan like a dog on a leash and when we’re smart we’ll see that Satan is actually like a stupid dog chasing the Lord’s sheep to heaven.

Ok so I mentioned criticism, now it’s time that I mentioned correction which is similar and yet very different because it’s done with a different Spirit and a different attitude.

First word of caution is prudence. If you speak correction to a soul with wounds then they are likely to take it as criticism no matter how much you sugar coat it. At times you must do it anyway and be prepared for the backlash!

But generally speaking this isn’t the case because someone who corrects you is someone who probably respects you and is correcting you so that you can improve. Correction is not condemnation and “God corrects those He loves”

And so there you have it and to quote Henry Newman…again….

So let’s be open to correction, let’s be open to change and if someone does correct you a bit for heaven’s sake don’t bite their head off!!

Have a wonderful day and a final thought that has come to me, let’s be just as willing to speak up and to encourage and build up what is good as we are to criticize or correct what we deem to be bad.

Michael