Good afternoon from a cloudy London!

Yesterday Rayne and I were in good form, we enjoyed a nice lunch together and spending some time together in the midst of his busy schedule of night shifts.

On the way to work I accompanied Rayne to mass at the Carmelites, a bit of a routine for us now and for added grace we both went to confession!

Feeling happy we held hands discretely during the mass so as not to attract unwanted attention or purposefully make anyone feel uncomfortable.

All was well and the mass was lovely and there was even a good homily.

On the way out I noticed a man looking at me. The look became a stare as he twisted his head to follow my movement.

Feeling a bit uncomfortable I asked Rayne if he noticed. Indeed he did.

And so there we were outside and holding hands when the man suddenly seemed to have appeared out of nowhere and now he seemed even more disturbed.

Perhaps during the mass he wasn’t sure if we were filthy gays but now he was certain and he was rattled.

Next thing I know he’s walking towards us and inside I say “here goes” as I felt the anxiety in my chest.

Staring at me in an eastern European accent he asks me with a stern voice “have you got a second?”, which although in question form seemed more like a command.

In that split second that it takes to reply I asked Jesus what should I say! Rayne was on his way to work and it just wasn’t the time for more confrontation.

In Jesus’ simple style I heard an inner voice just whisper ‘say No,!’.

Genius I thought, it’ll look as bold as brass but genius.

“No, sorry ” I replied and baffled by our response he walked off quite confused at what had just happened.

You see for years I would have automatically said “yes” and stood there listening to a torrent of abuse and probably cried afterwards but God has changed me.

I don’t have to apologise to other people for being in the church nor do I owe them any explanation. I’m entitled to be treated as any other human being and while I understand why that man might have been disturbed, that did not give him some sort of divine authority to interrogate me!!

In Irish we say “póg mo thóin” which translated into english reads “kiss my ass”

But on a more serious note this type of behaviour is unfair, draining and wearing. The church is the place where Rayne and I feel the least comfortable and safe to be ourselves and express our love for one another.

At times I feel very sad being a catholic and at how slow things are to change. How injustice is left unchecked, how suffering is ignored, how the system comes before the people.

We really need to get back to a place of love of Jesus and love of neighbour and move out of the politics and into the person of Jesus.

So anyway thank you today if you have had ‘a second ‘ or even a few minutes to read this blog.

Please pray for Rayne and I as this ministry is very important to the suffering heart of Jesus and to the church.

God bless and thanks again for reading!