A few days ago I was invited to a little evening of prayer held be a certain religious organisation which I won’t name.

The people were friendly, the talk was good and interesting and the prayer was fervant. And yet one thing disturbed me greatly, the overwhelming richness and luxury of the house which reminded me of Downton Abbey!!

Anyway yesterday I found myself at Tyburn convent where there was a divine mercy afternoon and as I sat in adoration Jesus spoke to me about poverty and riches and holiness.

“Jesus (at Tyburn convent)

Write my child and trust even if what I tell you causes you suffering and rejection.

One cannot serve God and mammon or as you might say in your culture “to have your cake and eat it.

Material riches are an enormous obstacle to true holiness for so many reasons

1. Unholy attachment. How many people with new cars will not give a poor man a lift in case he might smoke or stain the seats with his coat?! How many will not invite the poor to their houses for similar reasons? These cars and houses become prisons of pride and fortresses to keep me out! I am always present in the poor.

2. Pride. How many pride themselves on their houses and cars and spend unprecedented amounts of money maintaining these things while others go hungry? I do not begrudge my people nice houses and cars but I do expect them to share with those less fortunate. Anything that one cannot share becomes an idol.

3. Rejection. When poor and disadvantaged souls come into contact with the rich they automatically feel shame and rejection and a sense of failure. When riches and possessions are lorded over others as a sign of success then they become instruments of evil which batter the spirits of the poor.

My dear children. I was born in a stable. My mother who is now the queen of heaven did not live the life of a queen on earth but that of a servant! How do some of you justify your lavish lifestyles in the name of holiness?

Whether rich or poor I call you all to detachment from material things and to a love for the poor and the marginalised.

Please my children, come back to the simplicity of the gospel and look to the lives of countless saints who gave up rich and lavish lifestyles to gain crowns of glory in heaven.

Now more than ever as Christians we need to practice what we preach because this is the best form of evangelisation and witness to the living Jesus present in our hearts and lives and we will only find the strength and grace to do this through prayer.

And so today, let us pray to the saints such as mother Theresa to help us to detach from all the material things that hold us back from giving our lives more fully to Jesus and more fully to others.

‘Jesus, help us to be generous with all things”

Michael