Good morning from a Sunny London!

A few days a friend of mine died. His name was Michael and like me he was Irish.

Even though I only know him for about a year I feel like I know him for so much longer. He had that gift of love that blasted through the superficial and into the things of the heart.

I met Michael during the lockdowns when he started coming to our church and bit by bit we got to know eachother . Immediately he reminded me of my grandfather from when I was a child and his country Irish accent was very healing to my soul!

I was apprehensive of telling him that I was gay and that I had a partner. I shouldn’t have been because he accepted me straight away and even invited the two of us to dinner!

Since then Rayne and I were to dinner several times at his house and we used to look forward to going and the love, friendship and good food.

For me this was very healing as not everyone is able to accept the gay catholic thing making those people that can and do all the more special.

Yet Michael’s love didn’t stop there, he visited prisons, he visited priests that had lost their way, he helped recovering alcoholics and so much more. He prayed for everyone especially for priests and the church and souls in purgatory, he went to mass every day, went to pilgrimages and conferences and never stopped learning.

Our last conversation was only a few weeks ago when he invited me to lunch after mass at Westminster Cathedral and he was asking me about Toni and how to help transgender people! There wasn’t an ounce of judgement, just genuine interest and concern!

Anyway, as I pray this morning I can’t help but smile as I think of Michael and the eternal rewards that will be in store for Him!

On a human level I do feel a bit lonely, I haven’t got an enormous amount of friends here in London and he was one of them and yet with a confident smile I know that Michael will be able to help me from up above and I certainly won’t be shy about asking Him to empty more heavenly graces down upon my friends and I for the glory of God and the advancement of the kingdom of heaven on earth.

And so this morning we are once again reminded of the precious and yet delicate gift of life. We are invited by Jesus and Mary to be ready and to live the gospel as best we can so that like Michael when we die people can draw inspiration and hope from us and glorify our father in heaven for such a holy life well lived on earth!

Michael, pray for us and until we meet again on the other side!

Blessings to all!