So the other day after my friend Michael’s funeral a man came up to Rayne and I and introduced himself. He recognised us from some photos that our friend Fr. Tom had shown him.
He too was a priest and is Irish so immediately we were having the craic as we say in Ireland. Meet Fr. Pat from the Colomban Fathers in Ealing Broadway.
We were chatting about this and that when he asked us where we live and when I said Notting Hill he said “O, there is someone having visions out there”!!
Rather than dive into the deep end of what could be controversial while enjoying the anonymity of being normal and ordinary for as long as possible I jokingly said “O yes, some crazy fellow!!’
I decided in my head that I’d tell him later and to be honest I was most touched by his outgoing and friendly approach to us and his warm friendly manner!
Anyway as the coffin was driven away and we went for a little cup of tea and a gathering I jokingly asked him where they lived and with even more humour exclaimed how I’d known Fr. Tom for almost 2 years and that he had never invited me over!!
“You can come over today” he said and I knew he meant it and so after the tea off we went with another Irish priest that we had picked up on the way.
Now for me it was sort of funny because at the end of the mass I had a vision of myself being both surrounded and protected by priests and now only half an hour later I was in a house where priests were everywhere!
My friend Michael who died had a great love and friendship with priests and I knew that he was helping me.
Before entering the house I said to Fr. Pat “you know the way you mentioned about someone having visions out where I live, well it’s probably me that you are referring to!’
We both smiled and I certainly laughed as I’d made sure he hadn’t said anything earlier that he might have later regretted.
Once inside we all sat down for tea and with Rayne by my side I told the two Irish priests my story.
They were so nice, so respectful and in relation to the LGBTQ ministry so encouraging.
We discussed quite a few things at length such as different visionaries and things in the church and it was truly wonderful to experience such openness and interest and warmth.
Afterwards I asked Fr. Pat for confession and started by saying “welcome to my life, the guy who has visions”.
What people don’t realise at times is the years and years it takes to get used to it all and the effect being in the spotlight and under a microscope has on one’s mental and spiritual health.
Some people expect you to behave in a certain way or to wear certain clothes or whatever and are often very quick to tell you and scold you or worse still gossip about you!
Often I feel like I fit absolutely none of the stereotypes and when I see pictures of other people receiving visions and locutions I often think that they look sort of boring!!
As for me I love life, I love to joke, I love to dress casually, I love to mingle with every sort of person on my own, I love sport, the gym, swimming and most of all I love just being ordinary.
As we left both priests asked me for the link to my blog and Rayne and I went for pizza! Yes, visionaries like pizza too 🤣🤣🤣
I must admit that I left feeling very grateful to the two priests who had treated me no differently to anybody else and yet at the same time showed great respect for what Jesus is doing in my life.
I concluded by saying that whether we are priests or bishops or miracle workers or visionaries at the end of the day we are all human and as the gospel says in 1 Corinthians 13.
“Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts. But I shall show you a still more excellent way.If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal ….”.
Off to the gym now and remember always that people having visions or with healing gifts and charisms are just ordinary men and women too and can most benefit from your friendly smiles and love!
Have a wonderful day and please continue to pray for me and smile as I continue to navigate this journey as the gay catholic guy having visions!!
Thank you Jesus for these two priests and the fun that we had!