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Trust in our higher power.

June 5th, 2012 by abvadmin

When Archbishop Francis Xavier of Vietnam, was sent to a re-education camp, he joined a group of 50 prisoners. They slept in a common bunk, an environment of the cruellest and harshest poverty possible, with only 50cm of space for each prisoner. In bed, he celebrated Mass by heart. A prayer where he found tremendous consolation. A prayer that gave him hope and a courageous resilience. He distributed communion by passing his hand under the mosquito net. He always carried the Eucharistic Christ in his shirt. During the weekly indoctrine sessions led by a fiercely hostile anti-Christian regime, he used this opportunity despite his captivity to befriend and also reached out to fellow Christians held captive by tyranny and hatred. They all knew that Jesus was among them and at night the prisoners took turns in adoration to the bread of life, broken and fragile yet greatly nourishing as a source of hope and healing. The darkness of the prison became the paschal light.

This inspirational true story speaks loudly of how faith and hope can carry us through the most difficult burdens we may have to carry. Perhaps it’s not by accident that the first step for anyone imprisoned by addiction is simply to admit being powerless and hand over recovery in trust to a higher power.

Recently, I was tremendously inspired and deeply uplifted by the living testimony of hope given by a terminally ill man dying of cancer. P.J. Hickey, Gormona, Bagenalstown. P.J. personified the Paschal Light of hope and resurrection. His faith, fuelled by a courageous and determined spirit, allowed P.J. to be most Christ-like in the way he gently and humbly walked with his God. Loved by his dear wife Anne, his family and many friends, P.J. inspired me to appreciate and value the gift that God is alive and present in every moment. One of P.J.’s final comments to me was, ‘God is good’.

As we grow in our own understanding and indeed meaning of life, I’m sure we often find gaps in our certainty and perhaps find more questions than answers. The experience of looking back, reflecting on where we have come, the threads of Gods presence truly suggests a friendship, constant and lasting. As we approach the brightest and longest day of the year, so too may we engage in its spiritual energy. God is not distant, benign or removed in the upper clouds, rather he resides in the depths of our being. P.J. Hickey and Archbishop Francis Xavier both imprisoned by cancer and captivity, never abandoned their God who offered freedom and hope.

This week as the Eucharistic Congress takes place in Dublin, it is an opportunity to remind ourselves that our God is one who nourishes and remains faithful as a friend and source of healing. There is no charge when it comes to availing of God’s love. In fact there is no recession in God’s kingdom. His love and generosity continue to be abundant and plenty freely given without judgement or hesitation. Wherever in our lives we may experience fear or imprisonment, may the truth of God’s love set us free. ‘In Him we live and move and have our being’

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