Diary of a Ghetto Priest | My life is to honour the Lord
What else is there in life but to honour the Lord? I came from Him, I must go back to Him. The Church is here to convey the Lord, most times she does, sometimes she doesn't. In the meanwhile I honour her. The Church is Christ's church, He made it, she is the best instrument of service of the Lord. She conveys Christ to us. I live in her and for her. But Christ, and Christ alone is God revealed on the face of the earth. The Word of God reveals Christ. Those who seek to be true to His word and to live out His life are the truest Christians and true churchmen and women.
This does not mean that we are not sinners. We do deviate from Christ because we live in the flesh and we sometimes are driven by the darker forces. We lose control, we go against His will and commandments. We, poor creatures try though we might, convinced though we be, go against our deeper longing for God. Thank God for his forgiveness! This little Christmas child who grew up and suffered temptation and was crucified for our sins, and representing mankind's inner desire, conquered the weakness of His flesh!
STRUGGLE IN HOPE
As we struggle though life's battle for virtue over vice, we receive the blessings of the cross, particularly the strength and courage to go on in obedience to His work and word. Faithfulness in that Journey in obeying His word makes us saints. We don't give in to discouragement and our own faults and sins, we struggle forward in hope, expecting that heavenly reward which He promises, blessed by His merciful and everlasting forgiving love. That's what matters, that's the life of a Christian!
Blessed are those who endure. Our life is to honour God. I give thanks to the Lord for His cross! I am reminded every day of His words: "You cannot be my disciple unless you take up your cross daily and follow me".
I visited the people at Lord's Place yesterday. There are these beautiful elderly old men and women. There are our AIDS patients. We shook hands, hugged, and prayed together. They live, they die with us. There are brothers sweeping the floor, feeding the people; there are wheelchair people, Autherine who has been with us 30 years, Miss Blossom, Kerry Anne, Jean Clarke, Patricia, Steve, Andrew, Matthew, Trevor, Desmond, Junior ... I feel as though I'm going through the Litany of Saints! My heart is warmed; though weary and tired when I got there, I am smiling and cheered by our homeless and destitute who come from all over Jamaica. I am overjoyed when I see our brothers, our faithful brothers at the services of the least of our brothers and sisters.
This is what I dreamed of 35 years ago living the Word of God, being true to Christ. "I came to bring good news to the poor," "When I was hungry you fed me, when I was thirsty you gave me to drink, when I was naked you clothed me. When I was a stranger, you welcomed me, when I was sick and in prison you visited me. Welcome into the Kingdom, which I have prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
Ok, that beautiful security! The Lord has promised us life everlasting with him if we are faithful. Our people - the poorest and most forgotten - are with us till they die, or we die! We will be faithful as Christ is faithful. In the meanwhile we will continue to be with those the Lord has chosen to be his friends. By living out His word we will be close to Him and obey Him.
Forgave us Lord, when we do not love enough! forgive us Lord when we are impatient. Give us strength Lord to continue to serve all over the world - in Haiti, the Philippines, India, Uganda, Kenya, Indonesia, East Timor, the US.
After Lord's Place we went over to Bethlehem. Volunteers are there from the US and Canada. There are 64 children there, little cripples, long legs, big eyes, beautiful beaming smiles, chuckles and laughs, balls flying in the air, a squeal of delight. The brothers are cleaning, feeding, sweeping, cooking, changing the children. Our visitors are, lifting and embracing the kids. My heart and mind is full of mystery and wonderment and happiness. How can this be?
LORD MOVES IN HEARTS
Only the Lord can provide brothers to do this work! Only the Lord can provide for all these volunteers! We take nothing from the Government, we do wish to be a burden to the Government. People give and give! There is no charge to anyone for this service. The Lord moves in the hearts of people. Hundreds are cared for thousands are fed. I really am happy.
Yes! Living out this Word of God is not easy. It takes faith and trust in divine providence. I marvel how the Lord never stops providing! I marvel at how He has chosen me to do His will, and, that He has never failed to provide for the brothers, and His most forgotten ones on the face of the earth. This is happiness on earth!
I pray for our nation that we will bring forth in Jamaica, a holy people who serve the Lord. I pray that we will be a nation of saints, full of compassion and mercy, full of Justice and righteousness!
May you have a Blessed New Year, filled with the grace of God.