By Fr John Keane
In 1991 I was working in the beautiful rural parish of Aghinagh outside Macroom. At the time we had the awful tragedy of the Iran/Iraq war and massive crowds fleeing as refugees into Southern Turkey, so many dying of hunger and malnutrition.
One Wednesday morning I was praying in my house in Rusheen in my little oratory before Jesus exposed in the Eucharist. As I was gazing at Jesus and listening to Him I heard His call to put a truck outside the Church in Rusheen to get urgent supplies to feed the hungry people in Southern Turkey. As I heard Him I put up every excuse saying that I was too busy and had a lot to do so I could not do it. It was only after an hour and a half, shortly before I finished my time of prayer, that I give in and said yes to whatever the Holy Spirit wanted. I put the 40 foot truck outside the Church and within one week sixteen trucks were filled and €117,000 was collected and as a result thousands of lives were saved from dying of hunger.
I got permission from Bishop John Magee to go and distribute the aid and provide permanent accommodation for as many as I could. One day when I had finished feeding the poorest of the poor in one of the camps I realised that this nearly never happened because I would not listen the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking personally to me, I was closed and blocked to His promptings. If I did not listen to the Holy Spirit at the last minute and open my heart to His call, thousands would have actually died. It was a frightening thought.
We can ask ourselves do we take time to listen to the Holy Spirit speaking to our hearts? Do we close our hearts afraid that His call may ask too much of us? Let the Holy Spirit find us listening and ready to respond to whatever He calls us to do. If we respond to His call and say Yes the world could be changed.
Come Holy Spirit upon us with your power! Come Holy Spirit attune our minds to your voice!