The Mercy Bus on the go again

The Friends of Divine Mercy Scotland (FODMS) are taking the Mercy Bus back out on the road for the third year this summer thanks to an overwhelming response in the past two years. 

To date they have touched over 2,000 people on the streets of Scotland, over 400 people have boarded the Mercy Bus and over 2,000 Miraculous Medals and Divine Mercy Chaplets and many rosaries were given to the people the team met on the streets of Scotland.

This year, the bus will visit Johnstone, Coatbridge, Greenock, Cumbernauld, Glasgow and Paisley. Mass will be celebrated by Bishop John Keenan, of Paisley on board the bus at on Saturday 3 August 2018 at 2 p.m. in Paisley town centre.

Organiser Helen Border said:

“Pope Francis has urged the church to ‘leave her four walls behind and to go out in search of those who are distant, those essentially on the outskirts of life.’ We are taking up Pope Francis’s invitation in taking the Church to the people. Everyone is welcome to come along and visit our ‘Church on wheels!”  

“Taking the church to the people shows them that the Lord loves, cares and wants them to return to him. People think that they cannot be forgiven for what they have done. No sin is too great for the Lord to forgive as long as there is repentance from the sinner. Stepping on board the bus could be the first step in changing their lives for the better and leaving the guilt on the bus. There will be priests hearing confessions on the top deck of the ‘Mercy Bus’ and the FODMS team will be welcoming visitors with tea, coffee and home baking.” 

Commenting on the initiative, Bishop John Keenan said:  

“Up and down the UK the Mercy Bus has been a great initiative of the New Evangelisation Pope John Paul II hoped for.  Its presence in the heart of town centres is welcomed by shoppers and workers of all faiths and none, as a joyful and hopeful presence of God in their midst. They see the Church coming to be among them with the Good News of God’s mercy very close at hand, so they can reach out and touch it, or simply rejoice in its nearness.  

Bishop Keenan added;

“The Mercy Bus works because so many lay men and women reach out to shoppers in the environment of the Bus and invite them to go in to chat with the priests inside or receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  So, the Mercy Bus is a sign of the essence of the Church where lay faithful go out to their peers to welcome into the pastoral care of priests who teach and heal.”

Surviving Each Day

By bedtime I usually get to a place where I feel almost human. Every night I go to bed hoping the next morning will be better. I wake after about six hours. I feel awful, dead, buzzing in my head, eyes not working and in pain so I have to get up straight away. That is a struggle. The world is very dark, a dark dark place, my mind is like treacle. My wife usually has coffee waiting, I always expect it to help. It doesn’t. Then the toilet trips start. Medicine is ingested. Seven pills to start, inhalers, eye drops, nasal sprays. Breakfast although I don’t want to eat. Then I feel sick for at least two or three hours. By midday I am ready for a hot bath, it helps a little, eases the pain. Lunch follows.

The afternoon then lies ahead long and awful. By dinner time I am finally ready for food although it all tastes the same. I watch TV or listen to music. I start to feel better, lighter. Bed. Repeat.

It sounds awful written down like that. It’s amazing what you get used to though. It’s my life and I am grateful for it. It really is ok. Honestly, this is not just a brave face.

Photo of the inside of St Joseph’s Catholic Church
My Adopted Parish

High spots include a 9:30 Mass via ,contemplative prayer. Lighting candles and sitting at my home altar. Reading the news. Listening to my current book, I read a lot. I spend a lot of time online helping people. I write when I can, when I am able. The day passes as it has done for two decades now, the same routine. I do all this no matter how I feel. I force myself through it, sometimes it  is easy other times really it’s like being in quicksand.

The point really is that you have to learn to be content with what you have and what life gives you to deal with on a daily basis. I have learned to love silence, to love my broken body, my broken mind and in being content I have become rich. Richer than I have ever been. 

Augustine x

An old steam train with a cinema camera man standing on a platform at the front.
Old Photo of the Day