“Behold I am with you always, even to the close of the age.”

Matthew 28:20

Jesus promised that He would never abandon His people; He promised that He would remain until the end of time. Jesus walked the earth over 2000 years ago, yet He is still present and active in the lives of His people. He is with them. However, recognizing God’s presence in our world today takes a ‘trained eye’ and an act of faith. Jesus can most readily be recognized through the witness of Christian people, people who acknowledge and testify to the power and presence of God in their lives. The ‘Encounter with Christ’ stories help to highlight how God is working in the lives of the people in the parish of St. Magdalen’s Church. These stories are meant to help those who read them to more easily recognize God’s presence in their own lives. God wants to be known by you and to work in your life—invite Him to do so.

God’s Merciful Love

08-21-2016Encountering ChristPete Dillman

It took an illness of sudden onset and subsequent months of confusion, agony, remorse, suffering and deep reflection and prayer to realize just how far away I was from Jesus and how desperate I was for God's Mercy in my life. The fact that I am still alive and grateful to be so is – in large part – due to an awakening in me that allowed His Mercy to permeate my soul.

Before the illness, I had written a song, "Tender Mercy" – based on Psalm 103, for our group, Crossroads, to sing at the Diocesan Divine Mercy Conference earlier this year. Little did I realize – at the time – the critical need to follow my own words. I am in the process of using my personal journey of recovery to build a bridge of Faith to God, trusting that his Mercy will strengthen my hope and carry me across to His eternal love. I now frequently attend Eucharistic Adoration, pray the rosary and speak to the Lord as often as I can. Recently, the words "Stay close to me, Peter" came into my head during a period of silence. I have no doubt where it came from. Thanks to the Lord's Mercy, I will endeavor to "stay close" to Jesus for the rest of my life.