The webpage of the Youth Ministry of the Irish Province of Augustinians

Message from Tourlough

Hello, everyone. Well my adventure with the Augustinians has come to an end with my departure from the novice house in Racine, USA. My friends at home keep asking me "how are you?" You would think I had just come out from an operation! Truthfully I never felt better. I have just had the best 18mths of my life. I have encountered great people, been made to feel welcome wherever I was and have learnt a lot about me and the Lord. All in all a wonderful experience. So why did I leave? Basically I saw within myself two things. The first was that I would not be able to keep the celibacy rule and secondly I realised that my work in the Church and voluntary sector before I entered the Augustinians was very fulfilling and valuable.
Did I learn much? Yes, but mostly about myself. I found within me that the Lord loves, values and cherishes me no matter what my position in life and that we are important members of his community even as lay people. I experienced friendship and acceptance from other members of the order and had no difficulty fitting in. This surprised me as I would tend to suffer a little from low self esteem. But what I learnt most of all is that when the Lord touches you in some way, it may not be as you expect but it is real and beautiful. I have been given the space to allow that touch to deepen and bear fruit. This is not in a big, exhuberant way but in a quiet simple manner. The work of the Spirit is deep! He goes to the secret places that we sometimes are not even aware off. During this past year I have been led gently and slowly to a self-realisation and awareness that has profoundly deepened my love of God and even more surprisingly, I have begun to love myself in a new way.

The beginning of my move away from the Augustinians took place in Ireland before I went to Racine. However, I felt God was calling me to go so I answered his call. I'm glad I did. While in Racine I became so much more aware of myself and my experience of life and I found something I had never experienced before. Gradually over days and weeks I was presented with two choices, each of which were equally good. Usually we have to choose between good and bad so the choice is clear if not easy, especially if the something bad is something we like. But here the choice was between two goods; A. to stay with the AUgustinians or B. to go back to lay state and work as usual for God. I found out something I had never seen before. When faced with two goods we can't choose. We have to wait til our experience shows us whch way God wants us to go. And if we have patience and faith show us he certainly will. Then we begin to realise the truth of that oft quoted line from Paul; "All things work to the good for those who love the Lord."

I am so goad I went to the Augustinians. I would not have missed it for anything. I can never thank them enough for what they have given me, and I gave so little in return. For the rest of my life I shall have memories to cherish, plesant memories of good people and lasting friends.

Oh, and one last about Theology of the Body, it is fantastic!


Hope this is ok father> Anything more i cna do, dont hesitate to ask.

Article posted on 12th of January 2010

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