Archbishop speaks about heroic seminarian at Coventry youth Mass first posted 7 April 2003

 COVENTRY -first posted 7 April 2003 - 660 words

The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Birmingham, visited the home parish of Andrew Robinson, a young seminarian who wrote a book before he died of cancer in 2001. He gave the following homily yesterday, during a special Mass for young people.

"This evening I should like to speak particularly to all the young people present. I am very proud to present to you an inspirational book TEARS AT NIGHT, JOY AT DAWN written by Andrew Robinson, a parishioner of this parish," the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Birmingham, said during his homily at a special Mass for youth held at St Thomas More church in Coventry last night.

Archbishop Nichols said: "Like you, he came to Mass here, he prayed to his heavenly Father in these benches. He sang his heart out in this church. His book tells me about you, the young people of today. It is a great testimony to the true quality of young people today.

"I say that young people, that you, are often generous and big hearted: you willingly give your time and enthusiasm to others. I say that many of you are profoundly sensitive to spiritual things: to prayer, to knowledge of God, to the hidden mysteries of life. I say that you are capable of real self-sacrifice, of giving not just your time and enthusiasm, but your very selves to others.

"We won't discover the presence and love of God by skating on the surface of life. Only if we enter more deeply, going beyond what we feel today, or what the papers say, we will begin to get nearer the things that God wants to give us.

"On this journey love will give us energy. It's when and wherever we find love that we begin to get closer to the presence of God. And if love gives us energy, truth will guide us: speaking the truth, facing the truth and seeking the true and good thing to do. We will go deep within ourselves when our loving is true and our desire for truth is loving.

"That's what Andrew Robinson learned. He came to understand the deepest secret of all: that through his love, through his illness, his suffering, even through his death, he could yield a rich harvest by being one with Christ, Our Lord.

Archbishop Nichols, continued: "Andrew Robinson writes with great clarity, great openness, with no bitterness or anger. I've often wondered why. He tells us that it was because he had been healed. Not healed of the cancer, but healed in a much deeper way. He became one with God, his loving Father.

"Andrew came to recognise God's plan working out in his life. He said, as he was dying, that it was for this very reason that he had come to this hour. He was not afraid to give himself totally to God. He was not afraid to die because he knew God's love for him and he accepted it willingly. He knew that God would use his living and his dying to bring about a rich harvest.

"You and I are part of that harvest. Andrew will lead us to Jesus. That is all he wanted: to bring others, you and me, closer to the Lord and to encourage us to have the courage to listen, deep in our hearts, to what the Lord wants of us, and then to do it."

Archbishop Vincent Nichols, emphasised: "God has a call, some great work, for each of us, When we hear that call, and follow it, we are on the road to great happiness. Then we know we are taken up into something far greater than ourselves. Then we gradually become full of life, and love and joy."

TEARS AT NIGHT, JOY AT DAWN is sold by Alive Publishing, price £5.99

To buy the book on-line - click on:

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