Sussex House: Ex-home to credit card usurers, Lloyds TSB
G: Nice evening at the office, dear?

L: Yeah, it was alright, you know. Just went around smiling and being friendly with people and trying to do good when I can, accepting with perfect resignation all things that happened and seeing Your Loving Hand in it all, mostly trying to do Your Holy Will in being charitable and loving to all people. I try to shed a little joy in this World. God! It could do with it! Just went out to get me some fags, Lord.

G: You know I don’t approve.

L: On the packet, it says, “Smoking can damage the sperm and decreases fertility.” Guess that’s one aspect of smoking I don’t have to worry about then?

G: Oh really? We shall have to wait and see.

L: I also met my friend for a coffee, Lord. Opposite us was a guy reading a philosophy book. His hands were shaking and he looked really distressed. I have felt like that before, Lord, that anxiety - that ache and need for Hope. Right now, I could just shout about Your love for us from the rooftops. I felt like telling him that he had a Friend in Heaven. But then who am I to say? Perhaps he already has You. It was just his hands shaking made me think, ‘I wonder what’s up with him?’ I pray for him, Lord that you may ease whatever pain he is suffering.

G: Dear one, everybody ‘has Me.’ My compassion for you is beginning to make you more compassionate on others, yes?

L: Yes. Also, on the way back from the coffee shop I saw a man with the number 33 emblazoned on his t-shirt. I thought to myself. Jesus died for him too at 33. He is redeemed too. In fact there is not a single man for whom You did not die and with whom you are not whole-heartedly in love.

G: That is My message to you and through you to all who read this book.

L: This is how we will build the Civilization of Love that Your Pope John Paul II talks about. When all men and women can see that they are loved by the same Father in Heaven, no matter who they are or what they have done, when all Mankind is embraced in the fullness of Your Redeeming Love, and sees that all are equal before You. That is when we can reach out to our brothers and sisters and know that they are brothers and sisters indeed - brothers and sisters of the same Heavenly Father. Indeed a friend of mine told me he had done a wrong thing today and revealed to me his sense of guilt and shame. Could I pass judgement on him? God forbid! For I have sinned so gravely. I have committed a sin which in accordance with the teaching of Holy Church is a sin ‘crying out to Heaven for vengeance!” I was able according to Your Will to offer him words of encouragement and hope because of the knowledge of my own guilt before You! Because I have felt that shame and have felt the relief of Your Forgiveness!

G: You have committed a sin crying out to Heaven for vengeance. But am I a vengeful God?

L: No Jesus! You are the God of Mercy and Love who wants to reconcile all things to Your Heavenly Father.

G: What did your work colleague say to you today?

L: She said I looked like a teapot.

G: Why?

L: Because I was clasping my side, which was in pain. That thorn that you have placed in my side, the thorn that keeps me from becoming too proud, my sin, my homosexuality, my repression which gets me down. My God, before I knew I was gay while I was at work, I would literally double up in pain from the repression of my sin. I did not know what it was, that pain. At least now I know! I still repress it, Lord, for I still seek to please You, but the pain was greater then because I was in denial of my true sexuality, of who I really found sexually attractive. Now I know why that pain was so extreme and the pain is far less now because I know and have acknowledged my true sexual identity.

G: Did you notice anything else at work that took your eye?

L: Yes, Lord, the dog.

G: Laurence, you sound barking.

L: Bad joke, Lord. I shall have to explain to the reader. There was a nodding dog at my desk. It reminded me of Beatrice.

G: Beatrice looked like a dog?

L: Far from it, Lord, far from it! She is the most beautiful creature in the world and what is more she is fully human, an adorable creature as You say, Lord. It’s just that when we were together in our relationship I bought her a nodding dog, a very unromantic and quite ugly present but cute all the same, Lord. Well, I liked it anyway, Lord. I think she was quite non-plussed with it. I used to play with it all the time, nodding its little head up and down. It gave me moments of great amusement and joy.

G: It was a very poor choice of present, dear, and as you say, thoroughly unromantic.

L: Remember I did take her to Paris, Lord. We all make mistakes. You of all People should know that, Lord.

G: Amen. And so your point is?

L: No point, Lord, just that it reminded me of her and that brought warmth to my poor stubborn heart.

G: You really are My poor lovesick puppy, aren’t you?

L: Yes, Lord, you know its true.

G: Why did you become a Roman Catholic, Laurence?

L: The reader will laugh, Lord.

G: Well, everyone likes a laugh, Laurence. You of all people should know that.

L: Okay, well the story goes like this. You know how I love to look for You in signs and wonders and enjoy the cosy world of dreams with a strong and heightened aversion to reality?

G: Yes.

An ecclesial community in full Pentecostal service
L: Well, I am sure the reader will realise by now that I am completely stark raving bonkers when it comes to You. Anyhow, after I became a Christian I joined the Pentecostals for a while under the guidance of a friend who I had met on a tube and told tearfully that I wanted to be a Christian.

There I duly became a fundamentalist Christian and it took a good while for me to recover from that, I can tell you. I am quite sure such a faith has its benefits, but the pastors were always after the cash of the congregation. It was all miracles and dramatic healings and stuff and using passages from the Bible to get us to give them more money in tithes so they could build a massive Church. Nowadays, Lord I think to myself, if you want to see a massive Church go to Westminster Cathedral. It’s much more ornate and beautiful than any big hall they could come up with!

G: As I said, Laurence, you are about to make many enemies.

L: So sue me. Anyhow, so I began to suspect the whole thing. Like I thought to myself, is this really the spirit of Jesus moving in this place? Or is it, come to us, we’ll heal your back problem as long as you keep coming back and feel pressurised into putting a tenner into the offering? It was all Beelzebub this and Jezebel that and in the end I just got completely naffed off with it. So then I decided to join my local Baptist church. They were really warm and friendly and very nice people. To be fair, the Pentecostal people were nice too, but it was just like a pressure cooker environment. What can I say? I lost my head and as You said, completely freaked out my parents at the time, not that I have different parents now, you understand. They were like, ‘I thought Christianity was about becoming a better human being, more tolerant and loving and caring and in general being more like Jesus Christ?’

My God! Those Pentecostal guys would feast on me, being the poor sinner I am, they would try to exorcise me a million times over and I’d, be like, ‘No, it didn’t work, I am still a homosexual.’ Sorry, I am digressing. So, I joined the Baptists and they were lovely. That is, they were lovely until someone sinned. See, they were really nice to me, but then they found out that two of my Baptist friends were living together and there were rumours they may have had sex before marriage. How shocking! Someone had words with them and said something to the effect that unless they stopped living together and stuff, with all the stuff that might go along with that, that they wouldn’t be welcome in the church. I say church with a small ‘c’ because there is only one church with a big ‘c’ and that is the Holy Catholic Church.

G: If you publish this, you will almost certainly get shot.

L: They’d be doing me and Holy Church a favour. The blood of the Martyrs is the seed of the Church. God knows! Martyrdom is the only way I’m getting straight to Heaven, otherwise it’s a pretty long stay in Purgatory for me. If that! It’ll be a Miracle if I escape Hell. For a long while I loved it. I loved the hymns and all of that. Truly, the people there that I met were lovely and always egged me on. I have not a bad word to say of any of them. All that I say is that my experience suggested that forgiveness of human weakness was not as strong as it is in the Catholic Church. That is all I say. So, anyhow, I thought to myself, inspired by You of course, for I have done nothing for myself, for all is wrought by You, that with so many different churches around and so many denominations fighting, that I should ask You, the Almighty God, which church you wanted me in.

G: Keep digging, Larry.

L: So I decided to get down on my knees and ask You whether you wanted me to get baptised in the Baptist church or go over to the Roman Catholic Church. I prayed something along the lines of, “Dear God and Father, I don’t know which church to join and so I ask You to guide me into the church you want me to be in (but please don’t let it be the Catholic Church). Through Christ our Lord, Amen.

G: Did I answer your prayer?

L: Yes, sorrowfully at the time for me, You did. I must say I was terribly angry at You for telling me to join the Roman Catholics! In the days, weeks and months after I prayed that prayer to You I was bombarded by Catholicism. I might just have well have been at Lourdes. I read a book by the Holy Father and Vicar of Jesus Christ, Pope John Paul II called ‘Crossing the Threshold of Hope.’ Inspired and moved by the Holy Spirit as I was, I thought it to be an excellent book displaying wisdom and generosity to all religions.

G: You would do well to learn from him.

L: Furthermore, his proclamation that the Roman Catholic Church is the true place of salvation for all men, I found to be quite stunning. Why? I thought to myself. What is so special about the Catholic Church? In the book he explained that the Catholic Church is Apostolic in that Her heritage and lineage comes directly from Jesus Christ Himself, passed on to the Apostles and from the Apostles to the Church as it is today, that St Peter was the first Pope and that all successive Popes until the present day follow St Peter, who You gave the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven when You said, “Peter, you are My Rock and upon you I shall build My Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.”

Add to this the fact that Holy Church proclaims that the Eucharist is actually the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, in which we receive the Soul and Divinity of Christ, making us more like unto Him, the institution of the Sacrament of Reconciliation which God knows I am in need of almost all of the time, and the Mystery of pure unadulterated holiness that surrounds the history of the Church and You basically had me won over. What with those Saints, Lord. You know how much I love those Saints! What is more, in my petition that You would guide me into the church You wanted me to be in, I received direct answers from other people, for You are in all people and speak through all people, that it was the Church for me.

G: Give the reader an example.

L: Well, I can remember two, off-hand. A few days after my prayer, I went to my last service at a Baptist church, where at the end of the service, a lovely lady who had recently got baptised there, when I told her I was thinking about which church to join and wasn’t yet decided, winked at me and said, ‘Well, I wouldn’t worry about it too much, Rome wasn’t built in a day!’

G: Hallelujah. Can I get a witness?

L: I think you just got one. Christ! I’m for it, aren’t I!? Still, maybe the intercession of Our Lady can redirect the bullet from my heart, like she interceded for the Holy Father in that assassination attempt. Prayer really is more powerful than violence and gross acts of Evil against holy men and women, you know.

G: And your second example?

L: Well, I was on the tube one day and I had just gone through the whole Alpha course thing at the Baptist church and I was thinking to myself and prayerfully speaking to You, ‘I just don’t know, which church I should join. It can’t be the Catholic Church!’

When I got off the tube I met a young lady, a rather attractive one at that too, Lord, and she asked me for directions on the tube to get to Heathrow. I showed her the correct line to go on. “So,” I asked, “where are you going on your holidays?” She paused for a moment before smiling at me and quite meaningfully said, “To Rome!” With that she waltzed off and I was left scratching my head a little. They seem like such little things now, but I was on the look out for Your Guidance and felt it at that time most profoundly.

G: So then what did you do?

Westminster Cathedral
L: I was so interested about this whole Catholic thing, that I went that very day and demanded that I see a Priest at Westminster Cathedral.

A very elderly but humble, wise, generous and compassionate man called Fr Norman greeted me with a walking stick and took me to a room where he talked about the Catholic faith and I listened attentively. I thought that was quite decent of me really, Lord because on the whole, few people really want to listen to Catholics. I was so impressed by his virtue and obvious holiness that more or less from that day forward my mind was completely made up. He was so gentle with me you see, much like You are, and so fully human, joyful and alive to God, and I remember thinking at the time, ‘I want to be just like you.’

Of course, it was the painful loss of Beatrice which had led me to him, because deep down I knew that the reason I wanted to be like him, was because of her and because my love for her knows no limits whatsoever. It’s three ‘o’ clock in the morning, Lord, do you want me to carry on?

G: Why not? You don’t have work until 5 ‘o’ clock tomorrow, you can get some shut-eye then.

L: Shut-eye indeed. Only my Grandpa used that phrase.

G: I know.

L: Holy Christ.

G: I am just making the point to Laurence that I died for everyone. I didn’t just die for Catholics, lad. I died for the whole World. Your Grandpa wasn’t a Catholic, but I died for him too. As you grow and mature in your faith you will see that all the faith, love and hope you have is a gift I gave you freely of My own desire and for which you can claim no credit at all. Do not try to understand the Mystery of Salvation. You will only drive yourself in circles. Do you get My meaning?

L: Yes, Lord. I fully understand what you are saying.

G: Good. Okay then carry on with your witnessing, but keep it short, the reader will get incredibly bored soon. L: Okay, bear with me reader. I am nearly done ranting. Oh, anyhow, so in the end, I plump for the Catholic faith, meet lots of lovely people, good priests, get onto an RCIA course, meet a wonderful lady who helped me along in my studies of the Faith and got received into the Church at Easter 2001 in the splendour of Westminster Cathedral where Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor anointed my head with some oil and kind of tugged my cheek in a most endearing and almost fatherly manner. Still, he is the Archbishop, so I guess of all the Fathers in there he is going to be the most fatherly. And there we are.

As someone who has been a Catholic for two years now, I can whole-heartedly say it is a wonderful journey of seeking God, learning the true meaning of love and finding hope in a fallen yet redeemed world that is crying out for the Truth and the reassurance that all of its inhabitants are incredibly loved by the Architect of the Universe. Once you ask God into your life you realise that no matter how dark times get, how much suffering you endure and how much pain you see in the World that you can know for yourself that you are not alone and never will be again, even when it seems that you are. Oh and if you do get onto an RCIA course and you live in London go to Westminster Cathedral. It’s a beautiful Cathedral. If I ever get married, Lord, that’ll be the place.

G: There. Do you feel better now?

L: Not really, Lord. My tummy hurts still.

G: I wish you’d just relieve yourself, you poor thing.

L: No Lord! I will hold on for another day! I can be strong, I can defeat it! I have my own free will! I shall not spill my seed! Haven’t I sinned enough?! They’re my future children, you know?!

G: Okay, have it your way. I wish he’d just trust Me.

L: Apparently, Lord, Marvin Gaye would masturbate quite often during the making of ‘What’s Going On?’ I think it helped him to relieve himself of all that energy and sacred tension that went into the production of one of the World’s finest and most stunningly breathtaking albums ever. At the time he said that at one point he realised that it was completely inspired by God. He called his producer and told him, “You’re not going to believe this! God is writing this album!”

G: Would you like to write down the lyrics of your favourite song on that album?

L: I’d like to Lord, but what about copyright laws?

G: You already need to write to the publishers of Holy Orders, dear. I am sure it won’t be too much trouble to write to Motown as well.

L: Alright, then. Here goes:

'Oh, don’t go and talk about my father, God is my friend,
Jesus is my friend
He made this world for us to live in and gave us everything
And all he asks of us is we give each other love
Oh ya
Don’t go and talk about my father
Cause God is my friend, Jesus is my friend
He loves us whether or not we know it Just loves us, oh ya
And He’ll forgive all our sins, forgive our sins
And all He asks of us is we give each other love.
Love your mother, she bore you
Love your father, he works for you
Love your sister, she’s good to you
Love your brother, your brother
Don’t go and talk about my father
He’s good to us God is my friend,
Jesus is my friend
For when we call on him for mercy, mercy Father
He’ll be merciful, my friend
Oh yes He will
All He asks of us, I know Is we give each other love. Oh ya.'

G: Thank you, dear. You’re getting tired aren’t you?

L: Oh ya! It’s 5am, Lord.

G: Okay, before you go to bed I want you to read that song prayerfully and think about what it is telling you. Okay? Also, look at the bit in the record sleeve where Marvin Gaye talks about the people he loves.

L: Yes, Lord, he said loves someone called Mrs Alberta Gay, Mr Marvin P. Gay, Frankie Gay and Seola “Sweetsie” Gay.

G: What is the name of the person who produced and mixed this album?

L: Lawrence.

G: Yes. I love somebody who is ‘Gay’ too.

L: Who, Lord, who?

G: Laurence.

L: O my God.

G: Goodnight, child.

L: Goodnight, sweet Lord Jesus.

Chapter 12 

G: It is 12am. Tell Me now all that fills your heart and mind.

 L: Lord, I fell underneath the weight of the Cross! Last night I masturbated about being with a man. When I did I felt the relief and the pain in my tummy subside a little.

G: You did.

L: Gracious God, have mercy on me, have mercy on me a sinner, for I cannot help myself. Then during the afternoon I felt the lust rise up in me once more and masturbated again. My God! Be merciful to me a sinner!

G: What did you do then?

L: At approximately 4pm I got down on my knees and prayed to you an act of contrition with a firm purpose of amendment, looking with sorrow at Your Holy Cross and with a thankful heart praised You for having come to redeem my soul and save me from my sins. My God! How pathetic I must look in Your Sight, poor sinner that I am. I have no self-control. I am full of lust and cannot stop offending You. Take pity on me, Lord, take pity and save me from my sins.

G: Do you want to say an act of contrition now?

L: O my God, thank you for loving me. I am sorry for all of my sins. For not loving others, and not loving You. Help me to live more like Jesus and not to sin again.

G: I remember your sins no more. How long did it take you to write that down?

L: About one minute, Lord, it just flowed out. My heart was crying out for You. It all came straight from the heart, like everything else in this book.

G: Do you feel better after that? 

L: Yes, Lord I feel lifted up, redeemed and utterly forgiven for my iniquity.

G: Now, Laurence has been making notes today on his little post-it notes. Where did you get those post-it notes?

L: From work, Lord. I stole them. Sorry, Lord. Like the penitent thief I pray, ‘Lord Jesus, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom.’

G: Forgiven. Now, one by one I want you to look at those notes and inspired by the Holy Spirit you will still make this night a highly spiritual and entertaining event even though it seems as though you are being methodical in your approach to writing. So, dear, what have you noticed today?

L: Looks like it’s going to be another late one, Lord.

G: Probably.

L: Okay, lets begin. Have you really forgiven me for all my sins?

G: Yes, completely.

L: Okay, well as soon as I got up I wrote this down as I felt inspired by You: ‘The idea that Jesus does not love and forgive homosexuals should be as fanciful to Catholics and all Christians of good will as the idea of our Lord’s Crucifixion, Resurrection and Glorious Ascension into Heaven, where He is now seated at the Right Hand of the Father, is to a non-believer.’

G: I couldn’t have put it better Myself.


G: Who said that?

L: You did.

G: Yes, I did.

L: Wowzer! So I met my friend tonight for a drink. He told me something I could hardly believe. My friend, you see, he is a gay Catholic too and now he has been outed at work. Poor guy! He wanted to keep his sexuality a secret because he doesn’t go about yelling about it like I have done in the past, to his workmates. I don’t do that because I know I am a child of God, and don’t identify myself as a homosexual anymore. Not since Jesus told me how much he loved me, anyway.

Anyhow, his workplace isn’t in Brighton, but another place in East Sussex and it’s a different kind of firm to mine, quite male dominated. So, it turns out that someone saw him in a gay bar. He wasn’t doing anything wrong, just being with a friend and having a quiet drink. He’s a Catholic too, you see, and doesn’t believe in just shagging random people but is looking to build a long-term relationship with someone. He is a lovely, lovely guy. Anyhow, so he is basically outed at work. How wrong! How dare anyone do that! Turns out some girl at the office went around telling everyone she had seen him and totally blew his cover. I was filled with disgust at the injustice of it! What right do his work colleagues have to gossip about his identity and personal life?! If you were sensitive about it, how uncomfortable would you feel if suddenly you knew people had started to talk about you behind your back about personal stuff, rooting around your private life and gossiping? And this is near Brighton too! I thought we had moved on from this bollocks.

I am not a liberal, I am a Catholic and I try to be as strict on myself in the Confessional as I try to be merciful on the faults of my brothers and sisters. And so I say to them, go and look at yourself! Wait for someone to discover all the skeletons you have hidden away in your cupboard and then see how it feels to be humiliated like that! My God! Shame on them! Indeed, it is mercy you require, not sacrifice! What is more, Lord, what is more, said girl phoned his boss and told him too! Luckily for him, his boss admires and respects him as a human being and knows he is a good employee. O my Good God! Take pity on her ignorance! For she knows not what she does! Where is the justice? Why do people not look at Your Holy Gospel and see the Truth!? Indeed, it is truth you love, sincerity and truth in the heart!

G: This is the Gospel of the Lord.

L: Well, I can barely believe I wrote that on my own. So, once again I say, praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ.

G: Be merciful to them too, Laurence and remember you once thought like them. You would like to talk about your Goddaughter and her family?

L: Yes, Lord. In Your Loving Plan for me, you have given me the responsibility of being a Godfather to a little girl. She is just four years old. The fact that I am Godfather to the girl gives me every right to help her and her family move out of the place where they live now, in South London, where they have just two rooms for four children under the parentship of a strong and valiant Catholic single mother, if I make any money out of this book, that is. The five of them live on barely anything and barely scrape by week after week. If I get rich from this book I will help them to move to a better house where she and the children can breathe and have a bit of space to themselves. God knows, they deserve it! There is much I could say about this family, whose life, during the course of my life I will share in the role of a Godfather, but all I know is that they deserve better than they have. The father left them and they have to struggle on without him.

G: How old is he?

L: Thirty-three, Lord.

G: I forgive him too, see. Carry on.

L: What is more, when it comes to First Communion for her, my Goddaughter, I will endeavour to ensure she has one of the finest First Communion dresses available. If I get some money out of this book You are writing for me, that is. I know that is a great tradition for Catholic families, you see, even though it gets poor Catholic families into debt because of the pressure of social respect. That family, Lord, deserve the best. Being a gay man, you see, I have to accept that the likelihood is that I will never get married to a girl and settle down and have children like I always wanted to. Reader, please understand what that means to me and a myriad other gay men. It can be a very lonely existence. Can you blame us for seeking a boyfriend? For wanting to be able to hold our boyfriend’s hands down the street and say, we love each other? Not that I have one at the moment, but do you know what I mean? Can you blame us for wanting affection and love from another human being, and intimacy? Take up your Cross, some so called Christians will say. Yes, I would reply, I have and it’s damn heavy I can tell you! One day I will crack. Thank God that Jesus came to die for me and reconcile me to the Father! Pray for me, a sinner!

G: Lazarus, you really seem to have found your voice.

The Raising of Lazarus: Not a Gay Event
L: Damn right I have, Lord. What did You say to Your Lazarus when You raised him up from the dead?

G: Lazarus, COME OUT!

L: And so, Lord I have come out too! I have to, Lord. The truth has to be told. See reader, indeed I am a sinner, but you cannot judge me because you are a sinner too. You may just not know it yet. Pray to God, I tell you, and He will show you Himself, and then you will rejoice in the truth about yourself, that you have a Redeemer and He loves you no matter what you do, think or say.

G: Amen.

L: Thirty-three! Thirty-three! The age at which my Saviour died for me!

G: Okay dear, calm down. You are taking over My book.

L: May the Lord have mercy on us, forgive us our sins and bring us to Everlasting Life.

G: Is that a voice I hear, crying out in the wilderness?

L: Make straight the highway of the Lord!

G: I cannot make you straight though.

L: No, it is sad, very sad. If I were straight, maybe, just maybe, then I could woo the one I love. Today, Lord I saw a gay couple walking down the street. One of them had a t-shirt on, which said, ‘Fallen.’ “Hah!” I thought, “this is the Gospel of the Lord, indeed.” Fallen, yes, but Redeemed also, and not just him, but all of Humanity. Remember my friend I told you about, reader, the one who revealed to me that he had sinned gravely, who had done a wrong thing and revealed to me his guilt and shame? Do you want to know what he said to me after I had told him that God loved him still and that it was not his fault? He said, “Laurence, I wish you were here with me so I could put my head on your shoulder and hug you.” Do you want to know what I said to him? I replied, “I am not the man whose shoulder you want to rest your head on and who you want to hug. The Man that you want to do that with is there in your room at the moment just waiting for you. And what is more, he is coming to your house under the guise of a Priest, bringing with him the peace you seek in about an hour.”

Reader, the Man I am talking about is our Lord Jesus Christ, and as for me, I am not worthy to untie his sandal. Do you want to know what happened when his Priest arrived? He knelt down before him and prayed an Act of Sorrow for Sin with all of his heart. The priest shirked back and said, “No, you don’t need to kneel.” “No, no,” he said. “This time, Father, I have to.”

In so doing, the Priest perfectly imitated the Infinite Compassion of our Father in Heaven, who seeing his Prodigal Son a long way off, and moved with compassion, beckoned his son towards him. In so doing also, my friend perfectly displayed the contrite heart of the Prodigal Son who exclaimed to his Father, ‘Have mercy on me, for I have sinned against Heaven and before You. Make me as one of your hired servants!’ Would the Father hear of it? No! He gave his son a new robe and called for a banquet to be celebrated, because of the return of his Son, of whom he declared, ‘This son of mine, he once was lost, but now is found!’ That is what the Gospel is about you see, reader. It is the admission that we have fallen. Indeed to fall is not fatal at all, because our Heavenly Father is waiting for us all. He loves us with an Infinite Love and Infinite Compassion, and is indeed, Infinite Goodness.

G: You’d make a fine priest, Larry.

L: Lord, I shall never enter the Church! I shall be a writer, not a preacher, for when the people will not go to Church they will read, and sometimes, only sometimes, a Book lives!

G: Tell me, Larry, during this time of writing have you once looked in your Bible?

L: Lord, I do not need a Bible. You Yourself have written the Words of the Gospel on my very heart.

G: What you have just written is good. Very good.

L: It’s better than any homily I ever heard, Lord.

G: You are smoking too much, Laurence.

L: I know, Lord. What can I say? I am hooked. I should pray to St Peregrine to pray for me before I go and get cancer.

G: I should do that if I were you, but also get some patches, some exercise and quit.

L: I will try, but it’s hard, very hard to stop. Talking of exercise, Lord, I had a wonderful game of tennis with a friend today. Only one thing bothered me, though.

G: What was that?

L: I developed a bad back early on in the match. I thought to myself, ‘This is from the Lord, to teach me not to be so arrogant and judgmental of people who follow the Pentecostal denomination of Christianity.’ I am called to be a peacemaker, not a quarreller with people of other denominations. I repent of my pride and arrogance right here and right now and solemnly apologise to people of the Baptist faith and Pentecostal faith who I may have offended. Everybody has the right to follow the kind of religion they want to and who am I, who have offended God so much in my life, to cast judgments on them. I have no right at all.

G: There’s a good boy.

L: I hope they forgive me. I hate making enemies. I don’t want any enemies at all, and we should all be brothers and sisters in Christ, whether we believe in Him or not and whatever faith or church we belong to, any and none. But I must needs preach the Gospel at all times in all places, mostly by silent witness until I get into my room, turn my computer on and rant and rave like a mad badger. I do sincerely believe that if I publish this book that many people will get angry with me and hate me for little other reason than speaking truth. Some people will hate me because I am gay and have done wrong gay things and may do wrong gay things in the future, though, by the Grace of God, there go I.

Some people will hate me because I am a Catholic and the history of the Church shows that to preach the Gospel openly as a Catholic or indeed any Christian denomination, and to unapologetically pledge loyalty and allegiance to the Catholic Church can have its downsides.

Finally, some people in the gay community will hate me because I say that the act of homosexuality is a sin, but that God loves us and forgives us so lets all join the Church and go to Confession and try not to do it again. Always, I must emphasise the word ‘try’ because God knows our weaknesses and loves us unconditionally and is not surprised by our falling at all. God knows I try not to masturbate and I will try not to shag a man but it may happen again and if it happens it happens because I am sinful, not perfect. As the Good Lord has said, people who think they are perfect do not need salvation. Gay people know about shame.

We have had shame since we were little, therefore we should see the love of our Lord as shown on the Cross and know that He Himself has taken all of our shame and guilt upon His Blessed Body. We should all adore Him. He loves us all GAY OR STRAIGHT with a perfect love that knows no limits no matter how many times we may offend him because GOD IS LOVE. Jesus did not come to condemn us but to save us. This salvation is a life-long process. The point is that our attitude, to quote St Teresa of the Child Jesus, should be this, ‘Let us go forward with our eyes fixed upon Heaven, the only goal and pursuit of all our labours.’

od Himself, will pick us up when we fall. When we fall we get back up again, return to God and try again. What do we want chaps, and indeed chapesses and indeed all of humanity? Do we just want the pleasures of this world, or do we want the endless joys and peace of Heaven, the gates of which have been opened up to us, thanks to the Precious Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ? Our souls have been purchased. It was expensive. But that is how much God loves us.

Talking of Miracles, did you know, Lord that a Miracle occurred today? I left my bicycle outside my place of work and completely forgot to lock it. It stayed outside for four hours in the evening and nobody took it. Hundreds of people walk by where it stood unlocked for that time and not a single person stole it. You have restored my faith in humanity! I have two cigarettes left, Lord. If you keep me up much longer I will have to go to Beatrice’s down the road and pick up yet another pack of filthy fags (that’s cigarettes, by the way) that are ruining my arteries, gradually destroying my lungs and basically stopping me from getting fit for the football season, as I am keen to play for a local team. My manager for some reason thinks I am the salvation of his Mid-Sussex football club. He has more faith in me than God even. Well, I don’t have much faith in our team. Personally I think we are beyond redemption. Still, we’ve all felt like that before. Hey, Lord, I am starting to think I am not such a bad writer after all. Perhaps I don’t even need to go on a writing course. Did you know, Lord, that some of my friends joked with me that they think I am the Messiah because I don’t tan or burn in the sun, even when I am in it for long periods. “Well”, I said, “The Son of God has already come, died, risen and will come again.” What is more, reader, the Son of God never had a wank just because his tummy hurt. Honestly, I should feel ashamed of myself. And often do, Lord! Lord, I just realised that for the last page and a half you haven’t said a word.

G: You are doing just fine without Me.

L: It’s 4am, and I am pooped, Lord. I think I meandered off the Justice and Mercy theme a little didn’t I?

G: Yes, but I did tell you it would be entertaining. Get some sleep, boy.

L: Goodnight, Lord. Thank you for forgiving me.

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