Monday, February 10, 2014

"My Friend, Matt Talbot"

Joseph D. recently sent us a note expressing his appreciation “for the interesting material” about Venerable Matt Talbot on our blog.
At our request Joseph wrote the following to express, “as the flow came,” his gratitude for the life of Matt Talbot and gave us permission to post it. 
(We have added the title)

"My Friend, Matt Talbot"
by Joseph D.
30 January 2014

I went into Our Lady Of Lourdes Church 40 yrs. ago asking for help from Matt . Within 6 months I had stopped drinking and have remained alcohol free since that time. I had to return to the shrine every three days to get a peace of mind as my thinking was in a desperate state. On one such occasion I was not kind in my word as I said "do I have to keep coming back here for the rest of my life, I need help".  I got my peace but upon leaving the church what I used to call the machine gun mind came back, racing thoughts that gave no peace. I was sure I was being punished by God for talking up. I met a friend whom that day I had arranged to play table tennis with, the mind was so toxic I could not play. He asked if I would like to chat to a friend of his , I agreed, the moment I went into the place he brought me to my peace came . There was a book there that was given to me and that was my companion for many years and educated me Spiritually. It was the start of a great adventure that is still a work in progress. I have had to face many perils during my sobriety but the peace remains, the education for emotional sobriety is ongoing. The story with Matt had started many years before, he was introduced to me by my father when I was 6 or 7. A brother of mine had died in St Canices  school as a result of an accident  there, I was three years of age , this was back in 1948. The grief of that event had a big effect on the family , I feel I am still recovering from it. Part of the ritual every Sunday was to visit Glasnevin Cemetery, I used to be terrified of that place. After visiting my brothers grave my father would go to Matt's resting place where people would gather to say the Rosary around 12 oc. He was then moved from the grave to a whitewashed tomb in the centre of the graveyard where again the Rosary was recited . It was a scary place to get to for the doors of other tombs would be open , showing the stacked coffins . When I would get to Matt's place of rest I would feel the fear go . Jump on to when I was 28 and the alcohol that was my friend and which allowed me to survive, no longer worked. I could not trust the living to help thus I arrived at Our Lady of Lourdes seeking solace from Matt , he did not let me down. I always say that I saw Matt's progress in death as he was promoted from the grave to the tomb then from the tomb to his now resting place in the church. God promoted him as he promises to do to the meek and Matt is a great example of the meek who even in death progressed.  I am a regular visitor at his tomb to this day for the love that flows there is a river of peace that comes from his heavenly abode in the company of his great love , Christ Jesus.  
John, thank you for the opportunity to write of my friend to whom I owe my life. Joe .