23 February 2014


In March, 1997, I talked to Father Aquinas McComb at the Newman Centre about the possibility of counselling.

My family know what behaviour issues I had.  I had genuinely believed that becoming a Catholic would somehow take care of these.  It did not do so.

Perhaps psychological counselling would help.  I had thought that Father Aquinas would recommend me to a counsellor.  In some respects, I had thought of him as 'liberal' - his Masses were low-key, rather open and not 'specially traditional.

I was still retaining a distinction in my mind that belongs rather to the world of politics and ideology than to faith.  Father Aquinas surprised me by recommending, not a counsellor, but a special Mass for healing.

Father Aquinas, in other words, was a Catholic.

The form of Mass he recommended was, I believe, originally an Anglican idea.  It is, in fact, controversial amongst Catholics.  Father referred to it as a Mass for healing of my family tree - here is a link to one site that is positive about it.  The Mass was something done by Father John Moss at the Catholic Charismatic Centre.

I visited Father John - perhaps in May?  He asked me to write, first of all, a bit of a history of myself, including in it any connexions I might have had in the past with occult matters (I was rather surprised when I did so to discover how much of that there had been), and also describing what I knew of my family's history.

I did this, and sent it to him.  Father wanted us to bring with us our children - and anyone else we might want to accompany us.  We were only finally able to make a date in, I think, August of 1997.

Naturally, Johnny couldn't come as he was living in Seattle.  Sue and I, with Helen, Eddie, and Adele, and, as well, two of our friends (who later became Catholics) showed up.  Father began Mass as usual.  He then prayed for the release from any occult spiritual influences, influences from drug-taking, influences from past family history.  He then burned my statement (which, he said, he had not read).  Mass continued as normal.

Grace is not a feeling.  On the other hand, it is not merely, as some think it, a change in God's attitude towards you.  It is invisible, intangible, unable to be sensed - and real.  Responded to, it changes you.

I cannot say things suddenly became different.  I was, and am, still John Jensen.  Nevertheless, I am convinced that was a moment of change, of conversion that has continued to the present day.

That same year, 1997, saw the introduction of an influence in our lives that has been of vital importance to both me and to Susan.  It began with my attendance at my first Opus Dei retreat.


Anonymous said...

I read your post. Are you talking about Fr. Aquinas McComb, OP, from Australia?

John Thayer Jensen said...

Gretchen - yes! Do you know him?