By Rachel Curry
Open your hearts to Jesus’ love and He will give you the power to change the world, Catholic evangelist Alan Ames has told more than 150 people who attended a Mass and Healing session at Joondanna Parish last week.
Originally from London, Mr Ames is a former lapsed Catholic and motorcycle gang member who had a profound spiritual experience in 1994.
He has since travelled the world to share his story and gift of healing, for which he has the support of Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB.
During Mr Ames’ talk at St Denis Church, which followed a Mass celebrated by Joondanna Parish Priest Father Peter Porteous, he explained that his early life was one of extreme selfishness.
“I did just about all the bad things. I didn’t believe in God, I was extremely violent and addicted to many things,” Mr Ames said.
“All I ever thought about was myself and what I could get for myself, and God was the furthest thing from my mind.
“So you can imagine my surprise 23 years ago when one day the Lord decided to reach through the darkness I was living in…and touched my heart and my soul with His divine light.”
Mr Ames said that he was suddenly filled with the love of God, which he described as being “filled with ecstasy, with joy”.
He also recognised an important truth: that God loves him just as he is, despite all of his faults, weaknesses and failings.
It is the same way that God loves everyone, Mr Ames said. The only difference is how much we love God.
“Today, many people don’t realise how much God loves us. They see God as distant, as far away, and maybe as judgemental, as condemning. But God’s not like that,” he said.
“God loves us and He wants to forgive us, for anything, if we come to Him with a true heart.
There’s nothing to fear. He’s not distant, He’s not far away; He’s beside us in every moment of our lives.”
Mr Ames explained that when we love God, everything else in our lives will fall into place.
However, he said it was difficult to open our hearts completely to God in a world full of temptation, distractions and challenges.
“Many people say, ‘I do that’ but I wonder. Because do we put God first in everything, in everything we do, in every day, in every moment?
“Sadly for many people, it’s world and self-first, and then God. That’s not how it’s meant to be. Because when you put the world and self first, you start to close your heart and your soul to God.
“You can’t receive that grace, you can’t receive the gifts and you can’t be open full to the love that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit offers you.”
Mr Ames encouraged those in attendance to draw strength from the Eucharist in living out their faith.
It is not only important to attend Mass, he said, but to ensure it was “a celebration of God from the first moment to the last”.
Only then can we be completely filled with God’s love, and become a vessel through which God reaches out to others.
“If you want your families to change, if you want the world to change, it begins with you – letting go of world, letting go of self, not being a prisoner in the world but being free in Jesus,” Mr Ames said.
“And when you do that, then through you God will change the world, and change it for the better. He’ll make it a place of love, instead of a place of hatred.”
Following Mr Ames’ talk, Fr Porteous exposed the Blessed Sacrament for Adoration. He and a number of other priests also made themselves available to hear confessions.
During this time, Mr Ames placed his hands on many of the parishioners to pray for their healing, which he said would complement the power of the sacraments.