Sep 01, 2020 1859 Sean Booth,

Kiss of Love

Does Jesus still heal and perform miracles today?

An Intense Call

As a child of eight, I remember sitting with my mother watching an appeal on TV that was asking donations for the poor and starving children of Africa. I felt an ache and an almost magnetic pull towards one young boy of a similar age who was shown crying. I felt his eyes burn into mine as a fly landed on his lip and he did not even notice. At the same time, an overwhelming wave of love and sadness swept over me.

I was watching people who were dying from lack of food while I sat comfortably just metres away from a full refrigerator. I could not make sense of the injustice and wondered what I could do. When I asked my mother how I could help, she said we could send money, but I felt compelled to do something personally, directly. That feeling echoed in my heart at various times of my life, but I never really knew what doing something more direct and personal could be. I grew up believing I had a calling in my life, that I existed to bring about change, and that I was born to love, serve and help others. But life always seemed to get in the way of acting on those convictions.

Journaling through Life

In 2013 I spent time in an English prison. It was there that I encountered the risen Lord in the most life–changing experience of my life. Space does not permit me to elaborate (Refer my bio credited at the end of the article to get the link to the Shalom World TV program “Jesus My Savior” episode where I tell that part of my story), but after that encounter I surrendered my life to him and have been on a most incredible journey ever since.

In 2015, when I met an American religious brother who worked with the poor in Calcutta, India, I finally recognized my opportunity to serve among the poor. Within months I was on a plane headed to India to volunteer with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity.

As soon as I landed, I looked at the night sky and felt God’s presence. When I sat back in the taxi I immediately thought, ‘I’m home’. Yet here I was in a place I had never been before. When I began my volunteer work, I understood why I felt at home: Home is where the heart is.

I encountered Jesus countless times in the poor and beautiful people of India. Mother Teresa said the Gospel can be described on 5 fingers: ‘you… did… it… to… me’ (Matthew 25:40), and in the poor I regularly saw the eyes of Jesus. From the moment I woke up and prayed each morning to the moment my head hit the pillow at night, I experienced love. Each night before bed I sat on the roof terrace writing in my journal until the very early hours. People wondered how I kept going, why I did not collapse in a heap. There is only one explanation—the fire in my Heart which is The Holy Spirit.

Windows to the Soul

They say the eyes are the windows to the soul. I often connect with people through the eyes. I connected this way with a disabled young man I cared for who each day invited me to play cards with him. Since he was both mute and lacked the use of his arms and legs, he would point to which cards he wanted me to turn. As the days passed, we communicated more and more even though no words came from his mouth. We communicated through the eyes in the universal language of love.

One day, he asked me to wheel him inside the house and led me to a floor-to-ceiling image of The Divine Mercy. I asked if he loved Jesus and he smiled and nodded. We went into the chapel and as I wheeled him close to the tabernacle, he threw himself out of the wheelchair, face down. Thinking he had fallen I went to help him, but he pushed me away and performed one of the most beautiful acts of worship I have ever witnessed. Using all his strength he pushed himself up onto his knees. I knelt next to him with tears in my eyes. As I led the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be he made noises matching my words perfectly in rhythm and tone. From birth this man had been dealt a life of suffering, rejection, and isolation. His body was crippled, yet he knelt praying and giving thanks to God, radiating light and teaching me how prayer should be done.

Another day, he showed me all his earthly possessions. He opened a small shoe box that contained photographs which he was eager to show me. The photographs were of him when the Missionaries of Charity Brothers first found him and brought him into their home. Another was of his Baptism, one of his First Holy Communion, and another of his Confirmation. He loved showing the photos and I loved seeing them and seeing the pleasure he took in showing them to me.

More Precious than Gold

When the time came for me to return home, I was in floods of tears and found it almost impossible to say goodbye to my new friend. We were next to his bed when he pointed to his pillow. I didn’t understand, but another resident, a child with Down’s syndrome, lifted my friend’s pillow and revealed a set of Rosary beads. My friend grabbed them the best he could with his crippled hand and moved towards me to give them to me. Knowing how little he had, I told him I could not take them. He stared at me with his frowned eyebrows telling me I had to. Reluctantly I held out my hand and he dropped them into my palm. As soon as the Rosary touched me, I felt love go through my body. The Rosary was made from string and plastic, but it was more valuable than gold or precious stones. I kissed him and the Rosary and left absolutely staggered at how much God had blessed me through the beauty and love of this amazing human being. Like the widow in the gospel, he had given out of his extreme poverty.

On 4th September 2016, Mother Teresa was declared a Saint. I had the privilege of being in St Peter’s Square for the Canonisation Mass. Early on the morning after (September 5, her feast day), I decided to visit St John Lateran Basilica before my flight home to thank God for my experience and for Mother Teresa. Early in the morning, I entered the church and found it empty except for two nuns at the front who stood next to a first-class relic of Mother Teresa. I asked if I could touch my new Rosary beads to the relic whilst I prayed. I explained who gave them to me and then thanked her for saying yes.

She returned the Rosary with a holy card of Mother Teresa which read on the back: ‘All for Jesus through Mary’. As I kissed the Rosary, that phrase exploded in my heart. I had been asking Jesus to show me what was most pleasing to Him and this card provided an answer to my prayer. As I prayed in gratitude, I felt a tap on my shoulder. A lady wearing a surgical mask was looking directly into my eyes. “Whatever you are praying for,” she said, “do not be afraid. God is with you”. I immediately stood up and with love erupting from the very core of my being, I kissed the woman.

The woman told me she had cancer. “But the crazy thing is,” she said, “I can’t cure myself”. “That’s true,” I said, “you can’t heal yourself, but God can and for that to happen you must have faith.”

She replied that she had little faith. I told her that was fine because Jesus tells us we only need ‘faith the size of a Mustard seed’ to move mountains (Mark 11:22-25). “If we can move mountains,” I said, “then we can certainly move cancer.” I asked her to repeat with me ‘believe that you have received it and it will be yours.’ (Mark 11:24). As we parted, I gave her a Rosary from Medjugorje and we exchanged phone numbers. In the coming weeks I encouraged her, by email and text, to trust Jesus and continue claiming her healing.

Indescribable Power

A few weeks passed. One day, just as I was entering the church, she sent me a text asking for prayer before her hospital check-up. Her last exam showed the cancer had spread. As I prayed, I felt reassured by the warmth of the sun shining on me through the stained-glass window. It hardly felt surprising when she delightedly shared her good news. The doctors could not explain it!

Not only was she better, but the cancer had completely disappeared. Later, I remembered something about the moment she tapped me on the shoulder in Rome when I felt that strong urge to kiss her. Moments before that kiss, I had kissed the Rosary beads which had just touched the relic of Mother Teresa. When I explained this to her she was stunned and told me how Mother Teresa had asked her to join her community when they had met years before. Afraid to say yes to that call, the woman wound up marrying instead. But now, in this dramatic healing she was unexpectedly connected—through me, the Sisters in the Rome Basilica, the sacred relic—to the Holy woman whom she had met many years before.

Over and over, my life events have shown me that God answers prayer, that Jesus still heals, and that miracles still happen. We have the intercession of Saints and the power of the Rosary to help us. And that is enough to move mountains.

Dear Jesus, I love You above all things in this world. Help me to see you in those around me, especially my family, and to share the joy of loving You. I want to love You more and more each day. Amen.


Sean Booth

Sean Booth is a Lay Missionary of Charity and has just begun studying a Bachelor of Divinity theology degree at Maryvale Institute in Birmingham, England, UK. He shares his incredible encounter with Jesus through the Shalom World TV program “Jesus My Savior”. To watch the amazing story. visit: https://shalomworld.org/episode/a-prisoner-finds-jesus-seanbooth.

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