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Everyday Wonders: Encounter On The Train

Author: Gary Stephens

Picture: Pixabay

Everyday Wonders: Encounter On The Train

The charism of faith can see God working in unusual places-even busy trains, says Gary Stephens.

I was on the train from Manchester to London on my way to the Benedictine Abbey in Chilworth. From here, I was due to travel with Fr. Thomas and Fr. John Seddon to St. Peter's, Dagenham, where I was due to speak.

Although the train was extremely busy, I had, thank God, reserved a seat as it was Friday afternoon.

When the train pulled into Birmingham, many people boarded and were looking for seats. A man walked past and attempted to sit further up the carriage, but somebody had already taken his reserved seat.

Suddenly he looked round, spotted the free seat next to me and moved quickly to where I was sat. I thought: "I know this man!"

Whilst he was making himself comfortable, I turned to face him. It was Fr. John Seddon, the priest I was due to work with the next day at St. Peter's, Dagenham!

Neither of us had any idea that the other was on the train. As we spoke, I received much counsel and Fr. John heard my confession.

My seat was automatically chosen when I booked online, whereas Fr. John's seat had been taken by someone else. Although Fr. John would have been justified in insisting that this person should move, he had chosen, in all humility, to look for another seat.

This is how we ended up sitting together.

Praise the Lord Jesus, who sends priests to those in need-even on a packed train from Manchester to London on a busy Friday afternoon.

No doubt the people around who witnessed this encounter were also touched. St. Paul writes that we should walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).

This just goes to show what happens when we place all our faith in God. Both Fr. John Seddon and I were blessed on this day to be walking by faith for the glory of God.

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