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Imagine a teenage kid who lives at home surrounded by a loving family and then one day a firebomb is thrown into that home.

Think further about how this kid would react if the home was later invaded by hoodlums and the family forced to leave for a safer place… in this case a ghetto filled with similarly dislocated frightened families who also have relocated due to violence.

It takes a strong person to endure the suffering and the tribulations, to grow in faith/hope/charity and not to turn to the dark side.

Mark Lenaghan told his story to Marcus Grodi of how Mark became entangled with the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

He tells of how he became an instrument of hell while thinking that he ‘was doing good.’

Eventually, he was imprisoned and during his incarceration a Catholic Priest asked him, ‘Are you happy?’

…I think, what he did (Fr. Paddy)… was, he got me to think about an image of God that I didn’t know.

A God that wasn’t a judge…

Who wasn’t a policeman…

He wasn’t a cold executioner… but

A God Who was full of love…

A God that loves me… and at the same time, a sort of twin track thing was rolling with this (line of thinking) was…

My Mom and my Dad and the power of prayer…

I’d find myself walking down the street, sometimes (during his days as an active Irish Republican Army killer) I would put my hand in my pocket and there would have been a religious badge,

a Cross,

a Crucifix,

a Scapular,

a Holy Picture,

I use to find one on my bed under my pillow, medals…

I use to throw them away.

I use to think, ‘Where does this come from?’

And, of course it was my Mom.

My Mom and my Dad… were worried about me.

They knew that I was slipping into something and, of course, they raised their hearts to God. They were praying to God. They were interceeding to God for their son (who wasn’t praying for himself or for any one else during that part of his dangerous life)…

A lot of relatives were praying for me…

See and hear the interview at this EWTN link: Marcus Grodi with Mark Lenaghan