19 August 2013

On my Baptismal Anniversary 2013 - What it means to me to be a baptised Catholic today!

St. John Eudes
- Love of the Mass, Eucharist & Communion
- My devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary
- My Patron Saints
- Praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory and young people
- My Guardian Angel

These five things above help me on my pilgrimage to eternal life. Permit to me explain!

Today is my baptismal anniversary. Glory to God. On 19th August 1984, at 3 months old, I was baptised at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Botwell, Hayes (Greater London, UK). The priest who baptised me was called Fr. Bernard (please say a prayer for him). I do not really celebrate my birthday anymore... and prefer to celebrate my baptismal day instead. This was really when I was born in Christ! Of course, both are important, but if I could, I'd still prefer to celebrate the anniversary of when I first came into existence at conception, than when I was born!

The testimony of Catalina on the Holy Mass

Over the last 3 years since my reversion to the faith, I cannot express more fervently than now, what a gift the Holy Mass & Communion has been to me. Roughly this time two years ago, as I was putting in my application for Evangelisation School, the Holy Spirit inspired me to write
"the Mass has really come alive for me. The very depths of me rejoices solemnly at every sacrifice of the Lamb at Mass. Understanding that life for many people is very busy, I can empathise that not everyone can receive Jesus in the Eucharist everyday... but I find it a tremendously beautiful thing to meet Christ in the Eucharist every day. If people only knew the significance of Holy Communion, then this foretaste of the glory and splendour of the Father's heavenly banquet would shake 'the world' to it's awakening". 

We in our limited mindsets cannot possibly comprehend the magnificence of all that takes place in the Mass - but our hearts can certainly partake in a tiny way in it. One day, I stumbled upon this testimony of Catalina on the celebration of the Eucharist: http://www.michaeljournal.org/holymass.htm. It felt like this woman was expressing everything that I feel during the Mass. I beg you to read it, because it breaks down the Mass in a vivid and understandable way to us. It's not unnecessarily theological neither - a teenager with a humble disposition of heart can understand it. I recommend it to anybody who struggles to understand what Mass is really all about.

I wish to share with you a beautiful prayer that I have been saying just before I receive Holy Communion:
My Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, God of love and of goodness, on the altar, you have just renewed the Sacrifice upon the Cross, and Your Will is to consummate it in my heart. Lord, Your Will is that I should receive You, in order to participate in all Your merits, to profit by Your graces, to receive from You all the help my weakness needs. O Loving Lord Jesus, I am only a sinner, how should I dare to take my place at Your table?... But it was You who commanded me to do so, or pay the penalty of having no life in me. Do, then, prepare my heart which You are about to enter: cleanse my soul; say to me as You said to Zaccheus, 'Make haste, for this day I must abide in your house'.
I hope that you will be inspired by this prayer of Fr. John Croiset S.J. in whatever way the Lord leads you!

My devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary

My family prayed the rosary everyday when I was growing up. So I prayed everyday as part of the prayers to the Sacred Heart & Immaculate Heart... but of course, they didn't mean anything to me. Not until that pivotal moment in my life when Jn 14:6 became a reality to me and Ezk 36:26 actually happened! These are hearts of Love that simply invoke a desire for contemplation, thus drawing us into the merits of increased faith, reparation, increased hope, thanksgiving and increased charity

My Patron Saints

Two years ago, I did not know who my Patron Saints were. Although everyone calls me Claz, that is not my full first name. And I do not have a middle name, which would normal be given during baptism. So I have no saints name! I will admit that even my Confirmation name is made up (long story - and how I got away with it, I have no idea!)! For at least a year, I prayed to God to reveal to me who my Patron Saint would be. At the moment of my profound and mystical experience with God, one of the seeds He'd planted in my heart was to learn more about the lives of the Saints. The first saint I was drawn to was St. Augustine, and I fell in love with him. I also fell in love with St. Mary Magdalene, as I really empathised with her in the fact that she was given a second chance after living such a sinful life. St. Paul was another that I fell in love with because of his conversion being somewhat similar to mine! In fact... after reading more about the saints, I was falling in love with them all. Particularly the Mystics. St. Gertrude for her love of Holy Souls for example.

God eventually answered my prayer. I was born on the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. So naturally he is one of my Patron Saints. I'm just about to read a highly recommended book about him: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mystery-Joseph-Benedict-Groeschel/dp/0972598138. And the other, St. John Eudes, I discovered when I was researching Saints for 19th August, came upon this site and knew in my heart with certainty that he was another of my Patron Saints after discovering that he founded the Society of Jesus and Mary.

Praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory & young people

I thoroughly believe that my reversion to the faith partly came about because of my prayer for my grandaddy's soul whilst I was pilgrimaging El Camino. Ever since that time, I have increased in devotion to praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Please do pray for them - they desperately need our prayers. If you can even have Mass offered for them, please do! I would be eternally grateful. I reckon that today, at least 6 Masses have been offered for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and I leave it to Our Lady to decide which souls merit the offerings. Knowing the need of the Holy Souls helps me to understand better how my baptism benefits the Church - Triumphant, Militant & Suffering. And this is a tremendous grace for me.

Earlier I spoke of the seeds planted in my heart during a mystical moment with Our Father in Heaven. The other seed was 'Youth Evangelisation', which is where my life is currently committed.

My Guardian Angel

My special companion throughout my whole journey in life. [H]e's been with me through absolutely everything. Present during my sin, my joys, my hurt, my pains, my prayer, my  relationships, my rest. I can't recommend enough getting to know your own Guardian Angel. Without my Guardian Angel, my baptismal journey would not be where it is today. I would not even know what holiness is all about. Neither will I be able to get to where my baptism is meant to take me: Heaven.

My Prayer on my Baptismal Anniversary

And so my day today will be devoted to praying for the Holy Souls and all those praying and having Masses offered for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Also in my prayers in a big way today will be those who are discerning their life vocations like I am, the evangelisation of youth & young adults in the world, and those suffering and in turmoil with same-sex attraction. I return to the Church where I was baptised to contemplate the gift of my life, and to offer God myself, as His slave of Love.

Loving Lord Jesus, thank you for the gift of this day, for the gift of my Baptism, and that I still benefit to celebrate it this day. Grant me Your Peace and

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