I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world. (John 6:51)
Our blessed Lord always has our unique mission in mind and will orchestrate events to occur in accordance with his providence to help us discover and choose to live his plan (James).
I grew up in a Catholic family, but my Catholicism and faith were mostly superficial. As a child, I attended Mass every Sunday, with no other real prayer life. My parents did, however, set a matchless example of marital love and respect for each other, and sacrificial love and service for their children. I think they sincerely believed they were fulfilling their duty to provide religious formation through Catholic education, and that would take care of our faith essentials. I think that one of the widespread errors of the time was to see the Catholic faith as mostly fulfilling an obligation to God instead of developing a more personal relationship based on love.
The Church is not an institution; it is not something, it is someone, namely Jesus Christ.
As I continued, I was definitely a minimalist when it came to God. Those who knew me would probably say that I was a decent man providing for his family. But the dominant culture’s definition of a decent man is not necessarily God’s definition. Though I thought I was doing fine, I was blind to knowing the state I was in.
But our merciful Father in heaven does not give up on anyone. Several years later, there was a report that the Blessed Virgin Mary was appearing at a local cemetery. I took Kathleen and our five children at the time there, hoping beyond hope to see the Blessed Virgin Mary or some sort of miracle. The real motivation was a self-centered curiosity.
While I saw no concrete miracles, something more subtle and profound occurred - an internal awareness and consolation of the presence of God, and I believe, the Blessed Mother. It was very real, but I did not understand it. I was also profoundly impressed with the faith and prayerfulness of many present.
A woman gave me a card with the fifteen promises of the Blessed Virgin Mary to those who pray the rosary. I took it, placed it on my dresser, and left it there for many months. From time to time I would think that I really should pray the rosary, but I did not act.
Eventually, I got a rosary pamphlet, and literally read the prayers. I prayed one decade a day in the car on the way to work.
What happened next can only be explained supernaturally. Once the Blessed Mother takes hold of a soul, she will always bring him to Christ as rapidly as possible. I quickly progressed to praying five decades per day, and then it happened. Something, or rather Someone, moved me to get up one morning and go to daily Mass. I was overcome, conquered by the presence of God. I could not hold back the tears.
The graces received through the rosary and the Eucharist led me to learn more about my faith. When I came to realize how special the Eucharist is, I knew that I needed to attend Mass every day.
I also began regular Eucharistic adoration, spending time with Jesus truly present in the Eucharist.
Our family’s daily Mass attendance is a testament to the grace that God has given us to be able to recognize and live a proper hierarchy of values. This is a beautiful grace. We know that the Eucharist is truly the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, God and Man. Therefore, how could we not give this Sacrament first place in our lives, every day?
Early on in my reversion the grace of God brought me to frequent the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession). My conversion is ongoing. It is all God’s work with which I feebly, but essentially, cooperate.
As Kathleen, our children and I continued to grow in grace, we looked for a practical means of sharing the gift of faith. Therefore we are writing this book for the glory of God. Anything good in it is God’s work.
Our Journey from the Lie of Contraception to Nineteen Children
BETTER BY THE DOZEN, PLUS TWO: ANECDOTES AND A PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE FROM A FAMILY OF SIXTEEN
By James and Kathleen Littleton
Copyright © 2007 by James & Kathleen Littleton
On the Net:
Join the new media evangelization. Your tax-deductible gift allows Catholic.net to build a culture of life in our nation and throughout the world. Please help us promote the Church's new evangelization by donating to Catholic.net right now. God bless you for your generosity.
|Print Article||Email Friend||Palm Download||Forums||Questions||More in this Channel||Up|
Write a comment on this article|