“Who is like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders?” – Exodus 15:11
While I was on holiday with my brothers, I witnessed a transformation in them. Perhaps they wouldn’t think of this as much change, but to me, seeing the change was a moment of awe for how God touches our lives.
We walked to St Patrick’s Cathedral which was about a 3 mins walk from we were staying. It was not a big church, but it was more than sufficient and beautiful.
The church was empty, morning mass was over. As we entered, on the right was dear St Anthony 🙂 I went to a pew and prayed. One of my brothers sat in the pew behind me, while the other walked around the church taking photos.Up to this moment, everything was quite typical. My brothers would usually sit in the pews and wait for me or my mother to finish praying then we’ll carry on with the day’s plan.
But this time…
While I was sitting down, slowly taking in the beautiful intricacies of the apse (semi-dome area behind the altar), I heard the sound of coins dropping into the donation boxes at the back of the church for candles.
Then I saw my brothers carrying a lit candle each, going around to the mini-chapels along the sides and they began lighting a candle in each chapel dedicated to various saints, saying a prayer. Again, this may not seem as much, but to me, I was surprised and touched and thankful and in awe, all at the same time. It was extra beautiful because the area for candles in each mini-chapel was initially bare, but now each saint had at least one lit candle.
Thank you God, thank you for inspiring this selfless act in them. Continue to gather them to yourself, and guide them as they rediscover more of you.
One of the following days, we went to the Westminster Cathedral and my brothers sat outside while I went to the CTS Bookshop next to the church. The first book that caught my eye when I walked into the bookshop was the DOCAT which is the latest book in the YOUCAT series, which is explains the Catechism of the Catholic Church for youths. Pope Francis explains in the foreword that:
“DOCAT answers the question: ‘What should we do?’; it is like a user’s manual that helps us to change ourselves with the Gospel first, and then our closest surroundings, and finally the whole world. For with the power of the Gospel, we can truly change the world.”
There’s an app too: https://docat-app.com/
I was thinking of getting the book but I put it down and walked around the rest of the bookshop, finding books as gifts for others and books on the Holy Spirit / Acts of the Apostles for myself.
I must have taken very long because my brothers came into the store and asked me to hurry up. One of them looked around the bookshop. I was paying for the books I chose when I noticed he was still hanging around one of the bookshelves. ‘Do you want anything?’ I asked him. Guess which book he chose? Yes – the DOCAT. I laughed and told him that I was thinking of getting the book just now but then I put it back down. He asked me to get it for him to read. So I did. God works in mysterious ways!
After that that I noticed another bookshop (St Paul’s) nearby so I promised them I will be quick and went off exploring the other bookshop. While I was there, one of my brothers went into the cathedral and saw that there was an exhibition in the upper gallery of the church. He asked me if I wanted to go and see. I felt bad for taking so long at the bookshops so I said no, it’s okay. But then he insisted, saying that it is something I wouldn’t want to miss seeing as it was free to enter only today.
So I went alone. At first it was kinda creepy walking up the spiral staircase on my own. But when I reached the top, there was a kind lady who explained a few of the pieces on display to me. Some altar items were gifts. I thanked her and she went off to welcome other people who entered the exhibition. I was drawn to the shelves on the left. At first glance, it looked like many smaller monstrances. But then I looked at the placards. These held relics of saints! There were so many. I wanted to pray – I felt humbled to be in their presence.
Holy Saints, be our companions as we journey to know, love and serve God. Inspire in us courage as you were courageous, faith as you were faithful and a fervent love for God as you were passionately connected to God through prayer, word and deed.
I don’t know how long I stood there, but it felt like forever.
I’m glad I listened to God’s promptings through my brother to go there. Thank you God, You are truly wonderful – I praise and thank you for all you have done for us.
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