Without miss, the family gathers to pray before partaking each meal. This is a norm for each Catholic family, and not only at normal meal times, but it is also a must for all family celebrations.
Benedict Bullah, a one-year-old baptised Catholic, said of his family. “This wasn’t the norm before my baptism.”
He promised “My grandchildren will be following my footsteps. Once they are ready, I will surely guide them towards their conversion.”
Bullah, 62, who hails from Lahad Datu, was baptised last year, together with over a hundred catechumens elected for baptism. He comes from a non-Catholic family, but the rest of his family has received Baptism at other times, leaving him as the last in their family to be made a Catholic.
“Life after Baptism is not just another day for me but a challenge to strengthen my faith,” said Bullah. He added, “It is also to keep abreast or deepen one’s knowledge in the teaching of Jesus Christ. It’s a continuing process and development for me.”
How we choose to move on after Baptism and to deepen our faith is a matter of personal choice, opined the new convert.
To be accompanied by loving and caring brothers and sisters would be the perfect catalyst for new growth in faith, Bullah shared. However, that kind of support was not made accessible to him because of some cumbersome health issues.
He sought to support his faith in other ways. The weekly Eucharist and Novena Devotion with rosary recitation have been his main source of strength.
“To miss a Mass and receiving the Holy Eucharist will make me feel as if I have lost something,” said Bullah.
He added “It’s like if you don’t eat you will physically feel hungry. But the emptiness of your soul can only be fed with prayer and the Holy Eucharist. So I do my best not to miss receiving the Holy Eucharist at all,” Bullah added.
The one-year old Catholic understood the celebration of the Mass, though it may appear to be routine, but what is important is “our focus and sincere participation in our spiritual preparation before and after receiving the Eucharist.”
He said “It fills you with peace,” referring to the prayerful preparation, and emphasised “I will not miss it, more so after receiving the Holy Eucharist so that due respect be accorded to Jesus Christ who is present in the Sacrament.”
Savouring his desire to be close to the Saviour, Bullah pondered that perhaps this is what really drives him to ensure not to miss Mass.
Another way of supporting the growth and strengthening his new-found Catholic faith, Bullah revealed that he updates his knowledge by researching and reading on Catholic teachings as well as joining Catholic Groups online.
“There are vast troves of information on Christianity, specifically on Roman Catholicism on the internet and I find it very informative,” shared the budding Catholic.
Bullah hopes to be able to join his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ in their fellowship in the near future.