I was born a twin and almost died when I was born mum and Dad had me baptised as they thought I would not make it. I went to a Catholic primary school run by the nuns. My primary and secondary school was Catholic so by the time I came to go to work I had a very good background in the Catholic faith and myself had a strong faith.
I was married at twenty one and my husband turned Catholic at the time of the marriage and I believed that marriage was a life-long commitment. In the space of seven years we had three children. On our ninth wedding anniversary he told me he had been seeing another woman and that she was moving into our house the following weekend. I thought he was joking but he was serious so we moved out and my parents came and picked me and the kids up and took us to their bach. This was when my faith helped me so much and the Lord really started to work in my life. I was totally devastated, my world had blown apart and I had three children to take care of on my own. I hit rock bottom. The only thing that stayed the same was that I went to Mass on Sunday and got strength from going to receive the Eucharist. It gave me strength to carry on one day at a time.
The three of us moved to a different town and I put my name in the new parishioners book and a nun came to visit me from the new parish. She helped me so much just by listening and being there. The children were going through their own grief and in the end the doctor said the best thing I could do for the children was to get them back to my home town where they knew more people and had familiar surroundings then they could have more contact with their dad which would help-- so we moved back to my hometown after three years away.
I came back and with three friends started up a group for separated widowed and divorced people through the Catholic church which ran four times a year for five years . I then joined the Cancer Support group which I was involved in for ten years. This was an incredible time sharing Jesus with the dying, so many precious memories! I then joined the Catholic Chaplaincy for nine years bringing the Eucharist to the patients in hospital visiting then just before their operations and walking alongside them. It was a very blessed time.
I went to work in an Alzheimer's unit as a recreation provider. It was amazing! I took residents to Mass and they remembered all the words of the Mass and the songs. I also said the rosary with one of the residents but due to health problems I had to leave that job. I was having problems breathing. The dr thought I had asthma and the ambulance was picking me up on average two times a week. I would end up in ICU for three or four days. I did not know what Jesus was doing with my life but he needed me to be in the hospital to help the patients in there. So many things have happened while I have been in the hospital!
One night the ambulance men picked me up I was in the resus room and I saw the eyes of one of the Drs and I could not breathe. I asked Jesus to let me know if this Dr knew God. The Dr went with me to Intensive Care and as he was leaving he said to me “May your God be with you.” It was such a comfort! I have been ill now for five years and two years ago I had a stroke and have recently seen a specialist. My children have all grown but we are such a close family. I have grown closer to my God than I have ever been and for me I would not change a thing. The depth of love and the relationship I have with Jesus has grown from strength to strength.
To answer the question WHY DID I CHOSE THE CATHOLIC WAY TO JESUS? The Catholic faith has all the sacraments and the Mass to help us on the way through life. It is only as an adult that we have free will to choose to follow the Catholic faith. A personal relationship with Jesus is a most precious gift. As we grow older the relationship deepens we also have the support of the church community to come together for special occasions. I think for me the reading from Romans 5: 1-5 sums up how I feel about my faith:
since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through
Our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access, by faith, into
this grace, in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory
of God. Not only so but we rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that
suffering produces perseverance: perseverance, character: and character
hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love
into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Pauline Cole: Update to my Catholic Testimony
I wrote a few years ago in the Catholic Testimony Page and you sent me an email. Here is an update:
I was talking about a Dr who took me up to the ICU and I thought he had real deep faith I asked The Lord to let me know in some way if what I saw in the Dr was right. As he was hooking me up to the machines in ICU he was so busy but as he went to leave he held my hand and said to me May your God be with you. It was such a comfort to me.
In October last year I was told that I had bowel cancer it was such a shock I went numb for awhile. I had a CT scan and a MRI then had an operation on November29th at Base Hospital in New Plymouth. I prayed that if I had to go through this cancer that I have the best Drs and health Professionals looking after me. I had Dr Fancourt that did the operation it should have taken three hours and it was five hours and he saw a tumour on the liver during the operation. The nurses said he is very good and takes his time during operations I am really pleased that I had him there with me.
I then had six months of chemo and the support was amazing. I had a social worker and in our first meeting I ended up praying together with her I asked her to make an appointment with the Physiologist and he was a Catholic man and helped me through the different stages. Being an ostomate took some getting around but the district nurses were amazing and visited every few days to begin with. After that I had to go to oncology unit the nurses were really great. It is so important for health professionals to treat patients well especially when they are feeling so vulnerable. I had a time of Drs appointments, CT scans, MRI scans and chemo.
I kept a positive attitude and prayed a lot and put my life in the Lord's hands and thanked him for taking good care of me. After six months of chemo in August this year I went to North Shore Hospital in Auckland and had my liver op and spent 5 days in intensive care. Then to the ward for two weeks had times of praying with patients during the night also had a Catholic chaplain come and see me and gave me a picture of Our Lady and a pair of rosary beads. It has been an amazing journey and I thank God every day for the way he has supplied my every need it has given me a much deeper faith than I have ever had in my life.
The Lord is not someone who lived 2000 years ago he is here with us in our everyday life. Whatever we are going through Jesus has been there and understands our grief, anger, loneliness. Our God can be a friend we can confide in him how we are feeling.
I could have told you I am a solo mum there are 1000,s of those or I am Catholic there are millions of those. It is only when I tell you how I feel about having faith and being Catholic that you get to know who I really am, and that is all I can give you is me. I think this Quote from the bible says how I feel.
ROMANS 5 1-5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through Our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access, by faith, into this grace in which we now stand. and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. But we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. AMEN
GOD BLESS YOU ALWAYS AND IN ALL WAYS
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