Today I begin my third decade of life. As my father has often warned me, I am noticing that each decade goes by faster than the last one. I thought it would be good to share with you both who I am and what I am doing on this day I turn 30.
I am Michael (Francis) Joseph Sabina Goodwin. That’s a lot of names. I want to focus on two today.
Michael should turn our attention to one of the Lord’s great servants in heaven, Michael the Archangel. The strongest word that associates with him is: “defender” He leads the host of angels in heaven into battle against the evil and fallen angels who turned away from God and turned in on themselves. The Church maintains a petition prayer to this great saint in heaven (saint means holy one.) Before I provide the text below, you may also choose instead of reading it to experience it with music and images through this youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLg2YauMuiY
The Short form of the prayer is:
Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle;
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray:
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
The longer form of the prayer is as follows:
O glorious Archangel St. Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, defend us in battle, and in the struggle which is ours against the principalities and Powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against spirits of evil in high places (Eph 6:12). Come to the aid of men, whom God created immortal, made in his own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil (Wis 2:23-24, 1 Cor 6:20).
Fight this day the battle of the Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in Heaven. But that cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan, who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with all his angels (Rev 12:7-9).
Behold, this primeval enemy and slayer of man has taken courage, Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the name of God and of his Christ, to seize upon, slay and cast into eternal perdition souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. This wicked dragon pours out, as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity.
These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions (Lam 3:15).
In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be scattered.
Arise then, O invincible prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and bring them the victory.
The Church venerates thee as protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of this world and of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude.
Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations.
For a history of the prayer, you can also read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer_to_Saint_Michael
Francis is the name I took on as my confirmation name when I became a Catholic Christian. It is in honor of St. Francis Xavier Seelos. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to become Catholic. I am so inspired by all the saints who have come before who point me daily to Jesus. St. Francis had such a sacrificial heart and a deep passion to lead sinners to restored communion with Christ through the ministry of confession and reconciliation. I urge you to read about this most excellent man:
“We must strive to embrace the crosses which God sends us with a willing, even joyful heart.” — Fr. Francis Xavier Seelos, C.Ss.R.
I bear these names not by chance. My life is directed by who these holy ones are. Michael the defender and Francis the one who shows mercy are characteristics I have, though imperfectly. I enjoy seeking and searching for Truth. I enjoy speaking up in defense of it and not allowing lies to go unanswered. I have a deep zeal and passion for seeking the True, Good and beautiful! I find all three of these culminated in life being a Catholic Christian.
I also love mercy. I love remembering that we are in such deep need of God’s mercy. That we often do things ten times wrong before God softens our heart to the right. God is patient and this is a quality I often lack.
I love traveling, reading, movies, politics, sports, and food. All these are well and good in right measure. I pray I may keep them properly measured as less than the greatest of life’s endeavors: loving God and people.
My journey to become Catholic is a huge part of my life. I provide links below for those who would enjoy hearing me share my story…
Becoming Catholic Part 1 of 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaW-Sl0x9pU&feature=g-upl
The Thomas Chronicles: Introduction: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJ2mOBA7pWY&feature=g-upl
No Boogey-men: Perception vs. Realities of the Catholic Faith: https://easterpeople.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/no-boogey-men-perceptions-vs-realities-of-the-catholic-church/
Finally, what am I doing ?
Today I thought it would be fitting as part of my birthday to go downtown in front of the abortion clinic and continue to be a part of the prayer vigil for the 40 Days For Life campaign. I thought it would be a powerful reminder that while my mother and father welcomed my birth and life into this world, there are thousands of babies today that did not have this opportunity. After that I will go to mass in worship of Christ and commune with Him in the Eucharistic feast for this blessed All Saints Day!
Beyond today, I continue to discern and discover whether it is God’s will that I become a priest. I continue to work each day in customer service at Fifth Third Bank. I continue to eat, to play with my dog, to be a friend, to watch movies and tv, and to pray.
I continue to pray for my Christian friends and family who are not Catholic or who have fallen away from the faith. I pray that my life might help hearts and minds reconsider the truth, goodness, and beauty of the Catholic faith. I pray too that through conversion of heart the people in my life may come to more deeply know and love Christ, the Savior of the World!