I met him in a Christmas party. His suprised visit was to know the servants more. I stood in front like a soldier answering his ballistic inquiries about our mission works.
His question was very challenging but it brought me back to my biggest ‘why’ I do what I needed to do in a country where we are persecuted because of our faith.
From then on, his love and support to all missionaries became my fuel to serve more.
He was a father concerned about his son.
When I was hospitalized, he visited me amidst his busy schedule and took time to drop by, shook my hand with a firm grip – reiterated his word of encouragement: “Courage!”
A reassurance of healing and my full surrender to God’s will.
He was Jesus personified.
He stood by me when everyone turned their back.
He was there when I was left alone in the dark looking for answer on my question: “Why me God?”
He never stopped praying for me.
He reminded me to take courage everyday.
He inspired me to love God more amidst my challenges.
He showed me how blessed I am in my healing journey.
His modelling of compassion was worth to be emulated.
This Christmas will not be possible without the kindness of his heart.
He supported my cancer treatment.
For that, I am forever grateful.
Let me share to you his Christmas message:
His Lordship Bishop Camillo Ballin’s
Message to the Faithful for Christmas
and the New Year (2017-2018)
Dear brothers and sisters,
I am happy to address you on this annual occasion of Christmas and New Year. These are the feasts of the family and many of you go to celebrate these solemnities with your family back home. To these faithful and to all who remain in our Vicariate, I wish a Holy Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Saint Bernard speaks about the three comings of Jesus. The first one has been in humility, in Bethlehem. There was no place for Him in the inn; He was born in a manger. This kind of coming was already a prophecy of His Passion and Death – rejected by His own people. No place for Him.
The third coming will be in glory, as the king of the world! No one can oppose Him, he is the Victor; all the powers of Satan will be defeated.
Saint Bernard says that between the first and the third coming there is a second one, which means: Jesus comes to me and to you in spirit during our life. He comes every day to every one of us to encourage us, to support us, to love us.
Why does Jesus have these feelings for us? Because He is love! Jesus is full of love for us, full of kindness, full of sweetness, He never judges us, He always defends us. He sent His Holy Spirit, the “Advocate”, Who when we fall, tells us: “Don’t worry, rise up!” He always forgives us, always supports us, He is full of compassion and love. Through Him the universe was created, He is the Lord. There is no person better, kinder or more saintly than Jesus. When He comes to us we will notice that our soul falls in love with Him with a love without limit, because he is the Creator of the Universe. We have to understand this: that God in His essence is love for you, for me. So, Jesus is waiting for us to open our doors, our hearts, for Him because He wants to be one with us. He created us because He wanted to give Himself to us, to me, to you.
This is the purpose of Christmas: that we discover once again that Jesus is love. How? By loving others! Jesus identifies Himself with any man or woman in the world. When we love any person, we love Jesus. Let this Christmas be the feast of our love for all, of reconciliation with all. Jesus has come just for that, to give us a new life, an abundant life where we can love even those we don’t love or those who don’t love us.
Merry Christmas to you all! Invite Jesus into your hearts!
+ Camillo Ballin, mccj
Apostolic Vicar of Northern Arabia
(Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia)
Here is my A Dose of Ramedy today:
Jesus loves you so much!
This is the essence of Christmas.
Spread the love!