+St. Sylvester+

I had every intention of wishing you all a Mary ChristMass this year, but God had other plans. And so belatedly I am here, since it is still the ChristMass season, to tell you a story inspired by an email sent by a reader.


For the past eight years, we have helped our son, who has some physical disabilities, raise his son. They lived just behind us and we were privileged to have been able to see him almost every day. He was a beautiful, delightful child, and I am not just saying this because he was my grandchild. He loved God, he was a bright, funny, caring, helpful little boy who wanted to be a soldier or policeman. He especially adored his dad more than anything and could never have survived being separated from him.


Our son was tormented, knowing the spiritual dangers he would be exposed to these days, especially in light of the fact that he and the child’s mother did not share the same Catholic beliefs. So he asked God to take him should he run the risk of losing his soul.


On Dec. 20, while traveling with his mother, he died instantly in a head-on collision when a car traveling in the opposite direction crossed over in front of his mother’s car. He had no visible injuries and was asleep when it happened. He was a sweet little guy, and one of the last things he did was to try and chop wood for his dad and bring it into the house to save him the time and trouble.


A friend, learning of the tragedy, sent me a photo of his ChristMass tree which bears a large cross. As a child, ChristMass was always a very special time for my family, as my parents were married the day after ChristMass and we celebrated our family’s founding that time of year. That carried over into our own families, and the families of our children. But then Dad died around ChristMass time, and this year our little grandson followed him the day after. On ChristMass Day, God gifted us with His only begotten Son. That gift was a parent’s love for His earthly children. And He sent His Son even though He knew that sweet Child was born for one reason and one reason only — to die for our sins.


Our family has been asked to return to God a precious gift He sent us and allowed us to enjoy for over eight years. As difficult and heartrending as that is, we are trying our best to accept it as our ChristMass cross and realize that nothing is too much to suffer if it means a soul could be spared. Please pray for our grandson, and our family.


Wishing all a blessed and peaceful New Year.

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