Fr. Ed Dougherty, M.M.,
The Christophers’ Board of Directors
One of the great joys of working with The Christophers is hearing from people from all walks of life who share their stories of faith. For instance, we recently heard from a man who has been a Christopher since he read one of our News Notes as a young man and was touched by its message. Now in his mid-70s and a widower, he shared a beautiful story about his grandson that reminds us that God works in amazing and unexpected ways.
After his wife passed away, this man’s six-year-old grandson came to him and asked if all his grandparents were going to die. At this point, the man asked his daughter if he could bring the boy to a faith formation group at the Catholic church to comfort him. The man’s daughter had married a good man, but one who wasn’t Catholic and so they weren’t practicing the faith. Nevertheless, she agreed to her father’s request to help her son find answers to his questions and cope with his emotions.
After only a few visits to the faith formation group, the man’s grandson asked to be baptized and brought to Mass on Sundays. The child’s faith moved his mother to return to church as well. The boy has even convinced his father to make sacrifices during Lent as a way to test the waters of the faith. Now eight years old, the boy has confided in his grandfather that he wishes to attend a Catholic college so he can learn more about God every day and not just on Sundays. He even started saving money to pay for it himself.
We can only imagine the joy our longtime Christopher supporter must have experienced in seeing his family draw closer to Christ through the faith of his beloved grandchild, and it goes to show that we never can predict what God has in store for us and for those we love. In grieving the loss of his grandmother, the child was awakened to a need that could only be answered in Christ. The child’s grandfather, who had been left alone after losing his wife, was called upon to lead his grandson in the direction that only he could. In essence, he was able to find purpose, even amid the pain of his loss.
This is so often how God works. He brings us together in our pain to discover one another’s needs and to respond to those needs in a way that draws all involved closer to Christ. Mother Theresa once said, “Pain and suffering have come into your life, but remember pain, sorrow, suffering are but the kiss of Jesus – a sign that you have come so close to Him that He can kiss you.”
These profound words remind us that Christ will always meet us in our suffering. We must also remember that He will transform our suffering to joy. In his letter to the Romans, St. Paul writes, “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.” So, we must always be prepared to discover the purpose God has in store for us, even amid life’s trials.
Faith enabled the man in our story to see that purpose and turn from his own sorrow to ease the sorrow of his grandson. What an amazing reward he discovered in seeing a child touched by the light of faith and sharing the message of Christ with their entire family.
For a free copy of the Christopher News Note FOLLOW GOD’S PATH TOWARDS JOY, write: The Christophers, 5 Hanover Square, New York, NY 10004; or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org