How many would be quick to voice their joy at seeing one of their great-grandchildren praying at church or doing grace before meals? How much more would you be elated if this child was 3 years old? Of course, you might say it’s cute, or where did this come from; maybe they saw it on TV or more importantly at the bidding of their parents exuded these words, perhaps one time.
Cole, one of four great-grand-children of mine does exactly this. Not now and then, as if being cute, but while he is at his grandmother’s house, close to a Catholic Church, when hearing the bells ring says, “we need to go to Mass.” The other day they were at a place where religious medals were hanging on a rack and he took a couple, unknown to his mother. Once home they discovered it and went back to pay for them. He wears them and carries a prayer book. There is a bakery nearby and has a 5’ statue of Mary which he immediately ran to embrace saying “Mary, I love you.”
If you think this is just a passing fancy, as one person said, God revealed to my heart, when Cole was born, He was calling him to the priesthood. I savored these words, and at around two years at age Cole began to reflect what one priest told me about himself. At age 5 or 6 Fr. Andrew was playing priest in his room and today is an outstanding priest of our diocese.
I am not surprised at how God works and can see that He is faithful to His Word. I have related all this to Cole’s parents and grandparents. This is not a make-believe incident with Cole, and if you wonder at times what Grace looks like, here is one example.
A person, at any age, may hear the church bells ringing at Lauds and Vespers, or hear in their hearts a quiet message from God’s Holy Spirit, at times not sure what they mean. Throughout life, we may feel inspired to say something or write a prayer that comes to us. As time goes on these little messages begin to take hold of our imagination until one day, the hands of the bishop are felt on our forehead as the words of our ordination become real and lasting.
These same events occurred with me 44 years ago, and in retrospect was able to view the sound of the church bells, found myself writing inspired poetry, and listened to the words from Mary; “Ask for wisdom” while at a Miraculous Medal Novena when I was a lazy Catholic and my wife talked me into attending the novena during Advent, 60 years ago.
No, I didn’t play priest at 3, or 5 or 6, but did hear God’s voice in my heart. I didn’t understand what it all meant, but God never reveals all He wants to do with our lives, all at once. It’s a growing period of His Grace that moves us along.
Do you have a child that reflects similar activities? Are you one that has experienced the same protocol? Listen! God is always calling us. It is a call to the perfection that is God. Perhaps that call is right under our noses and we need to be open to what He wants of you and me.
This is a time in our church while the pews are not filled with worshippers, and some have neglected to encourage a budding vocation that may be in their families, and we wonder where God is during what I call a Crisis in the Church. He is here, maybe in your own homes. He may be calling one of yours.