Here is a Christmas Story from Joshua, with a Christmas miracle for you to ponder for yourselves. This has no direct connection to Father Sam, except for prayer, which I guess is a pretty direct connection, if you get my meaning.
I know exactly how you feel. I awoke this morning at 2:55 a.m. and the first thing that crossed my mind was the thought: "The Christ Child is HERE!"I have previously joined my prayers to Joshua for the safety of his son, when he leaves on his mission with the US armed forces. That was good. But, when the Saviour of the World comes to you personally and tells you all will be well, then none of our unrealistic fears can overcome that.
A kind of elation followed me as I crept down the stairs to avoid waking my sleeping son. I sat before the computer and visited this site for a while, listened to the gorgeous music you've been posting in the run-up to this Very Special Day, and wondering when sleep would overcome me again.
Suddenly, a brilliant (and very motivating) thought crossed my mind. I retrieved the rosary I had recently received, and took myself to bed. As I lay there praying, the most overwhelming sense of calm and warmth enveloped me. The beads began to slip through my finders more quickly as I recited the rosary. A pervasive feeling of velocity - a going forward at incredible speed - overtook me. For a moment, I actually felt afraid. Then I remembered the rosary in my hands, and continued to recite my prayers.
I "suppose" I fell asleep and dreamed, but that is only in hindsight. My experience was quite different. The velocity finally abated, and I found myself actually "chatting" with Jesus Christ right there in my bedroom which had become filled with blinding light. And no, I don't drink or take any mood-altering drugs. This was NOT a hallucination.
I shared with Jesus Christ my deep fears about my son's immediate future. He'll be leaving me in a little more than a week, and will posted to Afghanistan within the month. I told Jesus in no uncertain terms about how important my son was to me and others, how much I love him, and how I would gladly exchange my life for his - if it comes to that.
I thanked Jesus Christ for giving me life, for blessing my life the way He has, and for continuing to remind and show me that He is always at my side.
My wife, my sons, my family, my friends, my talents, my EVERYTHING flows not from me, but from Him! It became so OBVIOUS to me how little I would actually have without Jesus Christ in my life that I wept tears of joy. And Jesus Christ said to me in as clear a voice as I've ever heard: "Joshua, your gift of faith in Me is the only acknowledgement I want from you, and you give it to Me every day. You have prayed so much for your son. I know he is your hero, and I promise you he will return to you full of life and courage and faith, and he will be a hero to many, many others, too. My the blessings of the Father fill your every day, Joshua. Remember Me, and remember this moment."
That was it! The room was dark again, and I found myself sitting upright, feet firmly planted on the bedside mat, a couple of tears trickling down my face.
I got up immediately. I picked up the phone and dialled my wife, who is away visiting family in Scotland. She was laughing as she answered, saying "Hello there, Joshua. I was wondering how long it would take you to call me."
Momentarily flummoxed, I asked how she knew it was me (they don't have "call display" where she is staying). "Because I went to church again this morning and prayed throughout the Mass that i would hear from you the moment I got back. I had just taken off my boots when the phone rang. Who else could it have been? How many people spend a whole Mass praying to hear from you, Joshua? Only me, m'love. Oh, and maybe the kids, but they have their own fish to fry right now. And Jesus always answers my prayers. Always." And we chatted for an hour thereafter.
Funny that Jesus should tell me that my faith in Him is my gift to Him. I always thought my faith in God was the greatest gift I had ever received from Him, followed by the gift of my beloved wife. Now, with His words pinging around inside my skull with astounding clarity, I am falling in love all over again with my wife. This is maybe the millionth time, but who's counting?
Merry Christmas, everybody. Jesus Christ is born and will never leave those who accept Him into their hearts. And those who do/have will confirm to you what I am about to say.
Accepting Christ the Saviour into your heart brings to you an infinite capacity to/for love.
I am a happier man today than I was yesterday, but not because it is Christmas. I am happier today because I've lived another day on earth in the embrace of Jesus Christ.
Could a man possibly ask for more? Could a man possibly receive more? I don't think so.
God indeed IS alive, and His Son Jesus Christ lives in my heart. I ask for nothing more.
Again, Merry Christmas.
Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.