by Ken Rolheiser
Images of Grace At This Time

Once upon a time conjures up fairy tales and childhood memories. At that time reminds us of Jesus talking to the disciples. At this time brings us to the present moment and what is real now.

Dylan Thomas captures the innocence and joy of childhood in green chapels of childhood faith, golden joys of youth and windfall light describing the green and golden days of youth. Let me reminisce about some of the moments I enjoyed God’s Grace and favour.

Tonight I saw the Christ Child in the family farm house. No earthly bleach, even my mom’s lye soap, could get a garment this white. Jesus left a chastening rod, a branch, to remind us of the discipline we need to continue to follow even after the gifts of Christmas Eve.

Today my Guardian Angel pulled me out of the washout in the pasture when I got too close to the marvelous waterfall. It did not seem to take more than two seconds and I was standing on firm ground again.

Tonight I drove through a blizzard on country roads that were drifting shut. I watched with my head outside the window to see the weeds at the side of the road so I could stay out of the ditch. It was minus thirty-five Celsius. Travelling with the angels and Father Wendelin we made it back to the farm.

Tonight I looked up at the December sky above St Paul’s Hospital to see the path my Father’s soul took. I was blessed to see him take his last breath and to witness the victory of a finished Christ surrendering his body to death.

Today my first grandchild was born as my wife and I prayed the rosary and stormed heaven with our prayers. This was much like the day our first-born appeared and I held him in the palm of my hand and saw the miracle of love that was part me, part us and part God.

Today my Father-in-law was born to eternal life. His son, working a northern gold mine, saw him appear wearing the same chequered shirt he wore when he was admitted to the hospital.

Today my Godson was pulled from his truck when he collided with a train. Two angels placed him by the side of the road. The truck was demolished, but my nephew went back to work a couple of days later.

Tonight I was driving at dusk, facing the fading light. I had just finished my rosary and thought I could pass the slower car in front of me. I decided not to. Just then a vehicle without lights passed from the front.

I was on my way to the Lay Ministry Formation Program. The Spirit led me to this training because of the impact it would have on my spiritual future and that of my family. My wife journeyed with me for the first year of the program, then our fourth child came along.

God holds us in the palm of his hand. In that hand he has inscribed our names. God loves us even though we forget the moments of Grace and slide back into the habits and weaknesses of sin.

At this time we can experience God’s mercy and Grace. “Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:3).

“Come to me, all you who labor and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28).

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