Often I contemplate the mysteries of God, as well as the incredible and merciful ways He draws us closer to Himself. Some bring great joy, as is the birth of one’s first child, others bring suffering, as when one miscarries a long-awaited child, while still others are a combination of the two. Where they require suffering, they provide great joy beyond all imaginings because God shares in the suffering with us. God brings us to greater heights of understanding His awesome love for us.
It is in meditating on such mysteries that I often envision the conversation God had with Patrick before he was sent to earth. The scene looks something like this: Patrick is sitting on Jesus’ knee—all the glories of Heaven before him. Jesus lovingly presents a choice to Patrick: “I need you to make a choice,” Jesus says. “No matter which choice you make, I will love you beyond all imaginings. Yet the choice must be yours to make.
“The first choice is this: you can be born a normal little boy who will grow up in a loving family. You will have the normal sufferings that every child has, especially during your teenage and adult years, but nonetheless you will grow in faith and love of Me. These are the souls you will encounter on your journey. These are the ones you will help bring with you to Heaven when you die. I will be well pleased. You will give Me great joy.
“The second choice is this: you will be born a normal healthy little boy, but very early in life you will encounter great suffering. Your parents will suffer along with you. Yet through it all, they will look to Me to ease their pain and give them hope. I will be there through it all, and will answer all their prayers. At times, I will answer ‘No,” but only in order to draw them closer to Me, so that they can see the depths of My love for them.
The difficult choice
“If you accept this choice, you will enter a world that will see you as a burden and that will seek to destroy you. Many children who accept this choice are aborted before they can even get to see their mothers’ faces. Others are euthanized, because their parents and doctors don’t see the gift that I have sent them. Still others are abandoned because their parents refuse to share in the sufferings. They forget that I suffered all for them and have therefore conquered all sufferings.
“In turn, for your making this choice, these are the souls you will draw closer to Me. They will come from all walks of life and all races and economic levels. They will see in you a special quality that they don’t see in others, because they will see Me very clearly. There will be many times that you will be rejected or dismissed because caring for you and your needs will require unconditional love on everyone’s part.
Carrying the cross
“Accompanying this choice is an awesome gift: you will have knowledge of Me in the likeness of the angels and saints in Heaven. You will never question your faith, because I will be always before you. You will continue to see Me always, when those around you cannot.
“This is not an easy choice, Patrick, for if you accept this you will carry the cross as I did. Your family will carry it with you. Unlike you, they will feel abandoned by Me. Their biggest challenge will be to have an unwavering trust in My mercy. I will give them a lasting faith, and through it all they will see My hand and feel My embrace. They will find lasting joy in their sufferings, and this will be their greatest gift.
“So, Patrick, my beautiful child, I leave this difficult choice to you. I will love you no matter what decision you make, and My grace will always be with you.” As God knew what Our Blessed Mother’s choice would be, He also knew what Pat’s choice would be. Pat gave his fiat of love to the Almighty One.
As I consider this choice, I am filled with an incredible love for Patrick, who has given me the opportunity to be the mother of a child who will go straight to Heaven, and for a God who has been so merciful to me. We all hope the road to Heaven will be easy. We pray that God will spare us such pain. Yet, didn’t God tell us that we must carry the cross in order to be with Him in Heaven?