My Son, My Son

I’ve lost my first born son on the feast of St. John, The first of twelve. I think I said more expletives yesterday than I have in twenty years. It would seem that my last two posts are being put to the test, but God does not test He only prepares us.  I tarried with this boy for many years, in the last two years I saw grace move or what I felt was a real interior change and perhaps it was, but the moment he left my house he dropped to the lowest point where all my efforts began.

Maybe I’ll get him back, I’ve poured everything I am into him and it wasn’t enough.  He chose a high school dropout pothead with endless grateful dead over and against the right of a first born son that has been loved with a furious passion by his mother and father.

This boy saw hell three years ago with the stench of sulfur in his nostrils.  He has experienced more grace than most, the joys of heaven, and the dread of hell.  What do I have left as a father to give but love and mercy, my time of formation with him is over and I have failed him.

All I can do is let him go and love him from a distance, and pray the prodigal will return in time.  All I’ve ever done with my kids is gone after the heart.  If only God could capture their heart with love.  I sat in amazement watching him choose the world, the flesh, and the devil over every good and true thing in his life.

Jesus Christ is all I’ve ever had that has been true to me, and the only one I have gone out of my way to break.  Every single adult relationship I’ve had has brought disappointment beyond belief.   Now my son?  What is this life but a valley of tears?  Only mercy will keep me going, my sense of justice is overflowing, if mercy becomes not my heart I will grow as hard as a stone.

“Jesus heal my broken heart.  Let love rule and guide, and defend us against the wickedness and snares of the evil one.”

My second born son has wanted to be a priest since our conversion eight years ago.  He feasts on the mystics and dreams one day of consecrating the host.  He demonstrates a grace and holiness that leave my wife and me perplexed, grace upon grace.  He loves the good the true and the beautiful with ease. All He could do is watch his best friend reject his father’s teaching in a puddle of pain.

Thank God for being a Catholic, where suffering has meaning and I can offer it up, even redemptive suffering.  My only prayer for myself through this is that God would take me to a place of love and mercy that I have yet to know.  I know that if I look to Him I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I love Him so much, my son, my son.