Eternity does not start with death. We are in eternity now.
- Norman Vincent Peale
Some friends invited me to have breakfast with them one morning after Mass. Their daughter, who was in her thirties and looked 18, was prayerfully contemplating a career in nursing, to which she felt God was pointing her.
Getting accepted into nursing schools these day can be very difficult, and so she asked me to pray that if it was God’s will for her, she would hear very soon. She did this week and is ecstatic at the prospect of one day becoming a hospice nurse. She will make a very good one.
Over breakfast, her mother told me a story about visiting her grandma many years ago. It seems that grandma and grandpa had had a beautiful little six-year-old daughter named Anita whom my friend never knew about.
Anita became very ill with what we call Bright’s disease today, but in those days very little was known about it. She was in kidney failure and living in the country, where there were very few doctors.
One day she came running into the kitchen and excitedly announced that she was going to be with Jesus. Her mother looked at her and said, “No, Anita” to which she responded, “Oh, yes. An angel came into my room last night and he told me I was going to be with Jesus very soon.”
Until her death two weeks later, Anita talked about her Jesus many, many times. This tender and beautiful story speaks about the childlike faith of a small child, the kind that Jesus tells us we must have in order to get into heaven.