Some time ago, a woman came to the rectory where I was stationed and told me of her interest in learning about the Catholic faith. While she truly wanted to learn more, she did not want to attend to classes, which made her feel uncomfortable. I answered, “When would you like to start?” She was surprised I responded so quickly.
The woman preferred coming to the rectory for her lessons, so we made arrangements for the days and times we would meet. She checked with her husband, who seemed indifferent but consented.
One winter’s day, she called and said that she would not be able to continue coming because she injured her leg and was unsure as to when she could return. I simply said, “Why don’t I drive to your home?” She sounded so surprised at my offer and agreed to discuss it with her husband. Later, she called back, and we confirmed the arrangements for our lessons to continue.
Upon my arrival one day, her husband was sitting in the living room, our classroom. When I entered, he rose to leave. I said, “PLEASE STAY, you are most welcome.” He smiled and accepted my invitation.
He attended every class henceforth but never said a word. Some weeks later, both retuned to the rectory for the final class. When we finished, he smiled at me and said, “Both of us want to become Catholics.”
Pleasantly surprised, I asked him, “What changed your mind?” He answered, “When you said, ‘PLEASE STAY. You are most welcome.’”
Those two words, “Please stay,” made a difference in the life of that gentleman, words I will never forget. As a Vincentian, charity for us must mean giving our best and at times our everything. Our life must reflect the life of Jesus Christ, who has called us to this great vocation of love.