At Mass on the feast of the Epiphany yesterday, the priest told a beautiful story that happened to him recently. When he was visiting people in the hospital last year, he became acquainted with a young man named Alexander. He was only 31 and had a serious case of cancer. Alexander hadn't been raised in any faith, and he was a "seeker." His mother, of Jewish descent, had come from Russia. She was affected by the official atheism of the Communist regime and did not believe in God.
Through several visits, Father was able to speak to Alexander about God and religious faith and found him to be very open to grace.
His condition worsened. In fact, he was almost at the point of death. His mother called the priest and asked him to come see him. Despite her atheism, the mother was very supportive of Alexander's desire to find God. I suppose she wanted him to be happy and thought that if his wishes were granted, he would find happiness.
Father entered the hospital room that day to find Alexander in an extreme condition. But he was still aware. Father asked him, "Do you want to be baptized?" A smile spread across Alexander's face and he said with all the strength he could muster, "Yes!" Father then asked him a few questions to enable him to profess his faith. Then he baptized him, and Alexander died not long after that.
His search was ended. He was safe in the arms of our loving God.