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May 31, 2023 1403 Joshua Glicklich
Encounter

Whisper of God

At half past six, when it was still pitch dark and freezing cold, Joshua Glicklich heard a whisper, a whisper that brought him back to life.

My upbringing was very typical like that of any northern lad here in the United Kingdom. I went to a Catholic school and had my first Holy Communion. I was taught the Catholic faith, and we went to Church very often. By the time I got to the age of 16, I had to choose my education, and I chose to do my levels, not at a Catholic sixth form, but at a secular school. That is when I started to lose my faith.

The constant pushing of the teachers and priests to deepen my faith and love of God was no longer there. I ended up at university, and this is where my faith was really tested. In my first semester, I was partying, going to all these different events, and not making the best choices. I made some really big mistakes–like going out drinking until God knows what time in the morning and living a life that didn’t make any sense. That January, when students had to return from their first-semester break, I returned a bit earlier than everyone else.

That unforgettable day in my life, I woke up at about half past six in the morning. It was pitch black and freezing cold. Even the foxes that I used to see outside my room weren’t to be seen—it was that cold and horrible. I perceived an inaudible voice within me. It wasn’t a nudge or a push that was uncomfortable for me. It felt like a quiet whisper of God saying, “Joshua, I love you. You are my son … come back to me.” I could have easily walked away from that and totally ignored it. Yet I remembered that God does not abandon His children, no matter how far we have strayed.

Though it was raining hailstones, I walked to Church that morning. As I put one foot in front of the other, I thought to myself, “What am I doing? Where am I going?” Yet God kept moving me forward, and I arrived at the church for the eight o’clock Mass on that cold, wintry day. For the first time since I was about 15 or 16, I let the words of the Mass wash over me. I heard the Sanctus— “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of hosts.” Just before that, the priest said, “Joining with the choirs of the angels and the saints…” I put my heart into it and focused. I sensed angels descending on the altar to the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. I remember receiving the Holy Eucharist and thinking, “Where have I been, and what has all of this been about if not for Him?” As I received the Eucharist, a flood of tears overcame me. I realized that I was receiving the body of Christ. He was there within me, and I was His tabernacle—His resting place.

From then on, I began to attend student Mass regularly. I met many Catholics who loved their faith. I often remember the quote by Saint Catherine of Siena, “Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire.” That’s what I saw in these students. I saw the Lord letting these people be who they were meant to be. God guided them gently like a Father. They were setting the world on fire—they were evangelizing by making their faith known to others on campus, sharing the Good News. I wanted to get involved, so I became part of the university chaplaincy. During this time, I learned to love my faith and to express it to others in a way that wasn’t overbearing but Christ-like.

A few years later, I became the president of the Catholic Society. I had the privilege of leading a group of students in their faith development. During this time, my faith grew. I became an altar server. That’s when I got to know Christ—being up close to the altar. The priest says the words of transubstantiation, and the bread and wine turn into the true Body and Blood of Christ. As an altar server, all of this was right there in front of me. My eyes were opened to the absolute miracle that happens everywhere, at every Mass, on every altar.

God respects our free will and the journey of life we take. However, to reach the right destination, we have to choose Him. Remember that no matter how far we have strayed away from God, He is always there with us, walking right beside us and guiding us to the right place. We are nothing but pilgrims on a journey to Heaven.

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Joshua Glicklich

Joshua Glicklich

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