Continued from Part I
Felix Atticus had a heart indeed! Rising to his feet, he looked to the heavens in search of the Lord. Loudly and with much emotion, he confessed his sins of envy and anger and repented.
Just then, he heard the sound of trumpets coming from the direction of the royal palace. A celebration must be in progress at the castle, Felix thought, and what a beautiful night to make merry!
The next day was Christmas Eve and Felix Atticus awoke with a mission in mind. He would travel to the Court of King Truth and deliver a gift of incense his wife made by hand, along with a Christmas card. Below the “Blessed Christmas” greeting in the card, Felix wrote of his gratitude for all the gifts the King gave him in the past. He also expressed regret and contrition for his lack of thanks and for the way he desecrated the fine gifts of the King. Finally, in the last and final lines of print on the back of the card, Felix asked the King for his forgiveness with these words:
“King Truth, I am sorry I offended you. I detest all of my refusals, anger toward you and criticisms of you and your gifts. I detest my actions because I fear your reprisals and the withholding of future gifts, and because I offended you who are a good and kind King who cares much for his people. But most of all, I regret the separation and distance this has caused between us and I wish to repair what I have broken. Please forgive me, a bitter and petty man, who is resolved to make amends and change my behavior toward you and your Court. I am truly grateful for your patience with me through the years and hope to regain your trust in time. I wish you and the royal family and court a Blessed Christmas and holy New Year. Sincerely in Christ, your subject, Felix Atticus”
When Felix approached the castle the next day, he was greeted by the King’s guard who recognized him. “What do you want, Felix Atticus, you ingrate?”
Felix understood that it would take a long time to repair the damage he has done to his own reputation with the people of the King’s Court, but that didn’t discourage him.
“I have a gift for the King. Would you please give it to him on Christmas Day?”
“Why should I do that? It’s probably poison!”
“You may examine it yourself. It’s a fine and fragrant incense that my wife Matilda made with her own hands from herbs from our spring garden. It is very rare to find such incense in this quantity this time of year.”
“Alright Felix Atticus. I will examine your gift and see if it is suitable and safe to give to the King. But I can’t guarantee that he will accept it from you, the infamous ingrate of the province of Loveliness.”
“I understand,” Felix replied in a low and softened voice. “But it’s very important, if you please.”
On Christmas Day, Felix Atticus and his family celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior, with a traditional meal and decorations, without the benefit of the King’s traditional Christmas gifts and dressings that other citizens of Loveliness enjoyed. After they prayed a thankful grace before the meal, Felix explained his Christmas Eve journey to his family and told them he hoped the King would forgive him and that the family would once again be in the King’s good graces. Felix’s family was pleased and they all thanked Felix for this “special gift” of contrition, which could benefit the entire family, if the King would be merciful.
On Christmas Day, the trumpets sounded once again from the castle. The snow stopped falling and the sun lit up the land of Loveliness with sparkling ice and snow crystals of beauty. The children of the land were out in sleds, sliding down hills and slipping on the ice that covered the ponds. It was a day of sunshine and joy. The church bells called everyone to Holy Mass to worship the Lord who was born as the greatest gift to all humanity –the Redemption of the world and everlasting life with God in His heavenly kingdom.
Meantime, at the castle, the King rose to find his Queen, princes and princesses and all the King’s court in merriment, giving and receiving gifts, preparing a royal feast to celebrate the birth of the Almighty Christ the King!
At the end of a very long day, when the King was preparing to retire, one of his guards was announced as seeking an audience with King Truth.
Weary from the day’s activities, the King waved the guard away, but the guard asked the courtier to at least give the King the gift and card. Somehow the King’s guard thought this gift and apology from one grumpy, resentful and envious malcontent would make the King’s day. And he was right.
Before retiring to his quarters, the King opened the gift and breathed in the precious and sweet fragrance of the incense, then opened the card with curiosity.
As he read, the King’s heart was pierced by an arrow of pity and mercy. A tear fell from his eye, as he experienced the sweet emotion of relief that he too was now visible to this one little guy, Felix Atticus, whose ire had injured him so much and negated the King’s generosity by his indifference to it.
The evil deeds caused misery to the gift giver as well as the gift refuser!
King Truth was a good a forgiver as he was a giver of gifts! The next day, he sent the guard to Loveliness to deliver a message to Felix Atticus and his family:
“The King requests the presence of Felix Atticus and family at the New Year’s Day celebration at the castle. Please RSVP immediately by informing the guard of your intentions. Holy Christmas to you all, King Truth.”
As Felix’s family watched and listened behind him at the front door, a squeal of delight rose from their lips! Felix told the guard they would be very pleased to come to the King’s celebration and that they are thankful for his unending kindness to them and the community.
The New Year’s Day celebration was epic! Felix and his family enjoyed a culinary treat unmatched in the world at that time! Although the King was very busy receiving guests and issuing New Year declarations, he took the time to draft a new and special declaration for the province of Loveliness:
“King Truth hereby rescinds the prior declaration and order prohibiting the giving of gifts to Felix Atticus and his family. Felix has repented of his disregard, and extended a gift of apology to me and my Court. In return for his contrition, please extend to Felix and his family the forgiveness and courtesy that I myself extend, for the Lord commands us to love one another as we love ourselves!