One day there were a great many children standing in the market-place for sale.
In was a said sight. They had been stolen from their happy homes far away by pirates, and brought to this place to be sold. Merchants were gong about buying them to make them slaves.
Amongst these merchants there was one who appeared to be different from the others. He went about among the children, chose out a few of them, and when he had payed the price that was asked, he took them along with him to the house where he lived, and spoke to them these words:
"My children, you belong to me now. I paid a great price for you. If I had not bought you, some of those other cruel masters might have purchased you, and would perhaps have ill-treated you. But now you shall have nothing to fear from me. I have chosen you, and for what purpose? To be my slaves? No; I am to be a father to you, and you are to be my children, and I am going to give you everything you can desire, to make you happy. for I love you, my children.
"You will have to remain here in this place for a little time, the I will come again, and take you all home with me to my own country, where I have large estates, and there you will be perfectly happy. When you grow up, I will give to each one of you a house and lands and wealth, which you will enjoy as long as you live."
When he had finished speaking the fortunate children burst into tears of joy, and falling down on their knees before their generous benefactor, tried to thank him, but they could not find words. They wondered why he had chosen them for this great happiness, instead of so many others who were left their sad fate.
"My children," he said, "you have done nothing to merit this: it was entirely out of my own goodness that I made choice of you. I am sure, then, you will be grateful, and never do anything to displease me, since I have been so kind to you."
They all promised to love and serve him all their lifetime, and never to forget the great favour he had bestowed on them.
My child, God has done something like this to you. You were a slave, and Satan was the cruel pirate who stole you, and thousands of others along with you, from the home of your Father in Heaven. But our dear Jesus came down amongst these slaves. He looked about and He chose you out of the multitude of your fellow slaves, and brought you into His own house this is, His Church and said to you: "I have chosen you just out of My own kindness to you, and now you are to be My child, and in my Church you will get every good thing you need; and in a short time, I will come and take you to Heaven, My country, and you shall be happy there for ever."
Oh, what a treasure God has bestowed on you, in giving you the one true Faith!
Source; The Catechism in Examples- Imprimatur; 1908