When they finally arrived at the station it was well past ten o'clock at night. An exhausted Father Ignatius took a taxi to his hotel.
It was a small inn, which is all he could afford. Most of the staff had gone and the kitchen was closed. There wasn't even a porter to carry his luggage. The night-receptionist gave him a key and told him to go up to the third floor.
When he got to his room the priest turned the key in the lock but the door would not open. He tried again, and again, to no avail. It was as if the door was locked from inside. He was about to give up, and face the long journey down the stairs again, when suddenly the door opened.
Standing there in her night clothes was a young woman holding tight at her dressing gown. Rather foolishly she had opened the door.
"What do you want?" she said.
He looked at his key and the door number and, "I ... I ... I believe this is my room!" he muttered showing her his key.
"Who are you?" she asked, ignoring his explanation, and closing the door slightly.
"I'm Father Ignatius ..." he replied touching his neck and realising he did not have his white collar.
"Father? Father?" she repeated, getting somewhat agitated, "you're not my father!"
"I'm a priest," he replied picking up his luggage from the floor and deciding to leave, "I'll check with the receptionist. I'm sure all will be well in the end."
"That's what they all say," she cried, "my solicitor, my friends ... everyone ..." and she started crying.
He realised that the wise thing to do is stand still and say nothing. Let her cry until she calmed down. After a minute or so she said, "go away!" and shut the door.
The next morning he was at his table finishing breakfast in the dining room. She entered the room and made a bee-line to his table. As she approached, he stood up. It was a courtesy his mother had impressed on him years ago when he was a little boy. "Always stand up in such occasions," she taught.
"May I join you?" she asked.
As they sat down, she continued, "I wish to apologise for my bad behaviour last night!"
Not the sort of statement a priest would like overheard in a crowded dining room; especially since now he had his clerical collar on.
She explained that she was in town to go to Court to fight for custody of her son. Her husband cheated on her and she was going through a most acrimonious divorce. When she was at work, he called at home and took away their son who was being cared for by the nanny. She had not seen him for two years. Her husband, a rich businessman, had argued in Court that she was not a fit mother to look after the two year old boy.
She was struggling to hold back her tears. After several legal attempts this was perhaps her last chance to regain her son whom she had lost. In the bitter divorce that ensued he had become an unwilling pawn to be used in the battle between them.
The priest said a silent prayer then, hesitantly, because he did not know the woman or her beliefs or religion, he said, "I believe there is a higher power who is in control of everything He has created. We call Him God. What I would advise is that you trust Him. You may not believe in God, but somehow, if you possibly can, trust Him. I'll do the believing on your behalf. Trust Him, that His will be done. Whatever His will is!"
He doubted that what he said did help her. She did not say much. She thanked him and left the table without having breakfast.
About two months later or so, when he was back at his Parish church of St Vincent, he received a letter containing a generous cheque.
She said she had got his name and address from the receptionist at the hotel. She had won the Court hearing and little Timothy was restored back to her with the father having visiting rights. She added, "you were right that night at my door when you said all will be well in the end".
She promised to visit Father Ignatius with her son next time she was in town.