The Grumpy Old Ox by Anthony DeStefano, and illustrated by Richard Cowdrey, tells the story of a mean-spirited, prideful old ox who has lost his sight both physically and spiritually but who nevertheless experiences the transformative power of God s grace after he is present at the birth of Jesus Christ in a humble stable in Bethlehem. This Catholic story teaches children the true meaning of Christmas while explaining the central message of Christianity: that faith in Jesus leads us to resurrection and new life.
Moreover, it shows the profound connection between spiritual pride and blindness. Like the main character in Dickens's A Christmas Carol, this Scrooge of an ox is a slave to his own anger and crippled by his own coldness. He seems destined to live out his days frustrated, unhappy and alone until he makes a life-altering decision of faith that brings him the miraculous gift of healing and joy.
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