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Thank you Mary for sharing your story of the handicap you have lived with all your life and the toll on your self-image and other emotional issues that surfaced. You have really known suffering. “I work hard at not being handicapped” As hard as that has been, probably has been a grace.too I see here, God working with crooked lines again! Bringing good out of the not so good. Because you are in touch with your own story and your own feelings about being handicapped, you are more sensitive to others living with discouragement whatever the reason may be. You are in touch with your own pain and therefore can be with another in their pain. Your sharing touched me (counter-story) especially because my dad was also handicapped-born with a club-foot back in 1914. There was not much they could do for him and life was hard for him but he grew through every challenge.
Thank you for sharing how the woman in your Church was for you “an instance in which the love of Christ was communicated to you without words”. We usually are not aware when someone is experiencing that through their encounter with us. We hope they are, but we don’t always know unless somehow they express it to us. Were you able to share that experience with her?
And, thank you for sharing the incredible moment you had with the man who had attempted suicide. How God put you there with him and how forgiveness was the key to healing. As Catholics, that is part of why we have ‘confession’ how psychologically healing as well as spiritually healing it is to hear those words ‘you are forgiven….’ And, the Lord’s Prayer teaches us the healing power of forgiveness.