Villa la Paz Newsletter September 2010

epiphany: 1) an appearance or manifestation of a god or other supernatural being 2) a moment of sudden intuitive understanding; flash of insight

Webster’s New World Dictionary
Third College Edition

Lord, catch me off guard today. Surprise me with some moment of beauty or pain so that at least for the moment I may be startled into seeing that you are here in all your splendor.

Frederick Buechner

One of the hardest lessons we have to learn in this life, and one that many persons never learn, is to see the divine, the celestial, the pure in the common, the near at hand-to see that heaven lies about us here in this world.

John Burroughs

The Infinite manifested in the finite, the mundane, the common place, the everyday. We are so caught up in the whirlwind of our lives that we fail to see that we are surrounded by manifestations of God. Epiphanies are all around us. We simply have to stop and meditate on their meaning. Can we see an epiphany in the eyes of a child, in our family and friends, in creation? Yes, if we stop and ponder their significance to us and to those who come into contact with them. The eyes of a child mirror innocence and unconditional love which are two attributes of our Creator. Friends and family offer us warmth, security, understanding and love which our Creator desires that we experience and indeed those gifts come from Him and are bestowed on us through them. Creation, in all its diversity and magnificence, sings to us of the infinite wisdom and munificence of the Divine Artist. These are all epiphanies that are easy to grasp and contemplate. However there are other epiphanies we find hard to realize even though they are manifestations of God, every bit as much as those that we encounter in the pleasant experiences in our lives. These other epiphanies manifest God’s humility, His desire for our love, His desire for social justice. They are the poor, the homeless, the imprisoned, the addicted and all those who are marginalized in society. They were created in the image and likeness of God but because of circumstances, in most instances beyond their control, they find themselves in miserable situations that alienate them from the rest of society. We can intuit to the presence of God in the pleasant aspects of the created order but find it difficult or impossible to do so in those who suffer from the injustices of our individualistic and consumerist society. Nevertheless, we have been enjoined by our God to care for and protect the weak and vulnerable for in the very clear words He said that what we do for the least of His little ones we do for Him. The dignity of a person does not derive from his economic status, education or place in society but from the fact that he is a child of God, a God who loves all of His children equally with an infinite and unconditional love. If all were to realize that fact we would live in a utopian world without greed, violence, hatred and all the other negative attributes we suffer from.

The gracious gift of likeness to God was not given to a mere section of humanity… it is a perfection that finds its way in equal measure to every member of the human race.

St. Gregory of Nyssa

If you are looking for Jesus, you’ll find Him in the midst of those who are being crucified, rejected, alienated, and oppressed. He is in the dark corners of your neighborhood waiting for you to help Him.

Gerard Thomas Straub
Thoughts of a Blind Beggar;
Reflections from a Journey to God
(Orbis Books)

The children on these pages and indeed all children are the epitome of God’s manifestation in our midst. They are His opinion that the world should go on. We must care for them, nurture them and ensure their future. They are the least of God’s little ones and what we do for them we do for Him.

Finally, I want to dedicate this newsletter to a very special person, Mr. Frank Megna. Frank began volunteering in our home in 2006 at the age of 75. He came once a year and would stay for 4 months. The children called him Tio Frank (Uncle Frank) and even though he spoke no Spanish he did speak the language of love. Every one loved him, the children, the employees of the home and even the local shopkeepers who came to know him. He was kind and generous to a fault and spread joy whereever he went. He passed to his Father on July 12 of this year. We will dearly miss him.

We thank you for making our efforts for out children possible. We are very grateful for your support. We love you and wish you God’s peace and blessings.

Thomy – Cleft Lip and Palate

Thomy
Cleft Lip and Palate

Mario – Neuropathy

Mario
Neuropathy

Jhulisa – Cerebral Palsy

Jhulisa
Cerebral Palsy

Elvis – Muscular Dystrophy

Elvis
Muscular Dystrophy

Tio Frank and some of our children

Tio Frank
and some of our children

Elsa – Facial Malformations Cleft Lip and Palate

Elsa
Facial Malformations Cleft Lip and Palate

David – Fracture of Vertebral Column

David
Fracture of Vertebral Column

Angela – Congenital Amputation of Left Foot

Angela
Congenital Amputation of Left Foot

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