Villa la Paz Newsletter June 2011

grace: Theol. a) the unmerited love and favor of God toward mankind b) divine influence acting in a person to make the person pure, morally strong, etc. c) the condition of a person brought to God’s favor through this influence d) a special virtue, gift, or help given to a person by God.
Webster’s New World Dictionary
Third College Edition

Who would suppose that you, O infinite, eternal God, have loved me for centuries and even before the centuries began? Even though I did not yet exist, you already loved me, O good God. You called me from nothingness to existence.
St. Maximilian M. Kolbe
Polish priest and martyr 20th century

I think very few of us realize what it means to be loved by an infinite, omniscient, all-powerful Being Who is love itself, a being who out of love created us, maintains us in existence and will take us up to be with Him to enjoy eternal bliss. Personal cares and the world with its wars, poverty, and natural disasters distract us and challenge us to disbelieve in the love of such a person. With our finite minds we try to fathom why an infinite intelligence would allow personal and public suffering. And that is the point. Our minds are finite. They cannot plumb the depths of an infinite intelligence or try to understand its designs. We tend to forget that God brings good out of every evil that He permits. During such times of distress grace is freely given to us to help us realize that through all personal or public trials God is with us. It consoles us with the fact that God Himself took on our human trappings and suffered dearly for us. Grace tells us that suffering can be a gift since it draws us closer to God and makes us more dependent on Him which surely is desirable. In suffering we become grace for one another, consoling, loving, helping, alleviating the hardships of the person suffering. The person suffering is grace to the person caring for him since it allows the caregiver to serve God in the person of the sufferer since if we do it to the least of His little ones, we do it for Him.

We have two young men in our home at the present time. David came to us when he was 20 years old. Four years before, while working in construction, he fell from the second story and fell on a rock fracturing his vertebrae and severing his spinal cord. He is now paralyzed from the waist down and has no control of his bladder or bowels. He suffers from recurrent urinary tract infections and recently developed a huge abscess of his buttocks and pelvis. Through all of this David remains grateful, cheerful and optimistic as the photograph demonstrates. He hopes to study computer science and be productive in the future. Juan is a 19 year old who at the age of 12 developed spasticity of his legs which gradually progressed to total paralysis. He also lost control of bladder and bowel function. He was found by a social worker sleeping in a small motortaxi and suffering from a huge bed sore involving the lower back and buttocks. He had received no care or attempts to diagnose his ailment. He has the same mien as David, completely open, accepting and grateful for his care. I sometime wonder what my attitude would be if I went from being completely independent to being totally dependent on others as these two young men are. Like them all of our children are grace to us. They transmit the unmerited love and favor of God who cares for them through our efforts. They are gifts that teach us to persevere in adverse circumstances and to trust in the designs of Divine Providence.

We were created in the image of God, which is to say we were created to mirror the love of the Trinity by giving ourselves away, for life to give life, for mercy to give mercy, for compassion to give compassion, for peace to give peace, for love to give love.
Gerard Thomas Straub
Posted in reflections

Lord, open our eyes that we may see you in our brothers and sisters. Lord, open our ears that we may hear the cries of the hungry, the cold, the frightened, the oppressed. Lord, open our hearts that we may love each other as you love us. Renew in us your spirit. Lord, free us and make us one. Amen
Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

We thank you for making the care of our children possible. We love you and wish you God’s peace.

Mariela – Fracture of the Femur

Mariela
Fracture of the Femur

Kimberly – Malnutrition

Kimberly
Malnutrition

Kevin – Malnutrition

Kevin
Malnutrition

Juan – Paralysis of Legs

Juan
Paralysis of Legs

Jose Manuel – Malnutrition

Jose Manuel
Malnutrition

Jose Fernando – Fracture of Femur

Jose Fernando
Fracture of Femur

David – Paralysis of Legs

David
Paralysis of Legs

Angela – Malformed Left Leg

Angela
Malformed Left Leg

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