Villa la Paz Newsletter March 2016

Numinous 1: supernatural, mysterious 2: filled with a sense of the presence of divinity, holy 3: spiritual
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary Tenth Edition

In the turmoil of life without, and black despair within, it is always possible to turn aside and wait for God. Just as at the center of a hurricane there is stillness and above the clouds a clear sky, so it is possible to make a little clearing in the jungle of our human will for a rendezvous with God. He will always turn up, though in what guise and what circumstances cannot be foreseen – perhaps trailing clouds of glory, perhaps as a beggar, in the purity of the desert or in the squalor of London’s Soho or New York’s Times Square.
Malcolm Muggeridge Confessions of a Twentieth Century Pilgrim

It is no use saying that we were born two thousand years too late to give room to Christ. Nor will those who live at the end of the world have been born too late. Christ is always with us, always asking for room in our hearts. But now it is with the voice of our contemporaries that He speaks; with the eyes of store clerks, factory workers, and children that He gazes; with the hands of office workers, slum dwellers, and suburban housewives that He gives. It is with the feet of soldiers and tramps that He walks, and with the heart of anyone in need that He longs for shelter. And giving shelter and food to anyone who asks for it, or needs it, is giving it to Christ.
Dorothy Day

Watch for the Light When all recognize that our suffering neighbor is God Himself, and when you draw the consequences from that fact, on that day there will be no more poverty.
If everyone could see the image of God in his neighbor, do you think we should still need tanks and generals?
Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

The numinous mystery of God in His creation cannot be adequately grasped by the human mind. That God again becomes incarnate by indwelling in us is beyond our comprehension. We hear it stated but cannot grasp its full meaning. Every time a child is conceived the Incarnation is repeated as that child becomes a temple of the Triune God. Time and again in His words God identifies Himself with His children and preferentially with His children who are marginalized and suffer poverty. Poverty can take many forms. It may be due to lack of material necessities, lack of physical or mental health, addictions, lack of love and loneliness and God enjoins us to identify with those who suffer poverty in its various forms and alleviate their afflictions. To see the face of God in others is liberating. It liberates us from individualism, selfishness, the pursuit of power and recognition, the need to stand out in society, to be noticed, all of which are toxic and undermine and destroy one’s humanity and humaneness and sense of compassion for the other. And yet, when confronted with the poor, the homeless, the mentally disturbed, we avoid eye contact, and like the priest and the Levite in the parable of the Good Samaritan, cross to the other side of the street. St. Francis of Assisi, who lived in the 12th and 13th centuries, had a horror of lepers, could not bear the sight of them, and cut a wide berth to avoid them whenever he saw one. However, one day, seeing a leper approaching, he continued on his way, dismounted from his horse, and kissed the leper’s putrid face. He describes the event as giving him great joy and from that moment on he was changed and joyfully served the lepers and other marginalized persons in his society. Do we have the courage to approach our lepers, be they the homeless, the mentally disturbed, the addicted, the sick and lonely and find joy in embracing them and serving them? As it was for St. Francis it can be a life-changing experience.

Our faith in Jesus is not our belief that Jesus, the Son of God, lived long ago, performed great miracles, presented wise teachings, died for us on the cross, and rose from the grave. It first of all means that we fully accept the truth that Jesus lives within us and fulfills His divine ministry in and through us.
Henri J.M. Nouwen Bread for the Journey

Lord, I have often prayed to be able to see You, hear You, touch You where You really are, yet when I do see You in a lowly, dirty, perhaps crazy person living on the street, I don’t know how to respond. Teach me, I beg You, what to do. Knowing You are in the poor is one thing; knowing how to embrace You in the poor is a much more difficult matter. Open my heart to know how to respond the next time I see You defecating or urinating on the street. Help me share the wonders of Your love in the squalor of life.
Gerard Thomas Straub Posted in Reflections

As I write this I can hear our children playing in the patio. Some bear severe scars from burns, some are crippled from birth defects or cerebral palsy and one was born without an esophagus. And yet, I hear only laughter and shrieks of joy. They have accepted their disabilities and have learned to live with them. They are an inspiration. We see in them the face of God and we are liberated.

Thank you for supporting our children. We love you and wish you God’s peace.

Rony – Cleft Lip and Palate

Rony - Cleft Lip and Palate

Cleft Lip and Palate

Juan – Club Feet

Juan - Club Feet

Club Feet

Anthony – Club Feet

Anthony - Club Feet

Club Feet

Adriana – Complex Congenital Heart Disease

Adriana - Complex Congenital Heart Disease

Complex Congenital Heart Disease

Jehyson – Down’s Syndrome, Severe Malnutrition & Congenital Heart Disease

Jehyson - Down's Syndrome, Severe Malnutrition

Down’s Syndrome, Severe Malnutrition
& Congenital Heart Disease

Percy – Born without an esophagus

Percy - Born without an esophagus

Born without an esophagus

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