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Our Community

In my post yesterday I referred to the Catholic University in the Ukraine which welcomes disabled people as an integral part of its community. 

In today's liturgy in our parish church we had the following passage from Mark's Gospel:

"As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging. On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, son of David, have pity on me." And many rebuked him, telling blindhim to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more, "Son of David, have pity on me." Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take courage; get up, he is calling you." He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. Jesus said to him in reply, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man replied to him, "Master, I want to see." Jesus told him, "Go your way; your faith has saved you." Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way."

It struck me that we so often keep the disabled on the margins, quiet and out of sight. We do not accept them as part of our community, do not see the person under the 'cloak'.


It depends what you mean by disabled. After a normal life I am now disabled and nobody had better try marginalising ME!

On the other hand, people born with disability are increasingly making their voices heard, as are their parents. Much has changed since the day when, at 11 years old, I saw a very strange face at the window of a neighbour along the street and when I told my Grandma, she said "Oh, that's just Joyce". This poor woman was the same age as my mother and had remained hidden indoors all those years, to the extent that none of us children in the street had ever seen or heard of her.

Nowadays her parents would take her about with them in their normal day-to-day activities. I can't begin to imagine the extra burden keeping her hidden away must have put on her parents.

Thank God attitudes to disability have changed so much, even though they are still far from perfect.
Amen to that.

Wasn't it very sad how they are/were treated. But even today how many babies are aborted for that reason?
It is sad.

But I have to say that I don't quite know how to feel about it.

My good fortune and blessing was to have a healthy baby boy; because I'd wanted a baby for so long it would never have occurred to me to think about abortion and I'm certain I wouldn't have had one unless the consultant had said it was imperative.

On the whole I don't favour abortion except for critical health reasons, but can't bring myself to condemn anyone for making a decision about something which will affect the rest of their lives and the life of the child, and indeed any other children, although I do think more emphasis should be put upon the possibility of adoption.

It's a very difficult decision which I'm very thankful I've never been called upon to make.