Hands of Faith

I hate those moralist chestnuts that go, “I thought I had it rough, living without shoes, until I saw a man with no feet.” I get the point – be grateful for your life in all of its inconveniences and problems – but it’s always seemed to me a bit of a guilt-tripper.

I much prefer stories like this, which run along the lines of, “boy, did I feel like a schlub, lazing about, when I saw what this woman gets done in a day:

Via my L’il Bro Thom:

Ulan Bator, Aug 20, 2008 / 09:03 pm (CNA).- Lucia Otgongerel was born in Mongolia 30 years ago without hands or legs. She lived in a deep depression until 2002 when she converted to Catholicism and, as she explains, discovered “true joy.” Today she works in the capital city of Mongolia, Ulan Bator, as a teacher for seven children with special needs.

Now Lucia claims, “I could not live without my faith.” She overcomes the challenges of her physical condition though an intense life of prayer: including the daily Rosary, meditations and study of the Bible in the midst of her predominately Buddhist country.

In an interview granted to UCANews, Lucia explains that her daily work with seven disabled boys whose ages range from 15-19. Lucia teachers, despite not having hands: cooking, cleaning, reading and writing at the Faith Center, a small school run by St. Mary’s parish in Ulan Bator which opened last September.
[…]
“Even without hands, there is nothing I can’t do. I can open doors with keys, sew, work on the computer, use the cell phone, cut up food, cook – nothing is impossible! I like embroidery and beads. People are surprised when they see my parents’ house, decorated all over with my needlework,” she says.

She recalls that in 2001 she began going to Mass because her sister was the friend of the bishop’s secretary. While she was interested in the celebration, she did not have much faith. She explains that she enjoyed the songs sung in English and the words continued to ring in her ears, though she did not understand the lyrics.

Faith in Christ began the following year and after praying the Rosary intensely, but with great difficulty at home. She realized the importance of prayer and decided to convert to Catholicism.

“Since then, I pray a lot, every day, all the time. I pray a lot and cry. When young people in the church see me like that, they just leave me alone, and when I come out of the church laughing, they know I was praying.”

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