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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About Elizabeth Scalia
  • sthuntz1

    I appeal to Bishop Chaput to be a true shepherd. Like all the bishops, he provides us with moral direction. But, like all the bishops, he is disturbingly silent after a certain point. He criticizes Catholic legislators, but that’s the extent. I wish I could hear just what the bishops forsee on the day they/we achieve the goal of overturning Roe v. Wade.

    Let’s say, for the fun of it, that day has come. And, just to make it sweeter, let’s say the equal protection clause of the constitution has been extended to the moment of conception. What would the good bishops like to see the various state legislators enact regarding abortion? Would they then applaud first degree, premeditated murder charges brought against women and their spouses who procure an abortion? If they do not desire this, then on what basis? We believe that the murder of a 3 month old child ex-utero should be punished don’t we? We believe there is no qualitative difference between that child and a three month old in-utero child. So if my sister-in-law is suddenly no longer pregnant, and her explanations are evasive, should the police not investigate and prosecute? And would pre-meditated murder charges not be appropriate?

    How about the doctor who suspects a patient is going to seek an abortion? Let’s say the woman has already had two abortions. Does the doctor act as a mandated reporter and go to authorities? Wouldn’t we expect the authorities to place the child under threat into protective custody?

    I’m serious when I ask for some guidance from our bishops. Please, can I get some serious consideration of these matters? Is it possible that being a Catholic legislator is not an easy black and white matter and that those who stand on the sidelines and condemn haven’t given serious consideration to the results of their moral positions.

    Come on folks, respond to these questions.

    [Seems you responded to this in the wrong thread. I think you wanted this one. I believe you've touched on the crux of the matter; not simply the overturning of legal abortion but the criminalization of abortion. I suspect that it is a road most Americans do not wish to go down.

    I think most pro-lifers(and I think I count myself among them) would like to see an end to abortion because it is morally the correct choice, but would not be especially happy to see women facing criminal charges on the issue - doctors, that's another question entirely, and one that someone, doubtless, will want addressed.

    The bottom line - even for many pro-lifers - is that while they hate abortion, they also hate the idea of savages and hacks profiting from the misery of women, and many of us would also NOT want to see "child protective services called" if someone had an abortion - you'll excuse me, but I think that's a rather extreme scenario you've suggested.

    Overturning Roe v Wade is desirable but many do not consider that doing so will not really change much; it will remand the question to the states and possibly cause a bit of a civil war between factions about inter-state travel. And consider that even when Congress passed a law banning partial birth abortions, and the president signed it, the law was immediately rendered void pending civil suits; the same thing will happen whatever happens re Roe v Wade. Overturning it is, truthfully, another can of worms.

    I believe President Bush was correct when he said the best way to end abortion is to change their thinking on it, and appeal to their hearts, not issue handcuffs.

    However: Are you suggesting that these questions preclude any discussion of abortion? Does that mean Pelosi is justified in playing around with Catholic moral teaching to suit her political goals? I suggest it does not. And does that excuse a Catholic politician - particularly one who is going to publicly proclaim his or her faith - from their responsibility to at the very least legislate for MINIMAL rather than MAXIMAL abortion options and NO fetal-experimentation?

    Of COURSE this is a very complicated issue. But if you're going to call yourself a member of the church, and say you "struggle" with the issue, then at the very least get the church teachings right, and maybe, just maybe, let your voting record reflect that rather struggling conscience, rather than a mind that seems pretty well made up and running on auto-pilot?

    Also, I must ask: do we simply, because the LAWS are complicated to ponder, just sit around ignoring the morality of abortion, altogether? Do we say, "gee this is complicated, so let's just not address it?" It seems to be what you're suggesting; that a bishop should not talk about the basic moral issues of abortion, unless he's got all the legal answers at his fingertips, as well. Does the goalpost have to be that high in order for instruction and discussion to take place? - admin]