We don't see much of severely disabled children in America. Years ago, many were institutionalized. In Arizona that meant the Children's Colony in Coolidge or the State Hospital in Phoenix. Today various services facilitate their living in the community, sometimes with family.
I just returned from one of my favorite annual activities – 4 days spent in Pomona, working with second year osteopathic medical students. My job was to supervise and direct their enthusiasm, idealism, and energy, as they tried to learn some of the intricacies of cranial treatment. I also tried to unobtrusively probe their commitment to Christian values.
Jesuit Father Jean de Brebeuf, in France for his final vows in 1633, returned to his difficult missionary life in Quebec. When someone would comment on the many hardships he endured living among the Huron Indians, he would respond, “Compared to the end, this is roses.”
Martyrdom so steadfastly accepted by such youths is especially awesome. And who would have blamed them for surrendering? Yet these boys seem to have all been very devoted to the faith, and their intrepidity demonstrates a Holy Spirit not about to abandon them in their hour of need.
We used to talk more about dysfunctional families – those in which love was lacking due to a variety of circumstances. Dysfunction means not operating normally or properly. Most families actually were dysfunctional to a degree, yet fixable.
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