Recently I visited one of the institutions where the physically handicapped people are taken care. They are very happy to be recognized; especially when they meet some visitors they feel very happy forgetting their disabilities. On my return, I was reflecting about the spiritual handicaps which we are not aware in our lives.
God created me in his own image, lacking nothing. He has given me eyes to see the marvelous works of God in this creation. I am also able to see Jesusâ€™ face in my brothers and sisters, which gives me tremendous joy when I spent time with them. I can see the mighty God, in the form of bread, in the Holy Communion. I keep my eyes holy by often spending time with My Lord. I know that I should become an eye for those people who are not able to see, and who fail to see the reality. I can see the alphabets very clearly and I go to my spiritual doctor, Jesus for the check up of my eyes thus it remains an attractive one, by which many could be attracted to my Lord.
The tongue, although one, is often powerful than any other parts of the body. I am aware that each word I utter can give life or death to the next, thus forcefully uphold its virtue. I can speak the miracles happened in life daily, and raise Godâ€™s praise and pray. The Almighty becomes tangible in my tongue and I experience the divine presence through Holy Communion. I can speak otherâ€™s goodness and can encourage the other. Proclamation of the Word is possible through its effective use, and I read the word of God meditatively. If I do spent time with God like the prophet, my tongue could become a powerful weapon for God as well as for the people, and might be the voice of the voiceless as well as sword in the hands of God.
Both hands are given to me to continue the good work of God in this creation, wherever I go. I can be faithful to God by using these hands to nurse others lovingly, to lift others carefully, to embrace others divinely, and to bless others priestly. I can write with these hands. I do praise God by lifting my hands or folding them humbly.
I do find pleasure in walking in the way of the Lord. I can reach out to the people, who are expecting my presence, in the streets, orphanages, neighbors, sick and abandoned. At times God gives more strength, and I walk fast to the altar of the Lord.
I hear the consoling voice of God, especially when I go for confession. My ears are very toned to His voice, and I am able to discern Godâ€™s voice which comes through my authorities, friends, parents etc. God is very kind to me and I can lend my ears to those people who are nobody or who are waiting to speak out their inner self. I keep my ears clean thus I will be able to hear the others as well as Godâ€™s goodness alone.
If the heart beat stops, whole human being might become still forever. It is very true, if divine love does not bloom in my heart, my spiritual life is ended. I create the union of hearts in me, between and Godâ€™s,mine as well as others. I do experience Godâ€™s love, especially at times of prayer, Eucharist and sacrament of reconciliation. I know my hearts beats, and I cherish the fragrance of love by being with my Lord, and my brothers and sisters.
When I sit in front of my Lord who is fullness I see my handicaps in various areas. I could measure it by comparing my heart with my Lord. I wonder the following could become some signs for my spiritual handicaps:
The real innocent nature in me has been lost, and I am not able to have a genuine smile in face. Often I try to smile artificially, which creates even more tension than reducing. To imagine or see the goodness in others has become a terrible dream, thus avoid those people who are good. In spite of appreciating others, watch them with a doubt. However one tries, the words of encouragements or appreciation does not come from heart, but remains only in lips. One does find pleasure in few companions who are able to cop up with their narrow ideologies. One does watch with suspicion even their friends, if they move with any other. One does not want to be challenged even by God.
There is no shortage of excuses in oneâ€™s daily life. One cannot sit quietly in front of God for some time. One might not be able to have the prayer of contemplation or meditation. Even if one sets time for prayer, without uttering words or using books one could not continue. Too much conscious about the time often compels one to look at time frequently.
Only a person who receives energy from the true energy, else one cannot give or become energizer. Without receiving the energy continuously, if anybody tries to become life-giving energizers, it will not last, and that might cause the handicap. There are people who are handicapped, in our community, family and society. They might be pretending that they are care takers without acknowledging about their handicaps. Am I also included among them?
– – – written by Fr. Biju Maramkuzhackal SVD
2 thoughts on “Am I Handicapped?”
I am also included among them…
When I worked for an organization that supported rights for people who had disabilities, it became clear to me how powerful language was. I found myself unlearning the bad language I’d been taught that I didn’t realize made me think of their disabilities before the fact they were people. I had been taught it was acceptable to refer to them as “the disabled” or “the handicapped” or things of that nature. It was embarrassing that I had somewhere lost the sense that they were people, and no matter what disabilities they had, they were people created just as much by God as I was. Whatever their different needs from mine, inside of them resides a soul as valuable to God as my own. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to expand my world to include people with many differences that prior generations were taught to ostracize or ignore. God loves us all, and I feel blessed to be reminded of that.