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Intercession: May all people embrace the truth that every life is a good and perfect gift, and is worth living.
Prayers: Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection: Our culture is obsessed with perfection—a superficial perfection. Photos are edited, and social media sites depict seemingly perfect lives. God calls us to seek perfection, too. He does not call us, however, to perfection of appearance or abilities, but to perfection in love.
In "A Perfect Gift" (www.usccb.org/perfect-gift) one parent shares about the experience of raising a child with Down syndrome, contrasting it with what onlookers might perceive: "It's like looking at a stained-glass window from the outside: The colors look dark, and you can't quite make out the figures. From the inside, however, with the sun shining through it, the effect can be brilliant. From inside our family, love illuminates our life with Charlie.* What may seem dreary to others, perhaps even unbearable, is actually filled with beauty and color."
May each of us experience the power of God's transforming love, that our eyes may be opened to the incredible beauty of the people the Lord places in our lives.
Acts of Reparation (choose one):
One Step Further: Charlie's mother shares in "A Perfect Gift" that when people say, "I could never handle a child with a disability," she explains to them, "[Y]ou aren't given a child with a disability. You are given your child with a disability. …You are not called to 'handle' a disability. You are called to love a particular person, and caring for him or her grows out of that love. …Our [family's] hearts…have become larger [by caring for Charlie]."
She also talks about the "secret" that is the fundamental truth of our existence, which she and other parents of children with Down syndrome share. Find out what it is in "A Perfect Gift" (www.usccb.org/perfect-gift).
*Name changed for privacy.
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