Thursday, October 23, 2008

Quote of the day

"Before Pope Benedict came to America to celebrate Mass in New York and Washington, it was revealed that as a young boy in Germany he had a cousin with Down Syndrome. One day a Nazi doctor came and claimed his cousin for the Third Reich. [As the boy was] taken to be 'cared for' at the 'hospital,' young Joseph Ratzinger never saw his cousin again: one of the host of 'useless eaters' marked for extermination by that brutal regime.

"My wife and I operate St. Joseph's House, a daycare and respite care home for handicapped children. As it happened one of the children we care for, a wheelchair bound young lady, was chosen along with three other handicapped folks to carry the gifts up to the altar before the consecration at the Mass at Nationals Stadium in Washington D.C. on April 17, 2008. One of these was James, a 30ish man who works in the Officer’s Club at Andrews AFB. James has Down Syndrome. He was chosen to carry the large host which would become the Body of Christ lifted up before the assembled. As James with great ceremony advanced toward the Pope, his native enthusi­asm overcame his reserve and he started to run. Simultaneously the Holy Father leapt from his chair and walked towards James with his arms out­stretched. We have a picture of this moment which I cannot look at without tearing up. What did he see as he gazed so lovingly at James? I believe he saw his cousin. I believe he saw the face of Jesus. And I believe that his great prayer as he elevated that host on that impossibly beautiful day was 'As long as you did these to the least of my brethren, you did it to Me.'

"The next day April 18th, a boy was born to of all people, the Gover­nor of Alaska. They named him Trig."

— Dan LaHood. Adapted from a comment to this post.