- Category: Articles
- Published on Tuesday, 05 December 2017 09:54
- Written by Dr. Marie Peeters-Ney
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"I had the immense privilege of living three years in a Jean Vanier L'Arche Community in Paris, France. During those three beautiful years, my handicapped friends taught me the overwhelming graces we receive in the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist. At a time when these sacraments are often not understood, I thought it might be useful to share these moments of grace.
A friend of mine, let us call her Agnes, had left the Church as a consequence of her tumultuous and dissolute life. While living at l'Arche, she was responsible for the care of a middle-aged woman named Mimi. Mimi was a tiny woman, the size of a child. She had severe disabilities and was in a state of apparent coma. Totally dependent on others, with whom she was unable to communicate, she had to be carried to the altar to receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.
Mimi could not receive Jesus in the host. She could only swallow a few drops of the Precious Blood, which was given to her with a small spoon. Agnes approached the altar, carrying Mimi in her arms. The moment Mimi received Jesus, my friend felt her go into ecstasy. Her whole body relaxed, her face, usually contorted with pain, became radiant and peaceful. An angelic smile illuminated her face. She was beautiful. Overwhelmed by this experience, my friend turned her life around and converted. As she likes to say, "Mimi was carrying me, not the other way around."
My friend Jacques, a 55-year-old man, had severe mental disabilities and was profoundly deaf. He knew a few words, which he would yell out, to try to communicate. During a week-end retreat, several priests had come to hear confessions. My Jacques went to one of the priests, sat down on the chair facing the priest and shouted out the few words he knew. The priest looked down and must have been praying. He gave Jacques the absolution. As soon as he had finished, Jacques jumped up, obviously overjoyed. He hugged the priest. Then he bent down and kissed the priest's stole. Great tears rolled down the priest's face as he embraced Jacques.
I do not wish to make a commentary on these two events. I just hope they touch you as much as they touched me. Great is God's love!"
Dr. Marie Peeters-Ney is a retired physician (pediatrician) who worked with Professor Lejeune until his untimely death. She is married to Canadian psychiatrist Dr Philip Ney. Together, they teach counselling to those who wish to help men. women and children deal with their abortion. Dr. Peeters-Ney has been on the board of COLF for six years and has been religious education coordinator in her parish, Our Lady of the Rosary in Langford, Victoria.
-- Related: How To Defeat Euthanasia: A Personal Story by Dr. Marie Peeters-Ney | https://catholicinsight.com/how-to-defeat-euthanasia-a-personal-story/
-- The Disabled, A Path To God by Jean Vanier | http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2015/05/20/the-disabled-are-not-a-punishment-of-god-but-rather-a-path-towards-god/