Crippled hearts— handicaps of the Normal: One day while listening to a talk given by Jean Vanier (Founder of L ’Arche) I learnt a great lesson. It was a disturbing one, but I am glad I learnt it.

Until that day I thought I had no handicaps. I had two good hands, two good feet, two good ears, and so on. In other words, I was what is considered ‘normal’. But in listening to Vanier, I discovered I too had handicaps – of a different kind.

The Gospel concerns the cure of a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment. In other words, a handicapped man. If, because the man was handicapped, we might think that the miracle has little relevance for us, we would be mistaken.

The man’s handicaps were physical. But there are other handicaps besides the physical ones. In truth all of us are handicapped in one way or another. The fact that our handicaps are not visible as those of the man in the Gospel doesn’t make them less real.

The greatest handicap of all, however, is that of a crippled heart. A paraplegic observed:

“Living as a cripple in a wheelchair allows you to see more clearly the crippled hearts of some people whose bodies are whole and whose minds are sound.”

Submitted by Fr. Joseph Dovari