A letter to Father Carrón.

Dear Father Carrón:

During a discussion about Belgium’s euthanasia law, one of my colleagues suddenly said that, after all, euthanizing gravely disabled newborn babies was right, in those cases when said children would be clearly unable to walk, talk, or be autonomous, because for sure they could never be happy. At that point, I jumped in, saying that I had a disabled child, whose condition was exactly as the one described by my colleague. I said that, despite her condition, she is happy, which proves that happiness is not proportional to one’s abilities or performance, and that happiness is not something we can give to ourselves. I added that, despite the difficulties that her condition implies, I have always considered her a great gift for me, because her total dependence is a constant reminder that we are in the hands of Another. I proceeded to recount some of the instances when her presence had been a true enrichment for those who had the possibility to meet her. A week later, my colleague came to visit me in my office. Initially, he told me of a few personal events, as if to justify the ideas he had expressed during our discussion, then he ended by saying, “I don’t think what you told us can possibly change my mind on this issue; yet, I have to admit that I can’t stop asking myself how you can talk about your daughter that way and, most of all, where you found the courage to have other children. [By the way, I hadn’t mentioned my other children, as I didn’t think it was relevant to our discussion.] These questions have been haunting me since then.” After his visit, my mind went back to the discussion I had with my colleagues. In the past, every time I had found myself involved in a similar situation, I had always left angry at the thought that people might have such ideas, and unable to muster the courage to say anything. This time, I managed to face the circumstance with truth, thanks to the steps I am taking following you, and through the work on School of Community. I am starting to stay in front of reality without cutting out anything and, as a consequence, I am happier.

Anna, Italy