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Offline poche

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Nuns in Service
« on: March 06, 2015, 01:37:22 AM »
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  • Although leprosy defined the outwardly neediest of God’s people in biblical times, today, the diagnosis and treatment of the affliction known as Hansen’s disease is easy, and leprosy is in decline in most parts of the world.

    But the number of new cases detected every year in Vietnam is still high, even though the prevalence of the disease has dropped to less than one case per 10,000 people since 1995, when lepers began getting access to free treatment with multi-drug therapy at healing centers or at home.

    However, the stigma of leprosy remains much as it was in ancient times, as those who have not been cured of leprosy are marginalized by society.

    Leprosy is a long-lasting infection caused by bacteria that can be knocked out by antibiotics. The disease can lead to disfiguring skin sores, nerve damage and muscle weakness. Only about 5 percent of adults are susceptible to the bacteria, but close and prolonged exposure to untreated persons can increase the chance of infection.

    Most of the 420 lepers living in the provinces of Ben Tre and Tra Vinh in southern Vietnam lose their toes or fingers as a result of the disease, and they live in extreme poverty. Many are elderly and live in remote ramshackle houses without power and running water; they often have to walk through their neighbors’ yards to get to the road. Plus, the government does not give them the usual social security allowance other people receive.

    They live alone with a debilitating complex about their disease and physical disabilities. Some are single and some others have been abandoned by their children.

    But there is some light.

    Over the last decade, 140 patients have benefited from emotional and material support from Sr. Mary Nguyen Thi Hong Hoa and other members of the Lovers of the Holy Cross, who are based in in Cai Mon in the Ben Tre province.

    Hoa provides them with monthly allowances, basic food, medicine and wheelchairs. In many cases, she asks local volunteers to visit them on a regular basis, too, to care for and give food to those in remote areas.

    She takes them to the hospital when necessary, and the order’s support covers medical and funeral expenses. Support extends to the people’s children, who receive financial aid to study at the local public schools.

    Each year Hoa works to build some 10 new houses for them, complete with new water wells and cement containers to collect rain. Each home costs between U.S. $1,500 and $2,500 and are funded by generous foreign benefactors.

    Serving lepers is serving Jesus Christ

    Hoa said she is from a poor peasant family and as a child used to trudge more than 6 miles (10 km), to school. “So my heartfelt sympathy easily goes out to the victims,” she said.

    “I see Jesus Christ’s sad face among people I work with. My favorite Bible verse is, ‘Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’”

    Hoa spent four days in December visiting some of the people the sisters have helped, giving them rice, instant noodles, meat, bread and money so they could better celebrate Christmas. At most, she could visit only five people a day.

    To reach them, she rode her motorbike along narrow, winding paths covered with wild plants and through rice fields of smelly waterlogged stubble. In dry patches, a passing van might stir up clouds of dust, while other places were covered by mud.

    “I have fallen on the path or into the channel and gotten wet,” she recalls. “The scooter broke down, and I wheeled it on a long path to look for a repair shop.”

    Most patients happily saw her and would tell her, “I miss you a lot. You haven’t come here for quite a while.”

    For many, she is like their only relative. She listens to their stories and needs, and advises them to keep up with personal hygiene.

    Hoa said, “I don't care about the risk of prolonged exposure to the bacteria of Hansen's disease. I believe God protects me from leprosy so that I can work for patients.”

    Nguyen Thi Sinh, 76, who has lost her fingers and toes, was bathing herself by a channel when Hoa came. Sinh’s son, who suffers from a mental disorder, helped his mother get dressed and comb her hair.

    The son was moved to tears to receive meat and dumplings from Hoa, who also put a memorial gift of fruit on his late father’s altar as a way to respect the dead.

    Thach Gia Ruong, who is ethnically Cambodian, lives alone in a hut made of leaves and surrounded by rice fields. The man, old before his time, has never been able to wash his long, lifeless matted hair.

    Ruong smiled and welcomed his visitors warmly. He suggested giving Hoa his friendly dog as a show of gratitude to her.

    Hoa said that in the past local health workers could not approach Ruong, who threatened them with a knife and drove them away. They asked her to work with him.

    “I visit him regularly and have offered him a monthly allowance of 300,000 dong (U.S. $15) for the past two years, and I dug a well for him,” she said.

    Ho Van Thoi, whose face, feet and hands are deformed by leprosy, lives alone and has converted to Catholicism. “I would have died years ago without Sr. Hoa’s loving care. I am deeply grateful for all her help,” he said.

    This year benefactors have offered to make donations to support the victims of leprosy for the coming six months and to build three new houses, including one for Ruong. Construction is starting this month.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/05/vietnam-nuns-leprosy_n_6808398.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592

    Offline Viva Cristo Rey

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    « Reply #1 on: March 06, 2015, 03:46:31 AM »
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  • Pray for them.   We take things for granted.  
    Poche, thanks for sharing.
    To live with the Saints in Heaven is all bliss and glory....To live with the saints on Earth is just another story!  (unknown)


    Offline Miseremini

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    « Reply #2 on: March 06, 2015, 02:21:43 PM »
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  • Is the placing of fruit on a deceased person's altar (?) a religious act by the Sister or a cultural custom?

    I hope she is ministering to his soul as well as his body.

    Too much respect for our fellow man is a sin.
    We are obliged to perform corporal works of mercy but not at the expense of spiritual works of mercy.

     :geezer:
    "Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered: and them that hate Him flee from before His Holy Face"  Psalm 67:2[/b]


    Offline poche

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    « Reply #3 on: March 06, 2015, 11:06:22 PM »
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  • Quote from: Miseremini
    Is the placing of fruit on a deceased person's altar (?) a religious act by the Sister or a cultural custom?

    I hope she is ministering to his soul as well as his body.

    Too much respect for our fellow man is a sin.
    We are obliged to perform corporal works of mercy but not at the expense of spiritual works of mercy.

     :geezer:

    It can be both a religious act and a cultural custom if it is accompanied by a prayer for the repose of the deceased person.

    Offline Nadir

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    « Reply #4 on: March 07, 2015, 05:10:19 AM »
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  • Quote from: Miseremini
    Is the placing of fruit on a deceased person's altar (?) a religious act by the Sister or a cultural custom?

    I hope she is ministering to his soul as well as his body.

    Too much respect for our fellow man is a sin.
    We are obliged to perform corporal works of mercy but not at the expense of spiritual works of mercy.

     :geezer:


    This is what the article says:
    Quote
    Nguyen Thi Sinh, 76, who has lost her fingers and toes, was bathing herself by a channel when Hoa came. Sinh’s son, who suffers from a mental disorder, helped his mother get dressed and comb her hair.

    The son was moved to tears to receive meat and dumplings from Hoa, who also put a memorial gift of fruit on his late father’s altar as a way to respect the dead.


    To me that sounds like a cultural custom rather than a religious act. A bit like putting flowers on a grave or on a shrine of remembrance. Though I must say that at first I did wonder  about that myself.

    It was beautiful to see her in full habit with the crucifix around her neck.

    How can one have too much respect for our fellow man? And how is it a sin?


    Offline Catholic Samurai

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    « Reply #5 on: March 07, 2015, 06:19:15 AM »
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  • That's their equivalent of putting flowers on their relatives grave. They're not sacrificing fruit for their relatives to eat in the next life or anything like that. lol
    "Louvada Siesa O' Sanctisimo Sacramento!"~warcry of the Amakusa/Shimabara rebels

    "We must risk something for God!"~Hernan Cortes


    TEJANO AND PROUD!

    Offline Miseremini

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    « Reply #6 on: March 07, 2015, 01:22:56 PM »
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  • Quote from: Nadir
    How can one have too much respect for our fellow man? And how is it a sin?[/quote


    James 2:8
    If you fulfill the royal law, according to the scriptures, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,you do well.
    9 But if you have respect to persons, you commit sin, being reproved by the law as transgressors.

    St Alphonsus de Ligouri
    "Do not let human respect prevent you from performing your duty"

    A whole book could be written on the above 2 quotes.

    In the past 50 years we have twisted "love thy neighbour because God made them and loves them" into being so afraid to offend anyone that we sin by taking it too far.  Heaven forbid we should hurt anyone's feelings.  
    We keep silent and oft times are led astray because we won't tell them they are wrong and instruct them in the truth.

    Mother Theresa once said on TV when she was in New York  that she helps people die a good Muslim.  Human respect prevented her from trying to save their soul.
    In our daily lives we now promote self esteem which is nothing short of PRIDE.

    From the cradle, look how parents are ruining their children because thy don't want to hurt their feelings.

    We practice yoga and accupuncture ( which are forbidden by the church because they are ancient pagan practices) and say "it's just exercise or it heals)   The devil can heal too.

    The list goes on and on.

    The OP didn't say what religion the deceased was so we really don't know the significance of placing the fruit. We really would have to know to know if it was a religous practice which we are not to participate in.
     :geezer:
    "Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered: and them that hate Him flee from before His Holy Face"  Psalm 67:2[/b]


    Offline Nadir

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    « Reply #7 on: March 07, 2015, 03:56:10 PM »
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  • Quote from: Nadir

    How can one have too much respect for our fellow man? And how is it a sin?


    Miseremini said:
    Quote
    James 2:8
    If you fulfill the royal law, according to the scriptures, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,you do well.
    9 But if you have respect to persons, you commit sin, being reproved by the law as transgressors.

    St Alphonsus de Ligouri
    "Do not let human respect prevent you from performing your duty"

    A whole book could be written on the above 2 quotes.

    In the past 50 years we have twisted "love thy neighbour because God made them and loves them" into being so afraid to offend anyone that we sin by taking it too far. Heaven forbid we should hurt anyone's feelings.
    We keep silent and oft times are led astray because we won't tell them they are wrong and instruct them in the truth.

    Mother Theresa once said on TV when she was in New York that she helps people die a good Muslim. Human respect prevented her from trying to save their soul.
    In our daily lives we now promote self esteem which is nothing short of PRIDE.

    From the cradle, look how parents are ruining their children because thy don't want to hurt their feelings.

    We practice yoga and accupuncture ( which are forbidden by the church because they are ancient pagan practices) and say "it's just exercise or it heals) The devil can heal too.

    The list goes on and on.

    The OP didn't say what religion the deceased was so we really don't know the significance of placing the fruit. We really would have to know to know if it was a religous practice which we are not to participate in.

    :geezer:

    I do not see how this is relevant to this dear sister.

    You seem to be implying that what she is doing she does for reasons of "human respect" or as St James puts it "respect to persons". These expressions apply to situations where we do things for the purpose of impressing people or being liked, etc.

    The Commandment tells us we are to love God and to love our fellow man as we love ourselves, and nature itself impels us to love ourselves.

    I do not believe that Mother Teresa did the things she does out of "human respect" but out of simple ignorance exacerbated by the bad example of popes, no less. At least we cannot judge her reasoning, only the objective wrong she did or the objective good she failed to do. But who are we to judge her intent? Let God be her judge.

    I agree wholeheartedly with you that
    Quote
    self esteem which is nothing short of PRIDE


    Quote
    The OP didn't say what religion the deceased was so we really don't know the significance of placing the fruit.


    Well, if it was a cultural custom, like putting flowers on a monument, rather than a religious act, like offering a sacrifice (as the Samurai spoke), it a kind gesture to a suffering family and no harm done.

    I think that while we should keep our values thoroughly Catholic, we should be careful that we do not put down the good things that folk to by nitpicking.  

    Quote
    We practice yoga and accupuncture ( which are forbidden by the church because they are ancient pagan practices) and say "it's just exercise or it heals) The devil can heal too.


    The Church doesn't condemn just because they are "ancient pagan practices". I don't doubt that yoga is a Hindu form inimical to Christianity and is forbidden to Catholics, but acupuncture? I don't believe or understand why the Church forbids it. Can you offer any reason for saying that apart from the fact that it was practiced by pagans?


     

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