Today is world Down Syndrome day. A day for celebrating the life and gifts of people who have this condition. I have always found them to be honest, loyal, sincere and joyful. Very joyful! And certainly the two lovely children with Down Syndrome who regularly attend Mass at St. Anselm’s fit that description.
The video links in today’s post show how much Down Syndrome people can achieve when enabled to fulfil their potential and when their condition is treated like a blessing not a curse. They also speak out powerfully about the empowering role that fathers can have in life when committed to their families. I challenge you not to smile as you watch them!
Sadly the world is often not kind to people with Down Syndrome. And today, in many parts of the world, they even face extinction due to the evil of abortion. In Iceland last year not a single child with Down Syndrome made it safely out of the womb. In most countries it is only a precious few of those who are conceived. It makes me muse on the wise saying that you judge a society on how it treats its most vulnerable members. How awful and how self defeating. We are impoverished as a result.
One of the cornerstones of Catholic teaching is that every life, from conception to the grave, is an embodied soul that is precious to God and merits dignity, love and respect. If only our culture was as kind as Down Syndrome people themselves tend to be; the world would be a better place. To any who fear disability and tend to see it only in terms of suffering I say go and work with special needs people for a week. Your eyes will soon open to the fact that they have just as much to offer you as you do them. Pray today for those with Down Syndrome.