Anybody remember who this man was?
He was a celebrity, to be sure, but he was a kind and wise fatherly figure to me . . .
Well, wait a minute.
Yesterday I wrote to you about two ugly people, hunchbacked, blind, hobbling around, apparently useless — indeed, rejected by society. The story of the first one, the hunchback who lived in Notre Dame cathedral, packs a powerful punch and it takes courage to read that book.
The second hunchback is a real person, Margaret of Castello, and her story will fill you with outrage and pity – and astonishment.
The first figure displayed heroic Christian courage, constancy, loyalty, love and tragic action. The second figure, Margaret, all her life showed wondrous Christian love and forgiveness, wisdom, virtue, goodness and kindness.
I wanted to revisit their stories a little bit because I’m not sure if I told their story well enough. The one common point that these two figures have is that their interior lives were both made good and wonderful and valuable by the power of God which they allowed to work in them — in spite of great difficulties.
Our world is full of serious, even life-threatening problems, and maybe in our personal lives we have serious problems. That old saying is pertinent for our difficult world: “Change the world? Change yourself.”
The effect that Margaret of Castello had on her surrounding world was profound and life-changing for many, many people.
Okay, the man in the first photo above? Jimmy Dodd!
Even as a child I could tell that he was a good man, a wise man, and that he genuinely cared that we grew up to be good and caring people. He sang to us, as he taught us and he taught us his lesson by teaching us to sing. Here is “Doreen” from the original (and very good) Mickey Mouse Club singing his song. It’s less than a minute:
“Beauty is as beauty does.” To the one who follows Jesus — who knows Him and loves Him, and so therefore follows Him, there is a real change inside, no matter what the outside appearances are.
It comes out like this: (Galatians 5:22, 23 ) – “. . . the fruit of the Spirit is charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity. “
A follower of Jesus gets some “gifts” too. Among them are wisdom and understanding, discernment. With these we can help solve the problems around us.
Here’s Blessed Margaret of Castello now:
Her body is incorruptible after several centuries. But it doesn’t matter what her body used to look like.
She’s no longer ugly, hunchbacked, and blind.