Patron Stories: Inés
When I first started to lose my visual acuity, I reacted like everyone else—with disbelief and prayed that it was temporary or could be cured. Within 2 weeks of learning that I had permanent damage, I came to realize that it was OK. God has a reason for everything and I just need to trust in His wisdom. I don’t need to ask “Why?” because He knows the reason and it’s a good reason. So, I wasn’t to feel sorry for myself. I took the initiative of searching out what was available for the blind. I discovered XSB through a sighted friend who came across an XSB ad in a small Catholic prayer book. She brought it to my attention and gave me the phone number. I quickly phoned and signed up for services. That was the start of a beautiful relationship.
I receive Catholic books on CD that feed my thirst for spiritual growth and closeness to God. Living in a small community surrounded by cotton fields means that there are not many places to seek spiritual sustenance outside of Sunday Mass. XSB has been a blessing by providing spiritual readings that inspire me, lead me to reflection and prayer. When I received the New American Catholic Bible on CD, I was grateful and astonished at the generosity of XSB. Here was God’s Word now accessible to me again. When I was given the Bible in large print, I touched the volumes with joy and appreciation for now I could also hold the Word of God in my hands and turn its pages as I used to do. I shall make of these Bibles as I continue writing my scripturally-based book on living with radical change.
These books have often become a part of my morning prayers. After my morning prayers, I listen to one of the XSB-provided audio books for several minutes as another way of praying because prayer is lifting yourself to God and the books help me to do exactly that. I used the audio book The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything by Fr. James Martin to lead a book study group. The other participants are sighted and followed the audio with their copies of the book. I could pause the audio book for questions and discussion. It worked wonderfully and helped me introduce my friends to Jesuit spirituality.
I don’t know what’s ahead for me but I don’t need to know. I trust that God will show me what he wants from me now that I cannot drive or do some things I did before. Somehow, I believe he wants to use me to show others that we the blind and visually impaired have much to offer. Now that I have software that magnifies the screen and reads aloud what is on the page, I am determined to go back to writing…a book about finding peace through faith when faced with sudden, dramatic life changes. My goal is to help others through reflection and Scripture to attain spiritual peace no matter what happens in their lives. I hope that these books will inspire children and their parents to aim high and not to limit themselves through fear of taking risks. True, we have a physical limitation, but everyone has limitations. Not everyone can read music, but not everyone can read Braille. Nor can everyone be a political leader, but we blind folks can lead people in an unlighted, dark street at night. I guess I believe in the old army recruiting slogan, “Be all that you can be.” To do less is to not be who God made us to be—a sign of His love and kindness.