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*Image: The Baptism of Christ by Pietro Perugino, c. 1482 [Sistine Chapel, Apostolic Palace, Vatican City]

By Stephen P. White, The Catholic Thing, Aug. 12, 2021

Stephen P. White is executive director of The Catholic Project at The Catholic University of America and a fellow in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Stephen P. WhiteWhen I was in second grade, I jumped out of a tree in the woods near my home. I landed on my feet, but the ground was uneven, so I put my hands out to help break my fall. Instead of finding bare dirt, or dried leaves, or gnarled roots, my right hand landed hard on the shards of an old beer bottle. Brown glass plunged deep into the fleshy part of my palm below my thumb.

I held my wrist tightly to try to slow the bleeding. I was afraid if I ran, the bleeding would get worse, so I walked deliberately back to the house. I remember being careful to avoid getting blood on my clothes. My Dad, who was a physician, took one look at my hand and said, “It looks like you’re going to need a few stitches.”

At which point I completely lost it and burst into sobs. ….

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