Filled with zeal ... to serve!
If there is any encouragement in Christ, any solace in love, any participation in the Spirit, any compassion and mercy, … Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus (Phil 2: 1,5 NABRE)
In 2004, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, I was enthused to volunteer at the Home for the Aged of the Little Sisters of the Poor in Aberdeen. I had in fact been going to the Home for two years already teaching the Residents the art of Chinese painting. I have to thank Sister Frances Wong for being there to encourage me. She went all out to ensure that more Residents attended my class. Our Foundress Saint Jeanne Jugan once said: “Knock, knock on the door of heaven for souls!” Sister Frances was surely the ‘angel’ who first knocked on the door of heaven for my soul, and from then on, God Himself began knocking on the door of my soul …. O Lord, how marvellous Your plans!
Within a few years, my Elderly friends at the Home made a lot of progress in their painting, as I made progress in patience! In 2011, thanks to the invitation of Mother Provincial Charlotte Mary, I joined the Association Jeanne Jugan. I am most grateful for having become more intimately related to the Congregation! At each AJJ meeting, the Little Sisters explain to us the life of our Foundress, in order to learn more about her humility and exemplary holiness. When the painting class came to an end, I had the opportunity to volunteer in other areas of the Home. Seeing how the Little Sisters served the Elderly, I sensed their toil and the efforts which they undertook, done without complaint, and with utmost care and love. Along the way, serving the Elderly myself, I came to realize the treasure behind each one’s history … I learnt to understand their psychological and practical needs and I’m learning to adjust my attitude towards life, the better to face my own “golden years”. Thanks be to God!
Three years ago, Sister Imelda asked me to play the role of our Foundress, St. Jeanne Jugan. I was flattered yet felt unworthy. Yet, as I donned the habit, I felt a force urging me to know more about her inner life. I have to thank several Little Sisters who through their sharing, helped me understand our Foundress in a deeper way. I was able to bring across Saint Jeanne Jugan’s wisdom of humility and charity, even if the show went on with not a few mistakes! Thanks be to God! I’m slowly internalising our Foundress’s spirit … following in her footsteps in looking at everyone, be it my family or community, with the eyes of Christ. I’m beginning to understand the spirit of humility, of self-emptying, of giving preference to others’ needs, of serving rather than being served. Thanks be to God! Looking back over these ten years, the Lord, through Saint Jeanne Jugan’s intermediary, has been leading me … to humble myself, to do the will of God the Father, and to sanctify myself and others with holy, selfless love. I am grateful that along the Way, I have encountered companions who support each other. I ask Our Blessed Lady never to let go of our hands, and to lead us straight to Heaven, our true Home! Thanks be to God!
Jeanne Jugan Associate