Like fish entering water! - Sr. Joan's vocation
Like a water-seeking little fish, and a home-missing migrant bird, I keep looking, looking for my beginnings… Walking under the rising sun and the shadow of its setting,
I ask, ‘Who can be the Master of my life? Who can illuminate my life? Who wishes to go with me?’
Look for it! Look for that which lasts forever… Cast it aside! Cast aside that which lasts only a short, limited time…
Lord, You alone have the words of eternal life. To whom shall I go? Lord, I only ask that you be with me!
“Bolinao” is a famous, picturesque fishing village in the Philippines, wonderfully adorned with green hills and clear waters. It is also where the Novitiate Formation House of the Little Sisters of the Poor (Far East Province) is. And I, now in my second year of novitiate, is one little fish among all living in the ocean of God’s love.
Ten years ago, a few nuns from my congregation went for alms collection at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Wan Chai. I was then still in my catechumenate, and I volunteered myself for service at St. Mary’s Home for the Aged, Aberdeen. Ever since, I have entered into an inexplicable friendship with the congregation! As a teacher later, I often had to wear a serious face to teach students discipline. Yet when I came to meet the elderly, my heart would burst into simplicity and joy; for a great blessing it is to be able to accompany the elderly at the last journey of their lives! People often say that they can’t find liveliness in aged homes, but I rather say that the aged are the most promising — what is more worthy of joy than waiting to enter the Kingdom of Heaven? The elderly have obtained wisdom through life experiences, and become polished, dazzling pearls. How amazing! And this is how the Lord led me step by step onto the way of serving the elderly.
Responding to God’s vocation in Hong Kong is not easy. It takes the help of God and our own cooperation to overcome difficulties in family, career and personal matters. During the long-awaiting journey before joining the congregation, I shed a lot of tears. After all, faith is not a guarantee of smooth sailing in life; it is rather to give us countless graces, incomparable strength, innumerable moments of being touched, in order that we can see grace and love through suffering, thus turning towards those others we may love, and that we can courageously dive into ocean of God’s love, to be a happy, little fish!
What is more gratifying is that this little fish is not alone. The novices are from all corners of the world, trained together into the mystery of community life — intimate union with God, endless strength obtained in daily prayer, and the command to love God and others. We have left our family and friends, but God gives every sister of the Little Sisters of the poor many more sisters, “grandparents”, friends and benefactors. Community life is bittersweet. Through mutual synergy and encouragement, especially under the direction of novice mistress, we grow together in the love of the Lord. Sanctification is not a personal matter, but a matter to all. It is great happiness and gift to walk together with sisters who are called in the same way, towards our eternal life in heaven.
Our community life and apostolic work rely totally on God’s leadership. Only by establishing a close personal relationship with Him can we become consecrated persons, like fish entering water. If you yearn to follow Jesus, desire to understand His plan for you, welcome to this sea of love, to consecrate yourself with us to the God who deeply loves us!
I made my First profession of vows in May 2015. I am continuing my formation in France in preparation for Perpetual vows in 2020.
Sr. Joan Teresa HUI