Bouquet of flowers

We asked Dominca-Pascale to look back and reflect on her life. The result is something of a bouquet of flowers in bloom. She recounts here a little of what has taken root in her life in recent years.

First flower: At the moment I’m living at the Tubet, with a rhythm that allows me more time for silence, prayer, reflection on the Word of God; time to dig deeper into the things God gave me on the day of my baptism. We’re lucky in that we’re being carried by a beautiful community, in a peaceful, familial atmosphere, taking each other as guide, and fed by our exchanges about our Faith and about what each one has lived over the course of many years in faraway places.

Another flower is that of “wonder”: Wonder in the face of creation, of unfolding events, and especially of what God sows in the hearts and lives of the little sisters and our many friends. I think I was born with the phrase “It’s beautiful!” spoken in me by God, and it has never ceased resonating in my daily life.

And another flower: This one had a hard time blooming, and I feel like it’s still germinating…that is, learning to be truly free. Little by little the “shoulds” and “have tos” disappear, leaving in their place a simple ability to welcome events, welcome life—my own, and that of others.

I would add one last flower to my bouquet: Yes, it’s lovely—the diminishment of old age, with all it entails in the way of growing weakness, even powerlessness. Something new wells up from this spring: kindness, tolerance, tenderness. Whether I like it or not, weakness forces a little humility on me…the humility I struggled so hard to attain, life now just hands me, as a gift of surrender.

And an entire field of flowers which I treasure is everything I lived over 52 years with my chosen people, the Chinese people. Yes, it all inhabits me, and wells up in thanksgiving and enthusiasm, like a fire burning in each one’s heart.

And so, my boat glides on. It’s connected to the shore by a line Jesus himself is holding. The crossing hasn’t all been calm: winds and tides have tried my little vessel. Today I can more clearly make out Jesus standing on the shore. He’s waving to me, with the rope held firmly in his grasp. He’s the one who’s pulling the boat in. I just have to let Him do it, right up to the moment we meet…At that moment I’ll leap into His arms and Hand him the bouquet He Himself has made bloom. Dominica-Pascale