Little Sister for Jesus

I lived in Mexico for 48 years. Long years. During that time I received so much, and matured humanly and spiritually. The people showed me another face of God, another way to live my faith. God revealed Himself there as so close to me, at once so human and so divine.

Now, here I am back in France. Leaving felt like everything being ripped away. That prepared me for the experiences to come. It was a great renunciation, but Jesus made me feel very deeply that he was there, fully present, walking with me through the process of detachment. I especially felt his presence in the words and actions of friends, like the neighbor who said to me, “Change is necessary in life, because it uproots us. You have finished your mission here, now the mission is to your own country!” That felt like a confirmation to me, a sign from God.

It all helped me understand more deeply that I was a little sister not for one particular country or specific place. Rather, it really is Him who is the center of my life; so it doesn’t matter what place I’m in, the mission is lived out everywhere.

“Leave your country.” It was a moment for setting out. So I entered upon a journey totally new for me, that of diminishment and dependency. I had to find my place again in my own country, and in a whole new reality. I had to integrate into a new community. Gently it prepared me to better live the poverty of old age. I felt my physical limits growing more significant. And I had to give up what was the most important thing of all, my autonomy. I was led to find the deep meaning at the heart of my new situation, and I felt a new strength helping me to just live the present moment, as a gift…to accept in peaceful surrender the health problems that in some way made it possible for me to be united with Jesus in His passion, and with so many other suffering people. On this great passage all the sisterly, friendly attentions of the other little sisters continue to feel like God winking at me tenderly along the way.

And, speaking of tenderness…
On the evening of December 23, my radiation treatment came to an end.  I was in a state of great fatigue and didn’t even have the strength to take part in the liturgical celebration.  I felt like I’d been backed into a corner, unresponsive, empty, unable to think about anything, let alone pray.  It was then, without realizing it, that the Infant Jesus came to me in his own total helplessness.  That day I was touched to the very depths of my being: He, God, lowered himself to come to us in our fragile, broken humanity.  I experienced what this abasement could mean, without fully grasping the depths of the mystery.  It eluded me, but it was like a gift for me, my Christmas present..

L.sr. Thérèse-Janine