Living the LCM SpiritRead our stories
Thank God always for the happiness and beauty of life - it is beautiful.
Venerable Mary Potter's Last Words.
Chosen and Blessed - Sr Patricia Mary Bell LCM
Chosen and Blessed
When asked to write a reflection on Living the LCM Spirit I asked myself a few very personal questions?
- What does this mean to me?
- What will it mean for others?
- How do I express the LCM Spirit in my life?
- What does “Living the LCM Spirit” mean?
Following time of prayer and reflection I offer the following thoughts.
Called as I was while doing my training as a nurse at Lewisham Hospital Sydney, I remember clearly a voice “inside me”, inviting me to do more than simply nurse but to embrace the life of a LCM Sister. These Sisters impressed me as being joyful, compassionate and present to the sick and especially the dying. I believe the call was a real concern I felt for the suffering and dying that moved my heart as I responded to the call. I have always had a passion to bring goodness and justice to our world and this has enabled me to move into various ministries over the years. I have lived the LCM Spirit now in all the various ministries I have been engaged in.
For me “Living the LCM Spirit” means journeying alongside people. In the busyness of my nursing years in medical, surgical, midwifery and palliative care I have tried to be the healing presence of Jesus to those to whom I ministered, to bring compassion into their time of anxiety or suffering. My life or as I call it – my journey - has taken me into many different situations be it acute hospitals, homes of the terminally ill, telephone counselling the most vulnerable of human beings struggling against abuse, addiction, crying out as they contemplate suicide or simply trying to survive after being retrenched. All of these individuals I have journey with over the years and I hope have been a source of comfort, healing, encouragement and someone who listens to their story, not judging them in any way but being there for them in their time of emotional, physical or spiritual pain. I believe compassionate, prayerful presence are the key words to living the LCM Spirit. Living the Spirit is one of loving service, prayer and living in community with other Sisters as companions of Mary, we journey together.
Today as I live the LCM Spirt I’m involved with a variety of ministries. Some of these ministries have a new focus for me and have required much research and learning. However all are very fulfilling and giving me the opportunity to make a difference and be a compassionate healing presence to those to whom I minister. Involvement with Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans working in collaboration with other groups and individuals both government and non-government to eliminate trafficking and slavery in Australia. This involvement consists of advocacy, letter writing and direct support.
“Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night and went into Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod”Matthew 2:14-15
Every Christmas we read about the flight into Egypt, its terrifying implications lost amid the joy of the Nativity, the smell of mince pies and the singing of carols and the warm gratitude for the Incarnation.
Every week as I visit the refugees in detention, I have heard many variations on this story which Matthew tells us in one verse. The terror as families gather up their meagre possessions as it dawns on them that at any time they too could become victims of Government persecutors, lynch mobs or other forces as they realise they need to leave all they know and love in order to preserve any kind of life at all.
For many of these refugees it has been drilled into them not by the voice of a gentle angel but by torture – I’m there as a listening presence for them in their time of great need for human dignity and compassion.
It is with great joy and gratitude to a loving and caring God that I embraced the life as an LCM Sister working in partnership with whomever I am involved with as together we are “there for others” as we bring the Healing Presence of Jesus to all in our daily interactions.
Into my life as an LCM woman you gave your Spirit so I could be like Christ in spreading the good news of the Kingdom of God. Your Spirit of wisdom and courage has guided me to do your will. God has shown me mercy for the wrongs I have done and forgiven and loved me unconditionally. I hope that I can also forgive and love others as Jesus taught me how to love and forgive. I have been given the spirit of compassion to share with those to whom I minister, live and journey with. I hope that like Mary I continue to be open and faithful as I respond daily to the call to live through love in His presence.
Some years ago I wrote a Magnificat of Compassion and I share this reflection with you which I believe sums up what “Living the LCM Spirit” means.
Magnificat of Compassion
My L.C.M. Spirit
proclaims the Lord's graciousness
and compassionate care.
My being is filled with gratitude because
my God has graced me and loved me
into my L.C.M. community
I am woman, like Mary
ready to magnify You
to sing Your praise,
to echo Your Name because
it is Holy
l am woman, like Mary
full of faith,
chosen and blessed
simple and faithful
humble and gentle.
In a global world that is in need of
justice and peace
love and compassion
reconciliation and unity
I come Lord, faithfully praying
for the sick and the dying of our world.
For all ages to come, You Lord will be
My hunger You satisfy
My needs You fulfil
My wants You challenge.
Like Mary, may we be beautiful
for God and for one another.
Like Mary, may we be
open and faithful
Lord Jesus, You have done sacred things
Continue to create within us space
for belief and freedom,
healing and reconciliation
dreaming and refounding
thanksgiving and mission
Glory be to You, Source of all Being
as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be. Amen.
Patricia Mary Bell LCM