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.
Courage it is - Sr Fatafehi Taufa LCM
Courage it is
My love story of loving Jesus who sent me in mission and ministry as a Little Company of Mary sister was inspired and influenced by the courageous story of Mary Potter, Founder of the Congregation.
In my own story I refer to her words of wisdom, since she is a heroic woman of faith and of great vision. I have adapted some of her visionary statements as they are motivational inspirational words for me.
The unfolding of my life in mission and ministry as a Little Company of Mary sister is an ongoing journey of faith, trust, hope and love – a journey of transformation. It is a journey that has many moments of challenge, joys, pains, and awesome indescribable times of God’s revelation – many moments of God’s experience…as Mary Potter said that... life was not without challenge.
I was drawn and graced to respond to a particular way of life to imitate the Maternal Heart of Mary; to be present an to assist, and to pray for the dying through the Little Company of Mary, at the age of 25. And Mary Potter said… it is our mission to honour and to make known the magnificence of that marvelous work of God, the Maternal Heart of Mary. I left the familiar shores and familiar ground of the Friendly Isles of Tonga and set off to New Zealand. Excited by the new experiences I prayed for courage to take on the unexpected with openness, and understanding and to immerse myself in all of these new experiences, language, weather, people, food, ways of doing things, religious styles of living and table manners etc.
I grounded well into the unique and the special charism and spirituality of the Little Company of Mary through observing the practices – lived and expressed by the sisters working in hospitals, nursing homes, and in Mary Potter Hospice. I witnessed and experienced the beautiful charisma of each sister in the unique way she expressed as she tended to the sick and the dying. One of the unique practices that stood out for me, was that at the death bed, a candle is lit up and a sister is to sit and watch, and to pray for the dying, while other sisters and other nurses/carers continue with their nursing cares. This is a sacred moment and as reminded by Mary Potter... there is no greater act of charity than to pray and assist the dying. At all times of day and night I am praying for the souls in the agony. God knows how I have been pouring myself out in prayer to save the dying… and now it seemed God had given me a wonderful efficacious means of praying.
In these experiences, working with the sisters I saw and experienced the reverencing of the dying as the “ sacred” presence of the Lord. Sitting , watching the person gasping her/his last breathe peacefully. These experiences enfleshed and gave me a deeper understanding of the spirituality of Mary at the foot of the Cross, understanding the differences of pain whether it is psychological, physical, emotional, spiritual – waiting for the Grace of letting Go and Letting God. It is another way of God revealing His Mercy and Healing, it is a privilege to sit and to assist someone to die peacefully as Mary Potter stated… you are now in Calvary, watching and tending our Lord, in the person of the sick and the dying.
I had an opportunity to work at Princess Margaret Hospital. It is a specialized area of nursing skills and care – a rehabilitation and assessment unit. I embraced all learning opportunities in order to become effective and outstanding giving quality care and presence that gave hope and peace to the clients. In the faces of the sick and suffering people – the spirituality and the charism of the Little Company of Mary became very much part of my approach. I tended with compassion and tenderness. I laughed with them. I cried with them and to a point said good bye to them. At times when I looked at these patients who were helpless, lonely, longing for love, grieving and longing for making peace with oneself and other members of the family – I walked extra mile to somehow give that peace, love, a touch that cares with a smile and reassurance that there is a hope… we are not founded in Gods church simply to nurse that is an addition, but we are founded to extend Gods Kingdom on earth by making Mary reign over the hearts and souls of many, striving in every way without our reach to help them in their last agony. And Mary Potter continued to remind us that … prayer is our primary and nursing is secondary expression of our Little Company of Mary Spirituality.
However, life continue to unfold, called me to the deep – testing my YES, the YES that motivates by love. There was an open invitation for the volunteering on the South Pacific Keeping Force troops to Papua New Guinea. With clarity I saw this as one of the urgent and greatest needs to bring peace/reconciliation to these suffering people of PNG. The people had suffered with anguish, confusion and war. Having had given time to pray about my initial response I made that risky step and said YES. I broke new ground and leapt with faith as I remembered this statement of Mary Potter…go forth the whole world is your domain. The God of Mary will be with you. I set off with courage and hop on this short mission.
These experiences of life’s journey had many many stories of God’s revelation that taught and dew me deeply to love and to understand the relationship of Mary with her son and the Maternal responses of a Mother watching her Son dying and died at the foot of the Cross. It enriches my spiritual formation and development – the mystical Presence of Mary and Jesus through life, death and resurrection. John: 19: 26-27
Near the Cross of Jesus His Mother and His mother’s sisters, Mary the wife of Cleophas and Mary Magdala. Jesus said to His Mother – Woman this is your Son and then to the Disciple… this is your mother.