A choice for life

by Sr Marie-Luc Champot

I have been living in an elderly people’s home in the south of France for some years, with my community.

After living for many years in Jerusalem, and faced with the health difficulties some of us had as well as our advancing age, we decided to return together to France, to continue, in community, to live our service of praise and intercession. Although leaving Jerusalem was difficult for each of us, we do not regret our “choice for life”.

The Lord always goes before me

Does living the spirituality of a contemplative sister of Our Lady of Sion in an elderly people’s home change anything? Yes, certainly in terms of surroundings, but not in what animates me deep down and makes me live every day.

A sister of Our Lady of Sion “lives the Word”. This word speaks to me of a God present in History, accompanying his people Israel and revealing, in Jesus, that his concern extends to all humanity, even to the life history of each one of us!

Prayer is thanksgiving for the mystery of love

The Lord always goes before me. So I simply try to recognise his presence in everything I experience from day to day. A privileged place for this encounter is community life, punctuated by the singing of the Psalms: the prayer of the people of Israel and of Jesus. Following in their footsteps, we renew our trust in God, in communion with all the poor of this world and, very concretely, with the elderly people whose lives we share.

In our daily encounters with the residents, their faces, often tired, burnt by age and hardship, reflect the image of God, hidden like fire under the ashes. When a little attention illuminates them with a beautiful smile, then prayer becomes thanksgiving for the mystery of love, hidden in each of our lives, in that of the people of Israel and in our world, beyond appearances.

Letting “God be God”

When I was sixteen I discovered, after a long search for meaning, that “God exists and he loves me”. This wonderment has accompanied me throughout my life, even in the depths of the trials we all go through. Today, how can I not let “God be God” for me, let him invade my life so he can be present where he wants me, today, in thanksgiving, intercession and praise?