“The smallest thing when done for the love of God is priceless” ~ St. Teresa of Avila
It’s been a glorious two and a half months at Maggie’s Place and I am still in awe. I wake up every day with a sense of peace and pride to be an integral part of this delightful place. Five months ago, I found myself sitting in the Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Krakow, Poland, gazing upon the miraculous image of the Divine Mercy, with eager eyes and an anxious heart and asking Him in a rather incessant and desperate plea to make His will known for my life. Fast forward to now and I know for a fact that He was looking upon me then with loving eyes and eagerly awaiting to reveal His Maggie’s Place plan for my life, all in His time.
After two and a half months of being here, I can vouch for the extensive roller coaster of emotions one may encounter as a MissionCorps. Don’t get me wrong! These highs and lows shouldn’t ward off anyone looking into the prospect of serving as a MissionCorps in the future. If anything, Maggie’s Place has only challenged me to be a better version of myself and prune and nurture this one life gifted to me by God. I’m sure there are a ton more lessons to be learned along the way, but a very jarring one for me has definitely been to ‘avoid taking oneself too seriously.’
I wouldn’t call myself an expert in ‘MissionCorps-ology’, but I would like to share my two cents, drawing from my experiences here through five key points:
1) Share: It is very important to realize that the weight of the world (aka your respective houses) is not on your shoulders alone. Look to your right and to your left and you will always have someone to assist you, to calm frayed nerves or just hear you vent. You are NOT ALONE in this work of love.
2) Find humor in situations: Long to-do lists, crying babies, irrational people, generous donors at the doorstep, constant phone calls – sound a bit too familiar? Or rather, sound a bit too stressful?? Well, we have all been there at various moments in our lives, no matter what our occupation or work profile may be. It is during such trying times, that our problem solving skills are put to test, but are sadly overpowered by associated stress and a surge of emotions. Replay the events in your mind, but this time as a spectator and not a victim. Find busyness fun and hilarious and develop a new perspective and march toward it, head-on.
3) What exactly matters?: How society perceives us is a constant worry that each of us hold in some deep hidden crevice of our being. Think twice before comparing yourself to a social media based picturesque description of someone’s life. What you are and what you do in God’s eyes is what matters alone. Ultimately we are called to serve Him and not our peers. It is to Him, that we are accountable and He would be the ultimate judge of the ‘time-sheet’ of our lives when we clock out.
4) Embrace your crazy: It is ok to stand out and be unique in the way you are and what you do. People would prefer to know the real you; let them have that honor. If you can bring a smile to a single human being on any particular day, you know you have achieved much. Own and embrace your crazy. Archbishop Sheen hits target when he said, “If you do not live what you believe, you will end up believing what you lived.”
5) An unhealthy obsession for predictions: Working through deeds of mercy isn’t an easy task…it is tough and messy work. You go all in and serve with all your heart and soul. Things may not work out as you hoped, as situations that we work with are not the most ideal. Don’t freak out. Change your perspective and look into such situations as incredible learning opportunities. These circumstances call for the ability to react swiftly, act decisively and practice versatility.
Laugh a little harder and smile a lot more. We have only one life to live – make it count! When things get to difficult to handle, follow the advice of my favorite, St Padre Pio, “Abandon yourself into the hands of Mary and she will take care of you”
By Louen Pereira, a MissionCorps