Gratitude is the Key: Maureen Hickling mss
Many years ago I was diagnosed with Myallic Encephalomyelitis and Fibromyalgia. It has taken a long time, much courage and enduring patience to learn to live with the condition. These days I have some useful energy, provided I pace myself and accommodate the need for recovery periods. However, this remains a challenge for me.
What continually sustains me, gives me hope and nourishes my life, is a strong spirituality. Despite the pain, I have learned to live joyfully and gratefully with a sense of contentment. I know myself loved and held gently in the palm of God's hand. Living my life as it is now, I am helped by attuning my heart to the whisperings of Wisdom.
I try to listen to my body to guide me in doing the daily necessary tasks as and when I can. Counting my blessings, I am gifted with simple joy.
This life calls me to dance to different music and with different steps. It is more about an attitude of being rather than doing, focusing on what I can do and not on what I can't. Nevertheless, I am part of the MSS mission.
At the core of that mission is reaching out to people in genuine friendship. I have opportunity of doing this within the Bribie Island community. Mine is largely a ministry of presence as I go about my daily life among them. I also have some specific involvements, such as reaching out to someone house-bound and isolated. Through Silver Cord service I am in touch with them by phone. In recent years migrants from Bhutan have been re-settling on Bribie. I have had some small involvement with that community.
My love for creation and the environment finds expression in my photography of my surroundings. Viewing the world through the lens of my camera and of my heart nourishes my soul. I love to capture on camera something of the beauty of dew drops on petals, of tall grasses waving in a breeze and other magic moments noticed from my slower pace of life. I set my photos to music and make them into reflective DVDs. I share these with my community and friends as occasion arises. From time to time, too, I participate in activities caring for the local environment.
My illness has brought me many blessings. My slower pace of life enables me to live contemplatively and take in my surroundings. It enables me to be available people in their joys and hopes, griefs and anxieties. In this, I find myself revitalised and enlivened.
In these and countless other ways God's story is breathing through me. My life is rich with blessings. I am nurtured by a deep sense of gratitude for the gift of life and God's gracious love, for our MSS calling, our mission, our charism, for all that flows through us, for the remarkable people surrounding me, for the Presence, the Power, and the Companionship of God. Gratitude abounds.