by Sr. Noeleen Mooney, MMM Ireland 12.07.2022
My favourite piece from our MMM Constitutions is:
“Wherever you are,
whatever you do,
let there be in your heart
a space for others to be,
so that, unafraid,
they may experience themselves as loved
and so be healed”
Over the years I have had several experiences of migration (meaning moving from one place to settle in another) and of transition. This is the life of a missionary and it has enabled me to look at the experiences and to what it has done to me as a person.
One of my assignments was to set up a small laboratory for Kitale AIDS Programme in Kenya. It gave me enthusiasm to once again have the chance to work at what I know best, although this time alone, instead of being part of a team.
However, due to circumstances beyond my control, within a few months of beginning I knew that the medical side if the programme, including the laboratory, was phasing out. This process went on for almost a year. Where there had been planning, setting up, settling down and getting to know staff and clients, now there was a reverse process. Clients were transferred, staff moved on and my work steadily diminished.
While it was disappointing and frustrating, I realized that it was not as painful for me as for others who had spent much longer with the programme, and built it up with great care and dedication. That is where the quotation above came in, as I found myself more and more in the role of supporting an unfolding process. I learned, or re-learned the truth that:
“Wherever” I am (sent by the Father)
“Whatever” I do (particularly when it is not what I thought I would or could do)
Means that there CAN be in my “heart” (because it is not so cluttered with my own doings)
“a space for others to be” (be themselves, be however they want or need to be).
Above all, that they be “unafraid” (of anything I might do or say), and through this may experience (feel, realize, know), in their hearts that they are “loved” and in this way “be healed” (wholed, gathered together, supported, cherished).
After many years with MMM, believing in and responding to a call to ministry and mission, I believe these experiences of transition have given me insights into myself which is precious.
The “where do I go from here?” doesn’t seem as important as the “how”. I am trying to listen and allow the unfolding of the next step of the journey.