Presence: Walking With Jesus in the Present
Phyllis Paquette, SNJM has lived much of her life fretting about the past and/or worried about the future. However, since her retirement, she is slowly progressing in living the present. First and foremost, she is inspired by the Gospel passage in Luke 24:13-35, which calls her to be present to the moment and walk with Jesus, as did the disciples on the road to Emmaus.
Her spontaneous prayer of gratitude keeps her in the presence of God's endless love displayed in creation. In addition, she is grateful for life-giving relationships that encourage her to widen the tent of inclusivity.
Sr. Phyllis has been welcomed to visit residents residing in a local long-term home near her home in Windsor, Ontario. She finds the opportunity to be present to these residents and to participate as a member of the Pastoral Care Team very rewarding. Differences in affiliation with faith denominations are no hindrance to shared spontaneous prayer, which she says provides a mutually enriching time together.
Bringing board games to individual homes helps to dispel some of the loneliness among people living alone and/or homebound. For Sr. Phyllis, it brings to mind another Gospel passage: Matthew 25:31-46, in which Jesus says the good done for “the least of these” is really done for Him. One of the highlights of her ministry of presence in the rural community is celebrating someone's ninetieth birthday over lunch.
She petitions God to give her what she needs to respond to whomever and whatever God places in her path, one day at a time.