Auntie Bernadette, we reckon, is around eighty years of age. She is my Godmother Betty’s best friend and together, they have literally followed our Lord’s teaching: leave all that behind and trust that God provides. You would have thought that in a country like Singapore, one must have a job and earn a living in order to survive. Bernadette and Betty have no children, they devote their lives to serve the Lord, and in return, the Lord does provide. It still amazes me every time I think about it.
This evening, after work, Cynthia and I have dropped by TTS Hospital. We went through the emergency area and I saw nurses and staffs moving the still patients from wards to wards. So much work going on in serving the community, in improving the quality of life. Such contrast to my work environment, a banking environment specifically. Today, I have also got some crisis at work. People were running around frantically trying to get some presentation slides updated for an upcoming meeting. Comparing the two, what I do for a living seems dull and meaningless. If this world rewards people – monetarily speaking – based on the real contribution to our society, I would like to be an ambulance driver. I love to drive fast and I love to save lives. In my today’s job, I save people’s asses. That does not seem to satisfy me fully.
Auntie Bernadette is hospitalized. Hence we were at TTS Hospital. Shortly after we found Bernadette, a priest has arrived. We were surprised. It was one of the Seven Catholic Sacraments: Anointing of the Sick. In the past, it was used to be called Last Rites. Today, it is part of the healing process. It was the first time I see how this Sacrament is carried out. Cynthia and I prayed along. Throughout the session, I looked at Auntie Bernadette. I was captivated by her eyes. Such fire of faith and conviction, as she absorbed every word the priest said. Those child-like expressions, such purity in heart. Jesus once said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” I was moved deeply, looking at Auntie Bernadette. I was ashamed too, for my faith and the fire within does not even measure up to a tiny faction of what she exhibits.
According to Auntie Bernadette, it is God at work that she is hospitalized. So that she has the opportunity to talk to the nurses, ease them off their daily stress and pray with them. Even when she is sick, she is still doing God’s will. After the priest has left, Auntie Bernadette held our hands and prayed for us. I can tell you honestly that whatever that was in our thoughts, Bernadette spoke them out in words. It was as though she was reading our minds. The prayer was so powerful that Cynthia was moved to tears. It was as close to divinity as I have seen lately. Today I am touched by an Angel. I think it is still not too late to repent. In the spirit of Lent, I shall leave you with two simple passages that are relevant to this Easter season.
Remember that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return ~ Genesis 3:19
Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel ~ Mark 1:15