Be a missionary of love. Yes, this is what came to my mind as I was trying to pray and ask the Lord to show me more of the lessons I could gain from my trip to China and Inner Mongolia. It was no coincidence for me to meet several nuns in the country and most of them looked to the Little Flower, St Therese as their inspiration. It was most interesting that several also took the same name. In this photo you see Sr Theresa to whom I gave a rosary I had received not too long ago from a missionary priest. I decided to part with it and we both promised to pray for one another.
A missionary of love – that is our calling. In making the trip, I realised that I am called to bring God’s love to the people I meet, and I do hope that I managed to do some of that. I met simple folks, without airs, without affectations. They came to me with their smiles. They were so warm, so hospitable and so very generous. It was not surprising that many of my fellow travellers were touched. Did I think that I had gone to give my fellow Catholics anything? I would be largely mistaken for I received much more than the mean sum that I could give. In fact, I chided myself for having been less prepared. I wished I had brought more money and more souvenirs. I wished I had not held back when I saw some old Catholics and thought I should like to hug them. Then there were the little children with their warm smiles and giggles. Some of these children of God have never met anyone from another country.
Fr Anthony CICM priest, our SD for the entire pilgrimage, was very helpful. He gave us short talks on the early days when the CICM missionaries left their country Belgium to bring the Good News to China. It was with faith that these early missionaries left their families, loved ones and all that they had grown up with for a land totally unfamiliar. Home leave could be granted after ten years. BUT not many made it back to Belgium. Very often the hardships and the diseases of the day sent the young missionaries home to the Lord instead. I visited many tombs and grave yards. I listened to many stories of how some had met their end. Yes, these were all truly missionaries of love. Following the footsteps of our Lord and Master, they placed their lives in the hands of God. What more can one say? May the Lord raise up more missionaries of love for a world in great need of the Good News of salvation, and may the Lord equip us with the gift of His infinite love to spread His joy and peace around. In the days ahead, I know that I have more thoughts to put down as I continue to recall what I have been so blessed to receive. Praise God!