Each Saturday and Sunday the Heart’s Home missionaries go to Farragut Housing Project to bring communion to the homebound not able any more to go to mass on Sundays.
“Farragut is sadly renowned for its violence because of the presence of gangs as well as drugs and alcohol. In the midst of these young people who seem to have lost any ambition for the future, of these single girls who are mothers too early, of lonely and sick people, we are given the gift of friendly faces and I would even say of holy figures.
The first face that comes to my mind is Linda who has been bedridden for her last ten years and therefore is completely dependant on the care of others. Her bedroom is filled with stuff and the walls are decrepit and of an indescribable color.
Linda welcomes us each week with bounty and joy thanking us for coming to visit her. To this day I have never heard her complain about her situation or the fact that she has no visits. She likes to have news from our families and the other members of the community. But above all she loves to pray to God. She sings along with us as if the words were in her heart all the time and she sometimes says the words of the Gospel with me when it is one of her favorite passages. She seems to be inhabited by Another and receives the Body of Christ with a lot of gratitude. When we are talking about her age, she tells us mischievously that she hopes she will live until 100 years old (she must be in her eighties).
Despite being unable to do anything, despite her loneliness, despite her physical pain, despite the ugliness of the place where she is living, she wants to live up to 100 years old! To me she is a living host offered for the world’s redemption and thanks to her there are many mornings when we find the courage to get up and to face the day in front of us.
After all these years spent at the service of the poor, I keep being filled with wonder at them and learning from them the meaning of living, loving, serving, giving oneself. Father Thierry de Roucy wrote just one year after Heart’s Home’s foundation: “There, you understand, you can not calculate. You do not save for retirement. You do not wonder whether it will be possible or not to go skiing. You do not look at your neighbors to see if you are richer than them. You do not give what you have in excess. You give your essentials and you mysteriously know that giving it over to the one who is knocking at the door is giving it to Christ Himself. […] And, of course, you know it well enough, it is not heaven but you will learn how to open your eyes to those behaviors which will move you to the deepest and proclaim the Gospel to you so strongly...” Obviously the poor and the little ones are our masters!”