INSIGHT - Testimony by Nathalie Gadéa, family woman, nurse

I can testify that I have received many graces with the Little Sisters, because it is something marvellous to be the privileged witness to the work of God in the heart of those who seek Him in truth in the ups and downs of their history, in their weaknesses, their struggles and their greatness.

On the three capital letters of the LSA, Little Sisters of the Assumption, three others are superimposed immediately: ELI. I can well imagine the perplexity causing your astonished look. Is this a quiz? or perhaps a television game? No, I can reassure you, readers. Eli is the name of the old priest in the Old Testament; three times in the course of the night the young Samuel ran to him believing that he was responding to his call. At the third "here I am" said by Samuel, the wise old man finally said to the impetuous youngster: "You will answer thus: ’speak, your servant is listening’ ’. 
 
Mention of the Little Sisters reminds me immediately of the triple call coming from the aged sisters of the Ollioules community asking the woman theologian who used to go to them once a month, to animate their annual retreat. 
 
It required three appeals, for three successive years, before agreeing to accompany your community of old ladies who had, to my mind, the foolishness of calling on a laywoman to accompany spiritually your own quest for God. 
 
I will always see the mischievous smile of the sister in charge of the community who had been able to persevere in her request. ’At last’, she said to me. The sisters were beginning to despair!!! 
 
I dare to state that you, Little Sisters, enabled me to give birth to a vocation that had been sleeping in me. In the course of the various retreats that I have been able to accompany in different communities of your aged sisters, I have encountered (sisters who were) home helps, nurses or social workers, but never a midwife, whereas each of you in her own way truly had that role in my life. 
 
I can testify to it, I have received at your side many graces because it is truly marvellous to be the privileged witness of the work of God in the heart of those who seek Him in truth in the ups and downs of their history, in their weaknesses, their struggles and their greatness. 
 
Thank you for the trust you have shown me, thank you for the path you have enabled me to take, and I retain in my heart during dark moments the luminous appearance of some among you who, if they have already joined their beloved spouse, have promised always to pray for me, my husband and my children. 
 
I am certain that this bond of communion that has been formed with many of you last beyond space and time. I am counting on you always. 
 
Thank you, great and fine women! 
Nathalie Gadéa, Toulon 
17/04/2015
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