Lita worked as an executive secretary for the chairman of one of the biggest conglomerates in the Philippines. Then she opted to retire to migrate to New Zealand with her family. When she could have simply enjoyed a less demanding life, she took a nursing course and became certified past the age of 50. Today, she works in one of the hospitals in Auckland, contended in serving the weak and sick.
Working in the health sector is not a bed of roses; it can be thorny at times. Other than having the technical skills to attend to intricate procedures, a health worker should be alert at all times and most importantly have a kind heart and caring hands.
Which reminds me of a story I heard about a Philippine-licensed doctor who worked as nurse in the United States: a patient was brought to the hospital and required emergency attention. Absent any doctor to attend to the patient and knowing the need for immediate response, the nurse took it upon herself to help thus the patient was saved. Instead of being commended, the Filipino health worker was terminated for unauthorized practice as a doctor.
On February 11, the World Day of the Sick will be celebrated, and in preparation, Pope Benedict XVI called on people to be a Good Samaritan and give help to those in need. He said that through prayer, people can draw strength from God's infinite love in order to "live day by day with concrete concern, like that of the good Samaritan, for those suffering in body and spirit who ask for our help, whether or not we know them and however poor they may be."
Lita said that “at times, I find myself physically weak after a stressful day in the hospital.” But from the tone of her voice, I know that she finds much meaning to her life caring for the ailing, serving the helpless.
One does need to be a Mother Teresa or Florence Nightingale to make a difference in the lives of the suffering. Each one of us must be servants to the afflicted praying for them, attending to them, and encouraging them. “Bear one another's burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)