May 30, 2021
When I prayerfully look back at these 25 years of fidelity, I do it with profound gratitude for God’s fidelity, and with a thankful heart I bring to mind His work in me.
When I prayerfully think of my calling, and my “yes”, I understand that it is the Lord who always takes the initiative, it is He who draws near and unsettles us.
We heard this passage in the book of Isaiah on the Sunday of the Baptism of Our Lord at the beginning of this year: «I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.»
Looking back at this jubilee year, in gratitude, I remember the many instances in which the words «I have called you, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you out as a covenant» became so clear.
I called you
Yes, it was the Lord who, 25 years ago, turned his tender gaze upon me, and granted me the grace to put my life projects aside, projects I already had, to take up this adventure in faith, which is in reality Aliança’s way.
I have grasped you by the hand
Clearly, these words: “I have grasped you by the hand”, have a very profound meaning, reminding me of an exchange of wedding rings, a covenant. If, at the moment of the calling, there was already a commitment and a ring on the finger, today, 25 years later, I prayerfully think of another ring, another covenant that I wear on my finger, keeping me watchful, conscious of the words I heard on the day of my vows: “Take this ring, you who are the bride of the eternal King; keep the fidelity to your Spouse intact, that you may be worthy of the eternal wedding feast.”
I formed you
During the countless hours on bended knee before my Lord in the Tabernacle, that He may direct the whole of my being. Nonetheless, His presence and movement bring to life grateful memories of the confidence the sisters place in me, of the acts of genuine friendship, which teach and help me to grow.
set you as a covenant
The greatest grace granted me by our Lord is making me aware of being part of this body, which is the Aliança de Santa Maria. Yes, realising that life becomes extraordinarily beautiful and that we attain true dignity, not by merit or personal gift, but because of the splendour which He bestowed on me. (cf. Ezekiel 16.14)
Although it all started on May 13, 25 years ago, under the gaze of the Lady brighter than the sun, today May 13, 2021, it was with much joy that I welcomed the words of Bishop Antonio Marto, at the end of Mass, in the Shrine of Fátima: “you are the most beautiful and precious crown of Our Lady and the jewels of that crown are your lives and your stories of love, generosity, mutual help, solidarity, as well as your frailties, wounds, worries and sufferings.”
Today, I give thanks for the great things our Lord continues to do in my story: for my family, where I learnt to grow in my love for Jesus with the rosary in my hand; for the maternal and confident gaze of each of my sisters in ASM and for the friends who support me and make me understand the living face of the Resurrected Jesus forever present, who help me grow as “a beloved daughter.”