Many times we repeat this sentence, or other similar, when we want to give thanks for all the good things that God has been giving to us during lifetime.

This coming August 15, I celebrate 25th anniversary of my consecration as Teresian Missionary Carmelite. Many memories, experiences, persons are coming to my mind… and some of them stay there like a mark, a seal on my heart. How far I was from thinking in that moment where God would lead me! But I never had any doubt that His presence would accompany me always, and it was so.

It has been 25 years where I was able to touch the goodness of God, his tender mercy, and where I have discovered that His call is forever, even when I would be discovering His will step by step. I cannot reduce the experience of my offering to the Church only to what has been the experience of these past two ears, but I also cannot deny that much of my energy, health and rest, those things that “I am not scared to sacrifice” (Cfr, Letter 49:1; MR 8,28), like Palau said, is connected to te liberating service that God presented just in this period, in those almost two years. It is precisely to this period that I would like to dedicate some part of my reflection. It is difficult to resume in a short written testimony all life that has been generated in this time, but I will intend transmit, like in a capsule, what was growing in my heart day by day.

GRATITUDE, in first place, for being able to touch so closely the pain of 8.126 children of God, innocent creatures who suffer the evil of adults. This reality was too far from me and today, for pure grace, in became painfully familiar, it became close to me only because God wanted to reveal it to me. It could seem a contradiction to speak about gratitude when there is so much pain in this reality, and that’s why I would like to explain it. To feel true compassion, from my inner self, is something totally undeserved and given freely, that’s why I just welcome it and recognize. My sisters from general team of animation and government, and some other persons, are witnesses of the tears that I shed because f the pain provoked by the arrival of so many news, so many testimonies unthinkable because of pain and inhumanity in them. In other times, my tears were fruits of joy, when I knew that many ‘Joseph’ and ‘May’ recovered anew what had been stolen from them, or they were able to encounter again with their own families or were welcomed by other family, or even able to rest forever in loving arms of the Father, where never again anybody would harm them. Surely, after this short explanation, many of you who are reading these words will understand a little better why I speak about gratitude, because the first things that comes to my mind is to give thanks.

Other word that has been accompanying me in this time is INTERCESSION, very palautian dimension. In many moments when the anxiety, impotence, darkness, the necessity of giving a fast and risked response, etc., were appearing in my life, I couldn’t do other thing that to pray unceasingly, by myself, and also asking it of other persons. I can assure you that the miracle arrived in many occasions, even when everything seemed impossible. This is another truth that no longer are learned, but are experienced in my life: God hears the pain of his people and hears it just on time, when we still hope and when we have alread surrendered; He is always the Lord of the history and brings it to its end by unsuspected, but always sure, ways.

Since long time ago we speak about the importance of what is INTER and this is the next capsule that I would like to share. It has been fundamental in all the proces: complemantarity of tasks, talents, responsibilities. It has been an unique experience of being in relationship with others, many others who have proved their professionalism and missions. We form part of a long chain, we are just one more part that has helped to achieve unthinkable goals: 8,126 rescued lives! I am convinced that we alone wouldn’t be able to come so far, the same that without us, specially without Marcela sustained by whole Congregation, the result would be different. We form part of a body and among all we are able to approach more and more to the dream of God. Here nobody is left outside, even a person or an action apparently most insignificant, have their meaning in the scheme of all; all of us are necessary.

The key n whole process has been ACCOMPANIMENT. There are different persons who have sustained our offering, mine in a special way, always from their silence, discreet presence, not wanting to know more than what they were being told. There are persons who in every moment have been this friendly presence; in some moment consoling, in others discerning, and always encouraging. Even those with whom I have connected punctually because of the gravity and complexity of the case, persons recognized in eclesial nivel, they always has shown their collaboration and availability to help in all what was needed. They and others in all moments have supported this great mission that God himself had put in front of us and with which we were not afraid to collaborate.

Many more things I would like to express, I hope in the future there will be still and opportunity to share them. This is simply a short commentary, like pointers, that express in a synthetic way what today is a part of my being.

“Because I love, oh Holy Spirit, I look in serving you the occasion to please you” (MR 9,6)

May Mary, and so many ‘Mary’ and ‘Joseph’, in every situation I will be faced with, in every decision I will have to take, in every moment that I will be able to, be the occasion to show to you that I love you and please you. You deserve all the sacrifice, all sleeplessness, tenderness and caresses that there are in my heart of a consecrated woman.

Thank you for making me a fertile woman!

Thank you for giving the meaning to my offering!

Maria Jose Gay Miguel, General Animator CMT