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Lay Members of the Home of the Mother (L.H.M.)The goal of the Lay Members is to reach holiness for the glory of God, under the maternal protection of Mary. This vocation is born within the Church of the service of the Church. The principles by which they are guided spring forth from the mystery of Christ and His Gospel, as the Church believes, interprets and preaches.

Ana Isabel Jiménez

anaisabel-jimenezSpain - 2007

It is not easy to write about how I met that which is so important in my life. I can start with an experience that I had in Spiritual Exercises while thinking about the Home of the Mother. The image of Calvary came to me. Jesus was on the Cross accompanied by His Mother and Saint John, the Beloved Disciple. It was the moment in when the Lord gave her to him as his Mother. For me, this moment was the birth of the Home, "the gift that the Lord wishes to make to His Mother." It was there that I discovered what it means "to be a gift." Our Lord from the Cross gives us the most valuable and important that He has to offer: His Mother. In the person of Saint John, I see a reflection of all young people. For me, the Home is born on the Cross as a gift for the Virgin Mary.

In February of 1997, God "pulled all the strings" so that I could go to Cuenca, Spain, to study Social Work. I registered late at the university, because I had just come home from England, where I had been on a study abroad program for Information Technology. When I heard that there were still open places at the university in Cuenca, I was not very enthusiastic because I had practically dismissed the possibility of Cuenca from my future.

One time, while I was in Cuenca, I looked for a parish where I could teach catechism classes, collaborate with Caritas, and at the same time keep the weekends free, because I was dating a young man with whom I was very much in love. It was not mere coincidence that in almost all the parishes where I checked, catechism classes were only on the weekends. God was preparing the place and the people.

anaisabel-jimenez4I failed Sociology the first year and, as usual, I went to re-take the exam. The teacher told me that I should ask to borrow notes from the student who had did best on the exam, a girl named Estela Morales. She was a Candidate of the Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother. I had the impression that she was consecrated to God in some way because of her appearance and because I had known other consecrated women. Seeing this, I was sure that she would know just the parish I was looking for.

Sure enough, she was working in a parish where there were catechism classes during the week.
The now Sr. Estela, along with Rosi (now Sr. Rosi), attracted me and surprised me, most of all because they were always happy while the rest of the students came to class already tired and angry early in the morning. They smiled at everybody, whether the people paid attention to them or not. They would arrive to class singing! For me, they were a “sign of contradiction.” I loved it!

I had just asked Estela for her notes, when she invited me on a pilgrimage to Rome that the young people of the Home were going to do to see the Pope. She did not know that my greatest wish was to see the Pope, but since the pilgrimage was in the summer and I had to be with my boyfriend, she received a negative response. That being the case, I was still surprised that without really knowing me, she would go ahead and invite me.

The exam went well and I had to return the notes to her. I thanked her and she, on her part, immediately thanked God. I have to admit that I found everything related to God very attractive. For that reason, I tried to cross paths with the candidates as often as I could. At the same time, though, I was afraid that I would end up like them.

anaisabel-jimenez6I went to a retreat where I met Father Rafael and all the Sisters (a very attractive and wonderful community) and after a camp and an entire summer of many things that seemed to say to me, “And why not a vocation?”, I entered the Home on May 3, 1999, Mother’s Day. It was a very important day for me. I began to see clearly that I had to change and leave many things in my life. Among them was my boyfriend. The Blessed Virgin was and continues to remain at my side in all the moments in which I have had to take an important step. One of them was, thanks be to God, to leave that young man because he was not whom God wanted for me.

I had never thought about the possibility of religious life, but I was not closed to the idea either. Thus, I entered as a candidate of the Servant Sisters of the Home on December 8, 1999. I spent some wonderful and important years with the Sisters that I will never forget. However, after a long discernment process, I understood that God was not calling me to the religious life, but to marriage. God uses all these “means” so that we may be more thirsty for Him and for Heaven. From that time onwards, I have lived with a great desire to be the saint that the Lord expects me to be, wherever He wants to take me.

anaisabel-jimenez7Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, “Wherever we are, whatever we do, the important thing is that we belong to Jesus Christ;” and Saint Therese of Lisieux said that she felt like the Lord’s “little ball,” which is sometimes in one corner, other times in another, wherever His Divine Will desires. I am very happy and I feel very loved by God. For now, the Virgin Mary has given me the opportunity to dedicate myself entirely to working for Her in Her Home and in Her Name I travel all over Spain making the EUK Mamie Foundation known and distributing the material that we produce for children and young people.

I cannot cease to give thanks to God and to His Most Holy Mother for the Home and for having chosen me for the Home. “The Lord has done great things for me and I rejoice!”

 

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