Spain - 2007
I really do not know how to begin to explain how I met the Home, so I will tell you a bit about my path of conversion leading up to my arrival here.
I have always been Catholic. I was born into a Catholic family. My mother is a believer and my father currently defines himself agnostic. As long as I can remember, I have gone to Mass on Sundays, although not always, with my mother. Looking back, I do not have any memory of my father accompanying us to Mass, except on a few occasions. I went to catechism classes for First Communion and Confirmation and I must confess that now I see how God’s providential hand has been working over the course of my life, placing on my path the right people and situations that could be of help to me. With mere human sight, it was not very easy to see this at the time, given that because of my father’s work, we had to move from one city to another several times during my childhood. In fact, when I was at the age to receive Confirmation, we spent the entire year living in my grandmother’s house, because my father had been transferred to another city. The other girls in my class who were preparing for Confirmation “just happened to” invite me to come to the preparatory catechism classes. We had to ask special permission to be able to register me for the classes without having attended the entire first year of preparation, because the following year we would no longer be living there. There was no problem and I was confirmed, although my parents were unable to attend as they were already in the city to where we were going to move.
When we transferred to Valencia, where we currently live, the friends that I “just happened to” find when I arrived there, and with whom I attended high school, had studied in a school run by religious sisters. On Saturdays they organized meetings for young people already Confirmed. I attended the meetings, which I very much enjoyed.
But time passed, and at 19 or 20, I began to feel restless and unsatisfied. These meetings no longer satisfied me and I began to think that God could not just be this; it seemed to me that He was more than all that. I also see God’s hand in that feeling of being unsatisfied because if not, I would not have taken the step to look for something else, or maybe I would not have found what the Lord later placed on my path.
Later on, I met a married couple that began to speak to me about God in a way that I had never heard before. I began to pray the Rosary, something I had never done before. I began to go to daily Mass, frequent confession, have a spiritual life which I had never had until then. I discovered a God that filled my heart, who I began to know more intimately, in a more personal way. That is where my “personal encounter” began.
As time passed, more and more people joined us, looking for this experience of “their personal encounter,” forming a group of young families with children along with others who had not yet discovered their vocation. Unfortunately and much to my regret, this group later dissolved (the devil never stops working) and thus we were all left hanging in regards to our faith, without that point of reference of the community that the Lord and Our Mother, with all their love and patience, had formed. A few years passed, and I continued in my spiritual life, although I must confess it was not as deep as before. I had become luke-warm. It was at this time that I got married and had my first daughter. But at the bottom of my heart, I felt like I was lacking something, that I needed to join a movement or community to be able to maintain, with the help and support of others, my existence in the spiritual sense and thus continue growing. In spite of the rupture of the group which I referred to earlier, some of us who had formed a part of it kept in contact because we had shared many experiences and had been strongly united. You could say that we had formed a family, and that is not something easily broken.
Once again, the hand of the Lord and Our Mother came to our aid placing the Home on a few of our paths. At first, I knew nothing about its existence, but I began to hear about the Holy Week Encounters, the “Home Center” retreat and, a a little while later, my husband and I decided one summer to go to Barcenilla to see all this that we were told of with so much enthusiasm.
It was amazing. Spending my time there, and listening to the talks, I felt that was where Our Mother wanted me. I saw this it so clearly that this same summer I made my commitment as member of the Home and I am happy to say that today I am still a member and I am looking forward to the day in which I can make my perpetual commitment. For now, I ask the Lord and Our Mother that they make me faithful until the end and that in spite of the bumps in the road and the difficulties, that I may never cease to form a part of the gift that the Lord wants to make to Our Mother.