Madrid, Spain - 2011
I met the Home during the Holy Week Encounter of 1997 in Priego (Cuenca, Spain), when I was 17. I was invited to the Encounter by some friends who belonged to the Home and I was more excited about going because of my friendship with them than for any religious motive.
I remember that years beforehand, these friends of mine had told me about their sisters who were nuns and their brother who was going to be a priest, and the truth is that the image I had of their siblings was very different from reality. I imagined their sisters in a brown habit (I still do not know why I thought that), short, fat, and ugly. And I imagined the future priest they told me about as old and very serious.
To my surprise, as soon as I got to the monastery in Priego, I saw young Sisters gracefully fluttering about in white habits. They all greeted me with great joy and hospitality, and I could tell they really cared about what I said. I say this because unfortunately this is not very common today; it often seems nobody cares about your existence.
The Servant Priests and Brothers also made an impact on me. They were young and hardly serious. They were all smiling, talking with the young people there.
I also observed the lay members of the Home and saw something special in them, something I had never known. They spoke to me of holiness, of how they went to Mass every day, of how they prayed the Rosary, etc... and this left me speechless. I thought this no longer existed nowadays and that all this about praying was outdated.
And this was one of the many discoveries I made with the Home, that God is present and alive, He loves me, and He speaks to me in my daily life. And He reveals His close presence, if I am open to Him.
I remember that Holy Week Encounter as four days full of inner emotions in which I could not stop crying because I simply could not believe what I was seeing.
For me, the Home has been and continues to be a family with arms outstretched to welcome everyone and invite them to embrace the Love of God. The Home is an instrument that is extremely docile to God’s Will and that’s what fascinates me. It’s always ready to do whatever God may ask.
The Home is permeated by a refreshing, joyful spirit. I wanted to be like them and share God with others, as they had done with me. I knew that it could help so many people and I was also aware that I was part of the Home, and had to be the Home wherever I was.
In the Holy Week Encounter, we had many moments of prayer. It was a gift from God to see the love with which the people came to pray before the Tabernacle. I thought it was obvious that a religious brother or sister would gladly go to pray, but I could never have imagined that a lay person could kneel down and pray for a long time.
After meeting the Home, God became very important to me. I saw that I had to make room for Him in my life, as He had already stepped into it. After living a life without purpose or goal, I can say that since then, holiness has become my only goal.
And once you discover God – or rather, once God reveals Himself to you – life takes on a new flavor, a new meaning. You start to see the Cross from another perspective and it takes on meaning in the life of a Christian. The struggle to grow in virtue regains its significance, along with the rejection of sin and the supernatural life. Everything recovers its meaning in God. I shall always be grateful to the Home for having helped me discover this amazing reality.