It is difficult to express in words an experience which has profoundly touched the depths of my being, through the fraternal encounters with the Sisters, the possibility of studying a little French at “The House of cultures” such as The French Alliance, the short but significant stays in the Communities which I had the joy of visiting and to enrich my limited knowledge of the French language. Discovering the heritage passed on through the commitment and gift of each Daughter of Jesus stirred much emotion and feelings in my heart. All this constitutes a great historical richness which reveals all the good done for others.
I would like to mention some aspects which helped me in this adventure full of challenges and risks of crossing the frontiers in following Jesus Christ, who is the constant itinerant, who continually invites us to “launch out into the deep”.
One of these factors was the fraternal welcome, the joy, availability, generosity of our Sisters, which gives meaning and purpose to our life. “Gathered in the name of Jesus, we believe that it is he who can enable us to live together and that the love we strive to make a reality among us is itself Good News.” RL 21
Another significant aspect has been the diversity of cultures that I found in my study group at the French Alliance, which gave me the opportunity once more to affirm my Honduran identity, to value and appreciate more the richness of my own culture.
Discovering that my journey to an unknown land was an act of faith in God, has made me realize that my total trust in the Congregation was the means used by God to enable me to live an experience of total dispossession. This has also led me to question my real motivations for me to be a Daughter of Jesus. Through this reflection, I feel that Jesus continues to purify and reaffirm my vocation.
Learning about the origins of our Congregations was a unique experience, which has given me the chance to review the route I have taken up until now, and to confirm my alliance with the charism of the Daughters of Jesus. I realise that, all along the way, my sense of belonging to the Congregation has been strengthened.
An important event for me in July was the experience of the Forum. This was characterised by the joy of our meeting, the sharing of our everyday life-stories; reflecting our strengths, our weaknesses, our needs, our hopes, our dreams and our preoccupations. In general, it was a space which allowed us to evaluate all our giftedness, intercultural, international, and intergenerational, as a source from which to renew our charism and our vocation.
We also felt ourselves invited to revitalise our missionary and prophetic spirit through the example of our founders and foundresses, and to respond with courage and creativity to the realities of our time and context.
My experience terminated by participating in a time of Formation offered to the young Sisters preparing for their Final Vows. This was a grace for me, enabling me to review carefully my time of following Jesus, throughout the process of my juniorate, in the light of faith, the living of our charism in Community and in the times of mission outside community, at the same time the progressive integration of the Evangelical Counsels in everyday life (obedience, poverty and chastity). I keep the memory especially of the friendly, family atmosphere created in the group, which helped me to feel a member of the same body united in the person of Christ.
Some biblical texts that accompanied me and strengthened my interior life:
Mt 28:20 “I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Lk 24:15 “Jesus himself came near and went with them.”
Mt19:29 “Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life.”
These texts contain the fruit of the experience of a heart grateful for all the love, the goodness and the joy that the Lord has given me, through all the people I have encountered and who have made this magnificent experience possible. Thank you for opening the door of your heart and for letting me discover the face of God within you, as our Rule of Life tells us: RL 29 “We believe that Jesus Christ is at work in our history. He reveals his hidden but active presence in concrete realities and in ordinary everyday living. We can contemplate him in everyone of our brothers and sisters.”
Martha Graciela Rodríguez, Hondurian