The feast of May 31 is approaching and on that day several sisters are celebrating their Golden Jubilee. We believe it is a very special anniversary and we thought it would be good to hear their testimony. We begin with Henar Martín, of the amplified community of Madrid and member of the house of Orcasur.
1. What springs from your heart at the celebration of your Golden Jubilee?
ENORMOUS THANKSGIVING, first of all to God for the gift of life and the call to follow Jesus. Since November 21, 1964 when I passed through the great door of the Novitiate until the present day, everything has been God’s grace, the good times and also the less good times, the lights and the shadows …
I thank God for my family and the education in faith and Christian values I received as a child. That atmosphere gradually created in me a willingness to be open to the will of God and to carry out what He expected of me. From a very young age I discovered that I could do nothing else than be His and dedicate my life to Him.
Thanksgiving to my educators in the schools of Hijas de Jesús: Valladolid, Segovia …, I have a vivid memory of the love of the Virgin that they instilled in me, especially from the Marian Sodality to which I wanted to belong since I was very young. Thanks to so many Sisters who were for me a testimony of joy, of dedication, of affection and closeness to all the students and that, in short, were a stimulus and mediation of God in my life; in the school I heard the call to the religious life and to follow the charism of M. Candida.
Thanks to the Congregation where I have received all the best of life: in it I have lived a process of growth in faith and of that first call which I still hardly knew where it would take me but which, little by little, has been maturing from trust in myself, in my Sisters and in God and in his fidelity, despite my smallness and infidelities, with wonderful moments of light and moments of crisis and darkness; but as Psalm 23 says, every day I experience the certainty that “even when I walk through a dark valley, I fear no harm for YOU ARE AT MY SIDE; your goodness and love will pursue me all the days of my life …”
Thanksgiving for the PRESENT that has been mine to live with its uncertainties, pursuits, dreams and precious moments of sharing, of building bridges, of announcing to others the Good News of the Gospel, of collaborating with all those who strive to make the Kingdom of God a reality in the midst of the community, the parishes, the laity, the groups of people who seek support, light and encouragement in us who have the obligation to be SALT AND LIGHT for them, witnesses of the Risen Jesus who with his power is opening a way in this world and fills our lives with plenitude and joy… There are many people who need the testimony of our joy, freedom and generous dedication in order to believe today in the Gospel of Jesus in the midst of a society that offers them few reasons for hope and delight …
I thank God for the significant people, friends, who throughout my life have helped me to grow, and to know and love Jesus more … For all this, and looking back at my history in these 50 years, I have nothing else but “grateful memory” for so much good and so many gifts received …
And thanks to you, sisters and friends who today want to accompany me on this day of my Golden Jubilee in order to remember and be thankful together with Mary in her Magnificat, for everything that the Lord has done in me and through me; with Mary I proclaim that the Lord has been great in my life … Thank you very much.
2. What would be my message for the Sisters in formation?
That you take care of and cultivate your vocation as Daughters of Jesus as the “hidden treasure or precious pearl” of which Jesus speaks to us in the Gospel, that you sell all that you have to obtain it and live it with authenticity, sure that nothing and no one will ever snatch this treasure away if you are deeply in love with God. That every day you nourish with prayer and the Eucharist that encounter with Him that will keep you alive, knowing that this spring of living water that we carry inside is none other than the gift of the SPIRIT who gives depth and fullness to life; that this be your principle and foundation, able to relativize all fears, sorrows, doubts …
The Spirit will open new paths for you in the midst of a fast-changing world, but your feet will be set in the firm Rock of the unconditional love of God the Father-Mother who wants, more than anyone, to finish the work that He began in you. The possibility of searching with others, of sharing life and faith with the poorest and most simple will be your great wealth, do not forget … “Blessed are the poor, those who hunger and thirst for justice and truth, because theirs is the Kingdom of heaven, they will be satisfied …. “
Forward and courage !! Because the time in which we live is exciting, novel, enriching in the search for new ways of living religious life, at the service of the Church and of the most needy of this world for which God became one of us and gave himself up for love to the extreme.
3. Can you tell us something about your dreams and desires for the future?
I want to live with antennas wide open to see where the Spirit wants to take us inside his Church, sure that He likes to break molds; every day is new and He likes to surprise us, with Him it is not worth living with the old molds fixed and obsolete, in need of new, renewed life. He is the Lord of history and without a doubt, He will show us the way if we let him act and let Him guide us … There is nothing preset or already done; we are living moments of search, itinerancy, being somewhat exposed to the elements, without attachments that tie us down or enslave us.
I want to live this time as a “kairós”, a time of grace for me and for the Congregation.
I dream of a more united and committed religious life, more in communion within ourselves and with other Congregations of a similar charism, working for the Gospel and in favor of the poorest, sharing with them life and faith, having as center the One who has summoned us to follow him very closely, having his own feelings and acting like Him.
4. Any other comments?
I just want to thank you for your loyalty, affection and company; walking with you is like an insurance policy knowing that we go together, in community, towards God; with our mistakes and successes we are making history by being faithful to the present moment, just like all those who preceded us from Mother Candida to this day …
On this day may you help me give thanks to God and ask Him for the gift of perseverance to the end of the years that He wants to give me until the day when, together, we participate in the banquet of the Kingdom with all who believed and hoped in Him.
Henar Martín FI