“Three principal experiences are required during the Novitiate…” (CFI 72)
A few days ago Alicia Romero, Esther Sanz, Celina Chimeno and Cintia Malaquías ended the third experience of the Novitiate. And from Córdoba (Argentina), they share with us what they lived at this time.
Potosi (Bolivia), an encounter with the Lord
The sending that I received to live the third experience in the novitiate was to the community of the Bolivian West, to the house of Potosi.
There I made my contribution from my profession as a psychologist; it was from that service that I lived my apostolic tasks. However, the learning and experience of an incarnate Jesus were greater than any service provided.
One of the first days, as we shared as a community, one sister (Anita), after hearing a sigh from me, introduced me to the “Psalm of the Hand of God”. Today as I recall the experience, I feel once again that one of its verses synthesizes what I had lived: “You hold us with your hand at all times, without tiring or forgetting … if I touch a stone, You have held it for me for thousands of years watching every day so that today it would be here”.
Truly the Lord brought me in his hand to the Land of Potosi, placed before my smile, reflecting his Love, looks that were his transparency, tears that showed me his cross, hugs that were Resurrection.
San Clemente, Barrio Lindo, San Ignacio, thanks for showing me the face of the Lord, thank you for teaching me to grow as a person, thanks for showing me how the heart expands in the face of forgiveness, thanks for letting me feel the strength of your hearts.
To the Community of Potosi, thank you for teaching me what it means to be a true Daughter of Jesus with passion for the poor, thanks for showing me the path of humility, for life in fraternity, for that shared life that was balm for my journey. I learned from each one how to live austerity, and amid that austerity, joy. Two features that spoke to me of the capacity to become one with the people, their needs, potential and history. All this lived with an ease and simplicity that undoubtedly are passions that Candida Maria drives us with from her style and commitment.
Potosi, in the faces of its people, taught me the value of daily work, constant search, of the strength of one who stands up facing every pain and keeps on walking. I saw the face of Jesus who is not left on the cross or in pain, but celebrates life, who knows of friendship and shared laughter.
I conclude with a phrase from a song that says: “I found you unexpectedly… I opened for you so that you could come in, and that was when you kindled a love that overwhelmed me” Thanks to the Congregation that puts so many “bridges” in our training to find ourselves overflowing with the love of Jesus within.
I thank God for so much Good Received
Experience in Montero (Bolivia)
Again I find myself trying to convey a profound experience without knowing how to put it into words …
This time in the community of the east, in the house of Montero, has touched me deeply: the sisters and their work, their way of living and working with others, their simplicity from day to day and their proximity have helped me to get a close look at the reality of our Congregation there and feel part of it. Although Bolivia is a new world for me, I felt at home, in a way difficult to explain, really enjoying everything new, questioning myself about the differences and delving into what unites us. The sisters have helped me to discover possibilities and dormant desires in me, and I felt the constant presence of God who accompanies us, embraces us and always leads us to others, in any reality where we are. I learned a lot from their selfless dedication, their availability without schedules, their gestures that say more than words and their affection with everyone. I feel very lucky to have lived this time, and I thank the Congregation and the Province for the opportunity they have given me.
Being able to also be with the sisters of Santa Cruz and participate in the perpetual vows of Nieves; meet the sisters of Buen Retiro and the provincial house in Cochabamba …, and in each new place, continue to feel at home … It has been something that has done me good and made me feel once again part of this body for others.
Thank you, for everything lived!
Experience in Santa Cruz (Bolivia)
The third experience we now call apostolic experience, was given to me in Bolivia, in the “Candida Maria de Jesus” house of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, a house belonging to the amplified community of the east.
Regarding the experience, I have to share that when it was proposed to me, I felt a desire in my heart, wanting to involve my whole person there, and gradually go asking the Spirit to make me understand, engaging the senses, organizing and internalizing from the perception of reality and the Bolivian cultural context the raison d’être of the experience for me today and as a future Daughter of Jesus, and after allowing my experiences to settle a bit, what resonates in me are the following:
Feeling myself called to live a religious life in conversion, turn my gaze continually to the person of Jesus, to life in mission: To be in freedom with life in tension, to learn and unlearn, listening to the complex reality, persons, nature, culture… and to be word of good and momentum to novelty, to change, called to empty myself while being always on the road and that my need becomes an opportunity, to live a religious life in radicality of dedication, sacrifice, offering in union with others, open to the newness of the image of a God who does not conform to any expectation, who defuses energies according intelligent respect to my pharisaisms, spiritualisms … with His mercy, His presence on the streets, in people, in a humble people, always leaving me surprised by him, taking charge of paying attention to the bond of intimacy cared for by the hand of fraternity in communication and the search for the work that accompanies. I thank the Lord and the Congregation for the opportunity, and I thank Graciela, Jung Hi, Cari, Nieves, Maria, Amparo, Martha, Carla, Leonarda, Fuencisla, Santuza, Leonor, Susi, Teresa, Chelo, Nieves, Benita, Lola, Irene, Amelia, Dorita, Maria Angeles I., Maria Angeles M., Tita, Ma. Elfi, Ana, Feli, and Rommy for their testimony and being Daughters of Jesus, for the life shared and the desire that UNITES us, “To seek more the Good of the neighbors “.
In Monterrico (Jujuy)
In the last two months, I had the joy of living the apostolic experience in the House of Monterrico (Jujuy – Argentina), part of the amplified Community of Cordoba-Monterrico.
It is not easy for me to express what I experienced, but with willingness and spirit to share this beautiful experience, I will attempt it.
Already motivated, with the gift of the kind welcome of the sisters and all the people of the places in which I was sharing and feeling at home, life went on, and was able to experience it as an opportunity for important encounters and listening to life.
It was a profound experience of an invitation from the way of the Daughter of Jesus, to be, to feel, touch this land where God becomes clear, explicit, impossible not to see him, with the power of the Spirit. I was infected by the richness of simplicity and joy of the jujeño people, and in this contact I experienced being accompanied, discovering the freedom expressed and entrusted from the communion with God and with the other.
The apostolic experience, community life, nature, stories, people and diversity, made me constantly struck and flooded with new things in the inner life.
I am very grateful to God and to everyone for all I have experienced,