“They should dedicate themselves to those tasks with all possible devotion by taking promptly those that are more against their own inclination, convinced that, in general, the more one shows herself generous toward God our Lord, the more will she find Him generous toward her and the more disposed will she be to receive graces and spiritual gifts.” CFI 74
As part of the formation of the Novitiate we, Celina and Crystal of the Mother Candida International Novitiate, had our experience of abnegation in the Little Cottolengo Don Orione from April 19 to March 23, 2018. It was a grace to undergo the experience during the Lenten season in order to experience God’s love profoundly and share that love with other people.
The Cottolengo is an institution that becomes a home for our brothers with mental disabilities, welcoming them, making the house a space that receives and accompanies them. The place has 123 residents who are being cared for and given the best possible living conditions, giving everyone a chance to realize his potentials best according to his own capacity, thus valuing and making their lives fuller.
The experience of self-denial leads us to be more merciful and to love other people. As abnegation indicates, “going out of oneself and humbling oneself” thus marks our heart and invites us to practice that virtue in everyday life, whether we are in the community or outside it. In this time the Cottolengo has made us grow in patience, able to value the life that God has given us, to share it and dedicate it to our brothers. This experience taught us to be grateful and happy for what we have been able to do for each of the residents that we accompanied during this time, even if it has been difficult for us. The important thing is to be sensitive to what other people need and not just focus on what we need and what we want. And above all, this experience taught us to be more human and thus collaborate in the mission of our Lord, for the greater glory of God.
All these things that God put in our hearts, are also the desires we experienced during the spiritual exercises and that God gave us the opportunity to live and experience during the experience of abnegation. And now that we have lived the experience, He invites us to clarify our Life Plan while God sustains us with His grace in our discipleship to become a Daughter of Jesus.
We thank God for all that we have lived in this experience that marked our heart as a Daughter of Jesus.