Summer 2017: “Andrea, have you thought about God’s will for you?”…
November 2019: “How many children do you want to have?”… “God, where and how do you need me most?”
Spring 2020: “Jesus, I wish there were Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary in my city!”…“Come, follow me!”.
“Adventure begins where plans end.”…
The Holy Spirit and the Blessed Mother challenged me to change the direction I was going; that is, “God, this is my plan and come with me” to “Father, what is your plan for me? I want to accept it.”
Early in my youth I asked myself already: Where will you be 10 years from now? Who do you want to be? What mark do you want to make upon the world? What would people say about me, if I were gone tomorrow? Some of the questions I answered in school. Others I put on a waiting list, similar to a Spotify Playlist. At times I pushed the next question to the end, and then again, I wanted to click skip—like with a YouTube Ad.
In 2018, I was invited by a woman friend who belongs to Opus Dei to visit the Schoenstatt Shrine in my city. Since then, every encounter with Schoenstatt has been an encounter with the Lady of Life: the Blessed Mother. Did you know that she does everything for you so you can discover and reach the meaning and purpose of your life?
At the end of 2019, after being asked a question in my first semester of medical school, I decided to ask God: In what way can I best answer your call to love, to holiness: in marriage or consecrated life?”
Father Kentenich advises us, when we are at this point in life, not to be uncertain for too long, because our lifestyle and everything we will do depends on our decision. Sometimes we ask God for a sign so that we can do nothing else but believe. But to see it, we first have to learn to listen.
So I decided to see—through listening? Where?
At Holy Mass! Approaching Jesus through the sacraments is very important! The one thing that can move our will to answer yes to his call is love, and love is nourished through the presence of the loved one and the one loving, between Jesus and you. You could prepare a question in your heart before Holy Mass and then assume the disposition of a seeker and listen with attentive ears to the answer; for example, Jesus, what do you want to tell me about…? After all, how does a child know what his father wants? The child asks him. How can you and I know what God wants? By asking him. The silences will tell us what to do. He is God, our Father, and his love for us is so great that he continuously speaks to us in a language that we can clearly understand. God will not hesitate to answer. He takes it very seriously and fulfills what he reveals to us because everything is possible for him.
My search also took place in everyday life. Yes, God can reveal his will through people! Through their words and through actions. Among them, I looked for a vocation guide with whom I could “objectively reflect” on the answers I received inwardly and outwardly.
A further means in my search was self-knowledge. This enabled me to distinguish and name my inner longings that, through divine providence, answer the questions: how, when, where.
“But Andi, why the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary
when you know other communities?” asked my mother when I told my parents about my vocation. In the course of my discernment process, God showed me that consecrated life is the way in which my deepest inner longings of my soul and of his become one–the best way that he has planned to make me holy, not only happy, but happier than I could have imagined!
The next question was: Where?
There were four aspects to this question:
1) gain experiences,
2) converse with leaders of communities,
3) reflect prayerfully, and
4) make a decision.
“God does not call you to faraway places, but to where you are, to what surrounds you.” I experienced this in three different religious communities that I had come to know in the course of my life (22 years). Thanks to divine providence, I had the opportunity to speak with the prioress of a community, with the leader of another house, and with the superior of a third. After each experience, I reflected upon the answers I heard, about the experiences I had, and together with my vocation guide, reflected on what God had shown me. The source of your and my vocation is the heart of God and the experience of fraternal love that becomes mutual service. Jesus tells us: “They will know you are my disciple by the love you have for one another.” (JN XIII) Through the grace that the Blessed Mother interceded for me, I could see that the Secular Institute of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary was the community to which Jesus was calling me so I can be his true disciple. It is the community in which my inner longings and his resonate.
Then came the time to make my decision. Honestly speaking, it didn’t seem easy. I saw a mountain of challenges before me: discontinuing my study of medicine, speaking to my parents, asking acceptance into the community, the COVID pandemic…And then, upon the intercession of the Blessed Mother, the Holy Spirit came! My vocation guide helped me recognize that I could take this step in two ways: alone or in union with Jesus and Mary. Like Mario Bros, I could choose the solo or co-op player option. And so I decided, in the middle of 2020, to make my covenant of love with the Blessed Mother and
to crown Mother Mary Queen of My Vocation.
The crowning was the beginning of her reign and her personal accompaniment
as my mother, my educator, and my covenant partner.
We won our victories in everyday life — from deciding to start the process of finding a vocation, to talking to my parents about it. From deciding to give God my yes, to continuing medical school for another semester. From getting my visa to Germany, to learning how to say nice to meet you, and “Ich freue mich, dich kennenzulernen.” From leaving my family (Dad, Mom, 3 younger brothers) and my country (Mexico), to learning the language of the heart of each candidate in my course.
Do you know that you are the favorite occupation of the Blessed Mother?
Father Joseph Kentenich reminds us of that, and I can say from personal experience there is nothing she cannot teach us. There is nothing we cannot achieve with the help of her grace. She continues to educate us day after day. She takes perfect care of all we entrust to her. Everything? Yes, to the smallest detail at the precise time!
Jesus calls us all, you and me. God calls all men and women to be near him, to belong to him completely. For some it will be in one way, for others, it will be in another. Wouldn’t you be happy to be with the person you love 24/7? Jesus wants to be with us even more.
Imagine, you have to put a team together for a game. Logically, wouldn’t you want Number One to be on your team? Normally, we encourage people to choose the best. Christ does not do that. He doesn’t call the most capable. Rather, he empowers the one he calls.
Jesus called those he wanted. He chose twelve normal men as Apostles, who like you and,me, were full of strengths and weaknesses. When he chose them, he said to them, Follow me. He didn’t put conditions on his call. He didn’t say, “Follow me, but first change your life. Peter, I don’t like your behavior. Mary Magdalene, first go and help your sister. Matthew, first stop stealing from the people with your taxes.” No! Jesus had no conditions. Jesus calls us the same say, you and me, and waits for our answer, for our yes!
Every adventure is a journey, every journey leads to a goal. Our adventure is holiness, the way is love, and the goal is eternal happiness. You will never know what is at the end of journey if you don’t go on it. Dare the first step! And be peaceful. The Blessed Mother never disappoints! Trust! Why? Well, simply, because God and the Blessed Mother already put their trust in you. And so do I!