Not Your Things, But Your Life…
The Lord was calling me when I was 12 years old, but I turned a deaf ear. I thought instead of getting married, and planned to set aside a room in my house where I would gather everything I could spare to give to the poor.
When I was 18, I watched the TV program 70 x 7. I often listened to people being interviewed who lived in mission areas, who did not know how to respond properly even to fundamental questions, such as, “Have you ever attended catechism lessons?”
“Do you know who Jesus Christ is?” The answer was usually, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
At those moments, I could hear an inner voice questioning me, “Would you be willing to give up your life so that all men could benefit from the immense love God has for them?” But I would ask myself how and where might I do this.
One day I noticed a girl with a booklet in her hands. It was a frayed and coverless copy of an Almanac (calendar) of the Missionary Sisters of St. Peter Claver. I asked her to show it to me. My eyes were drawn to these words:
“Jesus does not want only your things, but your LIFE.”
I felt an unexplainable urge to get in touch with the Sisters’ Congregation during school holidays. From their reply, I learned to my joy that it was a missionary Congregation. It was just what the Lord had been preparing me for and what I was looking for!
During the holidays, I went to see those Sisters and stayed for some time with them. I returned to my hometown to continue my studies; however, I did not feel at ease. I was experiencing an emptiness which nothing could fill. When I completed my studies in 1995, I came to Rome to prepare myself for the Religious life and my First Profession, which took place on the feast of Christ the King, November 23, 1997.
Recalling this day, I wish to say thank you. First of all, THANKS to God, who, in His mercy, has given me the gift of a Religious vocation. Then, THANKS to my Superiors who accepted me, and to my fellow Sisters who helped me to reach this goal. THANKS also to our dear benefactors. If you should wonder why I thank our benefactors, I would answer you with the words of our Foundress: “What would we do without benefactors? It is owing to their generous collaboration that the Institute has been able to continue its mission until now.”
I have the grace of belonging to the Institute of St. Peter Claver because of my Profession, but together we can join forces to carry on the message of salvation to every soul which God entrusts to us. I wish I could shout aloud to the world so that all may hear that Jesus is our only true happiness. In the words of the Holy Father, I would like to add: “Young people, don’t be afraid to give your heart to Jesus Christ!”
~Sr. Helen M. Pinto