“If you are afraid, this is going to paralyze you. If you think that God is calling you, respond. A vocation has two important points: the call and the response. If you listen to the call and do nothing, it remains null; but if you listen to the call and respond, you will be truly happy.”
The nun also had special advice for parents, who sometimes oppose the desire of their children to give themselves completely to God out of fear or prejudice, or seeing that the possibility of grandchildren is no longer on the horizon.
Sister Maria Grace advised them, quite clearly, not to be afraid and to let go of “what does not really belong to you,” because we all “belong to God.”
The smiling nun acknowledged that it is the Lord himself who gives children to parents, so that they may love them with all their hearts, educate them in the faith, care for them, and raise them as good Christians. However, she noted that “they have to give them away wherever God calls them whether it’s religious or married life.”
“Don’t be afraid to surrender your children to the will of God and to pray a lot for them so that they are good Christians, which is what we need so much in this world,” she encouraged, pointing out the happiness of each and every member of a family where a consecrated vocation has blossomed.
Mother Alma Ruth urged all young people — not only those at World Youth Day in Lisbon — to give themselves “the opportunity to have an experience wherever they want, in any monastery, to see if that is not really your calling.”
“We’ll see about [the option of] marriage later, but if you have a calling within your soul, give yourself the opportunity to be happy with what God wants of you!” she said.
The superior of the community in San Francisco also addressed parents and promised that they will not regret letting their children choose a life dedicated to the Lord.
“They won’t regret it, because they’re not losing a son or a daughter; on the contrary, they gain an entire community and afterward they’re very happy to see their children happy.”
As Pope Benedict XVI said: “Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything. When we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ — and you will find true life.”
Sister Mariana de las Llagas de Jesús is another of the Adoration Sisters who is in Lisbon this week along with hundreds of thousands of young people eager to see and hear Pope Francis, who arrived in the Portuguese capital on Aug. 2.
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Sister Mariana has already been with the adorers for 10 years and she makes a clear, precise, and forceful reminder: God doesn’t force anyone.
“He doesn’t force us, he’s a gentleman. And I would advise parents to let their children decide for themselves, for what is good, for what is holy, for what God is calling them to, and to support them 100%.”
Sister María Magdalena del Sagrado Corazón, a 30-year-old Mexican, is another one of the nuns who has temporarily left the convent. She has been in the community for 10 years, only leaving the monastery to go to the doctor and nothing else.
She was introduced to the religious order when she was only 20 years old when an aunt invited her to meet the adorers: “Our Lord called me at that moment,” she remarked firmly and also with special sweetness.
The Perpetual Adoration Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament were founded in 1807 in Rome by Blessed Mary Magdalene of the Incarnation. Their charism is to make reparation for the offenses, ingratitude, and sacrileges committed against the Blessed Sacrament as well as to intercede for the Church and humanity with their uninterrupted eucharistic adoration.
The almost 1,000 nuns who belong to the order spread throughout some 70 monasteries are present in Italy, Spain, Austria, Kenya, Chile, Mexico, and the United States.