Who am I?
I'm from southern Chile, from the city of Puerto Mont where I lived 18 years with my family, and was loved and doted upon because I am the youngest of seven children. I was born 12 years after the death of one of my brothers, which has separated me a little from my brothers. This was like my first desert where Jesus wanted to speak to my heart (Hos 2:14).
In my country I lived a cloistered life for 7 years, and a hermit's life for 5 years, but Jesus had prepared for me another grace, despite my littleness: belonging to the order of the Unity of Antioch in the monastery of Mar Yakub in Syria.
How did I meet the Lord?
Jesus called me at the precise time when my heart was opening. I was 14 at the school of Mary the Auxiliadora (= Mary the Helper) , and I came to know Jesus by the Virgin Mary . The atmosphere of my school prepared me for this encounter with our Jesus, since all day the students spoke about holiness, the Salesian saints, or the Virgin Mary, etc. Nobody was ashamed to speak of these things as “taboo” at least in my thinking at this time. God provided that I might be docile to all the spiritual richness I received, therefore… I still remember the day when I had a personal experience of being met by Jesus, I felt loved like never before and that he wanted me only for himself. I did not see him, nor was there any extraordinary sign, but within me everything was right: He was the center and the meaning of my life. From this moment I could see Jesus in no other way than as my Bridegroom. I began to live four years of paradise with our Savior, after which I could not resist living at a monastery to dedicate myself, without limits, to Jesus. I discover progressively that he gives me a hidden mission of love, heart to heart with Him, which looks toward the unity of Christians, so that the face of Jesus may shine in all its splendor, as the Risen Lord among us. Without Jesus I would be very lost.
How did I come to the monastery?
Where I was beforehand I had the opportunity to know someone who spoke to me about Mother Agnes Mariam of the Cross and of the monastery of Mar Yakub in Syria. This person had found that Mother Agnes and the monastery had the same spiritual interests and research as myself. I started to search everywhere for this Mother Superior. I found her on a facebook page that a friend had done for her, and everything worked together rapidly until I became one of the integral members of this community among whom I am not worthy to belong. Mother Agnes has always been a true mother for me, even from the beginning of our relationship when she still didn’t know me.
How do I experience life in the Monastery during this war?
As far as my mission, now I discover that it is not personal but community-oriented, where I feel carried by the blood of so many martyrs of the Middle East who were not afraid to be Christian. I learn to desire to live my faith in the truth of my identity, to love Jesus in being myself, and from this reality to love my neighbor. I do not want to live without transparency, nor in a world that comes and goes amid so much hypocrisy.
When I came to Syria, there was a greater tranquility and security here than in bigger and more modern countries. Unfortunately that is not the case today when the country is half destroyed because of a senseless war. In relation to this stage of suffering my vocation has not changed but it has deepened. There is daily life with its toil and sacrifices, and the practical problems which I face with my heart burning with love for these people that suffer and who urgently need peace. Prayer is our weapon, the “maranatha” our war cry. Confidence in God is our column, our watchtower. I want to look again at anyone who does us wrong or may be wounding the Syrian people and tell him: “My brother, I forgive you, let us continue the road as brothers, the coming of the Lord is near.” My little vocation is to sing the glory of God in the midst of distress, because the Cross is the door to glory.
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