Celestina

I come from a religious family. We’ve always practiced our faith. But I didn’t use to pray every day. In some ways I was superficial in my relationship with God.

But there was always a question in my heart: what is my path in life? What is God’s plan for me? I wanted to become a mature woman, a person able to Love (the capital letter is not a typo!). After high school I went to work. I worked for six years in the office of a little company in my town. I had friends, things to do, my car, my beautiful family. But something was missing.

When I was 24 years old I reached a point where I couldn’t wait any more. “I can’t go on like that! I want to understand what is the sense of my life, what I have to do.” I remember writing this in my journal. I felt that to find an answer I had to ask God. He created me. Who, better than Him, can know what is the best for me? That meant that I had to start praying seriously.

In those same days God responded to my cry for help, and He put in my life Antonella. She was a young woman from my town. She is now one of my sisters. She had joined the community some years before me. In those days she was home to visit her parents. I knew her by sight. One evening I called her (now I can see the Holy Spirit pushing me!!) and we met and talked. That evening my life changed! We spoke about faith, about God, about life… my life. By speaking with her, that evening I experienced God’s love for me. I understood that He had always been by my side, leading me to that point, where I was ready to listen to Him! It’s not easy to put into words that moment of grace!!

I don’t remember everything we spoke about but she was certainly an incredible instrument in God’s hands; she also had the merit to introduce me to the importance of daily prayer (daily meditation of the Word of God) and of spiritual direction. I saw a treasure at the end of a way, and I saw that there was a way to get there. I started praying every day, using a book of meditation. And I went to my pastor and asked him to be my spiritual director that is to help me in my way towards sanctity.

Antonella also told me that during summer her community was able to accommodate, for some days, young women that wanted to spend some time with them, see their life, and pray.

I decided to go and spend some days there during my holidays. I felt at home! I really liked to pray during the day and I liked to see what the sisters did. I understood the beauty of consecrated life: belonging only to Jesus, giving everything to Him, being a gift for every person. I sensed that that could be also my vocation. In the following year I prayed a lot about that. I discerned. I put myself under God’s light to see Him and my life better. Little by little a desire was growing in my heart. God was purifying it. He was more and more a presence in my life, the center of it. That desire was a desire for consecration. It is His call for me; it is my profound desire. I saw that giving everything to Him was my way to respond to His love for me.

I was so incredibly happy when I found that out! I said my “yes!” to Him. Then I decided to enter this community. I felt He was calling me here, to pray, to study, to help people know Him. My joy has been growing since then. There are difficulties, of course, as for everyone, but He is with me. Every day, we take another step together.