It is certain that the Lord does not use WhatsApp but sends strong and clear messages. It is up to you then to view and above all … to respond. But what matters is always listening, waiting to receive a sign, an intuition.
When I was an adolescent, I came to know the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate. Thanks, to a dear sister who accompanied me on my vocational journey of discernment. I do not know what was the reason but in my heart I always cherished the desire to be a missionary.
I had the opportunity at that moment to know Mother Igilda, one of the foundresses of the Institute, who said to me: “you know Lorenza, I had never been in the missions, but then I don’t feel less missionary…” To say honestly, I did not understand her message, I thought I was a bit unfortunate. Who thought it would be a coincidence that those words were precisely pronounced to me.
I became a wife and mother after making the journey of discernment. However, it was still alive in my heart the missionary zeal, which tormented my soul and it would not allow me to be tranquil. In those years, for my surprise, my dearest friend became the Missionary sister of the Immaculate. It was she who, knowing my desire invited me to participate in the formation journey together with the other Lay Associates.
Thus, together with the Lay Associates of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate began a new journey in my life. The charism was clear to me formation after formation. We shared with the sisters and together with the community members we grew more and more in the awareness of our Lay and missionary vocation. At every meeting we discovered new things.
I have walked ways that are not always easy, very often difficult to arrive to these present twenty years of journey. I thought many times that it was more convenient for me to go away and take another journey, maybe more concrete. But it gave me a sense of dissatisfaction and of great longing. My heart was filled with joy each time after returning from a meeting or a Sunday we spent together.
From kids we play the game water-Burn-fire, if we go near the hidden object we feel fire-fire-fire. I took time to know going away several times from the way, but I would say that the Lord’s message that I received was very clear: to belong to the community of MSI Lay Associates that make me happy. I do not know yet, what will be my future and what the Lord has reserved for me for the future, but I am sure that He wants me here.
Today, I would say more than ever, “Mother Igilda you know, I had never been in missions, and yet, I don’t feel less missionary”. Exactly, still I have not been in missions, even for a short vacation.
Then what am I doing in the community of MSI Lay Associates? I was taught to live with a missionary spirit, where my gaze goes to the frontiers of those of the whole world. To Live this “passion” every day, in every moment of my life, with special attention to the poor, to the least of the society, to go to encounter the stranger.
In order to remain always in the right direction and in accordance with the missionary charism it is essential for me to be part of the community, where through moments of spirituality I can confront myself and confide in my “brothers and sisters” who are making the same journey of mine. They do not choose, we are so different between us, but we desire the good of all and we support each other.
Leaving for the missions? This is a dream. If God wants … I will understand.
Lorenza Castelli, MSI Lay Associate-Italy