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Sr. Angélica  Gonzáles

Peru Southern

Looking back to the time when I took the decision to take my first step towards Religious Life and entered the Congregation of Sisters of Mercy, about a year and three months ago, I feel in my mind and in my heart the words of Isaiah 49,16; 54,8 "... I have branded you on the palm of my hands... " and "... I have loved you with everlasting love... ", and the words of Paul in II Corinthians 4,7 "... We are only the earthenware jars that hold this treasure... ", deep words that give meaning to my following of Jesus. To know I am fragile, a sinner but loved at the same time.

Each day I ask Jesus to help me be faithful, not to allow me lose my intimacy with Him, letting Him be the centre of my life. I'll do this through my personal prayers, in front of the Blessed Sacrament, in the brothers and sisters I meet, in the students I teach, in everyday life and, most of all, in the Eucharist.

I recognize that God has called me to participate in his Divine Communion in the Sisters of Mercy, where we all try to live in "unity and charity" that are the legacy of Catherine McAuley, which she received from the Gospel itself, although it isn't easy to live it the way Jesus and Catherine did, in a natural way, with simplicity.

I need my sisters, sisters from different countries, from different parts of my country, from different cultures, generations, with their own personal stories, and that, together we have accepted this gift and task of living in community. Life in community hasn't been easy for me. It has demanded responsibility, availability, to give a lot of myself, and tears; but has also given me life, joy and gratitude.

Christ captivated me, and didn't leave me alone until I gave Him my answer to follow Him, He was "much stronger and conquered me", in spite of the excuses I found before I took the first step. Once I answered His call I found myself facing several difficulties: my father categorically opposed it (I even had to leave home against his wishes), so did my brothers; there were tempting job offers coming my way, there were insults, people close to me were making fun of it, etc.

But from that moment I felt and still feel the Presence of God, firm and strong, sweet and peaceful; I feel Him close, I feel His friendship.

Thanks be to God and my Sisters,

Angélica Gonzáles

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