Right before arriving at Guayaquil, Sr. Clare had been on a pilgrimage in the Holy Land. I remember her sharing her experience with me several times. She said that it had been a huge grace to be there, because just the fact that knowing that you are in the same place where Jesus was one day was the greatest thing you could hope to live.
She also shared that it had always seemed special to her to be able to go to confession on Mount Calvary, the very place where Jesus died. When she went to the Holy Land this distant possibility became reality. In a very small corner on Mount Calvary she found a priest, and he heard her confession. She told me that when she went into the confessional the priest said, “My daughter, I was waiting for you.” In that confession she felt very strongly that it was God who spoke to her.
Something else that really impressed her was the tense environment in the Holy Land that was notable between the Orthodox, Muslims, Jews and Catholics. She expressed her sadness upon learning that, in the Holiest Land on the planet, because Christians were a minority, they lived in situations of poverty and discrimination. It really hurt her to see that Jesus had come to save man, and to find that in the very land He decided to live there was such a bad atmosphere. It seemed to her that Jesus continued to be humiliated and despised in the face of the Christians who lived in the midst of that situation.