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Monday, 06 June 2016 17:17

I Am Totally Happy

Cristina Pinargote, Ecuador:

cristina pinargote"Sr. Clare would also tell us to seek the salvation of our soul."

Cristina Pinargote is from Ecuador and met Sr. Clare during her time there.

Hermana Clare y un grupo de chicas del colegio

Sister Clare was a “cool” nun.  Ever since she arrived to Playa Prieta, her way of talking, her way of being, her way of thinking really stood out to me.  Whenever she told us things about her life, I used to think to myself, “Sister Clare is definitely a miracle of God. The Lord had so much mercy on her. But if she was able to do it, I can too.” 

For Sister Clare, Good Friday was a very special day, since on a day like that years beforehand, her whole conversion began. It was a day that she made many sacrifices. 

It was great to see all the little kids of the school following her and at the same time saying, “Sister Clare, Sister Clare”.  They would always tell her all that they had done. Perhaps she might have been tired or busy, but at that moment she would just put on a huge smile and listen.  Later on she would show us her scapular: it was full of stains from the hands of the children who had hugged her. 

There are so many moments in which Sister Clare has helped me, because more than a religious sister, she was a true friend. She was always concerned about us, whether we were OK, spiritually, and she encouraged us to leave behind our lukewarmness and wanted us to live our faith radically.

A special moment this year was Sister Merly’s birthday. At that time, I wasn’t doing too well, spiritually, I wanted to leave everything behind and it seems that there was nothing to motivate me to continue forward.  There were people who tried to encourage me, but it just rolled off my shoulder. That day I was talking with Sister Clare and I asked her, “Sister, are you truly happy?” She answered me, “I am totally happy. I wouldn’t change this life for anything else.”  And I thought to myself, “Following God must be something so great that it makes you not even care about worldly things, and you simply look at Him.” Sister Clare didn’t have material things, but she had Him, who is the Best.

That thought stayed with me, and now I see that only the Will of God will truly make me happy, no matter what it is.  I also know that I have to let myself be led by God, and if it’s hard for me, it doesn’t matter: the reward is greater, it’s Heaven.

I remember that that conversation was a grace for me, because it truly encouraged me to continue forward.  I know that to love is difficult, but the best part of it is that one is truly happy.  This life passes by and Heaven is what awaits us.

Sister Clare also talked to us a lot about the Christians who are being persecuted. One time she told me that their testimony really impressed her: how they live their faith in spite of the circumstances in which they live.  Just the fact that they leave their homes and don’t know if they’ll be able to return… She would tell me that it’s necessary to be prepared because we don’t know when we are going to die, that’s why it’s necessary to live each day as if it were your last, doing God’s Will. One time we were in the car headed to Mass talking about this, and I remember Jazmina saying that this also impressed her a lot.

Sister Clare always encouraged us to think about the important things of life and not be caught up in the little things that don’t matter. She would also tell us to seek the salvation of our soul. This is something that she used to insist on a lot.  She understood young people very well and knew that it’s not easy to follow Christ, but she trusted in us and knew that with God’s help we could do it. 
Sister Clare was an example for everyone, young and old.  

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