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Sr. Sasha

Sr. Sasha Smith, USA:  I remember a conversation I had with her about the fact that God is good. She was the first person who convinced me of that, or affirmed it to me. For a long time, I had a concept of God that was wrong, and talking with her, she explained to me how God cannot be anything but love.

We share a third testimony from Sr. Sasha Smith, who was spiritually directed by Sr. Clare as a young student in the US. The advice Sr. Clare gave her can be handy for young people who read this testimony today.

I was in my senior year of high school and spent the summer with the Home of the Mother in Spain. I had had an experience of God's love and it was the beginning of my conversion. Before going home, I made a commitment to the Lord and our Blessed Mother in the Home of the Mother, and asked Sr. Clare if she could be my spiritual director. I remember my surprise that she did not say yes immediately, but told me that she was going to pray about it. At that moment, I thought to myself, "Look how well I have chosen, she really only cares about if God wants it." A few days later she told me yes. Then, during my senior year of high school, I talked with her a lot about the most intimate matters of my soul, and she was an essential support in my new Christian life, there in the midst of an anti-God world.

I remember in a special way how she advised me to live through certain difficult circumstances for a young woman like me, by striving to see what Jesus was like and living close to Him. Over the course of a year, I struggled mightily with having sincere charity for my public high school classmates in liberal California. I just happened to be in a class where the boys and girls were always bringing up rude, impure and very vulgar conversations. It was a hellish environment, but I had to stay in the class because of many external circumstances. I remember how Sr. Clare encouraged me to value every classmate as a soul who had not yet known God's love for him or her. She taught me to be patient, to pray for them before the Blessed Sacrament and to always forgive them. She told me how Jesus had experienced the same thing when He was presented before Herod in His Passion, and how in that circumstance He remained silent, suffered and prayed for them, and she encouraged me to follow that example of Jesus when I saw that I could do no more.

Sasha and Sr. ClareWhen I began to live my commitment in the Home, at the beginning I went to Mass every day except Friday. Honestly, it seemed normal to me because the only Mass that day was at 6 a.m., and I would have to get up at 5 a.m. And that was just too much to expect of myself. I wasn't that generous with the Lord, but as soon as Sr. Clare found out, she really helped to awaken in me the desire to be a saint and give all I could to Jesus. She reminded me that Jesus denied nothing, not even on a Friday, when He suffered His passion, and died for love of me on the cross. Then, it filled me with the desire to get up at 5 o'clock on Fridays so I wouldn't miss Mass (I could not go in the afternoon, because I worked).

I remember a conversation I had with her about the fact that God is good. She was the first person who convinced me of that, or affirmed it to me. For a long time, I had a concept of God that was wrong, and talking with her, she explained to me how God cannot be anything but love. She gave me examples from the Gospel, especially from the Passion of our Lord, to explain it to me.

She constantly spoke about caring what people think of us. She would say to me, "You always, always have to do things in God’s presence," and she gave examples of this in her own life. She did not hesitate to speak her mind. Even when she was straightforward with me, although I sometimes died of embarrassment, I thanked her for it because she did not hold anything back when it came to charity. She was interested in the truth.

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