Daniel: a godly soul!

Let me tell you about Daniel, a soul that has come to bless my life. I got to know him during a mission trip (one of the things that fills the most our hearts), and as soon as i saw him i realized he was the kind of person that carried light all around. One simply cannot pass by without seeing his smile; one of the brightest most genuine smiles a person could have. One that reflects what he has inside.

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Daniel is a great guy who is always giving more and more of himself. He is attentive to the need and passionate about changing people´s lives, especially the young ones. He is a fearless leader with a humble and graceful heart. He stands up for what is right and looks at the bright side of life. He has a free spirit and a fun sense of humor. He is never prideful. He is adventurous, gentle, strong, hard working and knows how to guide others through faith and love.

To be honest, i think any girl would be lucky to be with Daniel. I am sure he could have any job and achieve anything people usually dream about. But Daniel is unlike anyone else. He doesn´t set for worldly things cause his heart is focused on God. Some years ago he left it all to go and serve in South Sudan and he realized what his vocation was. I am sure it hasn´t been an easy thing to do at all, trusting and following God´s plans is not as simple as it sounds. But he is set on Love. He doesn´t let his doubts and fears take him away from his call. Today, he is already a pre-novice of the Salesians and i couldn´t be more proud of his enormous courage and heart. God is constantly using Daniel to remind me of the greater purpose we all have. Not the comfort or the fame but to serve and share love all over the world. To see life through an eternal perspective and embrace our call.

I still remember when i told him i had doubts about my own call he wrote me exactly this words: “I am always available and more than happy to talk! Just let me know. I think it is so important to have other people to talk to about everything and just be able to be open and honest”. Isn´t that what true friendship looks like? He selflessly sacrifices his time to help and makes you feel accepted and loved. After talking on skype that day i found out my heart felt so much peace inside. I knew i had come to the right place. He is the kind of friend who will pray for you and always point you back to Christ.

Daniel, you have been gifted with one of the most precious hearts. Never doubt about the power you have to change the world. Thanks for bringing Heaven to earth wherever you are. Thanks for serving the unseen, listening to me and encouraging my walk with God. There is so much i can learn from you and your relationship with Him. I can´t wait to see where He reunites us again, wether it is on another mission trip or enjoying the Northern lights. It´s been an absolute honor to meet you and i know you´ll be a friend for life. 💛


I ask for your support as he embarks himself in this journey. Let´s pray for him, that he will continue blessing many lives through his walk. I deeply encourage you to check out his blog; i have no doubts you will find a friend in him and be inspired by the pureness of his heart.

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“You have to live the life you were born to live”

This is a post about one of my all time favorite movies: “The Sound of Music”. A movie that has the perfect combination for me; splendid sets and scenery, sassy children, pretty costumes, beautiful melodies and choreographies (i dream to learn that waltz one day), and Maria´s charming personality. And why not adding the fact that Julie Andrews is just perfect for the role, like seriously, who doesn´t love her?. 

The film opens with breathtaking scenes… from trees, to lakes and snow covered mountains, the camera takes you through an aerial view of the most majestic landscape. And then, it focus in a particular place; a green field where the camera slowly starts to zooms in, till we recognize the figure of a woman with wide-opened arms who is joyfully twirling across the hill; rejoicing in the beauty of the nature and the feeling of being fully alive…and then, the music starts!!!!!!! It is such an enchanting scene that will always make my soul sigh.

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And, as if that wasn´t perfect enough, this movie also has the perfect amount of romance for me. A romance where, contrary to most of nowadays films, the characters slowly and innocently fall in love.

This movie is based on a real story (even though it changes many facts), but is often seen as a very childish and non-sense film. Sure it is a very “pink story” but i think there´s so much more than that. Besides all the flowers and cheesy songs, there is also a very heartbreaking part. First of all, the fact that it is placed during the Anschluss (when Hitler annexed Austria), and then, there´s also Von Trapp´s loss of his wife and his inability to relate with his children, as well as Maria´s confusion (which i will mention again later).

So yes, it is indeed a very joyful movie but it has also its dark parts. It may have songs and choreographies that make it look very unrealistic, but hey, it is a musical, and beyond all that there is also a movie with a very deep and touching message inside.The film emphasizes how sometimes one needs to take very hard and sorrowful decisions (like leaving your beloved country) in order to fight for what you believe, and how standing for the good isn´t always the easy way but it is definitely the right thing to do. In the other hand, it also promotes family values and shows that kindness is the strongest force in the world!! Could something be more uplifting than that?.

I have seen this movie dozens of times and i don’t think i will ever get tired of it. One of the things i love the most is that every single time i do, i discover new life lessons on it!!! I could actually write pages and pages about it, but i will try to focus in the particular message that captured my heart as i watched it last night.

So, let´s go back “to the very beginning”… there´s this beautiful opening where we see Maria having a blast as she dances on the green hills. But suddenly, she sees the Abbey from the distance and remembers that she has to go back, so she runs to the convent and apologizes for arriving late to prayer time (once more).

Contrary to what we would think, the Mother Abbess doesn´t reprimand her; instead she talks to her and asks if she really feels monastic life is the right thing for her. Maria replies that she always felt that´s what she should do, but surprisingly the Mother Abbess seems to know more about her than Maria itself, so she asks her to leave the convent for some time in order to find out what she really wants. And that´s where Maria´s and Von Trapp´s stories will cross their paths, for she is sent with them to take care of his “mischievous” kids. Even though Maria was hesitant to the idea she has to obey the Mother Abess, so she leaves the convent and embarks herself on this new adventure, with her dress, hat, and a guitar on hand.

As the time passes, she starts getting more attached to the family and some feelings towards the Captain start growing in her heart, but she tries to avoid them focusing on the kids as much as she can. And it isn´t till the Baronesse (the woman Von Trapp is engaged to) talks with her about Von Trapp´s attraction towards her, when Maria realizes the depth of her feelings for him. She feels as she can´t bear it anymore so she decides to leave the house and runs back to the convent.

She returns filled with doubts and spends some days in solitude, trying to hide her feelings and clear up her mind. But eventually she has to go to the Mother Abbess, who is willing to know why she came back before it was planned. Maria confesses she couldn´t stay there any longer because she was confused and frightened in a way she never felt before. She says “i knew that here i´d be away from it. i’d be safe…i can’t face him again”, so after those words (which are clearly referring to the Captain) the Mother Abbess explains her that the monastery walls werent built to hide from the world.

Even though those are one of the most revealing words she could have said, Maria seems reluctant to them cause she feels as if the only way in which she could show her love for God was by becoming a nun. But the Mother Abbess explains her how married life is just as holy as monastic life, and that choosing the first one doesn´t mean she loves God any less, so she simply has to find out the way He has designed for her. 

She still begs to stay there, but thankfully the Mother Abbess doesn´t give up easily and  tells her the monastery isn´t a place to hide from her problems, and that instead she has to face them. So she suggests her to go back with the Captain and stay where her heart really is, and says one of my favorite (and most enlightening) quotes: “You have to live the life you were born to live”. Aren´t these powerful words?. And they are the ones i want to share with you today.

So if you are one of those who had enough patience to read till this point (thank you, you are one to admire haha), and is wondering what all of this has to do with you. Or if the thoughts that are crossing your mind look more or less like this: “seriously, she thought joining a convent would ever cross my mind..or that i could relate to a story as cheesy as that?”, then i have something to say to you.

My dear reader, as i think of the movie i ask myself, how many times i´ve been acting the same way as Maria, how many times i´m so obstinate thinking i have to do “that thing” because it is more “holy”, or “admired” or “easy”, instead of doing what i was really born to do.

I believe we all have our own “convent”, our refugee, the place where we hide ourselves from the world. Maybe our convent is a person, a relationship, a job, or even a material thing; it is where we feel safe or what we think we must cling to. But it is so very important to listen to ourselves and ask if what we are doing is really what we were called to do.

I wish this was as easy as it sounds, but the truth is that sometimes it is difficult to discover it by our own. We are sometimes so stubborn, that we may need the help of someone else who recognizes gifts inside us that we personally cannot see or loves us enough to found out we are going in the wrong direction. This is so very well expressed in the movie, cause if it wasn´t for the Mother Abbess (who saw Maria´s potential and realized she wasn´t really following her call) maybe she would have never taken the risk to go out of the convent.

When i ask others what would they think if Maria had never gone out and the whole movie took place inside the convent, they usually say they wouldn´t even watch the movie, that it would be too boring or it wouldn´t make sense at all. And that´s exactly what i think it would happen with our lives if we never did what we were called to do.

When i personally think of what would have happened if she didn´t go out of the convent, i imagine she would maybe have been happy or had a beautiful life as a nun, but she definitely wouldn´t be living it to the fullest. She wouldn´t be expressing her own gifts and pouring them to the world, cause she would have been in the wrong place just for the fear of facing her call. 

I believe we all have different gifts. Unfortunately, sometimes we see some gifts in others that we like, and so we want to do the same they do cause we wrongly think that´s an easier, more valuable or holy path. But the truth is God gave VALUABLE and unique gifts to everyone. And it would be such a waste if our fear made us too blind to use them along our lives.

As the movie teaches us, there are different ways to express love on this earth and we have to find our own. Sometimes it won´t be easy and it will probably take us out from our comfort zone, but just think about Maria for a moment and how much she would have lost if she never took the risk to embrace her call. So remember that “when the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window”; open your heart to listen to your own voice or the voice of those around you. If they tell you they don´t see you fully alive where you are at, take time to think if they could be in any way right.

So before i finish this very long text, i invite you to ask yourself two simple questions: First, are you genuinely happy doing what you do? and, second are you sure this is what you were called to do, or is it more what you think you should do?. And in case those questions were negative take a moment to ask yourself, when do you feel the happiest?. The answer is probably what this life is waiting for you to do.

I think this is one of the lessons the movie can teach to us: we see Maria, obstinate to stay at the convent, when the truth is that her gifts can´t be expressed inside the convent walls. Contrary to what she first thought, it is when she goes out that she brings much more light and love to the world and when she finds the ultimate joy.

Cause that is true; we are happiest when we do what we were called to do, what we´ve been gifted with. So today my wish for you is that you embrace your true calling, whatever it might be. I want nothing more than to know you are being the person God created you to be and that you are living the life YOU WERE BORN TO LIVE.

Sincerely yours,

Carola 💛


I want to dedicate this post to Br. Robert, a priest who passed away some months ago in a very unexpected way. A priest who was a big fan of this movie and who lived the life he was born to live to the fullest (even though it was a very short one). Thanks for having the courage to do so, thanks for inspiring and bringing life to others with your presence. I always imagine you singing and dancing all these lovely songs in heaven.

For these i pray!!

Dear Jesus,

Let Your light shine through my darkness.

Let my eyes see others the way You do.

Let my ears be ready to hear Your voice.

Let my mouth speak only graceful words.

Let my nose sense the miracle of every breath.

Let my hands be always ready to serve.

Let my feet walk in Your strength. 

Let my heart be humble.

Ley my mind be filled with kind thoughts.

Let my fears be blurred by faith.

Let my acts bring hope to the world.

Let my day start with joy and gratefulness.

Let my life be a celebration of Your love. 💛         

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God is bigger than your sins!

My life is full of sins, but if i told you about them all i could probably make an entire book! Yes i know, it is terrible. It is a part of me i wish didn´t exist or at least nobody knew. But i want to be open and honest and show you the very imperfect person i am. And for that i´ll tell you about a sin that has been especially hard for me to deal with. I hope you are sitting down, drinking a cup of coffee in the comfort of your house, in case you get terrified while reading the very sinful story of my life.

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The story starts with a boy. He was new at school and he easily turned into a friend for me. He was so very fun and intelligent and most of all he had a sensibility i never saw in a guy before. After some time of knowing each other we went camping with school and he told me he liked me in a more than friends way. Unfortunately, even though i adored this guy, the feeling wasn´t mutual. I saw him as a very good friend, just that.

Time made us more than good friends, we shared a bond that is hard to describe. We made a lot of fun of each other but we also spent hours having the most meaningful conversations on the phone. But even though we were very good friends this guy didn´t really give up on loving me as something more. I remember sometimes i wished i could make him happy but i guess i was too afraid of love. So we continued like that… we lived many incredible things together and shared the deepest parts of our hearts. But time passed by, and sooner or later this guy would end giving up on me (how not?). He started a relationship with one of my friends and i was actually very happy and relieved. But things didn´t go as good as i thought. His girlfriend wouldn´t like him to talk so much with me, so our friendship started to suffer a bit. It was so very hard for me cause i didn´t have any another friend that was quite like him, but i had to hide my feelings and try to continue with my life.

I did, and for many months it more or less worked. We just talked some insignificant words when we were around. It was hard but it was okay, this guy deserved to be happy with her. But slowly, we both started to talk a bit more again, we were both happy but it was difficult trying not to cause any problem for that. For some moments i said to myself it wasn´t right to be close to him and so we would stop talking again for several months. But eventually we both came back to each other. It was a cycle and i didn´t know how to get rid of that. I guess my heart wasn´t so strong.

There´s so much more in between these years, but i guess you are wondering what all of this has to do with my sin. So i´ll go to the point. He broke up with his girlfriend and came back to me. I was so scared and confused, and we both tried to stop it, but our hearts didn´t seem to listen to that.

I worried a lot over that and carried it alone cause i knew it wasn´t something good, i couldn´t share it with anyone. It was a time of so much confussion. He said i should start living and give a chance to love for once in my life, so after so many doubts i decided he was right. I also deserved to be happy and to love someone.

Some days it felt really good, but some days i felt as if we didn´t deserve to be happy together. Not because we didn´t love each other but because there was someone who could get hurt through it. But unfortunately i was so very weak and unmature that i couldn´t stand that.

We just couldn´t believe that after 3 years we still had feelings for the other one, so i started to think maybe he was “the one” and finally took the decission to give it a try. We both agreed that this would take a very long time, we would wait for at least six months (we were both going to live abroad for some time) and after coming back we would tell our friend and start with all that.

It wasn´t a very good plan, but i tried to make myself feel better thinking things like “no one chooses who to love” or “we can´t fight against true love”. I know they were just excuses to keep me sane, but i believed them and so they worked most of the time. 

But this plans never took on march. Unfortunately (or maybe luckily) our friend got to know it and so everything crashed. I remember i was out of the city while it happened so i didn´t know anything about that. When i came back and realized what happened i brought into tears and didn´t stop crying for a week. I felt so so ashamed and sad that i didn´t know what to do. We never did anything serious and we just saw each other like 2 times after he broke up with her, but anyway i knew it wasn´t something to be proud of.

The worst of all is that i realized instead of just me being sad (like it was previously), i ended up causing the three of us so much pain. For days i didn´t feel like myself, and my family didn´t know what to do to make me feel better. I felt so broken and i didn´t understand how something so “innocent” and pure as love could cause a situation as disgusting as that. I felt as the worst person alive.

After some days i knew i had to face what i´d done. I talked to my friends but i knew there was no way to justify it. I felt they would all hate me from that day on. I thought my life was not going to be the same after that. And i must confess that in some way i was right. I felt like a different person, i felt embarrassed of myself and so unworthy of God´s love. For many nights i couldn´t sleep and i prayed i could go back on time to erase all that. But i obviously couldn´t; the people i hurt was already hurt and i couldn´t forgive myself for that. It was a sin made out of love, but it was still a sin. It took years and lots of prayer to start forgiving myself.

I still would change things if i had the chance to go back on time, but as hard as it may sound, i don´t know if i should. It has burdened my heart for a very long time, but it is also a part of me now. Not because that´s the person i am, but because of it i can choose to never be that person again.

For a long time i let my sin define me. I labeled myself as a “bad friend”, “horrible person”, “weak girl” or any other negative adjective i found. But now i know all those labels weren´t right. The only label we should identify ourselves with is as “humans”. That´s why i don´t see “good” or “bad” people. I just see people. I see humans who make mistakes, but who also have goodness inside of them.

So what i want to say to you is that our sins don´t define who we are. Sure they mold and shape us, but they will never determine us. Even though i still pray every night i wouldn´t have caused pain to anyone, today i can say i am trying to learn to be grateful for my sins. Of course it is still something i regret and a part of me i´m very ashamed of. But thanks to that sin i´m totally sure i would never do something like that again!

So as weird as this could sound, i learned to love my sins because they remind me i am a human. I love my sins cause they make me understand better the sins of others. I love my sins cause they taught me my true friends still see me as a friend, not as a sinner. I love my sins because i know they make me fight everyday to become a better person and remind me about the unconditional love God has for all of us.

I must admit that some times i still think of my future husband and get afraid of telling him this cause i think nobody would love me after knowing that part of me. But please. Don´t let your sins scare you and stop you from living your life. Even though there will be people who unfriend or reject you, be sure you will also find people who will see more in you than that. People who will think you are still worthy no matter how big you have sinned.

Just imagine if we never sinned. Maybe we would consider ourselves perfect and never try to become better. Maybe we would never surrender to God. Sins help us to be humble and realize that God is so much bigger than any mistake in our lives.

I hope after reading this you won´t be too scared of the person i am. I honestly wish no one knew this part of me, but i wrote it down praying that this ugly and sinful story will make you feel better in some way. It´s not a post to encourage you to sin, but it is a post to encourage you to forgive others and forgive yourself. We all sin, but we can´t let sins define who we are. I don´t want you to go months and months without sleeping, hating yourself or going through the hell i lived that time (thinking you actually deserve all that).

Instead, just think that if even God forgives you, why wouldn´t you forgive yourself? Our sins are there to remind us we need to go in the other way. Don´t stay inside of them, open the door and let them go away, and work hard everyday so they will never ever come back again.

You are so much more than the mistakes you have made. Don´t get stuck in your sins, the beautiful thing about life is that we can always grow and change. We all have a past and have made mistakes, but as i said.. it is the past and God forgives us every day. 💛

P.S. I want to say sorry to anyone i have ever hurt. Even though i can´t erase my acts, it is because of you that i want to try again and become a better version of myself.

New Prayer Corner!!

I am so thankful for everything my “yellow road” has brought and taught to me. I´m thankful for the people i have connected with; the people who have shared their struggles, dreams and fears with me.

Every time i read from you i wish i could hug you. I wish i could change your situation and take away any pain you feel. I wish i could do more. And sometimes i worry the only thing i can offer you is my words.

But i believe in the power of community. And i believe something wonderful happens when we join together in prayer. Miracles happen. Fear somehow turns into hope.

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My dear yellow readers, i want to know…are you struggling with something? If you answered yes, let me tell you one thing: You are NOT alone. I deeply care about you. I don´t know what season you are going through, but i am here to talk. Tell me anything. Tell me everything. I want to stand with you and support you every step of the way. It´s been laid in my heart to pray more for you.

My dear yellow world seeks to be a safe place where we can talk real and share our vulnerabilities. Where strangers become friends. Where you encounter other people you can relate to; people who believe in you and lift you up. I want to create a supportive space. That´s what i am here for.

So i opened a new prayer corner especially dedicated for you. If you have any prayer request, wether it is for you or for someone you love, just let me know. Never hesitate to write me. I promise i´ll read. I am here for you.

I WANT TO BE A FRIEND FOR YOU. 💛

Add your color to the world!!

We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). God isn´t content with using the same mold to create all of us. In fact, i like to think in order to paint this big canvas we call “world”, God uses a different color to create each one of us.

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Unfortunately, we as humans tend to think our color isn´t as bright, delicate, beautiful or important as those around us, and in doing so we stop ourselves from pouring out the unique color we have inside. It´s true that our color may be different from the other ones, but that´s exactly what God planned. In order to turn this world into a masterpiece He needs the exact tone only YOU can give. So don´t get frustrated if you can’t add the same colors others add; instead be proud that you can add your own essence… a special color no one else can.

Just imagine if blue felt jealous of green; so upset cause he can´t paint the trees and the grass that he would forget to paint the sea and the sky. Or if yellow was so focused on becoming pink that would forget to make the sun shine. If all colors wanted to be the same our world would lose so much beauty in the act.

Now think how every color is needed to make a painting work. In the canvas, colors don´t compete; each one has a purpose and together they bring harmony to it. 🎨

So next time you are doubting of your beauty or your worth, just remember about this. God was creative enough to give you a unique color, a specific purpose that only you can fill. Don´t underestimate it. What you have to offer is greater than you believe. Your color is precious. The world would not look the same without your hue. Please make sure to paint it as only you can do. 💛

Son-flower!!!

There is something about sunflowers that always make my soul sigh. I love their yellow tones and the way they grow, so tall and strong as if they wanted to touch the sky. They are my favorite flowers, not only because they are inordinately beautiful but also because i can learn a lot from them.

In spanish they are named “girasol” (turn to the sun) cause they literally need to turn towards the sun, otherwise they cant grow. And i think the same happens to us; we also need “rays” to grow, and those rays come from God. But, when we stop seeking God, when we focus on our problems, our past, our mistakes or what we dont have we cant grow. It is when we keep our gaze towards Him that we remember how blessed we are and we start to grow. 

When sunflowers feel they arent getting enough rays of sun they need to turn around. They continually move cause they trust the sun. So just like sunflowers, we need to trust in the “Son” and turn back to God when we arent receiving enough light. 

Of course sometimes it´s easier to stay in our place, sometimes we feel afraid from the things that happen in our lives and we paralyze. But the truth is, when we choose to stay in our comfort zone we get far away from our “sun rays” and we dont grow.

We need to let ourselves be led by God; sometimes it will require difficult moves but we need to trust the purpose of the direction He is leading us to. Cause it is through it that we will be strengthened, that He will make us develop into something as majestic as sunflowers. For me, they are nature´s poetical way to express adoration and faith. And i love that in fact, they look themselves like the sun, with each of its petals resembling the rays. So just like them, i also want to resemble the Son, i want to be firmly planted and in constant search of the light.

I WANT TO BE A SON-FLOWER. 💛

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“World Youth Day” is not only a “day”!!

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Today marks a month since i came back from Poland, where i attended the World Youth Day!! My friends and family have been asking if i´ll make a post about my time there, but to be honest i´ve been avoiding writing this down. Not because i didn´t want to share it with you, but because i feel there´s nothing i could ever say that would make justice for what i experienced those days.

I don´t know if you ever felt that way about something…but somehow i feel scared of reducing such a wonderful, deep and spiritual experience into simple words. But now i have come to realize that even if i can only share a bit of it with you, it is worth it. It doesn´t have to be perfect or complete, it just needs to be honest. So i will speak out of my heart and share with you some impressions from my WYD time.

I must start saying the trip was absolutely perfect in every way. The fact that it involved things like waiting one hour in line for simply taking a shower, using a backpack as pillow and sleeping on the floor, walking miles and miles for getting breakfast, waking up early and sleeping very late, collide with massive crowds and doing a big effort to fit inside the bus or tram, sweating a lot and constantly looking like a mess don´t change this statement at all. 

I know it could sound as if it was a tough or uncomfortable experience, but let me tell you one thing…while i was there i didn´t think about this at all. God was so evidently present during this time that those little things were completely blurred. 

Beyond that, the trip consisted of all i could dream of and more… things as meeting wonderful people from all around the world, attending a multitude of masses, eating insane amounts of chocolate, ice cream, apples and bread (and more bread), visiting breathtaking places, watching sunrises and sunsets, learning about history, kayaking, renewing my baptism vows, singing and dancing without control, showing up on TV, trying the most delicious food, visiting museums, listening to local legends, speaking out my heart, living in different homes, going to the sea, learning new songs, taking photographs, visiting historical places and cities, seeing the Pope, going to concerts, enjoying the sun and the rain, praying in the most sincere way, visiting our Lady of Czestochowa, meeting a talented “catholic illusionist” and watching his show, having the most wonderful polish “parents” and “grandma” in the world, learning words in different languages, meeting a dear friend i haven´t seen for so long, laughing deeply and encountering with God…..just to mention some. 

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Deus Meus concert.
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Kayaking adventure.
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Singing and dancing at the Missionaries of Charity.
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Friends in the train.
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Holy Mass.
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Learning the “Belgium dance”.
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Works of Mercy: feeding the hungry.

In fact, i could write a whole book about it, but if i had to sum up my trip i would define it using one simple word: FAMILY!!!! The trip made me feel i belong to something larger and greater than i will ever know, and trust me, there´s nothing as powerful as being part of a family brought together by God. 

One of the most special moments for me was during the last mass (with at least two million people standing by my side) when the WYD hymn started. I was singing in spanish (and the bit of “polish” i learned) while some people next to me were singing the same song in english, german, french, portuguese and other languages i couldn´t even recognize.

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Millions of people united in Love.                                                                         Photo credits: @jornadamundialdelajuventud

As the hymn went on i closed my eyes listening to the people around, and i thought to myself “this is how heaven must be like”… people from every race and tongue united as one, singing and worshiping God. It was the most beautiful melody i ever heard, because it was created by a family which, despite all the different languages, was singing with the heart. 💛

I think for an instant in my life i knew exactly what 2 million people were thinking about, what 2 million people wanted. I became one with them and realized we were seeking the same thing: we all wanted to encounter with Christ!! Words will never describe the love, peace and faith that i experienced there… it was sublime!

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We are called to bring light to the world!
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Our group during the Night Vigil.

The trip constantly reminded me that even though we may have different cultures or languages we all belong to the same family. It reminded me how easy it is to break the ice with just a simple smile; how singing, cheering, dancing and high-fiving are universal ways to bring people together; how any place can turn into a party (especially if there are mexicans in the act); how every meeting is a “spark of friendship”!!!!! 

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Singing, dancing, cheering… all the time.

But what amazed me the most, is that i´ve been reminded how alive is our Church and how many young people have the same desires that i have. It reminded me the joy that being a catholic brings, that even though some people may see religion as something “boring”, “cold”, “rigid” or “old”, there is nothing true about that. World Youth Day reminded me how alive we are and how faith should be a celebration all the time. When i was there i could see young people everywhere and the streets were filled with excitement, music, colors and waving flags all the time. Every single place was swirling joy. You cant imagine how awesome it was.

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The colors of the world.
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Brazil, Germany, Poland, Israel, Canada, Ireland, France and Mexico all together having fun.

That´s something i miss a lot now that i am again at home. The first days back at university were a bit strange… I was walking in the aisle, wondering when will somebody come to give me a pin, a prayer card, friendly words or a high-five… but there was nothing like that. I must say it was hard, most people didn´t even look to the eyes; people seemed uninterested about their own “brothers and sisters” around. 

World Youth Day atmosphere is what i dream the world would always be like; people going out there smiling to “strangers”, cheering each other and seeing friends in everyone. For me, that is exactly the spirit of catholicism, the spirit i dream we would always outshine. But the truth is that our attitude is not always reflecting that. The joyful testament of faith we all manifested in the WYD is not always what we share in our own place, where we constantly let individualism reign. 

I know we are immersed in a world that can easily vanish this cheerful faith, but we can´t let that happen. We can´t let our routines make us forget the call that Pope Francis made to all of us. We can´t “vegetate”. Not anymore!!!!

What we are called to do as a Church is to make everyone experience this supreme joy we experienced in the World Youth Day. We need to be friendly and merciful, live our faith with enthusiasm, keep our hearts young and make everyone know they are loved; not only during this “big events” but in our daily lives. 

So, after a month of coming back i feel confident to say World Youth Day didn´t end for me yet. Actually, it has just begun!!!! Now, more than ever i am convinced that together, as a family, we can be the change we wish for the world. I´ve been encouraged by the Pope to bring love and hope to the world. I´ve been blessed to live this experience so now i am called to share it with the world, to spread God´s message just like the apostles did 2000 years ago. 

So, to all of those who were there too, and also those who weren´t there but share the same wish, i pray you experience the WYD spirit in your heart for the rest of your life, that you wont let it die. I pray that this wont be just a trip that forms part of our memories, but a constant way of living our lives. I pray that we stay firm in faith and don´t let the world take away our enthusiasm. 

Cause the truth is, we will never change the world just by going to the WYD or to the church, in order to change it we have to BE the Church. I pray that we all exemplify and let the world know that our Church is not old. That we remember our Church is young and alive, and that it needs our joy!!!!!!

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Jesus, on the center of our lives.

My trip to Poland taught me a lot about the power of community, and it is safe to say that I left a piece of my heart in this country that i call now “home”. I’m amazed, inspired, and incredibly grateful for the people God placed around me.

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My new family.

So to all my new “family” members…Dziękuję!! THANKS!!! I honestly can´t think of anything better than exploring the world, celebrating my faith and spending intentional time with people as amazing as you are. You have impacted my life more than words can dare to explain. Thank you for teaching me so much. I pray with all my heart that our family will be evidence of GOD´S MERCIFUL LOVE. 💛

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Filled with joy. This is the youth of the Pope!!!

Note: I want to make a big shout out to Sergio Platonoff, my wonderful and talented friend who took most of the pictures posted here and captured the adventures of the trip. Thank you for letting us keep these memories!!!

(Finally) St. Teresa of Calcutta!

What a splendid day is today!!! Since i was a child i always looked up to Mother Teresa and i am so happy to witness the day when she finally gets canonized! This woman exemplifies what it means to follow Jesus message every single day, and the fact that she felt a deep darkness during her life just makes her story even more amazing. It talks about the determination and strong faith she had to follow her mission even when things got hard.

As humans, we are constantly so focused on ourselves that we forget to serve others, because the truth is, serving is not always easy. Contrary to what we might think she didnt have it easy either, sometimes it requiered big effort from her but she did it anyway. She knew her mission and took the decision to serve the world, so even on the days when it didnt come so naturally she decided to love harder. She chose love and compassion instead of selfishness, she chose to bring hope to ALL. She didnt ask “where do you come from?” “which religion do you have?” “are you rich/poor/old/…?” or anything like that before offering her hands. She simply chose to see everyone as worthy of love and responded wholeheartedly to her call. Isnt that how all our lives should look like?

Today as she (finally) turns into a saint, i hope you realize you are called to do the same and ask yourself if she could, why couldnt you do it too?. I believe that you can, that you are also called to “do small things with great love” from wherever you are.

Mother Teresa, i thank you for being an inspiration and example of God´s merciful love. I ask your intercession to bring hope and peace to the world, to give us the courage to walk away from our comfort zone and start serving others, to turn our eyes to the “unseen”, to every person who surrounds us. 💛

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Yesterday i found in some sweets a message that came straight to my heart. It made me question if i am really bringing happiness to the people i meet. The truth is i constantly fail to do it, i get so caught up in complaining about my own struggles that i forget the importance of doing that. So i ask for your help, let me know how could i make you happier today. And i am curious.. do you have a favorite quote from her? I just cant decide which one i love the most yet!!!

Happy “Saint Teresa of Calcutta´s day”!!! 💛 💛 

A new perspective towards saints lives

“A soul that is united with God must be prepared for great and hard-fought battles.” St. Faustina

I love to read and know about the saints lives, but i must confess i often felt ashamed of how different i am from them. Perhaps you have also felt this, i know reading about them can give both an inspiring and an overwhelming feeling at the same time.

If that´s your case, my aim is that from now on learning about saints lives will only be a source of inspiration for you, with no shame or worry at all. But for that, i must explain how i personally got to reconcile with it, hoping it could be of any help for you…

Last month i embarked myself into a new book “The diary of Saint Faustina”. If you never read it before, i encourage you to do. It is a very good book written in the form of a journal, following her last four years of life. (For all of those who dont know her, Sister Faustina was a polish nun who was born on 1905 and died on 1938, and was finally canonized some years ago).

The book is a compilation of her prayers, thoughts and her journey as a passionate follower of Christ. It also relates her visions and encounters with Jesus and Mary, and how God revealed the Divine Mercy devotion to her; exactly the part i want to focus on. Not because of how much i love this image (seriously, is there anything more precious than knowing that our God is a God of MERCY?) but because this fact could be the one that brings us down or makes us feel we are so different from her.

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Why that? Because it´s the part of the “marvelous revelation” and example of the intimate relationship with God most saints have. And yes, it´s true that saints are so incredibly amazing, so we tend to think they are so different from us, especially as we listen to their miraculous stories in which they can levitate, see Jesus with their eyes or heal other people´s lives.

Maybe you have been one of those who asked why you have never experienced something like that, one who has been or is currently feeling as if something like this could never happen to you, or as if God just seemed to ignore you. Maybe you have been praying and talking to Him but dont feel any answer at all, and so you eventually give up. You walk away from Him, resigned to the idea that He will simply never show His presence to you.

If you ever found yourself in a situation like that, i know the virtuous stories of saints could be a bit discouraging for you…. “why did God do so many great things in his/her life but i just cant seem to experience anything like that?” “i am really so bad that He doesnt want to appear in my life?” you may ask. But i want to share something with you; those books are not here for bringing us down, instead, they are here to inspire us and keep our hearts focused on getting closer to God. NEVER to make us feel any less or to make us give up on our spiritual path.

That´s exactly how this book worked on me. It taught me to change my perspective of things!! Of course God gifted Faustina with the virtue of contemplation, the ability to have visions and such a pure and lovely heart anyone would wish to have. But the truth is, there is so much more about her than that.

Her life wasnt easy at all. Despite all the blessings and visions she received, she also struggled a lot. She even faced the “Dark night of the soul”, a part of saints that is normally forgotten, but i think it should be known by all. The “Dark Night of the soul” can be explained as a period in which their interior lives seem to be dry. A period in which God feels so distant that could even make them doubt about God´s existence and their own call. I personally think it is one of the most painful experiences in life, especially for someone who previously was so committed and sure to offer his/her whole life to Him.

Besides this, Faustina also made mistakes, doubted about herself, suffered from very terrible illnesses, was constantly tempted and even felt far away from God some times. Did you know about all that?

If you never heard this before, i hope it changes your idea about her. Not that you will think this makes her less a saint, but instead that you may be more inspired by her as well as feel better with yourself. I hope this makes you realize that saints lives are not filled just with roses and angelical melodies all around. That saints also have to face the things that we face. That sometimes everything looks non-sense for them, that they also can experience silence from God in their lives.

Faustina did suffer all that; she didnt have it as easy as we may think. Yes, she had a very deep connection with God and experienced visions we may have never experienced at all, but just like you and i, she also experienced this silence among her life.

For me, what makes her a saint is not that she always listened and felt close to God, but that, even when she felt so much dryness she decided to cling onto Him. She kept hope and trust in God with all her being. I think that´s what we can learn from her.

Being a saint doesnt mean their lives will be filled with God´s voice, sounding loud and clear every single day, but it means that even through the silence they will be able to stay with Him. It is not about the “supernatural powers” saints seem to have, it is also a decision. A decision to remain even when they dont feel that way. To carry on when they doubt or feel alone. I believe that´s what makes them so great.

I hope this may remember you that there are times in our lives when we will feel His  presence really strong. Seasons of answered prayers and deep connection with God. But there will also be times when all we may feel will be chaos and doubts. Seasons when we feel forgotten and with no answers from Him. And so, we often think that silence must mean there´s something wrong, that we are clearly not getting close to Him, or even worse, that we have failed Him. But this book reminded me that His silence can actually mean something incredibly great.

So i wish next time you are going through a period of dryness and unanswered prayers you wont have to wonder if you are deaf or if you are doing something bad. I wish that when you hear no response you wont feel there is no case in seeking Him anymore. That next time instead of feeling unworthy or struggle when He seems to be silent, you can change your perspective and try to follow the saints examples.

I wish you can remember them not by the “heavenly and glorious lives you could never have” but as humans like you, who feared, doubted and even questioned God´s existence. And that, just like them, you can use this seasons in your life to question your own faith and strengthen it afterwards, to remember there is a purpose for that. But, what purpose could it have?

Well, i believe this dryness can make our desire of Him grow stronger and that eventually all the darkness will remind us to search for the light, to seek Him with all our hearts. He wants us to walk by faith, to believe in Him not only when our lives are going great but also when we cannot see Him clear. Otherwise, our faith would mean we only seek Him for the blessings and not for who He is.

So yes, we may feel abandoned or forgotten sometimes, but that could be a great way to grow closer to Him; to understand how Jesus itself felt on the cross and to be more compassionate towards all those who are abandoned in this world.

When this happens we have two ways of facing it: getting away from God, or choosing to grow closer to Him. I pray that you´ll choose the second one. That the next time you feel this dryness in your heart you can see it as God´s gift for you. That you wont feel discouraged or as if you were less worthy of Him. I pray that you will remember St. Faustina and all the other saints who had to face this too; that you see their stories as a source of inspiration and not of discourage. That you remember you dont need to have visions or levitate in order to be close to God. That you remember there is a way God specifically designed to appear in your life, to connect with you.

I pray that we will all know that God doesnt want to make us feel as if He turned away from us, but instead, that He wants to make us grow. That He wants us to question our own faith and be real men and women of God!!!

My dear reader, i hope this post resonated with you in any way. I also encourage you to read this book yourself. It is a book of a complete surrender to God, filled with many beautiful thoughts and prayers that you could use to meditate. I hope this may help you to grow your spiritual life, encourage you and bring you some light.