These two young women answered God's call for them to join religious life.
Lourdes and Gloria Salgado are from Ciempozuelos, Spain (near the city of Madrid). They’re the youngest of a large family (7 siblings) and they’re part of Generation Z, the generation born around the year 2000 who are digital natives.
These young women have discovered their call to religious life, and in just over a month’s time they’ll both have entered their respective orders. Although Lourdes and Gloria both have a religious vocation, they’re not on the same vocational path: Gloria—who is 18 years old—entered the novitiate of the Order of Our Lady on September 8, whereas Lourdes will begin as a postulant, at the age of 20, at the Iesu Communio convent of La Aguilera in Burgos.
The Diocese of Getafe has just released the news on its website, where the two sisters give testimony of what has happened in their lives.
“Jesus called me from a very young age”
Lourdes explains her decision:
Everything has happened in one summer, in three months; two of us are leaving home with the sole purpose of following Jesus wherever He may be. I say that everything happened in three months, but really it’s not like that, not in my case. The vocation has always been within me, and Jesus called me since I was very young, but in life not everything always goes as we expect, and for three years or so I forgot and abandoned my call and Jesus for worldly things that attracted me.
“Simply to be with Him, contemplating Him”
Over time, Jesus has not stopped seeking me, and He has been committed to me every day of my life. After meeting Jesus again and rediscovering that He wanted me for Himself, I can do nothing else but give myself to the contemplative life, together with Jesus and with my sisters, who are called to live the same as I do: simply to be with Him, to contemplate Him, and then to share with those who do not know Him “what we have seen and heard.”
“I wish to live always surrendered to Him”
Lourdes says, “I cannot say anything but ‘thank you.’ I’m infinitely grateful to God and His Church. I don’t deserve this life; it’s only by His mercy that I can live my religious vocation. I want to live forever serving Him.”
Her sister Gloria, who has just finished high school and reached legal adulthood, explains how her vocational process has been and what motivates her to become a religious. She declares that “the best part of my life is for Jesus.”
Gloria: “Jesus has been making me fall in love with Him”
On September 8 I entered the novitiate of the Order of the Daughters of Our Lady Mary, in Valdemoro. It’s an Order of teaching nuns that unites the contemplative life with the active life, that is to say, self-giving to Jesus in the Eucharist and self-giving to the souls He came to save. I have done all my secondary and high school studies in this school and I’ve seen Jesus in these nuns.
When they tell me to tell my vocation story, I’m surprised, because it’s something very simple, and I like that it’s this way. It’s something simple but great at the same time. Jesus has been making my heart fall in love with Him simply, little by little. I’ve seen how Jesus thirsts for me and how I thirst for Him. My heart has never rested in anything else but Him.
“I’ve seen how Jesus thirsts for the world”
I’ve also seen how broken the world is, how shattered the heart of man is without Jesus, how the world thirsts for Jesus and how Jesus thirsts for the world. And I give my whole life to quench that “I thirst,” I give my life for souls, “so that they may have Life.” I know why I live.
And I never cease to be surprised at how good the Lord is: I’m surprised that every day He chooses me, as small as I am. And sometimes I ask myself: “How did we get here?” and I realize that He has done everything, that He has carried everything forward …
Both Gloria and Lourdes see that their family, the school where they studied, and the Neocatechumenal Way have helped them discover their personal vocation.
Lourdes says, “My family has been very important in my life: my mother, who’s happy with the life I’m starting, my siblings, my parish and my youth group, those with whom I’ve shared my faith during recent years, and the school where I was educated for the last 5 years, a school of nuns in which my younger sister is enrolled.” Gloria says the same is true in her case.
Our Lady in their vocation
Gloria adds that the decision they’ve made to give themselves totally to the Lord in religious life wouldn’t be possible without the help of Our Lady.
The Virgin Mary is the easiest, shortest and quickest way to Jesus. She’s the one who brings me to Jesus every day; to her I give everything so that she can give it to my Lord.
Gloria echoes Mary’s ‘yes’ in a concrete way, quoting the late UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold: “I can only say: ‘For all that has been, THANK YOU; for all that will be, YES.'”