VOCATIONAL TESTIMONY OF SISTER MARIE AMOR LANTARON
VOCATIONAL TESTIMONY OF SISTER MARIE AMOR LANTERON
I was born in Renedo de Piélagos, a small town in Santander (Spain)
When asked about my vocational testimony, I have begun to write and remember ... many, many years have passed but from my perspective now, it becomes clearer how this adventure began.
I remember, I was 16 when I first experienced pain: the death of one of my sisters, who was 12 years old. This was a very powerful experience. At that time, the mourning process was strictly kept by the immediate family. I was two years without going out with my friends. Every Sunday we used to go to the movies, for a walk, or on some pilgrimage ... sometimes, we got together with a group of boys our own age.
During these two years of mourning, on Sundays, apart from attending the Eucharist, rosary, ... I spent the remaining time reading, which was my hobby. Among the books I read there was, "The Young Person and Christ," and others from the same collection. I was becoming increasingly aware of the desire to know Jesus and to relate more with Him. My relationship was conversational and from the heart.... I liked to visit to the Tabernacle at sunset; these were intimate moments and I felt that Jesus was asking me for small sacrifices for him and for others… not to buy something for myself but to give it to a poor person. I was aware that these small demands were increasing and this scared me a bit ...
I finally turned 18, but something had changed within me, in relation to the boys. I felt that I should not let myself "choose" anyone, until I saw which way I should go. I lived all this, without knowing exactly where it would lead me. I did not entrust my thoughts, "my hopes" and the uncertainty of my personal future to anyone ...
I spent four years like this, hoping to see more clearly, if there was Someone I could speak with, who would tell me precisely and concretely, "Come and follow me." And it happened that way: one day at work (I worked in an office), I was surprised by the thought or feeling, as if someone suggested to me: "You will be a religious." I asked myself, where this thought or feeling was coming from, as I had never spoken to anyone on this subject? I never had any dealings with sisters. I doubted that I had the qualities for religious life, so I went immediately to see the priest and asked him without further ado: do you think I have the qualities for religious life? The priest answered: I've been waiting for you to ask me this question for some time, you certainly do have those qualities! He asked me the following: ‘where do you feel that you are attracted to? What religious community?’ I did not know. I just wanted to respond to God, where He wanted me, whatever he liked. I also said: the Missions, I thought that God would like that.
I came to know two or three congregations, through the writings of its foundresses, one of these being, the Sisters of Marie Reparatrice. I read things about the foundress and when I came across: BE MARY FOR JESUS, I said to myself, "This is what God cares most about, MARY." I went to meet the sisters and I liked how they lived reparation by adoring the Blessed Sacrament and the Missions. Throughout my life, I have discovered being Mary for Jesus.
The following year I entered the novitiate and began this adventure. The novitiate was a real test that consolidated my faith in the following of Jesus. I connected very well with the spirituality of reparation, but I missed an apostolate. I saw that there were very few Reparatrice sisters who dedicated themselves to it. And the doubts began ... thank God I had help to overcome them. The Lord was teaching me and showing me the way: I discovered the presence of the Trinity within me, a very strong experience of His Presence within, which I have enjoyed and I have continued to enjoy ever since. Also, knowing Jesus within, I was fascinated to contemplate his attitudes and his feelings. Faith, humility, abandonment and trust in Him, became more deeply rooted in me. At the same time, the desire to go towards the most needy, grew deeper in me and I asked myself, why does God give me these desires if I cannot do anything about them ...?
The first 12 years of my religious life, I lived a life of enclosure, with few relationships with the people outside ...
After Vatican II my doubts disappeared, giving rise to a more incarnated spiritual experience. The presence of Jesus in me acquired another dimension, encountering the poor. And so, from place to place, I have been meeting them: pre-delinquents, prisoners, drug addicts, broken families, with few human and psychological resources, domestic violence, immigrants, the undocumented, the homeless, the hungry… from that place and with those people, I learned to put myself in the place of the other, to suffer, to know and to feel what incarnate solidarity is.
Sharing faith and life with other lay groups and with parishioners, concern for justice, have opened up more horizons for reparation. I believe I am in the last stage of my life. I acknowledge that He has always been in me, more than I have been to myself and that He has taken me and keeps taking me ever closer to Him and to others, on an unending path...
After this long journey I can say once again, I encountered BEING MARY FOR JESUS â€‹â€‹in the present world: open to the world both near and far, to embrace it in the everyday, to become one with it and to bring it to God, to be All in all.
As I finish writing and rereading this, it seems to me that I have not been able to truly capture the essentials of this journey of my life.