We are Peter and Antonella, parents of a contemplative sister of the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará. With these lines we want to give testimony of how we live the vocation of our daughter.
For many years, we have helped as catechists in our parish, feeding our faith in the Lord Jesus, putting Him as the center of our life, in such a way that He completely changed our plans: in fact, when you leave the door of your heart open to God, He enters and with sweet violence, becomes its owner.
We know the IVE through a popular mission that was preached in our area in 2007, of which at its end our daughter remained enchanted with the sisters that participated and who invited her to stay with them for a few days in their convent in Segni. At first we thought that it was simply a great admiration and we were very happy with the enthusiasm she showed, but after a little while we realized that it was much more: she has discovered her vocation. For our family it was not easy to accept this decision as she only was 15 years old, but we saw that she was very happy and was continually more and more sure, so that we gathered all our strength and accepted her vocation, despite the kilometers that physically divided us.
Jesus is demanding, He always asks more of you…our daughter chose the life that is most difficult for a parent to accept: the contemplative life, a choice that is totally opposed to today’s society where the Christian values of respect, love, and fidelity are ridiculed and despised. Many times Christian marriages forget the promise/formula that they recite during the celebration of marriage: “Are you disposed to receive children responsibly and lovingly from God, and to educate them according to the law of Christ and His Church?” It can happen that the parents put their own projects ahead of those of God, having expectations for them, wishing for them “the best” in terms of a carrier or success. This happens because one wants to see their children do that which they couldn’t do in their own lives, and we forget that God has a project for each and every one of us that He wants to carry out. What is important is not to feel like we are owners of our own life, but rather to trust completely in God and He will most certainly do great things (like He did with Mary in the Annunciation, even though what she was waiting for was still obscure). The Christian life is not always linear, but is accompanied by crosses, difficulties, and sorrows, but what is important is to keep aflame the light of faith.
Speaking in concrete of our daughter, she is now a contemplative nun in a monastery in Holland (Valkenburg); it is not easy living 1800 km away from her, but prayer exceeds distance, in fact, it is precisely in a spiritual way that we feel very close to her! We could visit the place where she lives and touch her life and we can testify that the day of the contemplatives is one of continual prayer, which is the center of the monastic life, and thanks to them and to other contemplatives in the world, the Church advances in the midst of a thousand difficulties. The contemplative life is centered on the “One Thing necessary”: when Jesus, in the Gospel of Luke, was in the house of Martha and Mary, He directed these words to Mary, saying that she has chosen the better part because she was at His feet listening to His word. Silence and asceticism are elements that assist making the monastic life one of incessant prayer, a continual act of praise of glory to the Holy Trinity. Even though the apostolate of these times is urgent, it is, in fact, necessary that God calls some souls to dedicate themselves to Him alone. It is a vocation…it is a strong desire to make one’s own life fruitful in union with Jesus, in silence and solitude and having fixed before one’s eyes as guide, that luminous lighthouse of love that knows how to arrive at God and discover the secret to be continuously illuminated by its light. St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus says: “Oh Jesus, my Love…at last I have found my vocation! In the heart of the Church, my mother, I will be love.” In our daughter there is an ardent desire to make her life fruitful by her union with Jesus, in the listening to His Word…it is a spiritual motherhood from which we hope to see bear fruit in this life as well as in heaven.