A friendship that blossomed

by Carolina Brenes Rivera

I live in Cartago, Costa Rica. When I was young, I always used to say that the only way I could get close to a congregation was if they didn’t wear a habit.

I had a strange feeling every time I was approached by a nun in her habit!

But when God wants to look for you, He will use things, people, sorrow, coincidences, and above all love to bring you closer to Him. And in my case, he used all of these to show me the vocation I was called to.

God reached out and touched my shoulder

At World Youth Day in Panama, in the midst of thousands and thousands of people, God reached out and touched my shoulder and said these words to me: “Hello, can we join you?” Two young women had separated from the group they were in, and joined the delegation I was with. But over and above their no longer being alone, it was me who would never feel lost and lonely again.

Friendship blossomed immediately and we spent the whole of the World Youth Day celebration together. On the last day, I found out they were religious sisters: Sister Nancy and Sister Andrea – what a surprise! God had brought me to a congregation that matched the condition my mind had set.

I chose to go through a process of vocational discernment

A year passed, and in September 2019 I had the opportunity to take part in a retreat with the sisters of Sion, and then I chose to go through a process of vocational discernment. I carry in my heart all the sisters of Sion that I have met during this time and I pray for them with much love because I feel and see God in each one of them. Once Sister Emilce told me: “Go and prepare yourself, because He needs you.”

I love how God works in my life

Today I live every day preparing myself because I know that God needs me and I love how God works in my life and in my vocation. I am a single woman who currently feels the call to married life. The charism of Sion is like a seal on my heart now, and I want to share it with everyone who needs to feel the embrace of the Father because in Sion I learned that I must share with others the God who dwells in my heart, that I must love and make others happy.