Swimming Against the Tide
Vocational Letters, May 2020.
By Silvia and Gerardo, Lay Claretians
Dear Claretian family:
Our wish that the power of the Holy Spirit will encourage us in this journey and encourage others to follow their vocation. Today we want to share our experience and walk as a married couple, living the call that God made to us a few years ago when we met, in the light of the Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit that Pope Francis directed to young people from number 259-267, where he refers to the love that must be between families and marriages.
Our foundations were formed in the Claretian Youth Pastoral, as part of the community in Guatemala when we were 17 and 22 years old. During 6 years of courtship, we were able to realize the desire to feel loved not only by our partner, but by God who manifested himself at all times to strengthen us and reaffirm His will in our lives.
Knowing that marriage is a vocation made up of two people, each with different family cultures and on top of that, they are being called to live in holiness, we could only think "but what a difficult thing!" or probably "it's hard enough to try to live holiness if I'm just one person." As Pope Francis tells us in the Christus Vivit Exhortation No. 264, to live the vocation of marriage is to be revolutionary, to swim against the tide, to rebel against culture that sees everything as temporary. We can question ourselves, whether it is worth starting a family after seeing so many marriages around us that end up failing; let us remember that we are called to be light in the midst of darkness. The cultivation of virtues: prayer, love, patience, dialogue and service will be those aids to find happiness as a couple. These aids that have been fundamental to our marriage.
Young people can also take on responsibilities, truly love, if they opt for the vocation of Marriage. In July of this year, we celebrated 10 years of marriage, where there have been many moments of happiness and few difficult moments, but a factor has existed in each of those moments: the love of God has accompanied us, and that has allowed us to overcome and enjoy life. For our moments of trial, it also has been valuable to turn to each other, and even better, that together we walk looking for Christ. If this is added to the divine enlightenment of God, as the Pope says: "You can live safely, you are not afraid of anything, you can face everything together!," we will surely be able to achieve great things that we do not even imagine as a family.
We thank God for His call and have been able to serve him with love as lay Claretians from different ministries, movements and pastoral activities. This has also nurtured our relationship and we have been able to turn our house into a hive that has welcomed the Claretian family from different parts of the world. They have brought us joy, spiritual growth and bonds of brotherhood.
We exhort you to seek in prayer and through vocational counseling, what is God's call for your life. If you don’t feel the call to the married life or a religious vocation, live with joy and the strength your Baptismal Vocation which is the first and most important.
A fraternal greeting.
Silvia Rodríguez and Gerardo López
Lay Claretians Movement - Guatemala
To learn more about the Claretian Family, visit https://www.myclaret.org/claretian-family