My dear parishioners,

I wish to share that there are saints among us in our young people. It is clear that many think of sainthood as beyond ordinary people. That is to be expected as many of us only know super saints, not the ordinary type that live next door. My patron saint was a teenage girl from Santiago, Chile. Juanita Fernandez became St. Teresa of Los Andes. Los Andes is a suburb of Santiago. To help you to see that a teen can have a profound love for God and the Virgin Mary, I am sharing her letter to her dad seeking permission to enter religious life at 18.

“I wanted to be happy and searched for happiness everywhere. I dreamed of being very rich, but I saw that overnight rich people can become poor. And even if at times it doesn’t happen, one sees that on the one hand riches abound, and on the other hand, people are overwhelmed by poverty of affection and unity. I’ve thought of happiness in the affection of a perfect young man, but the very idea that someday he might love me with less enthusiasm or that he could die, leaving me alone in the struggles of life, makes me reject the idea that by marrying I’ll be happy. No. This doesn’t satisfy me. For me, happiness is not found there. Where, then, I ask myself, is it to be found? Then I understood that I hadn’t been born for earthly things but for eternal ones. Why go on denying this fact any longer? Only in God has my heart found its rest. With God my soul found itself fully satisfied, so that I desire nothing in this world but to belong to Him completely.”

“Oh, Daddy darling: the great favor God has given me is not hidden from my soul. I am the least worthy of His daughters, yet God’s Infinite Love has crossed the immense abyss existing between Himself and His poor creature. He has come down to me and elevated me to the dignity of being His bride. Who am I, but a poor creature? Yet He has not looked at my misery. In His Infinite Goodness and despite my lowliness, He has loved me infinitely. Yes, Daddy, only in God have I found eternal love. How can I please God? How can I repay Him, if not with love? Who can love me more than Our Lord who is infinite and immutable? You, Daddy, will ask me how long I’ve been thinking of all this. And I will tell you everything so that you may see that no one has influenced me.”

“From the time I was a little girl, I really loved the Most Holy Virgin, to whom I confided all my dealings. Only to Her did I unburden myself, and I never underwent a joy that I didn’t reveal to her. She responded to that love. She protected me and listened to everything I asked her. And she taught me to love Our Lord. She placed the seed of a vocation in my soul. But still, without my understanding the grace she was granting me and without my even worrying about it, I had a little flirtation and amused myself as much as I could. But when I came down with a case of appendicitis and saw myself very sick, I began thinking about what life was all about; and one day when I was alone in my room, weary of staying in bed, I heard the voice of the Sacred Heart asking me if I belonged entirely to Him. I don’t think it was an illusion, because at that instant I saw myself transformed. Till then I had been searching for the love of creatures, and now I desired God alone. Illumined by grace from on high, I understood that the world was too small for my immortal soul; and that only with the Infinite could my desires be satisfied, because the world and all that’s in it is limited, whereas, by belonging to God, my soul would never tire of loving and contemplating Him, because in Him the horizons are infinite.”

My dear young Catholics, God does speak words of love to us in our desires to love and serve him and at times, like for Juanita, the Holy Spirit speaks words. We need your love and we need your vocation in service to love. If you think God is calling, please talk to me.

With sincere love, Fr. Paul