by Sister Beatriz, a member of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles
I remember from the age of six, I was always drawn to Sisters. I would sometimes see Sisters passing by my house in a car and my heart followed them. Although I was attracted to religious life, deep inside, I didn’t feel worthy of being called.
As I grew older, I got a job and a car and when my family and I moved to La Habra, I joined St. Cecelia’s choir and eventually became the President. The choir members were invited to go on retreat at the Sacred Heart Retreat House (run by the Carmelite Sisters). Going on this retreat changed my life.
I recall at the age of 23, always feeling like a fish out of water. I was not attracted to marriage and I felt a deep longing for God inside my heart. I had received a very special grace during the retreat and I just knew that I had to enter. I couldn’t fight the desire anymore and I told my parish priest, who felt that it was all so sudden and to wait. But I couldn’t wait. It was as if God had just picked me up and brought me to the Sisters. I just wanted to be with the Sisters and nothing else mattered, even if I thought I wasn’t worthy. It was an extraordinary grace as God knew I would be too weak to enter without His help.
I was born on Easter Sunday and I entered on Easter Sunday in 1955 and I can truly say it was the happiest day of my life. I’ll be celebrating 64 years in the convent this year. Up to this moment, I have never felt homesick. God’s presence is always with us as long as we don’t forget that, our relationship can keep on growing. We forget Him, but He doesn’t forget us. And of course, He’s all forgiving and merciful.
To those at SOAR!: I can speak for all the elder Sisters when I say that the new mini-van we have drives so smoothly and isn’t bumpy at all and most importantly we don’t have to worry about breaking down on the freeway! We Sisters feel so secure and safe in it. May God reward you!