The gratuitousness of the Lord

Life is a free gift from God out of love, just as the call of Christ is free and unconditional: it is he who takes the initiative to call.

God’s call to me began with a question about the meaning of life. At that moment I felt something very strong towards the Lord; I wanted to live Christ’s love that that goes beyond that of the family and to give my life for him, just as he gave me his.

It was the Lord who led me and showed me the way through his Word, found in the Gospel of St. Matthew chapter 10: 37, “He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me”.

One day I participated in a celebration of perpetual vows among the Franciscan brothers, and it was the same Gospel! When they pronounced their formula of vows, I said to myself: “this is what I want to live”! Then I began to think seriously about consecrated life.

Before returning home, I had several occasions to observe and experience the life of the FMM and I felt at home each time; what attracted me was the internationality, the spirit of fraternity, simplicity and joy.

The unity of our charism helps me to live my consecrated life, especially the offering of myself daily, in living in an international community: it is very rich but at the same time not easy! It is in the contemplation of the Eucharist and the presence of Jesus Christ in the Host that I find the inner strength that is greater than myself; the grace of the Lord helps me to live this offering.

I live the offering of my life in disponibility for universal mission. In every country where I have been, I have discovered the beauty of the Lord in his creation, the richness in each country and the awareness that each person was created in his own image. In the universal mission I have learned respect and acceptance of the ‘different other’.

Finally, our charism helps me grow in my faith and strengthens my relationship with the Lord. Being a religious is a way of love for Christ and for others; it is also a journey of faith!

Praised be you, O Lord, for your infinite love and continual presence.

Sister Manal Saad, fmm