Testimony of The Hna. Toñi Valverde Fernández, Sister of God’s Love

By: Redacción de Palabra Nueva

Hermana Toñi Valverde.
Hermana Toñi Valverde.

¿How do I live Lent?

 I live Lent as an opportunity god offers me to become and be more what He wants me to be. It helps me to practice the method that the Church proposes to intensify at this time: prayer, fasting and alms.

In prayer, I appropriate the Word that God addresses to me in Os. 2: 14: “I will take her to the wilderness and speak to her heart,” and I intensifie silence, to seek her will, arable desireing to collaborate with Him: identifying myself with her feelings, and letting her change my attitudes and actions for the good of others and the care of nature.

In the personal project, I am enlightened by the Word that Jesus addresses to Peter in Luke 5: 4: “Rema mar adentro”, I look through my story and see myself stumbling on the same stone, from previous years. I contemplate our world, wounded by the various “pandemics” that whip it. I observe the Church and my Congregation in need of vocations and inner renewal; and there, quiet, in the face of failures and deencants, I hear the voice of Jesus offering me the solution: Jn 21:6: “Throw the net to the right of the boat, and you will catch something. So they did, and such was the amount of fish that could no longer take out the net.” I interpret that says: Trust me, that in a simple way, I will show you the way. Have hope, I’m with you. Do what you have to do at every moment that the rest belongs to me.

Junto a sus hermanas de Congregación.
Together with her sisters in Congregation.

In the meeting with the Lord, personally and with my sisters of community, I also present to each of the people whose names are next to the Sacrament; they want to give up vices, have difficulty solving obesity problems, others are sick or lack of faith. For them I offer the contradictions, fasts and sacrifices that demand self-control. I know by faith, that with your collaboration, God will perform the miracle of your deliverance or healing.

Praying the Via Crucis, with my community sisters, helps me to understand the limit of love: total surrender to death And there, I contemplate the hand of the Father God who in Jesus welcomes all human suffering and transforms it.

Thus, humble, in peace, trusting in the Lord, I continue my journey ready to live charity, together with my sisters of Community and others with those with which the Lord associates me for this good work that is his.

In addition to prayer, inspired by the fast that the Lord likes, expressed by the prophet Isaiah, (Is. 58:6-7), I renew the vow of poverty, which I uttered when I entered his service, seeking to live sobriety, avoiding falling into what does not contribute to the construction of the Kingdom. This requires me to maturity of pride. Fasting for criticism, judgment, some unnecessary words and food.

To live the alms, the words they published in the Journal of the Navy, of Havana, on May 18, 1891, concerning the Dean of the Cathedral, Father Jerome Mariano Usera, our founder, come to mind on May 18, 1891, a necessity that was not instantly helped.” Giving alms I interpret it as being available to help those who need it, being attentive to: listen, value, speak tenderly, share food, medicines, visit sick, when it is possible to brighten up singing with the guitar; in all seeking to dignify people. And this counting on my sisters of Community and the communion of help with the network of people, believers or not, who sacrifice themselves without skimping on ingratitude and tiredness in order to help those who need it.

And so, for forty days, plus the Easter triduum, we will come to Easter, which foreshadows the definitive encounter, face to face with the Lord, when we will celebrate together the triumph of the Lord over all adversity and death, the joy of sharing that faith, hope and charity open the door to the risen Jesus Christ, which is the first and final word , to Him be honor, honor, glory, and praise.

Havana, February 26, 2021

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