Today and every day are days of giving thanks to God for all the blessings received. This allows me to celebrate 55 years of consecrated life as an Oblate Missionary of Mary Immaculate. These years passed very quickly like a breath of the Holy Spirit. They filled me with strength, wisdom and joy to serve the Lord as if it were the first year of my secular consecration.
Our founder, Father Louis-Marie Parent, O.M.I., tells us in the Constitutions: "To consecrate oneself is to accept being a servant of the divine will, to model oneself on Christ, to act under the influence of the Spirit, to allow the Spirit to grow in oneself and to consent to diminish under the Spirit’s influence.
Consecrated life responds to a call and a voluntary acceptance, like the response of the Virgin Mary, the FIAT. So have so many missionaries who answered YES, like me, 55 years ago.
It has been truly worth my spending a lifetime in this experience of liberating love in works such as: Radio Bolivia in Oruro; the Archdiocese of Cochabamba and many others. It has been a continual blessing of growth and comfort in my personal life and in the mission entrusted to me as an Oblate.
For this reason, my response to Jesus' call is an act of gratitude and a gift of my life as a consecrated person to live the apostolic spirit, to better serve the Lord.
In the Constitutions, Father Parent speaks to us of the two facets of our spiritual physiognomy: the deep interior life of the soul and the heart of the missionary apostle. Our beautiful deep spirituality leads us "to live a very concrete spirituality centered on the charity of Christ.”
Also, my gratitude goes to the Oblate companions for these 55 years spent in their company. Each, according to her reality, has been a reference in my journey.
Thank you to my dear parents who were very loving and allowed me to follow my path to happiness.
Thanks also to my brothers and sisters and friends who crossed my path during these years.
I have no words to express further what I am experiencing interiorly right now, only a deep gratitude from the heart to everyone. May God our Father bless us always.
Martha Bustillo R., Bolivia