Seminarian to Visit Nicaragua

On the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, I will go on a mission to some of the poorest people in Nicaragua. All year I have been longing for the chance to return to them, and, once again, enter their challenging lives to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. I will not leave until December 12, but, in many ways, this journey began several months ago in Mexico City.

During one of my many pilgrimages to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, I knelt beneath St. Juan Diego’s centuries-old tilma, and stared into the beautiful face of our Blessed Mother. I was disappointed by my slow and difficult progress in learning Spanish and in understanding the Mexican culture, and I fervently prayed for her intercession. How could I be a successful missionary if I could not speak the language, and did not understand the lives and needs of the people? I was surprised when my prayer was answered in a simple and powerful way.

Looking at her miraculous image, I remembered that Mary had come to this New World carrying the Son of God in her womb. Within her, the Sacred Heart of Jesus beat in unison with her own heart.  Both hearts burned with the same flames of passionate love for God and for all of His children. When the priest at the altar raised the consecrated host, I saw the image of the great Mother of God, standing on the moon, eclipsing the sun, clothed in the very stars of heaven, bowed with humility and prayer, lovingly looking at Jesus in the Eucharist.

I went to Mexico to learn how to change lives. That moment changed mine. Our Lady of Guadalupe showed me how Jesus wants us, all of us, to bring Him into the lives of those who need Him most, whoever they may be, regardless of our own insecurities and poor abilities. Our love for Christ is enough. His strength is enough for us.  I am certain that my life will change again in Nicaragua when, with burning love in my heart, I will bring Christ in the Eucharist to some of His neediest children.  In their own way, they will bring Christ to me too. I will celebrate my 44th birthday in their homes this year, and I could not ask for a greater gift!

by Jerry Daigle, Jr., Seminarian

Photo: (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

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