It may sound like a cliché phrase, but the point is that I cannot talk about my vocational process - indeed, my life - without attributing it all to God's mercy, which has shown itself in very concrete ways in the last eight years, but which was certainly always with me, even if I did not have my eyes wide open to notice it.
I was baptised when I was only thirty-six days old, so I was incorporated into the Church family from then on. I received all the sacraments on time and I think with some awareness of what I was doing; with the help of my parents and their example, however, I don't think I had discovered the grace of being part of the family, I didn't know the motherly love that the Church offers and the joy that is found in discovering God being part of our humanity, becoming one with us.
It was only after several years of being away (far from my family, my parish, from myself and definitely from God) and thanks to an invitation that came at the right time, that I returned home. Then, in a group of young people accompanied by the priest, I was able to begin a process of healing wounds and of recognising the beauty of the gift received in baptism. Thanks to the accompaniment of the parish priest and all the faithful of the community, I was able to meet God again; the one who never left me but was waiting patiently for me.
And a desire to serve and a longing to know Jesus Christ more and more began to emerge in me, fruit of the encounter, of course, and of this need to show my gratitude for the love received and that, like me, other people could have what I have now; fruit of the Holy Spirit. Undoubtedly this was what also guided me on the path of discovering the specific vocation to which we are all called; thanks to the motivation of people very close to me (friends and family: especially my brother) I took the decision to go through a process of vocational discernment and together with other friends from the parish we began this adventure.
The Lord was leading the way so that one December 14th (feast of St. John of the Cross) I had the joy of getting to know the Missionary Carmel, and after hearing something about its charism and mission, sharing a little with some of the sisters and feeling welcomed in spite of my history and all that I still carried, I felt that I had found my place: the place where I could continue to meet God and grow in intimacy with Him, meeting myself and striving for holiness and loving and serving the Church.
Of course, I did not discover this at the first moment, it was just that feeling of being at home that little by little became clearer and with time, the struggles, the crises, the prayer, the good times, the mission and the fraternity materialised and it is when the Lord continues to confirm the option on a daily basis.
Today I know that the journey has just begun, but I am certain that God's mercy - which is tenderness, closeness, kindness, love and so many other things - is with me; that it is this same mercy that I am called to show to all my brothers and sisters and that when I do not do so, it is the Church herself, as a loving mother, who will have to correct me and return me to the path to one day attain holiness, which is nothing else - I believe - but to live eternally united to God in love.
Sister Daniela of the Angels of God's Mercy