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A Doctor of Souls
U. S. A. | MEMBERS | TESTIMONIES
Diana Rivera wanted to help others and found a great way to do it.

Diana Rivera wanted to help others and found a great way to do it.
Diana Rivera wanted to help others and found a great way to do it.

When I was six years old I wanted to be a doctor or a teacher. The desire to help others was rooted in my heart. My dad told me that he was impressed when he saw me as a child washing the wounds of my grandmother. I had spent a lot of time with her while growing up. My own mother had died when I was two years old so it was my grandmother that instilled in me a great sensitivity towards spiritual things, towards meaningful things, towards God and eternity and the value of helping people. Maybe it was this great sensitivity that made me feel the need to help others and probably that’s why the idea of being a doctor fit well.

In spite of growing up without a mom, I was a confident person. Having a social life wasn’t a problem for me even amid the challenges that a child faces in changing schools often. My faith didn’t seem to affect my social life. I looked forward to having many friends but God made sure to keep me safe.

In high school I got to know my faith better with the help of the Regnum Christi Movement. I had always been sensitive towards the spiritual realities but it was within Regnum Christi that I saw that I wasn’t living my Catholic faith as fully as I could. Not because I didn’t want it; rather God had not provided me with the tools to know it and live it fully yet. For that reason I joined Regnum Christi, because I knew I was going to be able to practice my faith fully through living the prayer commitments that Regnum Christi provided me with. It was my opportunity of being Catholic.

One specific moment that opened my eyes to the reality that I needed more than just Sunday Mass was living Holy Week Missions in Mexico in the spring of 2002. I went for the first time to evangelize in a poor community expecting to help the people somehow. God enkindled in me the desire to help others even though it meant giving up a major family reunion. I wanted to see them but I knew God was asking me to give myself in those missions to others who would need me more… who needed like me, also needed Him more.

There I was on missions with my friends thinking that I was so generous with God. As the days of missions went by I would hear some of my friends’ comments “Oh my gosh, Diana! That poor lady… did you see the great faith she had in God? How can someone live in those conditions and still be happy?” This was a question that began to echo in my heart with each passing day in experiencing the immense love of God for me. I had everything, yet I didn’t know if even I was as happy as they were. They had nothing, but everything because they lived in and for Christ.

One afternoon we were invited to have lunch with a poor family that had saved money all the month just to be able to afford food for us that day. At the house while we were eating a friend whispered to me, “Diana, would you finish this piece of chicken for me? I can’t stand this food anymore!” I thought to myself, “This family has been saving money the whole month
and just because it doesn’t taste perfect to you, you won’t eat it? Immediately I realized the gifts God had given me all my life. I had never been in want of anything and how often had I spoken words so similar to hers without realizing all that God had provided me with? I am healthy, I always have something to eat, I have my own room with my own bed, I have a great family, and above all I have found what it means to know and live for Christ! I have the Faith. How can I say no to Jesus who is asking me to finish not only these pieces of chicken out of respect for this family’s generosity, but to give Him back something more? How can I repay Him? 

After lunch we had some catechetical activities with the people of the town. When the had left, we missionaries analyzed how the activity went and what we can improve for the last few days. I realized the Catholic faith was what the people of that lost town in Mexico and I had in common. Yet I knew that some of them had a stronger faith than me, and wondered who was I for them to listen to? If there was something that I could really share with them, it was my joy. I understood that more than me helping them, they were the ones helping me. I had gone with the heart wanting to heal them of their sufferings, and yet they had healed me from my spiritual blindness.

Since that mission my desire to help others grew stronger until Holy Thursday during Holy Week missions of 2003 in which God asked me to give Him the first chance. He offered me the opportunity to see if consecrated life was what He was asking of me. So that summer I attended the discernment program in Monterrey for one year where I was able to finish my studies of high school and live along side consecrated women in one of their centers to discern at the same time. I am so thankful to Christ because He not only gave me the grace to know that he was calling me to give Him my life, but He also allowed me to fulfill my dream- to be a doctor, a doctor of souls.

Diana is currently studying Theology at Mater Ecclesia College for Consecrated Women in Rhode Island in preparation for the life mission that lies ahead. She can be reached at mec04@inteducators.org.


To learn more about consecrated life in the Regnum Christi Movement you can watch a video, read a general presentation or have a look at more testimonies.


PUBLICATION DATE: 2007-03-05


 
 

Related links

Official web site of the Vatican.
Legionaries of Christ
For Your Vocation
Ancora
Mater Ecclesaie College


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