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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Come and See
Father Luis Alfonso Avilés Pérez, LC (Mexico)

P. Luis Alfonso Avilés Pérez , L.C.
Fr. Luis Alfonso Avilés Pérez , LC

Telling a vocation story is not easy and it has something quite mysterious to it; because, in essence it is an encounter between God and a man. It is about how he has been revealing himself little by little to a soul.  God usually doesn’t yell, but he usually shows us marvelous signs to invite us to follow Him.  He likes simplicity; he likes whispering in our ear and letting us be free…

Just as it happened with the disciples of John the Baptist, who first followed Christ more out curiosity than any other reason, it also happened to me in my life: I began to be love the things of God.  At home there was always an atmosphere of faith and love for God.  I often remember my mom and dad pray at the beginning and at the end of the day; I remember my grandmother telling us stories of the Cristero War of the 1920s and 30s, and also praying the rosary in the afternoon. All of that was preparing the way for God to plant a seed of my vocation.

The family

I remember when I was five or six years old, the things of God started to attract me. On one occasion I even got the impulse of praying Rosaries at night.  I don’t know what type of Rosaries I prayed at that age: but I certainly knew that my grandmother was the one who most valued it, because my brothers thought that it was nothing but girlishness; but for God it was something very important.  From praying the Rosary I began to take interest in being a moderate altar server; because I thought it was enough for me to help on Sunday and a few times a week.  I was interested in taking catechism classes and soon enough I also wanted to teach them. 

Together with these interests I also had some less spiritual ones: the world of horsebackriding captivated me and I spent many hours seated on a chair jumping obstacles and running with my horse in my mind; I also had many more dreams.  Little by little, though, things foreign to the spiritual life were starting to interest me: parties, weekends, etc. 

It was in this atmosphere that God called me more clearly; I had not considered the possibility of being a priest until the day when a priest from the Legionaries of Christ visited my high school.  I remember that his formal distinction, his joy, and his respect for each one of us impressed me a lot.  He seemed to me like a person from whom I could learn a lot, so I accepted his invitation to visit the apostolic school. That weekend was amazing.  I had the opportunity to live with the youth of my age who had an ideal, who reflected it, and not only that but also made it contagious.

I want to be like them

With this desire in my heart and with this decision I returned home: “I want to be
P. Luis Alfonso Avilés Pérez , L.C.
like them.” The time passed and I still had this desire. I able to receive permission from my parents, who knew I was in good hands, and who were convinced that I would come home in one week.  

Those few days that my parents thought I would spend away from home got longer and longer so that more than seventeen years passed by.  In fact, exactly 6744 days passed by until I was ordained a priest.  Certainly I did not deserve to have such a long preparation for my priesthood, except for the grace of God. Little by little, he gave me the help I needed to be faithful.  I am also very thankful for the unconditional and close help of my parents who encouraged me to keep on going in all moments.  I do not regret giving God these years.  If I could be eleven years old again, I would give them again. I believe that I have lost nothing and I have gained a lot.  I have gained friendship with God from an early age; I have gained friends and brothers who fight for the same ideal, looking to imbue the love of God in each heart and soul we find.

What things will you see?

Many are the surprises which a newly ordained priest has before him; but, he also has many beautiful experiences that will fill him with satisfaction.  All of these years I have been able to work with a lot of young people between twelve and eight years of age. As I have done, they also have asked the same question: “Master, where do you live?” They have also heard the Master’s reply: “Come and see.”  This is a great satisfaction I have able to have, helping out with the vocational centers of the Legion: to see that with each year there are young people throughout the whole world who renounce many opportunities of success and glory out of love for God, and are conscious that it is here where they will find their temporal and eternal happiness.

I can’t finish these words without mentioning that in my life I have always experienced the closeness of the Blessed Virgin.  She has guided me by the hand through these years.  I also direct my most sincere thankfulness toward all of those who helped me and accompanied me along the time of my preparation for the priesthood.

Father Luis Alfonso Avilés was born in Zacapu, Michoacán (Mexico) 21st of August, 1978.  He went to grade school at the School of Joan of Arc.  On the 4th of July, 1990 he joined the vocational center in the Legion of Christ, in Ajusco (Mexico).  He completed his novitiate and study of humanities in Salamanca (Spain).  He got a license in philosophy and bachelors in theology at the Pontifical Regina Apostolorum College. He helped with the formation in the vocational center in Guadalajara (Mexico).  Right now he is helping out with the formation of the vocational center in La Joya (Mexico City).



Translation of the vocation story published in the book "Vivir para Cristo"



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