Hi everybody ,my name is Juan and I’m Spanish.
My father was very demanding and wanted a lot from us .I was fifteen when he died and I was so angry with him that I was nearly happy of it. Today I’ m sorry because I realize I couldn’t appreciate the way he showed me his love: he wanted me to study hard to become “someone “in life. Unluckily I didn’t understand it and I never thanked him for this. I haven’t yet totally forgiven him but I will: now I know he loved me and he did all he could for our family even if he had his own difficulties.
My problems started during my childhood: I had to be successful at school to make my father happy otherwise anything might happen. If my marks were not good, my father got angry and I was so scared that I never spoke to him, I never asked for his help. I was sad and silent.
I have five brothers and a sister and when my father died, one of them ,Carlos, did his best to take care of me. But the result was that I followed him along his wrong way. Thanks God, one day he entered the Community and started to pray for me together with many friends, he did lots of sacrifices and fast for several months and I didn’t know anything .One day he turned up in Madrid where I lived to take me out of darkness and to the light.
After my last car accident I lost a hand and I couldn’t accept this: I felt no more strong, handsome and intelligent. My brother tried to help me but I refused. Still today I can’t explain how I entered here :I didn’t want to lie with addicts ,I didn’t accept either myself or the others! But a miracle was performed: I entered the house where my brother was and I realized that those boys where not the bad people I had to fight against in the streets ;I met joyful people who really wished to help me. So I let their love overwhelm me. I tied to kneel down but it was hard. My brother used to say to me: ”Go before the Eucharist and speak with Jesus even though you don’t believe in Him.” I used to reply:” If I don’t believe in Him how can I talk to him ?”It was the start of lent and I decided to get up at two o’clock at night to pray. There I found something that “pushed “me and backed me: I was no longer alone but Somebody was next to me and helped every day.
Five months later I realized that spring was beginning, with the sun, the birds… so I said to myself: “ Do you realize that you were unable to see all these beautiful things?”
I felt I was loved so I started to love the others too, to build beautiful and true friendships ,to donate myself to the youth that were coming in, passing to them all the good I had received.
At first I was very proud :we had to carry logs and I always wanted the biggest; I wanted to show I was strong even if I had only one arm. I understood that the difficulty to me was accepting myself as I was, to love myself accepting life as it was. I also learnt to ask for help, to say :”Please ,can you help me to lace up my shoes? Will you help me to carry this log?” This was my greatest victory.
After a while I went home for my prosthesis and I tried to help my brother who lived in Paris: he was desperate and needed help. I visited him and I told him:” Our brother Carlos made it, I’m making it, you will too.” But he refused because of his job and of his son. I insisted:” Come and see, your job is not more important than life and your son needs a healthy father not a drunkard.”
When I was back in Lourdes I started to pray for him and the most beautiful thing was that the boy in charge of the house started to do adoration and fast with me.
I went on praying for three years and was good for me ,I became stronger and rebuilt my will in good things. One day the boy in charge called me and announced that my brother was about to come in. I could not believe it! Today I pray for the very many boys in Spain who need help. There is no house from Cenacolo there so please pray for Spain : if God wants we will open a house there to give hope to many lost youth. Thank you!