María Belén Gómez G.

Born in 1994 in Asunción, Paraguay; her family is very important to her; she has got two siblings; speech therapist; belongs to the girl’s youth since she was 9 years old; participating in the family mission and responsibilities in the formation of leaders in the girl’s youth.

What experiences have formed you as a woman?

“Those who see me, should see you.”
This sentence accompanies me and shapes my path of life. During the time I was a member of the Schoenstatt Youth, I learned to understand it more and more deeply.
The moment when I began to participate in the Schoenstatt Youth is a milestone in my life story and has strongly influenced me as a woman. I began at a young age and grew at the hand of Mary, the Blessed Mother, and through the pedagogy of our father and founder. They taught me and educated me about the value of woman; they showed me how important we are as women. I learned how, through self-education and in freedom, we must take care of ourselves and value ourselves, because we are children of the Queen.
The ideal of the Girls’ Youth in Paraguay is: “Woman clothed with the sun, heart of the Nation of God.” This ideal was an impulse for me in different stages of my life; like a bell it resounded in me and reminded me to become like the Immaculata. I can say that it penetrated deep inside me and left its mark, because every day you become aware of what a gift it is to be a woman, and how precious it is to take care of yourself physically and spiritually.  These ideals were very important pillars for me, and today I can say that they helped me to nurture my vocation without me being aware of it.

Where have you experienced God in your life?

In the course of my life I could perceive God in various situations. I grew up in a very Catholic family, which taught me the value of talking to God (prayer) and serving others (seeing God in my surroundings) from childhood on. It gives me joy to discover God in the smile of the children, in the joy of a group of friends and also in the love within my own family.
But the experience that was very meaningful for my life, the experience of a very close Father God, I had the day I discovered my vocation.
Often, in the desire to maintain control over one’s own life, one forgets that there is a divine plan, a plan that only aims at our happiness.
This shaped and touched me deeply, because I believed that I had everything under control and that the path I had chosen was the one on which I would find fulfillment. But I realized that God’s gaze rests on me, he chooses me and calls me by my name. Through this merciful gaze of God, I could understand that He chose me in my smallness, just as I am, that he educated me and prepared my heart to know His will. In this way I met a fatherly God who wants only one thing: to embrace his child in love. I am his creature, that is how he thought of me and longed for me.
Today I can say that this process, this leap into nothingness, which is the beginning of my vocation, can be expressed in one sentence:
“The adventure of the vocation begins with a joyful YES to God and is strengthened in prayer.”
Indeed, it is an adventure to which God invites us, and it is this joyful YES to be an instrument of God through your life that awakens in you the desire to follow the divine will. It is this yes that brings you peace and inspires you to start anew, and it is this yes that is strengthened in the daily and concrete dialogue with God our Father.

What do you see as THE challenge for women today?

In today’s world, as women and youth, we experience the greatest challenge in remaining true to our own ideals and those of being a woman. I mention this because we young people today live a “disposable life”, so to speak, according to the theory that “you only live once”. We tend to experiment and try things that do not correspond to our ideals.
Today it costs a lot to be different and to swim against the current. It is easier to be carried by the “wave” of society, the masses. Swimming against the current makes you tired, requires double effort, and often we are defeated.
The ideals of womanhood must be deeply rooted within us; we must know, love and appreciate each other with the firm conviction that we are chosen and loved by God. We must choose this path without asking ourselves what is driving the current of the world, but rather choose the current of an authentic being, a faithful image of Mary, the Mother of God, which is so dismissed by the youth of today.

What do you want to change in this world through your life?

“Let no one come to you without leaving better and happier.” (Saint Teresa of Calcutta)
I begin with this quote from Mother Teresa because I am convinced that through relationships we can create a web of love and joy. And as this quote says, my greatest longing is to be an instrument of God in the place where I stand, through my witness and lifestyle, so that every person I meet can feel the joy of being a child of God.
I would like to be like a step, a bridge, for every person in his or her union with God. I want to carry on the great work of our father and founder, this Schoenstatt that made me grow and strengthened me in all my integrity, so that many can find a foothold, a deep attachment to Mary, the Blessed Mother, and so that from the shrine the graces flow and become fruitful in the lives of others.