Carla M. González Cobos

Receive a warm greeting in Christ and Mary from the Island of Enchantment, Puerto Rico.
I am grateful for the honor of sharing a little piece of my life with you, but I recognize that my life would not be what it is without the love that God has had for me and has manifested to me through so many lives that strengthen me, accompany me, and guide me on this path of His Love. I have not done anything alone. All I have achieved is because He accompanies me and links me to teams and people full of love who move in the same direction. The doors of his house have always been open to this pilgrim who returns, replenishing the fountain in order to continue watering the field that has yet to blossom.

How can I be the mirror in which our Mother reflects herself?

I share with you my testimony, which is the testimony of so many women who fight for the love of God to inspire each of our actions and somehow build His Kingdom here on earth. To be invited to this space of reflection and celebration is for me a call to recognize my smallness and to be faithful. I confess that the invitation surprised me because since I made the decision to join in holy matrimony with a very special man, but who practices the Christian faith in another denomination, my life has been a constant questioning of my role as a Catholic woman in today’s world. How can I be Catholic and respond to the universality of our call to bring to all a merciful God who loves us as we are? How can I be the mirror in which our Mother reflects herself to accompany so many orphans of her love?

I marvel at God in every moment of life.

Since I was a child, I grew up in a very Catholic environment where all the traditions, rituals and doctrines of our Church were respected. In my youth I was able to participate in experiences that allowed me to know another reality different from my own and some with great material needs. I had my first missionary experiences both in my country and abroad and I discovered the value of service to others offered to God. Later, like many young people, I went to the university and spent many years of my life there, many. There I met Schoenstatt and I deepened my childlike love for my Mother in Heaven, whom I have since called Mater. Then, as I mentioned, I decided to take the sacramental step of marriage that in some way I felt as an ecumenical mission, a call for all of us to be one in keeping with Jesus’ great desire expressed in the gospel of John chapter 17. With the bleeding wounds of my falls I turn my gaze to her, the Mother of perfect Love who consoles and heals me to motivate me to continue being faithful to the Beloved even in my weakness.

However, weakness has been the most beautiful gift I have received from God. I marvel at God in every moment of life because he does great works when we put ourselves at his service. The Blessed Mother has allowed me to sing the Magnificat with her in so many moments in which God the Father has chosen me like David the shepherd among his brothers for missions that surpass my human capacities. She is using this humble imperfect servant to build up the granite of her Kingdom here on earth.

God has a great sense of humor.

As we know, God has a great sense of humor and in his great game of love he has allowed me to experience his closeness. He has allowed me to see within the saddest moments of my life his loving hand. Like every Father who loves, He has respected my freedom and if at times I can say that I have played with fire, His love for me is so great that before the fire ignited, he touched my heart and led me to the faithfulness of His love. He has transformed moments of desert and great learning, after great droughts, into beautiful flowered fields.
For the sake of giving a couple of concrete examples, I will tell you how God plants flowers and fruits in the desert. On one occasion, I was called together with a spectacular team from the Schoenstatt community in PR to lead a school to rescue the Catholic education there. To make a long story short, I can tell you that it was thanks to an accident I had with my son who was 4 months old at the time that the mission in that place flourished. The pain united us as a family and in that community, God multiplied his love and worked great miracles.

Another desert was a year of separation in my family. My husband and I lived apart all that time and since God is so humorous, after exactly one year my husband returned home just before the beginning of 2020 in Puerto Rico, a year that has been marked by earthquakes in the south of the island where I live and later by the pandemic. We went from being separated to being super together, so much so that we could not leave the house or interact with others. But those first months of the year, which have been so difficult for everyone in Puerto Rico and in the world, have become a blessing for our family. Like you, I have many stories that allow me to see how spoiled I am. I feel that the Father loves me deeply and even when because of my humanity I walk away, his love does not abandon me and his loving and merciful gaze brings me back into the fold. From time to time I am the sheep that runs away, but the Good Shepherd never leaves me. He takes me on his shoulders, corrects me and celebrates a feast for the return of his little sheep. I then reinforce my commitment to continue the mission he has entrusted to me.

Lord, what do you want from me?

In the face of so much love, we cannot avoid the question: Lord, what do you want from me? As I watch my life develop, I discover my calling. You definitely want me in the educational field of my country. Here I am called to sow the seed of the Kingdom. I have spent a part of my life at the university where there are so many young people who feel alone and with so many problems of depression, low self-esteem, etc. I am not a psychologist, I studied foreign languages, but I am a daughter of God and to love as He has taught us is what many people need today.

In another part of my life, although short but very rich, I had the privilege of being called to lead a Catholic school together with the Schoenstatt community in Puerto Rico as I mentioned. There I saw the need for children and youth to learn in a loving environment. We were able to regain the smiles of many children who were unhappy, children who did not dare to play. There I discovered that schools are privileged spaces to begin to heal our society. We do not work with children, we work with whole families and at this time, our families are wounded and in need of discovering God’s love.

Today I am part of the public education system of Puerto Rico. I am forming myself as a Montessori guide with the desire to build a country from the classroom, to build the granite of the Kingdom of God so that these young people in turn can build themselves and silently, from love and with Love, we can go on transforming our environments. I fight for a fair education, in which we work to overcome the lag and social disparity. I fight for spaces in which the developmental plans of children are respected, and where they are allowed to discover and learn with happiness. I fight for the opportunity for parents to be educated, so that we can transform punitive education based on prizes and punishments, into an education motivated by human love and the desire to learn and be better. I fight for the community in the face of a world full of selfishness that seeks to respond to personal agendas that are far from the common good. I fight for a country where our children can grow, laugh, play, learn for the sake of learning. I fight for an education for peace.

The Father is writing straight on lines that seem crooked to us. Within this whole path of searching to serve the children and youth of our country, these quests have been transforming my family environment. God has provided an alternative way to mold us like clay, through our actions for others. Our children have also been our mirrors so that we realize our own smallness. Without knowing it, they have helped us to bring out the best in ourselves as parents, as we seek to help them. As I look at my mission within my family, I see it as intimately linked to my mission in the larger community/ I go as the teacher who delves deeper into the subject matter as she teaches it. And to make you laugh at God’s humor, what would you say if I told you that on this journey God invited me and my Protestant husband to live in a convent within the Catholic school?

Not only does he want to mold me as a woman, he caresses me and watches over me. He protects my family relationship (with my husband) so that we are educated and transformed all along the line. All that remains is to marvel at Him and to dialogue with the Blessed Mother over a good cup of coffee about the greatness of God, our Savior.