Ana López just concluded her term as the territorial director for the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi for Spain. She gave an interview about her 36 years of consecrated life.
Ana is originally from Madrid and started on the path to Regnum Christi when a friend from school invited her to a club “where they taught you how to play the guitar for free!” She considers the great talent each has for others and sees Regnum Christi in each person. She shares on a wide range of topics from her tight bond with her parents to her experience of the new form of collegial government in Regnum Christi.
We have heard you say that it continues to surprise you to be able to eat every day. Who is Ana?
A consecrated woman who greatly appreciates the great and the small, and who knows and feels extremely loved.
What does the Lord say to Ana during these last days as territorial director? Does he have a word for you?
He spoke to me today at mass, in that song so well known to all: “You have come to the shore… you just want me to follow you.” And it was just yesterday that I made a mistake in some decision and during Mass I was distracted and sullen. And this song resounded like it was the first time I’d heard it: it was God saying, “I’m still calling you!” The greatest thing is not Ana as Territorial Director, it is Ana loved and called, whatever happens in God plan.
And what does Ana say to the Lord?
Before you said that you met ECYD when you were 14 years old, and that a world opened up to you when they began to talk to you about talents. What do you remember from that time? Did you discover your talents?
Hahaha, I certainly didn’t find out if I could play the guitar very well! It was a time of friendship, enormous joy, apostolic creativity and charity in speech! I will never forget this word, benedicencia [translated as “charity in speech”] and the experience of it. And over time I have discovered that talents are summarized in one word: Serve; the one who serves, gives himself… Each one is the great talent of God for the others.
What did Jesus say to you to offer you consecrated life? How did he tell you?
It was in Eucharistic adoration at night on a Holy Thursday. As a young woman, I was very impressed with how far Christ’s love for me stretches… and with all the strength and generosity of a full heart following his example, I asked him what he wanted from me… Just one word formed in my mind: Consecration. It was the first time that this style of following and loving Christ entered my heart, and it stayed.
You have been consecrated for 36 years, how would you summarize the path of Consecrated Women from when you entered Regnum Christi until today?
As they describe the way of Christ in the Gospel: We grow in age, wisdom, and grace as Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi. And the growth continues…
Imagine all your sisters in the territory… What do you see? What do you experience when looking at them?
Greatness of soul and heart, lives given.
How do you imagine the future of Regnum Christi in Spain in the next 6 years?
Hopefully with members of the Regnum Christi who are apostles. This is enough. Everything else, serving these apostles of the Kingdom
What is going to have to change that has not changed yet?
The conversion of our hearts to the love of Christ and service to people.
What do you think has to happen?
May we all set our eyes, hearts and hands on the only project of Christ: His Kingdom here in Spain.
You were very clear about your mission as interim territorial director. Why? What did it consist of?
In being Territorial Director.
When the disease comes on the scene
A phrase that resonated at the recent General Assembly was “Consecrated women, fully alive who give life.” Paradoxically, during my time as territorial director, the pandemic burst onto the scene: you had COVID. Your father had two strokes. You have been able to take care of him and your mother, but the circumstances have been harsh. Tell me three things that have happened to you in this time, of those that departed and those who love you.
First, that suffering is touched by the presence of God. Second, that heaven is the wisdom of those who believe. Third, that the noblest and greatest bond that I have as consecrated on earth are my parents… and when the pain of losing them appears, the greater the desire for heaven.
What role has the community had?
In the community I continue to learn how to grow in real, concrete love… to love like this and to know myself loved.
Do you ever say to God, “Please, stop, I need to breathe”? Is it cross? Is it a gift?
Yes! Several times a week… Yes, it is a cross… and the cross is a gift… because it saves and gives life.
In everything love and serve
Many years of your life have been linked to the educational work of Regnum Christi. Could you share a challenge, a path and an opportunity that you see for Regnum Christi’s educational work in Spain?
A challenge: a place of evangelization. One path: professors who are witnesses to Christ. An opportunity: see the thirst for Christ that is in that world of education.
You have been part of the first Regnum Christi Territorial Directive College of Spain, which puts you on an equal footing with each of the other territorial directors in the Regnum Christi government, along with the laity who attend. Do you think this way of directing is good?
Can you explain why?
Definitely! I believe, and I think that I am sharing the opinion of those of us who are involved, that the possible initial doubts in this regard have been changed by lived evidence that truly manifests the richness of the gift of each vocation, and real, mature, and effective decisions regarding the mission. I can say that we have grown as a collegial government in such a short time and… we have even left the meetings happy!
What have you learned from this experience in terms of reconciling branch autonomy and common mission?
The respect that we all have for the autonomy of each one of the branches is important… because this solid autonomy brings as a result that each one enriches the common mission from who he is in Regnum Christi.
What have you discovered about yourself in these last two years?
That I am needy! I need to work with council, I need the community, I need the Legion, the Lay Consecrated Men, the lay Regnum Christi members…
There is a time for everything
How is your transition to Betty Rivera [new territorial director of Spain, previously in the Philippines] working? Have you given her any advice that you can share with us?
Because of COVID-19, the transition is virtual. In addition, Betty is an extremely proactive person, restless, who likes to ask questions and build… so she is being very simple and concrete. When she arrived, we already had a planning and transition week planned.
Deepening and renewing the exercise of authority and the experience of obedience, and continuing discernment on the experience of poverty, are 2 of the 7 orders from the Assembly to the Government of Consecrated Women from now until 2026. What does it mean to you?
Living my vows evangelically, as a consecrated apostle of Regnum Christi.
How do you see it?
It is a current challenge that is essential for a healthy consecrated life.
Leaving government… is it difficult?
Not at all! It’s a relief!
What are you going to do now?
I will know shortly.
This was originally published on the Regnum Christi site of Spain. Read the original there.