"I accepted the invitation"

Óscar Migueles writes about the joy he discovered in friendship: "When you're involved in something good, you invite the people you care about."

Óscar (left) and Rodrigo (right)

In my youth, I was focused on the same things as other people my age: studies and sports. I studied kinesiology at the Catholic University of Maule and met Rodrigo, who was quite different from me. I was very restless and impulsive, while he was calm and reflective. I've always valued his advice. We completed our studies and found ourselves working in the same field. Today, both of us teach at the University of the Andes, and I also work at the university clinic.

One day, Rodrigo invited me to participate in meetings for Christian formation called circles. I had neglected the spiritual part of my life and I felt somewhat undernourished in that area, unlike in the professional, academic, or athletic parts of my life. So I accepted the invitation.

During one of these meetings, we discussed the idea that not everything is within human control. We can strive for control, but there's always something we can't master, and we suffer over it. That's where God comes in, giving us the grace to face difficulties. All He asks is for us to trust Him.

I had been in a relationship for 15 years without getting married. This discussion helped us decide to take the next step and get married. We understood that if we waited for everything to be under control, we would never commit to anything. It was a simple but effective reflection.

Time passed. I had not received some of the sacraments, including Confirmation, but I saw a bulletin at the university that said, "If you want to receive any sacrament (baptism, first communion, or confirmation) call the Chaplaincy." That was my opportunity. I called the Chaplaincy, and they said I could do my confirmation with them, that it wasn't just for students. I called Rodrigo and asked him to be my godfather and catechist. He agreed, of course.

I remember that once, when Rodrigo was inviting me to receive Christian formation, he told me, "When you're involved in something good, you invite the people you care about." Nine years have gone by since that moment, and when I don't attend those means of formation for whatever reason, I miss them. They have helped me calm down, be more serene, and have a kinder outlook on life.

So, for me, friendship has been tremendously important; a friendship that, thanks to God, also opened up to the spiritual realm.