Leonor: In college, I regularly attended Mass on Sundays while juggling jobs and classes during the week. I unexpectedly had emergency surgery to remove a softball sized cyst from my ovary. Doctors told me I wouldn’t be able to have children. I felt crushed. I thought God had abandoned me. I gathered my crucifix, rosary, prayer books and statue of Mary and put them in a shoe box. If God didn’t care about me, then I wouldn’t believe in Him. No more church and prayers. I would just enjoy college life like I saw everyone else doing. I felt empty and lost.
Ed: Around that time, I saw Leonor just going through the motions of life but the happiness that usually surrounded her was muted. She told me she wouldn’t be going to church. I went to her apartment building week after week and waited outside her window until it was time to leave for Mass. She refused to come down. I kept asking until she finally said she would come along once if I promised to leave her alone afterwards. So that Sunday she came down, got into my car and we drove to church. I felt hopeful. She stood, sat and knelt but wouldn’t say any of the prayers. When the time came for the consecration, the bells rang. The sunlight came through the stained-glass window and flooded the altar with colorful moving rainbows. Leo took a deep breath, exhaled and began to cry.
Leonor: At that moment, I fell in love. I fell in love with God again. As I looked at Ed, my best friend, I started to feel a different kind of love for this amazing man who had brought me back to Christ. That man later became my husband.
Leonor “Leo” and Ed Rivera are members of the local Worldwide Marriage Encounter community.