BEING a missionary in my Catholic community for 8 years, I got to know and get close to people who are just so in love with Jesus and the mission. But seldom do I meet men, yes, young men, who are so in love with our Mother Mary and just can’t help but always talk about her. Rare is the guy who is transfixed by Our Lady, like a young man just so full of love. So imagine my surprise when this guy, Jhonsen Sales, talked with passion about Mary during one of our community’s activities. Back then, I was already falling in love with Marian devotion and consecration, that every time I would listen to someone give a talk, I would always offer a special rosary for that person as the talk would progress. So while Jhonsen was in front and speaking to us, with me holding my rosary, he just started talking and talking about Mama Mary that I had to ask myself, “Who is this guy?”
So, let’s get to know Jhonsen.
Sky: So, you’re an electronics and communications engineer, and as an engineer myself, I know that we can get “scientific” and theoretical in some, or let’s say, most things. With this, how did you get to know the mystery and gift of Christ in your life?
Jhonsen: The year 2008 was the worst and yet the best year of my life. I was at the peak of my “worldly” lifestyle and to tell you honestly, I was totally drowned in sinning, though I was not aware that what I was doing was really wrong. I sinned and I sinned a lot. I was addicted to sex, pornography, and well, everything that you can think of. There was no guilt within me, maybe because I was blinded by the enemy. But praise God, 2008 was also a year when I got to know the Lord more. I believe I was rescued! With just a few words that I’ve heard from a preacher, my life totally changed direction. “You are so special,” the preacher said. Then I have realized that in encountering God, whatever or whoever I am, God had been loving me in my past, present and future. He has given everything to me, even His own Son just to save me and be with Him in heaven.
Sky: You’ve always been active in social media, sharing about Jesus and about our Mother Mary. Can you tell us about Mary’s impact on your personal life?
Jhonsen: I dreamt of her. I realized, maybe because I pray the rosary a lot. Before, I did not know how to pray. Even with the rosary, I needed to have a guide to do it. But then it became a habit and I have realized that Mary helped me to know more about Jesus. She helped me fill my spiritual hunger. In a way, I feel special because in my sleep, I dream of her, though I felt unworthy, but I am convinced that Mama Mary is preparing me for a mission — a mission which I am willing to fulfill for the sake of my love for her as my spiritual Mother.
Sky: How important is Marian consecration for you? How did you get to know this kind of entrustment / consecration?
Jhonsen: When I was in China for work, I researched a lot about our Catholic faith. And then I came across a 12-page e-book called The Secret of Mary by St.Louis de Montfort. I read through it and was so amazed by its contents. It contained messages that reveal and speak about Mama Mary that you can’t find in any other book. To consecrate myself to Mama Mary is about surrendering my life to Jesus through Mary. Only Mary can help us and lead us into communion with the Holy Trinity.
Sky: How did the consecration help you in your practical life?
Jhonsen: Everything is grace. The consecration opened my heart, mind and soul to every grace that our God wants to give us. It also allowed me to be open to respond to these graces that can and will lead me to sanctity, purity and holiness.
Sky: What is your personal goal? Your personal mission?
Jhonsen: I want to become a saint. That’s my spiritual goal. I don’t know how, but one thing I am sure of, only our MOM, Mary Our Mother, can help us become saints. I want to share to other people the mission of Mama Mary in Salvation history — to defend her the way she protected me.
Sky: And now on to my usual question, which is I ask all my interviewees, what are your simple joys?
Jhonsen: Reading books and stories about the saints and spending time in the Blessed Sacrament
Jhonsen and I are currently writing a book called Mercy Café: Coffee for the Soul that contains our learnings and experiences on mission and most especially, on our love for the Eucharist and our MOM, Mary Our Mother, plus our conversations over coffee. We also have Mercy Café: Coffee and Conversations sessions (catechism over coffee) every second Saturday of the month in one of the restaurants in Quezon City. The book and the café are part of the bigger mission to spread God’s love and mercy called the “Mercy Project.” Visit our website www.ourmercyproject.com.