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Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Jesus walks with everyone!

Antonio Gonzalez Jr
Michelle Avila is showing her Christian Bible and notes from a Bible study group.

“I left everything behind after having an experience that was unexplainable.”

Jorge Avila, a tall bald 45-year-old ex–gang member, never shies away from a risky decision. Gangbanging, selling drugs – even prison time.

Despite the recent controversies of religion due to political issues and scrutiny from the media, Jorge Avila is one of many others who describe having similar experiences as well as their Stan for Jesus, including Avila’s daughter.

Michelle Avila, a 24-year-old Christian who is majoring in nursing, spoke about how God guided her back to being happy and her personal opinion on when God appears in people’s lives.

Before a word even came out, her eyes began to water up as she calmly laid back on the couch and said, “I think God appears to everybody in their own way.

“So I can say that I think people who are their lowest; a good example is people who are depressed, suicidal and all of that. I think that’s when God will appear to them and be like this is not what you are meant for. Like your life is not meant for you to live this way …”

As Michelle’s eyes begin to turn red due to her eyes being watery, she continues to add, “… I was not that long ago going through it, like depressed. I felt like I had no one and God opened my eyes and told me, What do you mean, you have the only person that you need in your life and that’s God.

“I think at times when everybody is at their lowest, that’s when God will make you realize you are worth more and he has a purpose for you in life.”

Both of the Avilas mentioned their strong faith in God — this strength is what others believe in god. God points to when reflecting on illnesses they’ve defeated. They say their belief in Jesus kept them alive.

Caritina Ruiz, a 48-year-old Catholic lady, once had her doctor tell her, “I’m going to be honest with you. You have major health implications, but I am going to work the best I can.”

Caritina Ruiz with her Virgin Mary statue and her light candles of Jesus. As her dad’s picture is on the wall, taken on March 14. (Antonio Gonzalez Jr)

Ruiz grew up in a religious household, but at that particular moment, she prayed more than she ever had. Ruiz is a wife and a mother of two kids and was feeling scared of dying and not being able to see her family again.

As Ruiz begins to tell her story, she begins to cry as her daughter comforts her with a hug.

Ruiz took a pause to recuperate and said she had a surgery that lasted a week, but needed 3-4 surgeries a day while her stomach was open the entire week.

“Two days before I had my surgery, I had a dream where I saw myself at church praying and asking God to help me live since I was scared to die.”

Ruiz begins to cry but manages to keep on telling the story.

“So when I was praying, a pastor came up to me with a rosary of wounds and told me, God had sent me to pray for you because you need it. Here’s this rosary to bless you.

“The next day I went to the same church that I envisioned, which was Santa Rosa de Lima. As I was praying, a pastor came up to me and the exact same thing happened –,” she adds.

“And before the second day of surgery, I had a dream where I saw a monk and I ran to him. I asked if he could pray despite being of a different religion, I asked him because I was still scared. And from that point, I felt relaxed”, she said. “And that is the reason why I have so much faith in God.”

Ruiz says she’s grateful to God for giving her strength and that she loves God so much. Some people say she is loving God too much.

A priest named Michael Mastelle, who preaches at Saint Helen Church in South Gate, argues there’s no such thing as loving Jesus too much.

“You can look at it intellectually or personally. Would you ever blame a husband for loving his wife too much? Or a son continuing to give thanks and gifts to his mother. Even if the son knows he’ll never be able to repay whatever he received from my mom, you know. So I think when it comes to God it’s even more …”

Father Michael waves his hand passionately as he sits in a neighborhood coffee shop in his collar.

“See this is the logic of love, our selfishness always puts limits. Well, that’s enough, that is work mentally … When it comes to love, there’s no limit. It’s done with joy … so I think Saint Francis is a good example of potentiality and capacity if we fully open to God.”

In the end, Stan’s of Jesus Christ, shared a common thing, faith. Whether that would be an illness, depression or asking for a change they had faith and believed.

For those who would ask “When would Jesus appear in their lives to prove he’s real,-“

Jorge Avila had an answer, “God is about faith believing by faith. That’s something hard because faith is not something you see, it’s a belief.”

“Do you think those non-believers and atheists don’t have faith?”

Avila responded with confidence,

“They are the type that don’t believe what they don’t see … believing in God is just a lot. Not seeing, but believing.”

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About the Contributors
Antonio Gonzalez Jr
Antonio Gonzalez Jr, Staff Writer
Antonio Gonzalez Jr is a staff writer for Talon Marks. Besides journalism, Antonio is an airplane technician who loves to travel around the world. He aspires to become a public relation representative for Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman or any other big cooperation. He hopes to transfer to Cal Poly.
Jesus Alduenda
Jesus Alduenda, Production Editor
Jesus Alduenda is the production editor and graphic designer at Talon Marks. Some of his hobbies include collecting coins, watching bugs and designing. Jesus plans to make a career in event planning, curating art galleries and charities.
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Jesus walks with everyone!