I almost forgot an important event in my life. It was May 15, 2012 when I, along with 10 companions, had our habit-taking and consecration to Mary. I don’t have a copy of my prayer when I consecrated myself to Mary. All I ask our Good Mother is to journey with me by “holding my hand”. I have to search my archived photos just to see what happened that day. I was offline for more than a year that year except the final Sunday of the month where we were given a chance to use the computer and internet for an hour. If you look at my blog post archives, I think I wrote about that too. Anyway, when I had the chance to log in to my Facebook, I changed my profile picture with me wearing my new soutane only to be received with shocked or/and amused friends with me wearing eyeglasses and smiling broadly. Yeah, that was the year when I started wearing spectacles.
2012 was such a memorable year to me and I think I need to write more about that time when I spent two years in the novitiate.
I am thinking of buying a basic phone to spend less time with my smartphone with battery problems. Besides, my Notebook PC is a basic laptop. This is for me to write more, read more, and spend more time in silence.
I am just happy I made it this far in my religious life. I almost quit that year. I’ve been thinking lately about that decision when I hesitated to start religious life.
Maybe people had prayed for me and my vocation. I am thankful for them.
And maybe Mama Mary is still holding my hand. And I still pray for her to hold my hand and let her lead me to her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
I shouldn’t be posting here. After celebrating the 200 years of the Marist Brothers foundation as a congregation yesterday, I am now in an Oblates of Notre Dame retreat house for a recollection, writing my self-evaluation and my letter of application for the renewal of vows.
Please do pray for me as I spend time for reflection and prayer with my fellow temporarily professed young Marist Brothers in active ministry, teaching or doing mission work.
Hello. How are you? Me? A bit sad this day. Is this what they call separation anxiety? Maybe. Our young novice Br. Jay Jay went back to the novitiate as he now finished his apostolic exposure here in Cotabato community after three months of staying here. Br. Ador is in Bangkok until next week. Now, we’re only two brothers here in the convent as of the moment. Br. Oca also said that it feels sad now that we’re just two in the house. Absence of presence here now. The house is big but the occupants are few. That’s like a paraphrase of the harvest is abundant but the laborers are few. At least we have the Real Presence in the chapel. Let’s pay a visit to Him later.
Life as a brother can be lonely sometimes. No girlfriend, no wife, no family, no children. This is the life I have chosen. Sometimes the road can be lonesome. I hope what I feel is in solidarity with what my mother and sister in Japan feels like being isolated with their loved ones. To all widows, brokenhearted, single, overseas Filipino workers, I feel you. I pray for all of you. I don’t like this feeling but, yeah, I will savor this moment too. There’s a time to be sad and a time to rejoice. I will feel it and pray for it. And now I wrote it.
Cheers to life!
St. Francis of Assisi, who lead a life of solitude to follow our Lord, pray for us.
You know well the love I have for You
And Your love cannot be repaid by this wayward disciple
O how I easy it is to forget my vows to serve You and my brothers and sisters;
to be chaste, poor, and obedient like You, our Good Brother
And here I am, trying be like you yet ungrateful for wasting Your gifts
But see my intentions and not my faltering steps
Because I admit that I will always stay as a novice in following You more closely
And You, my Master, are always there to teach me
Let me unlearn the ways where I seek false comfort
and redirect me by being the lamp to my path.
Thank You for being my co-pilgrim, the God-with-us. Amen.
Your little brother,
Prompt: 2nd year anniversary of my First Profession of Vows
Today, during this Easter vigil, I renewed my vows for one year. Though my vows are not yet expired (until May 3, 2016), I reapplied for renewal since there was a renewal here in our Annual Retreat at the Jesuit Retreat House here in Malaybalay City, Mindanao. I left my batchmates in the scholasticate (my companions in my first profession of vows last May 2014) and joined the young Brothers in active ministry, which now makes me a member of the Temporary Professed Brothers in Active Ministry (TPBIAM).
Please pray for me and my 10 companions who renewed their vows too, two of which are about to profess perpetually next year.
I have an embarrassing confession to make. Before I entered consecrated life, I was a non-practicing Catholic who does not know well about our Church and her catechism. It is a long story to tell. To put it simply, I was not well catechized. And now that I am a Marist Brother, I need to start from the basics like sacraments, liturgy, and the scriptures.
It is not that I do not know the rites; I just do not understand a lot of things on how or why we do them.
It is not that I do not know the gospel; I just realized that there is a lot of things that I need to know about the scriptures.
I need to know.
I need to understand.
These are just the steps I have to take to go to the mountain of the Lord.