An open letter to a friend

Dear friend,

How are you?

I wrote to you to remind you again that my vocation is responding to the call as a religious or consecrated brother. I know you do not know what kind of vocation I entered.

I chose this life thinking it is the best way for me to be closer to God. I was “away” for a long time and I wanted to come back home. I think you saw me struggle with faith before. I thought this was the best way for me to be back home again. To be consecrated means to be set apart. And with the help of discernment, I was convinced that it is best for me to follow Christ set apart from the world, my family, friends, dreams and ambitions. It is a hard choice.

The life I have chosen is counter-cultural. I am not a priest yet I am not going to marry. How foolish is that? If I appear to be foolish by choosing this path, I would not argue. Indeed, I am a fool for Christ.

I watched the Infinity Wars yesterday. If Dr. Strange would ask me which master do I serve, I would love to say that I serve Jesus. But I know deep inside of me, my heart is divided. I admit that I have strange idols. I won’t mention them one by one. This is one of my hardest struggles I face. I sometimes lose sight of Christ. I am just like Peter who tried to walk in the water but looked elsewhere. I stumble many times in trying to walk this life. But I know that He will catch me whenever I fall. I am having a hard time right now. My consecration is the “cross” I am carrying to follow Christ.

I must admit that along the way it feels so hard to keep my fidelity and zeal as a consecrated person, I am struggling and trying to be the best that I can offer though I know deep inside I am a great sinner.

If you are frustrated for the fact that I, despite of my absence of good looks, would forego dating or marriage, then I respect your right to feel that way. I just do not know if you are just truly concerned of my personal happiness. If you are, then I thank you my friend.

And I must remind myself everyday that it is not about me, it’s about Him. I pray to our good Lord that let not my will be done, but may His will be done.

If it is God’s will for me to be a brother in consecrated life, then so be it. Amen.

If it is God’s will for me to be a brother in common life, then so be it. Amen.

I hope that we will see each other face to face in the future and we will listen to each other’s stories over a cup of coffee.

Please pray for me.

Your little brother,

An open letter to my Geometry students

Dear VBA,

Let me pour out my soul. I am deeply touched by you, my students in Geometry whom I spent a year almost ten months with. This is only possible because of the risks I took and as well as your responsiveness.

I am not a Geometry teacher but I tried being one and I finally became one. I am very vocal of that I am not a math major and you, the students, know it. Is it because you don’t have a choice? Maybe yes or no. You could have complained me with the admin but you didn’t do it or should I say you won’t dare do it. Or no because you don’t have any teacher available to share knowledge of measuring plane Geometry. Or are you afraid of the one teacher you once had? You don’t need to answer me.

At first, I am actually more than happy to take the opportunity since I want to use my license in teaching, practice mentoring, and because of my love for Mathematics. I know it’s a love-and-hate relationship when I was still a student. And now that I finished my duties as a teacher inside the class, I can say that my disposition remained the same. I am still happy that I was able to teach Math to the lovely and vibrant class of VBA, you guys, the section I handled.

It was a risk because I am not an expert in Geometry and not even a Math major in college. I was vulnerable to be called as someone who doesn’t even know what I was teaching. That never happened and I am thankful that it didn’t happen. I risked being wrong sometimes because that’s my challenge to the students: risk being wrong, to commit mistakes, bounce back and learn from these mistakes. Some overdid it actually. But I am proud that they were able to do it: err boldly.

Your class, though noisy most of the time, was easy to handle and ideal for a rookie teacher like me. You respected me as your teacher through your courteousness, listens when I want to say something important, and are open to share your frustrations, struggles, and even triumphs. I know that since I asked you to write journal entries during the second half of the school year. And even without those writings, you were still open to express those emotions inside our class. I proposed Remedial classes and you attended them. You could have opted to sleep more in the morning before P.E. time every Saturday but you are willing to sacrifice your free time. As mathematicians, not all of you are brilliant. However, you showed resilience and that’s the most important lesson you can take away from our class. To bounce back, to commit mistakes and learn from them, and the willingness to try again are important in learning as well as in living as human beings in terms of your relationships and reaching for your aspirations in life.

I am happy as your teacher VBA. I am happy to meet students like you. So in this final day of the school year, I have to let you go guys. I will always remember you in my prayers. You will always have a special place in my heart. You are the first class I ever handled and that makes it more memorable. As I said to one of your classmates, no one can ever replace you. That’s right, you are ever unique.

I pray for your bond as a section to be a lot stronger and closer. May you be away from all useless anxieties. And may you all grow well and be yourselves. Don’t ever pretend to be someone whom you are not.

Maraming salamat VBA.

See you again.

Br. Allen, FMS

A child’s letter to a butterfly (flash fiction)

Dear Butterfly,

When my grandmother died, I learned something new from my friends:
When a moth or a butterfly enters a house, a dearly departed visits.
From now on, I will not catch nor kill you whenever you come inside our home.

I would confess something I’m not too proud to admit.
Last year, I caught plenty of our relatives;
I thought they were Pokémons.
I’m so sorry, I didn’t know yet.

I hope you’ll forgive me.

Your little brother,

Writing Prompt: Writing 101: To Whom it May Concern (Assignment No. 13)