Saturday, September 22, 2007

SEMINARY: A Place of Transformation

The only thing that does not change is this world is the reality of change. Everything really changes. We grow, develop, we become what we are because of change. Change is always part of man’s reality. It is a reality that cannot be neglected while we are still living. There is history and perhaps projection of the future because of various transition of this world of phenomena.

Young men living in the seminary experience this reality of change in their lives. They are coming from different places with different family backgrounds and upbringings, different orientations but they are all called to change and focus their gaze to follow they way of the Good Shepherd. Despite of the many differences and uniqueness of each seminarian the seminary tries to provide a good seminary formation to somehow change and form the seminarians to be a better person. Seminary is the heart of the diocese. It is the factory of future ambassador of Christ in His church and so seminarians would really undergo seminary formation to be equipped for his future ministry. Talking about seminary formation would entail a long period of submission to the rule of life inside the seminary. Submission would simply mean denying oneself but the act of denying in itself is the hardest thing to do.

I could still remember the first time I enter the seminary it was one of the nicest thing that happen in my life. I stayed in the seminary full of enthusiasm bringing all the prayers and support of my family and friends. I learn many things inside the seminary which I didn’t learn outside. The seminary really transform my being, it alters my way of living. What I am now I owe it to the seminary. It is indeed a memorable experience living the house of formation. A priceless legacy that nobody can take it from me; it was such a great experience – happiness, bounding and most especially the sense of brotherhood. My longing to have a brother I found it inside. Yes! It’s inevitable that there were times that I feel bored and down, spiritual dryness would always be there but that’s normal. What is important is acknowledging those feelings and find ways to overcome it. Those dark moments of seminary life would be conquered when we all share our jokes and laugh with our own mistakes.

Man by nature would always find the meaning of his existence and for me I found it inside the seminary. I am happy of this kind of lifestyle doing what is expected of me. Many seminarians who left the seminary, perhaps they did not find meaning of what they are doing and prefer to go out to search the meaning of their lives outside the portals of the seminary. That’s the reality of seminary life; it is always a life of hellos and goodbyes. It is indeed “many are called but only few are chosen”.

On the other hand, people in the outside world would say that seminarians are somewhat living in a detention cell. Less opportunity to enjoy life, less in exercising human freedom, perhaps, they conceived this idea because they did not understand the whole picture of what the seminary wants to emphasize. The rule of life in the seminary is a way of disciplining and forming the seminarians to be holy and good priests. Living the seminary structure, I consider myself as a free person because freedom for me is to live where I want to, to do what makes me feel good, to enjoy life at my own pace. Yes, it’s true that sometimes I want a certain things to do but because of the rules I cannot carry out those things but it doesn’t hinder my being to be free. It is a matter of how I submit myself to the policy inside the seminary. Freedom is not the liberty to do anything but to do good and in this alone happiness is to be found. Entering the seminary with my own will is a concrete manifestation that I am a free person. Choosing this kind of life which I think a good decision that I made that gives happiness to me.

Here I am now still embracing the best part of the seminary. I never regret why I decided to enter the seminary. The Maradjao Magbalantay College Seminary molded me to be a better person. Perhaps, this is my opportunity to thank my formators in guiding me on this road less traveled of priestly vocation. The teachers from this institution and the institution itself for they are part of my seminary life specially the academic aspect of seminary formation. The five long years of untold toils and sacrifices is about to end but it is also a new beginning for another harder journey to trudge, a new challenges to face, a new struggle to conquer.

Vocation is mystery in itself. I am sure that not all of us who are aspiring to become priest would reach until ordination. Things do change. I don’t know where I am going but I’m sure I’m on my way and so I am open to any possibilities in life; open to accept the divine plan of God. Whatever life may bring the memory and happiness that the seminary provides is worth to be remembered. What I am now is a gift from God, what I would be is my gift to God. I would be ordained or not one thing I want to make sure is I am happy of whatever kind of vocation I am living in the future.†

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