Monday, August 18, 2008

Too Young

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations. Then I said, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy"…(Jer. 1:4-6)

While reflecting on the profound calling of Jeremiah I could not help but to think back the genesis of my vocation, reminiscing those moments that through the course of time brought me to SJVTS. Those were experiences of unqualified moments of happiness and eagerness that I wanted to clench through the rest of my life because it shaped me to be come who I am right now. I don’t have any mystical experiences to share about my vocation that push me to enter the seminary. My entry to the seminary has been so ordinary. No surprises, no amazement. But it has a great impact on me, of course. People may not seem to notice the glow within me but it really speaks a lot to me. I was about to study in MSU hopeful to gain promising degree for my future but the moment I receive the letter informing me that I was accepted in the seminary every thing has changed. That letter became the turning point of my life. It really altered the course of my life. I entered the seminary with my own choosing filled with so much grace and hopeful that I may succeed and reach until ordination.
I was too young then but I gain the courage to decide on my own. I know not all would reach until ordination but my act of deciding is my initial yes to God’s invitation. It is my profound yes to this very different lifestyle; a yes to the long seminary formation; a yes to what I would be. This is who I am. This is my vocation.
August 4 was the feast day of St. John Vianney. Together with it was the installation of the ministry of the lectors and acolytes. There were many reasons to celebrate together with my brother seminarians and some friends and benefactors. It was indeed a time of jubilation but what was memorable to me was not the celebration itself but my realization with my response during the installation rite. “ANIA AKO!” I audaciously proclaim. It was a very ordinary response to an extraordinary calling. That simple phrase was the only entry I wrote in my journal during that day and I tried to translate it in Surigaonun to make it more personal.
Bishop Ledesma would say, “sayon lang litokon pero lison e-maintain labi na ug dasmagan na ug daghang pressure ug daghang academic requirements”. The words of Bishop Ledesma were actually true but for me it is not just about coping with pressures and works. “Anai ako” is about saying yes to the Lord. It is about freedom and commitment for service. It is about life.
It was my third time to pronounce that phrase in public but only this time that I had had the most memorable realization. I came to realize that simple response helps me to gradually detach myself from the normal and most common vocation which is marriage. It gently snatch me from committing the intimate relationship of married life which I am trying to sacrifice to live in a more meaningful and valuable way of living. It also prepares me to accept freely the greater challenge that needs a greatest response, that is, to say “ania ako” during the day of my ordination.
I might be too young to think about it and unworthy to look forward for my ordination. The journey is still quite long but I need to prepare myself and be ready to say “Jari na ako!”

Sunday, July 13, 2008

“Silent Scream”

I laugh, I talk too much, I drink and worst I love night life (disco lang). I am a man of leisure. People describe me with such qualities. It may not be strange to other people for these qualities would probably common by most of the people living in a secular life. Indeed people outside appreciated me for who I am but not in the seminary. My life is somewhat contrary to what people perceive as a seminarian. I was branded as noisy person who always get drunk when weekend comes.

Living in the seminary is a serious journey and so it follows that it really needs a serious response. Considering my personality perhaps people would think that I am incapable in responding such serious demands. I may be judge as shallow person with only jokes and senseless thoughts in mind. I am not affected with this because I know myself more than they do. I am more than what they think. Human person cannot be judge with what can be perceived. They are absolutely wrong, and so, I just want people to know that I can do greater things and not just imprisoned by such description. I am noisy but I have a peaceful heart and mind who knows how to balance things. I talk too much but I know how to listen when somebody needs me and most especially to listen into the depths of my being. I drink and frequently get drunk but this is my way of recharging whenever I feel exhausted and a time to be with myself. I sometimes find myself in disco bars but I also find myself always in prayer and meditation. Though I look like very worldly through my words and actions I still maintain my intimate relationship with my God.

Through this personality I have gained lots of experiences and build up relationships to people I met in all walks of life. Every bit of experiences that I have with these people is an opportunity for me to reflect, to pray and to love.