A CALL TO BRING LIFE
“Therefore, if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ…. make my joy complete by being like- minded, having the same love, be in one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value other above yourselves, not looking to your interest but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:1-4)
Every Christian is called to be…
Paul urges us to have humble and selfless attitude as Jesus Christ. How is Christ´s attitude expressed in the way we are, in ourselves? As baptized Christians, we are invited to feel neither timid nor arrogant; inferior nor superior to anyone. Nevertheless, we should regard others as important as we esteem ourselves.
People today certainly need words and most of all, prayers. They want from us bearers and witnesses of the mercy and tenderness of the Lord which warms the heart, rekindles hope and motivate people toward doing good. Fervent in prayer, with a warm heart and a gentle smile as we go to the simple, broken and common people. This is our great challenge to live out our life as consecrated persons.
Jesus’s vision was also the chief concern of those who followed His way. Our Founders for one, motivated by that capacity to love and feel compassion when seeing the crowd like sheep without a shepherd. They emulated the works and ways of the Lord, who compassionately spoke with words of hope; healed the sick, gave bread to the hungry and offered his own life in sacrifice. Like many, Monseñor Ramon Zubieta y Les, OP and Beata Ascension Nicol Goñi, OP and their community, sought in different ways to be of service to all those whom the spirit sent their way. They did so by their prayers and preaching of the Gospel, their works in educating and improving the dignity and life of women, children, the poor and marginalized. Their creativity for charity was self-less; of countless and new ways of bringing the Gospel to everyone in that society they were privileged to serve.
My journey, embracing God’s way
I am grateful for the twenty years of consecration to God, I strive to continue to yearn to be more open to myself and to God. I desire to be available and continue to serve others in His plan and will. I am disposed to share my time, talent, and energy. I believe that God will guide me on with His grace and constancy to keep me focused on Him and remain as a humble servant. As religious, I need to listen attentively to His voice in my daily prayer and encounters with people. It is only then, from my relationship with the Lord, that I can be filled with such longing to go out, to mission. Indeed, only then, can be full of enthusiasm, of vibrant spirit and vigor if we put God as the center of our life. We can go as far and beyond without limits, where God wants us to go.
Poverty does not only speak about material possessions, our calling therefore, prompt us to that need to be detached from it. Letting go of comfort zones of life and especially the impulse to dominate others. It must be totally surrendering oneself for His kingdom and his will and truly as Charism asks of us: “to go where the Church needs us most.” For me, availability and service can be lived thru receiving and giving His gifts back to others with gratitude and joy as it is grace and a gift at the same time. Our gratitude to God can be manifested by our life of solidarity, compassion and mercy to others as these would enable us to be open to His will for us all.
Hence, the grace of humility is the grace most needed in embracing a life of consecration. Our commitment, through the vows, open us to that relationship and that attitude of dependence and reliance in His goodness and love for it is only then, we can live up the Beatitudes of Jesus, without which this promise can be broken and our promise betrayed by our self-sufficiency and pride.
Besides, I believe that to be chaste is a way to be free to love, to be in solidarity with the poor. To be able to touch hearts, move souls and allow the grace of God to work in the heart of our brothers and sisters. Giving love, care, wisdom, knowledge of what I received from God. Because I believe that we are bearers, heralds, not the owners of life. Whatever we received or I personally have received from Him, must also be shared to others regardless of what it takes to be or in doing so. Once, Henri Nouwen said this his book that we are like bread for many in the mission: “we need to be broken, blessed and shared”.
Sister Rosamaria M. Angeles
New Manila, Quezon City, Philippines