Right after my college graduation, I worked as an operator in a watchmaking firm. After a year, I landed a hospital job. There was very good rapport between me and the staff and the administration. The care with which we served the sick also showed in our staff relationship at the hospital. I think it was in this setting that I started to feel God’s call. While work at the hospital was enjoyable, experienced a deep emptiness. I searched for the solution in human love but the relationship did not give me any joy. Eventually I joined a charismatic renewal group that taught me how to pray and praise the Lord through the sacraments. I became active in their outreach program. I was at daily Mass; I developed a deep thirst for the Infinite and spent more time in prayer.
One day, I was overwhelmed by a deep sense of gratitude to the Lord for all the blessings I enjoyed. I asked Him how I could repay Him. In the silence of my heart, an answer was spoken…
I was terrified by the idea of entering the convent. I stayed away from anything connected with the Lord. But the more I denied the Lord, the deeper the emptiness I felt. I told the Lord I was already 25 years old, perhaps past the acceptance age by most congregationa. But I think the Lord was serious in His design for me.
One day as I was going out of St Domingo Church in Quezon City, I happened to glance at the bulletin board. I saw the poster of the Daughters of Divine Zeal accepting applicants from 18 to 32 years of age. I attended the vocation promotion meeting. I became attracted to the heart pendant of the Sister conducting the search-in. I became further attracted when she explained their charism. Afterwards, I asked to observe for a weekend, after which I decided to join the congregation.
After almost two decades of following the Lord, I have become more aware and appreciative of how the Lord works in my life. At times, I cannot fully comprehend His ways, but my faith in Him gets me through. For me, He is always the God of surprises.
Sr Maribel Roque fdz
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