When I started to contribute articles to the FDZ Vocations blog here in Australia, I had mixed feelings: joy and hesitant. Joy that I may reach others’ hearts and share experiences that pertain to faith and love of Christ. Hesitant because I am not a writer. Nevertheless, I got the courage because it is the love of Christ that makes me write these simple experiences.
I believe that every experience does not happen without meaning. So here I am to share another marvellous one. To those who read my articles regularly and for those who have just started to delve into this blog, thanks for your time. You are all in my prayers.
St. Annibale Ma. Di Francia, our Founder, had so much attention, care and love for the abandoned and poor children. He wrote a poem especially for them and I now quote two stanzas:
I love my children, they are for me
The dearest ideal of my life
I rescued them from oblivion, giving them lee
Urged from within by a hoping strife.
They call me Padre: God’s minister
Lays his hands on their locks.
They call mother: the sweet calls spur
The Lord’s chaste spouse to her flocks.
(RA pg. 560)
St. Annibale’s concern and affection for the less fortunate has transmitted to his spiritual children. We, the Daughters of Divine Zeal, have orphanages for girls, and the Rogationists Fathers (our counterpart) have them for the less fortunate boys. We help them not only with their basic needs but also with their studies. Father Founder said that we are to help them until they can stand on their own feet. Indeed, this is a great apostolate of our two congregations. Thanks to our friends and benefactors who support our children.
To this day I can also say that children are the real riches in the world. Riches that can’t be ignored but that must be held, with tender care, like a precious pearl. They are dearest in the eyes of God. Jesus said:
Let them be! Do not stop the children from coming to me, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to people such as these. (Mt. 19:14)
I remember those babies whom we helped years ago when I was a novice serving in one of the nearby orphanages. There were so many orphaned little ones in a room, crawling in different directions. I was moved with compassion, and sat in their midst and smiled at them. After a few seconds, one after the other, these babies began coming towards me, wanting to be carried and cuddled. I was so happy to be with them. Inside of my being I said, these babies are gifts from God. They are created in His image and likeness. They need attention, love and care.
Looking at the reality in our world, it is sad to say that many children are not loved, cared for and accepted. Some are abused and neglected in all kinds of ways. Some end up on the streets and some are taken care of in various institutions.
As I mentioned earlier, we have orphanages for girls from their early years until they finish College. These may only be a handful of children in the world however what makes it different for me is that we save souls. Every individual child is as important as the multitude – they are our younger brothers and sisters in Christ.
I pray that adults and youths in families, at school, offices – in any places where they are – become a big support and have vigilant watch for the safety of children. May children grow up joyfully and freely, in a society that is made safe and sound for them. May we love and treasure them, the real riches in our lives and the world.