We live this life so mysteriously but everyday is the revealing of each mystery. Tracing the pathways of our life’s journey is a challenging discovery of the choices that lead us towards the future. The unfolding of memory upon memory helps us to understand how we reach the kind of life we have today.
There have been many times when I have tried to trace the footpath of my vocation love story. With my own interpretation I have discovered that my decisions – my little yeses – have brought me to where I am now. God’s intervention has played a big part in my present moment. He called and chose me from the start of my journey to be His own and in return I chose Him too as I responded to the particular vocation to which He called me. I reflect now on a few aspects of my life leading to my life as a Daughter of Divine Zeal:
Getting to know Him
My knowing who God is in my life was introduced by my family through prayer. These popular prayers were the Rosary, Novenas of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, St Joseph, for the Souls in purgatory, Mary’s feast days, and intercessory prayers to the Saints. We also never neglected to participate in the Church’s seasonal liturgical celebrations. My mother always had the initiative to gather us to pray as a family. For me it was a “Yes” to the Lord to enter into my consciousness that there is God. It was the faith of my parents handed on to their children. So, then, let it be, Lord.
Make it Happen
Sometimes during the summer holidays we visited our maternal and paternal grandmothers’ places. It was good to know both sets of grandparents and to visit them once in a while where they lived on different islands in the Philippines. Staying with our relatives was a good way to really get to know them. Praying the Rosary and other forms of prayer were always part of our routine during these holidays because we were free from school activities.
Summertime and other longer holiday periods are often a good time to deepen one’s faith. In the Philippines, the month of May falls within the summer vacation and this month is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In many places in the Philippines we have something special for the Blessed Mother. The churches have a lot of initiatives at this time because it is during such long holiday periods when people are most available to be part of the said church celebrations. Christmastime is another period where there are no school days and we celebrate the birth of Christ at home and in the church. We go with the flow of what has been offered by the church program of activities. Children are brought to the church by their elders who encourage them to attend those celebrations. They help to make it happen. Let it be, Lord.
Mary brings me to Jesus
Thinking back, I remember there were occasions during summer when we only stayed in our village – there were no visits to our relatives. However, during such times we had active catechists in our village. I recall one catechist who gathered us, the children in the village, and from the very youngest to the older children, we were all encouraged to lead the Holy Rosary in our small chapel. So we still had these activities for the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mary has an important role in my vocation because she introduced and brought me closer to Jesus. Let it be done, Lord.
God never leaves me
God continues to let me know and feel His presence. During my teenage years and my university days, I moved away from my island to continue my studies in the city. I lived in a lodging house for 12 students. I was lucky to have good companions from the countryside, coming from different religions with the majority being Christians. Those of us who were Christians went as a group to church every Sunday and on other days of obligation to keep strengthening our faith. We often prayed the Rosary. Since I was away from my family I became more responsible for myself while I finished my studies. It was during this time that I began thinking of my life after I would finish my studies. I prayed to God and asked for His help and guidance. Lord, let it be.
Finding the place where I belong
When I returned home, I was employed as a Physical Health Education and Music (PHEM) Teacher. I spent almost two years teaching. I earned my own salary and was able to help my parents send my sister to college and pay her tuition fees. I also helped them to pay the electricity bills. I experienced working but I was not completely happy. I felt that something was still lacking in my life. I had a sense of longing and the need to search for something more. It was at this time that I knew my neighbour and close friend who entered a convent. I was so happy for her and I started communicating with her. I then continued my communications with the Daughters of Divine Zeal and I decided to enter this religious congregation. Before entering, I felt that my soul was wandering and restless. When my search was over, I felt that I had finally found the place that fitted me. I was happy and at peace. I had found my forever place with God. The small yeses with daily prayers – my let it be done to the Lord brought me to a place where I made a major decision that changed the course of my life.
To this day I offer my let it be to the Lord in my everyday faith journey. I continue praying for a generous response and perseverance in God’s calling to me. My let it be done to the Lord is not yet completely fulfilled. It is an ongoing, humbling journey to follow Him, uniting my “Yes” with the great “Yes” of Mama Mary. She is teaching me, day by day, my “yeses” to His Son. The Blessed Virgin is a big factor of my being here as a religious today because she never tires to have me with her and she never leaves me in the battlefield of my life’s journey. I am always encountering her in my prayer. She seems to be telling me that God loves me and that He is here and always with me. Let it be, Lord!