Above, our reflections in water… Below, our reflections in words.
Now that I am journeying in the next phase of my formation as a professed religious. Things get tougher and need more dedication in every facet of life- physically, mentally and spiritually. This gives me an occasion to reflect in my spare time, asking the question: “Do I have the zeal of living a life according to the spirit of the Clerics Regular Minor?” So, in this regard, I list here four tangible aids in keeping my vocation in good stability:
First on my list is my Religious Habit, honestly speaking I feel very confident whenever I am wearing it. It brings forth my connection to the founders of this religious family, my witness to the teachings of Christ and the consecration of my life to God. The habit also reminds me to live out the evangelical counsels which every religious man and woman publicly declares in living a vowed life.
Next to it is my breviary- the daily office helps me a lot to keep my day sanctified, and it provides me the opportunity to pray for other people around the word, that is why I have it with me all the time, and try not to permit a day to pass without kissing one of the scriptural texts that I have reflected upon.
Whenever I am facing trials and uncertainties, I devote my self to praying the rosary, for it provides me comfort as I rest in the motherly love of Mary and receive strength as I am meditate on the mysteries of my salvation perfected by my Lord Jesus Christ.
Now last, but certainly not the least on my list, is the essential substance needed for my spiritual life- the Holy Eucharist- firmly believing that it is Jesus Christ, whom I should always receive worthily and offer reverence to Him whenever He is exposed in the Blessed Sacrament. The Eucharist leads me to love and embrace more this religious family where I belong as I keep in mind that the charism of this Order is deeply rooted and centered to the love and worship of the Blessed Sacrament.
May God continue to inspire us, especially me, a neophyte, as we strive to be faithful in carrying out, a life consecrated to the Risen Christ- for his greater glory!
-Brother Noly, crm
Beyond Melodies
I learned to play electric organ when I was in the third year of my seminary formation in the Philippines. I learned the basics through self-study and eventually as time went by, I was able to play a piece or two of liturgical songs. I could not forget the song “Day is Done” as the first song I played for compline in the seminary.
My skill was not that developed as most skilled musicians. As an organist for some time in the Philippines, I was like a typical self-taught beginner. I love to sing but as soon as I start singing my fellow seminarians would scold me saying, “If you please, just do the accompaniment and everything will be fine”. There was a need to develop my talent. There were some improvements but no chance of becoming an accomplished musician. At this point, I only hope to achieve good rapport between me and my fellow brothers. I rely on them since I do not have talent in singing.
I learned patience and acceptance of myself in this ministry. In this small community in Ramsey we are not good musicians and singers that can create vibrancy in every liturgical gathering unlike the preceding group. We are far less talented in music ministry than they were. What can I do as a music servant? Well, I am doing the best I can. We are struggling yet we are gaining some important lessons and virtues in life. We glorify God for giving us talents, though less, yet we are investing them wisely for His greater glory.
The most important thing I am learning in this ministry is the encounter with God. Transcendental experience in music is possible even if a person is not a good singer or musician. I am not a good singer but I take every word of sacred music as mine. When I do it, a personal relationship between me and God develops whether in joy or in sorrow depending on the rhythm of music. Rhythm in music is the rhythm of life. It touches the deepest core of a human person and in such case, we come to encounter God. This is what I discovered, to sing beyond melodies of music; to sing with love and purity of heart that only God can hear. With this, one can please God beyond all imaginings.
Like the cockatiel we have at the seminary, who does not complain about what we give him, so too is my attitude towards what God has given me. A talent or two with God’s grace are more than enough to live my religious life daily.
-Brother Gio, crm
To change is one of the hardest things to do in life and yet it is also the most necessary element of our lives. To change, to conform, to improve and above all to under go a conversion is a great necessity for us studying to be religious. While I have been here in the seminary a lot of changes have happened in me, for which I am most grateful. One of the most welcomed changes for me here was meeting you guys.
To be quite frank with you, dear brothers, I was at first a bit nervous about meeting you all. Don’t get me wrong, I was looking forward to having some new people around, especially after being the youngest in age and formation for a year, but for me, when change comes, fear often precedes. I had heard many good things about you but I still did not know what to expect when you guys arrived. I was reminded of psalm 119 and often prayed: “Uphold me, O Lord according to your promise and I shall live; Let me not be confounded in my expectations.”
Well, it’s been well over a month since we have met and thus far my second year here is even better than the first (not that the first was any bad). In getting to know you and myself more and more, I constantly am reassured of the divine plan and providence of our God in bringing us all together to form this community. And what a community we have been! I myself have noticed that where one member is lacking another is more skilled. Take the kitchen for example, I, being the ignoramus that I am, have no knowledge of the culinary world. I can not even boil eggs if my life depended on it, and yet every night I have a meal prepared for me, enabling me to focus my energies elsewhere, for (hopefully) our community’s benefit.
So I thank you, dear brothers, for all you have done, whether cooking, cleaning, cracking a joke, listening or correcting, but above all for saying “Yes!” to God’s call to follow him as an Adorno. May all that we do continue to be for the greater glory of the Risen Christ !