HEEDING THE CALL
In a vocation, it is God who calls. And those who are called are expected to respond, thereby finding the greatest peace, happiness and joy one can have in this world. The Lord has called each of us; each is called by name. A call implies that we hear a voice from within ourselves, beckoning us to listen and respond. How will you answer God’s call in your life? It’s a call that demands much from you (God’s call is asking for nothing less than everything you have), but it is a call that offers His presence in your life. Will you answer His call?
Eleven young ladies dared to join the Regional Vocation Discernment Workshop held at Carmelite Missionaries Center of Life, Dueñas, Iloilo last October 14-18, 2011. Although they have little idea or are clueless at all in regards to what will happen in the next five days of discernment, they opened themselves and let the Lord speak to them. They have fears, doubts and confusions yet they also have the willingness to follow where God really wants them to be. Their deepest desire was to discover the state to which they have been called and are eager to cooperate with God’s grace and heed His call.
Each day has a theme that helped the participants to be attuned to the inner voice within them and to develop their intimate relationships with God day by day. The sharing of the sisters in the different topics motivated them to know themselves better and their deepest desires as well as God’s desires for them. Inspiring homilies and unique vocation stories of the priests encouraged them to follow Jesus with the assurance that He already went ahead of them and all they have to do is simply to “follow.” So, there’s nothing to be afraid of. Prayer was also given emphasis as the most important thing in discerning one’s vocation.
Mission tour to our different communities and apostolates in Iloilo gave them a glimpse of what kind of life the Carmelite Missionaries have. Every participant commented on the warm welcome they received in all the communities that we had visited. It gave them an atmosphere of “home’ and a feeling of belongingness. The witnessing of the CM sisters left them a great impact on how we live our own vocations as daughters of Blessed Francisco Palau. Indeed, the sisters are striving to live out our charism, that is, COMMUNION.”
On the last day of the Discernment Workshop, six (6) of them were accepted as lived-out aspirants: Jovelyn Kito (La Trinidad, Benguet), Marilou Sabalo (Maasin, Leyte), Vanessa Bancolo (Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental), Irene Mae Vocales (Arevalo, Iloilo City), Sue Angela Telarma (Anilao, Iloilo), and Winy Rose Pabila (Banate, Iloilo). Yes, the seed of vocation comes from God, but it requires one’s response to water and nourish it so that it can grow. May the Lord give them the faith and courage to follow and they will surely be filled with joy when they are in the middle of God’s will and plan. The wonderful thing, though, is that while God expects great things from us, He will perform great things in us. Simply because, it is God who chose you…
Sr. Rose Joven, CM
Western Visayas Vocation Coordinator