finally, a beginning
i won't be joining my arvisu batch on may 30 for the entrance day to the jesuit novitiate. i have been asked by rome to extend my prenovitiate for another year.
as i informed people of the decision, many asked if i was okay. i answered that i was. others inquired if i did not feel bored or impatient. after all, it has been 11 years since i decided to answer the call from the Lord. it was taking too long, they said. inip na inip na kami, they confessed. shouldn't you be taking another path other than this, they asked.
smiling, i said no.
this is my path. deep in my heart, i know that this is the path the Lord has chosen for me.
in the stillness of prayer and solitude, i believe that what has happened is the Lord's will. that is why i can honestly say i am alright. i believe that for reasons all His own, the Lord is inviting me to wait some more.
to journey some more.
with Him, always with Him.
it's a beginning.
allow me to share the following email. this is the email i sent my arvisu batchmates the day after i was informed of rome's decision. i guess this is also meant to be shared to the people who have so generously expressed their support during my initial waiting period. to all of you, batchmates in arvisu or in life, my sincerest thanks.
my dear, dear batchmates,
as of this time, i probably have spoken to most of you via phone or cell to inform you of the latest developments regarding my application to the novitiate. to those whom i have been unable to speak to personally, my apologies.
so after a month of waiting, the verdict is in... more waiting!:)
i have yet to receive the specific details from fr. bill and/or fr. archie but from what i gather, it seems frgeneral is concerned that the previous year may have been more of a "transition" period from the dominicans to the jesuits. hence, he has discerned that it is not optimal to enter the novitiate at this time. the dominicans did give their reply after some time and it was included in the report/request given to rome. however, the more prevailing concern is for me to address some of the issues prior to entering the novitiate program. issues that i have grappled and shared with you during the past year -- issues that save for their origins and personalities, are no less different than most of yours.
in the tradition of arvisu, i am compelled to ask - how do i feel about this? what is the Lord saying to me?
i cannot deny that i am sad that i won't be joining this batch on may 30. most of you have expressed your mindset that i am part of the 2k6 novices. whenever people would ask how many novices would be entering, some of you interrupt me and say "10!" instead of the official "9." thank you for that. i can honestly say that that was my desire too.
there is also this minor feeling of confusion and anxiety brought about by the complexities of the situation. am i to reapply next year? am i to retake the exams and interviews? am i to stay in arvisu? sedeno? cabanglasan? for the moment, there seems to be more questions than answers.
however, in the midst of prayer after speaking to frbill & frarchie yesterday, there was this overwhelming feeling of gratitude and love. gratitude because of the love that everyone has expressed through these weeks of waiting. gratitude because of the concern that the province through its members have not failed to express. gratitude because of the trust and the effort given to my application despite the overwhelming odds. gratitude because i hope that i can address some of my concerns more intensely in the next year. gratitude because instead of seeing an obstacle, i have been given an opportunity. gratitude because i asked and prayed for the Lord to lead me where he wants me to go.
as is the theme of my life, i am being asked once more to let go and let the Lord lead me. i have earnestly told the Lord in prayer that i can only dream as far as the novitiate. if He has dreamt something different for me, if He wishes me to go where i have not even thought of going, i will go. but for now, he wants me to journey on a different path than yours.
he wants me to take this fork on the road so that in time, when our paths cross again in shn or otherwise, we would be more receptive and grateful to the grace that has always, always abided in us... to the love that has always, always embraced us in life.
i couldn't ask for anything more than His love.
i couldn't give anything less my own.
so on the 30th of may, after all our hugs, tears and goodbye's, i will be on the other side of the closed door.
but i know... i know... that i have a home in the cradles of your hearts.
as you all do in mine.
as we all do in the Lord's.
maraming, maraming salamat po mga minamahal kong kaibiga't kapatid.
*photo taken @ nadela residence, cebu city, copyright dougs joson april2006