In life, one of the most challenging things to do is to be true. Nowadays, it seems that trying your best to be true takes a lot of effort, patience, courage, sincerity and humility, considering the fact that there is a great influence of lies, deceptions, distortion of truth and half-truths in our world. Adequately considering ourselves situated in the realities of life, we sometimes come across questions like which are true? Who’s saying the truth? Or is this true? Associating these things in our lives, we also have a lot of questions to ourselves that pertains to our way of saying the set of truths within us and within our personhood. Sad to say, what we tell others and even those we trust is just the tip of the iceberg of our being. It is hard for us to reveal our true self to others and even to those we trust because hesitations and fears hinder us to voice out or to speak out our true self. Moreover, it is also hard for us to face the truth because it wounds and pains us and so we tend to wear our inner masks in order to hide the truth within us and to appear good and pleasing to others. It is so sad, really sad, to accept the fact that because of the demands of telling or revealing what is true within us, we tend to wear our inner masks which makes us betray our real identity and our self. Being exposed with this kind of reality in life and having experienced these things also, I am always asking myself WHY IS IT SO HARD TO BE TRUE? What makes me hesitant to reveal my true self to others and to those I trust? Fortunately, these questions helped me take the risk of opening and revealing the truth within me and removing the mask that hinders me to reveal my real self to others for years that passed. I would like to share to you my humbling story on how I was able to cope up with my tendency to hide the truth within me and how I was able to reveal it to others which also helped me be free from my tendency to be dishonest and insincere.
I am a “special religious” in our religious community. What made me so “special” in our community? Being called “special” in our religious community does not mean that I am treated so nicely by my brothers. I am called “special” because I do have a lot of personal issues in life that I need to accept and to address humbly and sincerely. Part of my way of accepting and addressing my personal issues in life is through a monthly consultation with my counselor and my spiritual director to whom I always refer my struggles and difficulty in trying my best to be humble and sincere with my personal issues. I am so thankful to them that they helped me to stand up and to move on in life in spite of the many personal issues that I have to settle. I remember during my Aspirancy years that I had experienced a “great collapse” in my life. It seemed everything was so dark for me and I felt guilty always for something which I did not know the reason. It took me four years to search for a reason why I felt that kind of experience. Unfortunately, I failed on my search. I was not able to find the reason and so it continued to haunt me and distract me. It was a painful struggle as I am discerning the call of God for me whether I am for consecrated life or not. It was really a frustrating and a depressing experience. I questioned God why He allowed this thing to happen to me. That was the start when I lost my trust in God and I questioned His compassion and love. During those times, I am so fed up with God because it seems that He did not listen on my pleas and on my prayers. He did not mind my sufferings and it seems He already abandoned me. Because of these, I became lax on my prayer life. I became self-centered and stubborn and I became more prone to mistakes and mortal sins. Because of those discouraging moments, my decision not to continue my journey towards priestly and religious life was heightened.
After I graduated on my philosophical degree in the seminary, I, together with my companions, were asked to make an application for Postulancy. At first, I was so hesitant to do it because I was planning not to continue my journey towards priestly and religious life. But, I still made my application letter for Postulancy for the sake of experiencing Postulancy. I thought I am one of those who will not be accepted for Postulancy because of my bad evaluation from my formators. Unfortunately, I was accepted and given another chance to continue my journey towards priestly and religious life. I never thought that Postulancy will become my conversion experience in my life. I never thought also that it will become a “grace-filled” event in my life. From it, I learned the most significant thing that I must hold on to, i.e. my brokenness and my woundedness itself. Holding on to these, I realized the love and care of God unto my life despite the fact that I mistrust Him. At first I am so hesitant to accept the truth that I am a broken and a wounded person, but it is in accepting my brokenness and my woundedness that my numb heart has been opened for the works of God. It is in the moment of accepting and forgiving these in tears that I felt the presence of God tapping my shoulders, wiping out my tears and consoling my lonely heart. After this humbling experience, a new seed of hope has been re-planted in my heart. Despite the many personal issues that I have, I have decided to continue my journey towards priestly and religious life. My personal issues helped me to appreciate my humanity as a disciple of Christ. I could say that I am not perfect in this kind of life that I am journeying in. I do not know the exact reason why I have chosen this kind of path that I could not even explain it in my own words. It is God’s initiative, it is God’s love. True enough, God still shows His mercy, His love, His faithfulness and His compassion despite the fact that I am unworthy for His greatness. Unexplainable! It is all beyond my capacity. All I know is to bend my knees, pray and lean on His greatness that He has shown me. Thanks for the Postulancy experience which I consider as a “blessing in disguise”. It helped me a lot to be aware and to appreciate my weaknesses, shortcomings, personal issues and limitations. Truth bleeds, but heals. Though in truth I am broken and wounded in the sight of the world, I am proud to say and to show to the world that I am blessed, consoled and redeemed through His love.