Our community in the Philippines has been blessed with the profession of vows of four novices, who after their intense program of formation under the gentle hands of Fr. Cherubim Panilong, novice master, made their commitment to profess the evangelical counsel of poverty, chastity, obedience and unlimited consecration to the Immaculate expressed in total availability to go to the missions.
In addition, twenty-eight simply professed friars renewed their vows in the same total commitment to God. All these took place on May 31, 2016, the Feast of the Visitation, at the wonderful Shrine of Our Lady, Mary Coredemptrix in Talamban. Their vows were received by the General Delegate of the Institute in the Philippines, Rev. Fr. Martin Fonte, FI.
There were many beautiful insights that flood our hearts on that day, but the one that stands out among others is the tangible presence of God’s goodness present in the lives and in the decisions of these young men. When there are many who doubt whether God is still good amidst the presence of many evils in the world, when there are many who are
If there are no religious in the world, the world will succumb to utter mediocrity in God’s service and will live Christianity only on a purely superficial, minimalist level.
discouraged at the face of poverty, of difficulties, of hopelessness, the act of profession of these young brothers and friars prove that God continually inspire hearts to rise above these evils and conquer them with love. Their faith that animated their decisions become tangibly more real than the presence of evil that many claim seem to feel. Their choice to leave a more dedicated and heroic lives in the service of God vindicates the fact that God is still the best and most noble for whom one should dedicate one’s entire life without reserve and condition. The sacrifice of their lives through their “Yes’es” manifests that God is worthy to receive such praise and deserving such total holocaust. It is an indirect act of humiliation to so many who would not even take time to spend Sundays with God by coming to Church or spending some time in prayer.
Apart from this, the profession of religious vows of these brothers are God’s summon to all the faithful to rise from their mediocrity in God’s service. Pope Paul VI, claimed that the religious shows to the world how to live radically the demands of Christ’s Gospel. They show the ideal to which every Christian life must aspire for. If there are no religious in the world, the world will succumb to utter mediocrity in God’s service and will live Christianity only on a purely superficial, minimalist level. Religious are social and moral consciences of the people who act as point of reference as to how much they have done for God. To ignore the heroic dedication of these religious through the profession of their vows, is to ignore God’s invitation to holiness to all the faithful. God is extremely beautiful and good. Only the comprehension of this reality through deep prayer and contemplation, can make these friars and brothers leave behind what the world offers to be beautiful and good. They all fall short of that depths of that beauty of the divine, for they are mere creatures of God. It is their fascination with God unto heroic self-giving that becomes a prophetic witness in the world of that existence that makes people rise above petty enjoyment which causes only restlessness. The religious, through their lives, offers to the world a glimpse of heavenly existence which they live by faith in this world, and they hope to be transformed to complete vision beyond.