Go and Proclaim… Whispers and Stirrings of the Heart

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Are we ready to be vulnerable? Are we prepared to listen? Are we willing to be changed by what we see and hear of the things of God?

The two-day F.I.-Lay Joint Formation sessions that the Indico-Pacific Hijas de Jesus provincial government sponsored in collaboration with the Personnel committee of the Team on Educative  Action had been enlightening, inspiring, captivating, and life-giving.

 The virtual joint formation was participated by 257 participants from the different apostolic centers of the Indico-Pacific province, including Bangladesh, Japan, as well as the different Hijas schools and communities all over the Philippines. Many more watched the sessions on YouTube.

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The resource person on the first day of the formation session was  Sr. Georgita Hormillosa, F.I.. Sr. Georgita talked of the preliminaries of the process of apostolic discernment.   She beautifully unpacked the need for having common sense, prudence, self-control,  attentiveness, and foresight as dispositions that are helpful to the discernment process.  She further pointed out that discernment in common for apostolic discernment is spiritual in nature and has specific steps in the process. I was so touched when Sister  Gette, in answer to a question, said that in the end, the process of discernment may be more important than the outcome. For me, the process in itself nurtures our communion and being members of the family of Mother Candida, who are sent to go and proclaim the love of God for humankind. Discernment is a gateway for us to find God in all things; communal discernment enables us to respond to the greater need and serve the greater good.

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On the second day, the resource person was Sr. Catherine Cheong, F.I. Sr. Cathy led us to a deeper appreciation of the process of discernment. She talked of vulnerable listening, a kind of listening with empathy and without judgment, where one allows oneself to step into the shoes of the other.  The Ignatian seal in discernment is found in holy indifference and a yearning to identify with Jesus. .    What struck me was a quotation cited by Sr. Cathy. We need to detach in order to attach."  To whom do we attach - to the person of Jesus.  This would entail a dying to one’s ego and self-interests, leaving one’s comfort zone, or separation from a loved one in order to be available and be at  God’s disposal – to do His will, serve the greater good, and touch more lives as St.  Candida Maria de Jesus did. 

For me, I feel that the truth is bittersweet and ironic. It is in discernment, in the sincere search for God's will, that one knows that ultimately, one will find peace and serenity in the midst of chaos and storms, resolute strength amidst one’s weakness and recognition of nothingness in the face of a loving and merciful God. In both  personal and communal discernment, when done with a true desire to search for, find and do God's will that we can say, together with Mother Candida,  “In Jesus, we have everything; without Him, everything we have is lost.”

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