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Dare to Love.

Are you drawn to prayer and to spend time alone with God in silence and solitude?
Are you attracted to a life lived in communion with others?
Do you feel called to a life of consecration in love and service to God and His Church?
Are you discerning for a religious vocation?

For those of us who have said “yes” to the call of being a Carmelite Missionary, we too have  experienced being confronted by similar questions (and more!) while we went through the process of discerning “the call“.

Prayer is the most essential element of this process. The more we know the One who called us, the better we know ourselves and our vocation in life.

Feel free to explore the site. Here you can find real stories of real people who discovered the joy of being called to love God and His Church in a special way. You can get to know more about the Carmelite Missionaries-Philippine Province and connect to our vocation coordinators nearest you. You can also find in these pages, different vocation resources that may help you in your discernment.

Rest assured of our prayers for you as you seek and heed God’s will for your life.

Jesus is calling…How will you respond?

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AN OPEN LETTER TO THE YOUTH WHO ARE SEARCHING FOR MEANING IN LIFE (and to the not-so-young who feel that sometimes they are unkind to themselves)

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 I am tired of feeling sorry for myself for something I did not intentionally do! 

I considered myself as an adventurous and courageous kid – two much needed qualities for a 9-year old entrepreneur who used to sell bananaques and ice candies on most weekends at our local public swimming pool. But it was fun because I earned a few centavos for every ten peso earnings and saved them in my piggy bank. That way, when my parent’s salaries did not come on time, my mother would borrow money from me to buy rice. So it made me feel good to be of help!

 

Fast forward to 2002. One sister sent me an email from Argentina and asked how I was at that time. I replied, saying “I feel like going to some place where no one recognizes me” — and I forgot about that email. After several days I opened my mail and read her response, which went like this: “My God, you are burnt out!” And I retorted: “Me?! Burnt out?! No way! I pray, I belong to a  community and I love my ministry, etc. etc. etc. But that phrase got me into thinking!

Actually, for some weeks I was already having inner turmoil because of a negative comment about our summer youth camp which I took so personally. My friend, a Marist brother, told me not to pay attention to that feedback made by a priest who wasn’t even there during that youth activity, yet, I still felt devastated. I cried, spent sleepless nights analyzing what went wrong, and lost my enthusiasm to work. Even at Mass I sometimes doubted the existence of God and the validity of our worship. Aside from that, while taking a stroll one day, I thought of jumping off the bridge but it was not too high so I said to myself, I won’t die and I would suffer from shame afterwards. Besides, the thought of my mother who would feel shaken by my sudden death was unbearable. Thus, I dismissed that idea from my mind.

One afternoon while at prayer, I saw myself inside a pit which was deep enough that it handsprevented me from getting out all by myself. And I felt like that for several months that I had to see a doctor to help me get back to my old self. But because I was talkative, I shared everything to a friend, so that she could mirror to me what my fragile mind could not perceive at that time.

 

Persevering prayer is the key to healing — as well rest and proper medication! Many friends were praying for my recovery, and I was very sincere in begging the Lord to heal me, so when I woke up one day and told myself: “IT’S OVER! Enough! I am tired of being depressed! I am tired of feeling sorry for myself for something I did not intentionally do! I’m fed up of crying over little things!” And I realized that the Lord allowed me to go through those “sleepless nights” and days so as to TEACH me to LET GO of the many things I wanted to “control” and to change my false self-image, that is, to be good I needed to be perfect.

When it became clear to me that God was not always the center of my work and my life, in general, I felt good because at least now I know where I was coming from. Suddenly, I saw myself outside the pit and then later on, riding a train passing through a dark tunnel with the noonday sun at a short distance, seemingly wanting to penetrate the cold tunnel with its warmth. That was God’s work! I just cooperated with my poor prayers.

And I was back to my former self — but maybe a little wiser! When someone praised me for something I did, I was already cautious of not giving myself all the credit because my gifts come from the Lord. When I get impatient with those who do things differently, maybe not according to my standards, I ask myself: “Where am I coming from? Why am I being demanding with this person?” I also strive to put myself in the shoes of the other when my plans are not in congruence with theirs.

13th_century_image_of_Mary_punching_devil_in_the_face_Credit_ChurchPop_Public_Domain_via_the_British_Library_CNAI thank the Lord for all the experiences — good and bad- that shaped me. He has been with me through all the ups and downs of my life’s journey. Now I have new CONFIDENCE in God who constantly leads me by the hand, together with His loving tender Mother, and my mother too.

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