Waiting to be sent-A A +A
The Living Spirit
Thursday, July 26, 2012
(A column by the late Ernesto R. Mondoñedo)
IN THIS article Mondoñedo gives an impressive self-revelation about his life as a Jesuit and afterwards. He speaks of a ‘loss of vocation’ but he shows much of the contents of the articles on Spreading the Good News the author picked up from one source or another.
With them, he tried on his own to forward God’s kingdom. Mostly he failed. God had indeed called him but could not have chosen or sent him then to preach, and much less witness to and be, the Good News. He hadn’t received enough of Christ’s wisdom and godliness to do a credible job in Christ’s mission. And God would not let him succeed on his own terms. He won’t stand for another God.
The author was once called by God in his early ‘20s to be on special mission with Christ. Now, he is still reviving hopes of being sent to the same, but more universal, mission.
His intention in this brief self-revelation is to testify to a life which has become a salutary object lesson to him. He was a Jesuit religious from age 21; a Catholic priest, from 34; and continued to be both until he was 55 when he asked for and was released from his religious vows and dispensed by the Holy See from his priestly responsibilities.
The years of his priesthood would be the most fruitful years for most people. His was self-gratifying but nearly empty. Unlike Pope John Paul II, he was not as faithful in preparing to become a true follower and disciple of Christ as he should have been.
Consequently, he did not reap the full benefits of his religious and priestly vocations. He does not doubt anymore that his so called ‘loss of vocation’ was the consequence of his failure to pray for and build with the help of the Holy Spirit his faith in his complete dependence on God for the success of his mission with Christ. Fortunately not even the Holy See, nor would even God, revoke the author’s call to become a faithful follower and Lay Apostle on mission with Christ.
Given the opportunity, through these articles, to retrace Christ’s footsteps, I thank God for my new lease in my heavenly sonship with Christ. I thank God for looking mercifully at my hypocrisy each time I preached the Word of God.
True, I probably did know more about God than those I presumed to preach to. But they, most probably, knew who God was more than I did then.
I was too busy with, and too proud doing, my thing to listen to the truth that I was still not fit to be sent. Neither did I bother to be in the company of God who was and is always with me in Christ. I also turned deaf ear to the Holy Spirit whose temple I was; again because I was too busy with my thing outside that temple and did not bother to withdraw into it everyday to consult about, and pray for grace to obey, the will of God for me. So I was not equipped with the Holy Spirit’s gift of Christ’s wisdom, power and goodness.
Now, while waiting to be sent, I am learning to find my peace through God’s gift of a growing trust and confidence in the truth that God is good and has always loved me as if I were the only person in the world.
Being infinite, God does not have to apportion his time for me with the rest of his creation. God does not owe me anything and would get nothing by holding back a portion of his godly gifts. So God must want to give all of Him that I could receive. God knows and owns everything so that anything that ever happens to me has to be the very best that God had decided from all eternity to give. So what is there to be afraid of? If God is for us, and Christ assures that He is, who can be against us? (Rom. 8:21).
I now enjoy the pleasant feeling that the articles I am writing are inspired by the Holy Spirit. Christ says that we should not worry what to say (or write). When the time comes that God wants us to write, his Holy Spirit will supply the words (Mt. 10:19-20; Luke 12:11-12).
There are indications that the Holy Spirit has so far begun to do so for me. Only a few months ago I could not put on paper a single worthwhile idea. I am still waiting, however, for God’s indication on how, where and when, if at all, God plans to spread the Good News, and its saving power, through the articles that the Holy Spirit continues to inspire me to write. The manifestation of God’s will for me may not take much longer unless He stops the rapid displacement of the healthy cells in my intestine and lungs by fast growing cancer cells.
One of my previous columns had the title: ‘What is in a vocation?’ I believe, life itself is a vocation and everyone of us has a vocation in life. He or she may be called to be a priest or a sister or even a bishop or a pope but also just to be an ordinary Christian. When God created us He had for each one of us a purpose in mind for which He created us.
We can discover what is that purpose when we go deep into our own selves and listen there to God’s call on us. His call is always a mystery.
St Joseph was called to be the foster father of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, and in the same time to be just an ordinary carpenter. I myself was called before to be Father Leopold, now I am called father Arnold, a ‘real father’ and I am the stepfather of six children. Mondoñedo didn’t feel he ‘lost his vocation’ neither do I.
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Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 26, 2012.