Generous with God’s generosity

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By Arnold Van Vugt

The Living Spirit

Sunday, February 23, 2014


“GIVE to the one who asks of you, and do not turn away from the one who borrows from you,” (Matthew 5:42). This is a quote from the Gospel of today (Feb. 23, 2014).

I am writing this column in Manila, where I attended together with my wife Angging the First Chapter of the Province of Blessed Titus Brandsma of the Order of Carmelites in the Philippines. Both of us are associate members of the Order.

The Chapter was a unique celebration where we experienced indeed God’s generosity shown through all the members of the Philippine Province who have given to each other and to the People of God of their time, talent and resources.

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I reflected on my own experience in the past of how I became a Carmelite in Holland and volunteered to go to the Philippines. I hardly knew where the Philippines was but I am sure God has brought me to this country and He has shown to me also how beautiful and generous the Filipino people are.

My journey as a Carmelite in the Philippines was full of obstacles and temptations, full of surprises, but God has guided me through all these temptations. The biggest surprise came when I felt that I had to leave the priesthood and marry the parish worker in San Francisco, Agusan Sur who had lost her husband in a political incident in Antongalon, Butuan City.

I adopted her six little children and after three years we got also a daughter of our own flesh and blood, a real gift from God. We settled down in Cagayan de Oro City and established our pastoral program of Basic Christian Communities – Community Organizing (BCC-CO).

We were able to survive as a family of seven children because of generous donations from people abroad and, most of all, we were able to survive as Carmelites because of the associateship of the Carmelites that enables lay people to become members of the Carmelite Order. And so we were able to participate in the First Chapter of the Carmelites.

We have at the moment 18 professed Associates in our Province, I would like to inform the readers of my column that they can become also lay Carmelites and join our Carmelite Family. Please contact me through my email address or my wife Angging through her cell phone # 0926-3123366.

Say this prayer every day: ‘Lord, teach me to be generous. Teach me to serve You as I should. To give

[Email: nolvanvugt@gmail.com]

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 23, 2014.

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