Monday, November 03, 2008
Dearest Fr. Judy,
I felt like a proud mother reading her son's letter far away from home when I was reading your blog at Multiply. You have grown. You have spread your wings and you are soaring like an eagle on your new assignment. I cannot help but feel very proud of you.
It was like watching a movie or a documentary reading your wonderful account of your new life in the barrios. I am pleased that you met people who, I believe, will support you and teach you more lessons in your life as a young priest. It is also very heartwarming to note that you have tremendously matured in your priesthood while there. I guess, had you stayed longer here in the Philippines, it would not be the same. Sometimes God puts us in unfamiliar territories with much of the unexpected before us. Sometimes we wonder what is there for us? But in His awesome wisdom, He has planned it all out for the best. And I can see in your struggles coupled with your perseverance and enthusiasm how much the whole experience is molding you into a stronger, more sensitive, compassionate and definitely, a more effective missionary.
Do continue what you are doing. I am really very pleased to hear that you are enjoying the Liturgy of the Hours... Just think that we are doing it together and I am sure it will uplift your heart that I am here doing the same as you are as we say our prayers together. Do continue touching base with the people in your community. When you were telling me about how you cried about how indifferent the people were in your mass, be assured that God has been consoled by your Eucharistic sacrifice. I too cry everyday in my heart when I see people (although there is definitely much more of them, in terms of number as compared to your barrio people there) receiving Our Lord in communion not really knowing it is the Lord coming to them and so they do it out of obligation and sometimes without reverence!
But we have to persevere... We have to go on doing everything for His Greater Glory!... Do continue learning and perfecting the language. It will be your connection with the people... Do continue learning from your American parish priest. I am sure, time and age has given him much wisdom which you can learn from... Do continue experimenting in the kitchen. Winning hearts is really through the stomach most of the time (Hehehe!)... Do continue expressing your feelings through your letters and photos. Even if we do not reply, know that it makes us aware of what is happening to you and it definitely brings you much closer to our hearts....
So much for my homily... Rest assured you are always in my daily prayers...
Fr. Judy Baňez, SVD is a Filipino SVD assigned in Argentina. He was ordained on February 2007. He is part of the Yobel Class. He is from Butuan City.