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Living the Charism: Discovering My Life's Purpose Through Carmel



Why am I in Jaro Carmel and not anywhere else?

           

I was raised by a Marian family; my two elder sisters and I learned the Angelus and the Rosary as early as we learned our abc.  Our devotions consisted of May floral offering and October rosary at our barangay chapel.  When I entered Carmel, I discovered, to my great surprise and joy, that Carmel is the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary.


During my pre-school years, when I was four to six years old, I used to go to my grandmother’s house, just next to our house, which is also next to our barangay chapel, during our barangay fiesta to observe the priest while he was taking his lunch.  One time I told him, “I want to be a priest like you!” He answered, “You have to eat lots of mungbeans so as to grow fast.” He did not tell me that only boys become priests.  But I celebrated my “masses” at our house with the bed sheet as vestment. When I entered Carmel, I discovered, to my great surprise and joy that Carmel is for priests, that Jaro Carmel was founded to pray for priests and that many priests come to Carmel.


      When I was twelve years old and in grade six, my two single aunts who worked as weavers at Ozamiz Carmel told me about ‘the nuns whose faces are covered and who do not speak’ and I told myself ‘I want to be like them.’  When I entered the gate of Jaro Carmel, 17 years later, I felt that this was the mysterious place I longed to be . . . for I felt so much peace and joy in my heart.  The mystery of Carmel continues to amaze and surprise me even until now and the peace and joy in my heart sustain and strengthen me on my uphill climb of Mount Carmel. (to be continued tomorrow)

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