Monday, October 13, 2014

When life gives you a mission, you gotta choose the right sword

Life goals.

Life goals.

Ah, darn it.

I always thought that my life would go exactly the way I wanted it to. I seriously wanted to disobey my parents and get a job, going against their wanting me to study again.

There was this pressure. I wanted to be able to give everything back to them. To repay them for the years of nurturing. What happened was they extended my teenhood and will keep me here for another two and a half years.

I've been asked countless times what my dream is. One day, I was asked again, and my answer wasn't like before. Before, I'd wanted to be a novelist, a journalist-- I was satisfied with writing. Of course I'd still want these to come true, but there's something that weighs more in the balance.

I HAVE a concrete dream-- a dream that I want so hard to come true that it haunts me even in my sleep. It's big, and there's no guarantee that things will be easy for me, but I just KNOW that I have to make it come true.

I want to build a Mariapolis.

A Mariapolis here in my very own hometown.

Where did that come from, Tony? What happened to your dreams of being a world-renowned author? What happened to your dream of conquering the world of media? 

It's still here, but this tiny flame in my heart that came from the hearth, the Focolare... It grew larger and larger, 'til it consumed everything else.

I was deeply inspired by the Focolare Movement's foundress, Chiara Lubich. I've also contemplated on her book, Mary, The Transparency of God. When I told my mother that I wanted to be like her, she simply smiled and said, "You have your Chiara Lubich, I have my Mother Teresa!" 

I first stepped into a Mariapolis a few months before my 20th birthday. To think that such a place existed, where love for neighbor and love for God are the two primary sources of its energy, was beyond my belief, and I was absolutely charmed and taken and carried away.

I contemplated on the name Mariapolis for quite some time (Yes, until today). Mariapolis, the City of Mary, where love for neighbor and love for God are the fuel that keeps it running. Regardless of where you come from, if you bring love with you, you're most certainly welcome. The Focolare Movement aims for one thing, as said by her foundress, That all may be one! (John 17:21) I don't know about you, but that's exactly the kind of world I'd love to live in. 

Not a lot of people know this yet, but I'm trying to learn Italian. The Focolare originated from Italy, and even if it takes me half of my life to get there, I will get there and tell them my dream. I want to think that I've matured a bit, because someone whispered that I don't just dream for myself anymore. This dream isn't just for me. It's for the lost, the least, and the last. 

(It's for the people I see on the streets, homeless, hopeless. It's for the children who carry sacks instead of school bags. It's for the hungry ones, the ones who are cold and the ones who are scared, for the forsaken and the abandoned.)

Vincent was the very first person I've told this about. One night while I was serving at mass, I prayed so earnestly to the Lord, looking up at His gentle face, I wanted Him to tell me something. He told me something, in the form of a vision. I was surrounded by different people, different faces, children and people of all ages. We shared a meal... and everyone was happy. It was something that pulled at my heart so much. Could that be my Mariapolis? 

This is my life goal, this is my dream. I know now that I don't dream for myself anymore, just as how I do not live for myself anymore. 

As of now, I still have no idea. I have absolutely nothing but this dream, this vision. But if I continue to work under His orders, will answers reveal itself to me? Right now, I only have this. It's just a dream for now, but it's a start. 

“The pen doesn't know what it must write, the brush doesn't know what it must paint, and the chisel doesn't know what it must sculpt. When God takes someone into his hands in order to raise a new work in his Church, the person chosen doesn't know what she should do. She’s just the instrument. And I think that this might be the case with me.” - Chiara Lubich, 1977

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