Read the news from events, activities and other updates on the different communities here in the Philippines
The Fraternidad Misionera Verbum Dei in the Philippines marked a milestone on November 15, 2020, with the launch of the 3rd Discernment Course for Missionary Married Couples. On this historic day, each region of the Philippines- Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao was represented by a married couple who previously began a year-long program of formation given by formators from Madrid, Cebu and Cagayan de Oro.
Prayer Guidelines for the start of this journey were given by Formator Mae Paguia who drew inspiration from Deuteronomy 7:6 “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his own possession, out of all the peoples that are on the face of the earth.”
It was followed by an informative talk on “Elements of Discernment” by Formator Antonio Diaz based on Romans 12:2 “ Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
The road to this launch was not easy, and it seemed that a thousand obstacles stood in the way. However, neither the pandemic, recent natural disasters nor the continents between these intrepid ‘travellers’ were deterrent to the wondrous plans of the Lord. Indeed, God moves far beyond what we can see with the naked eye. The expectant joy of all those committed to this voyage of discovery was palpable over the signals of Zoom.
Imelda Manceli from Cebu City exclaimed “We are excited and looking forward for Jesus to be conceived and born in our marriage. We seek to please God who examines our hearts. (1 Thessalonians 2:4).” Cristian Alvarado, a citizen of Costa Rica, who is currently based in Cagayan de Oro City with his wife Tomasita and family, expressed his happiness, “I have moved from doubt to faith, experiencing an increase in gratefulness and an increase in faith. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love upon you and chose you… but it is because the Lord loves you. (Deuteronomy 7:7-8)”
Regner Paguia, one of the formators, shared these encouraging words: “Truly we are on our way to ‘a land flowing with milk and honey’ (Exodus 3:8). Stick to prayer in the ups and downs on the road. Ask for openness to the prayer of the other, listen to your spouse, engage in a healthy tug-of-war, keeping in mind that the Spirit may also move you to take a stand.”
“Saying Yes or No is secondary,” exhorted Fr. James McTavish, adviser to the Married Couples Branch. “This adventure is about knowing yourself more. Commit to being closer to God, to love more as a couple, as a family. To learn more about the Verbum Dei charism and mission, to have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)”
Like the good and faithful servants in the Parable of the Talents, we are ready to be brave, take a risk, and make an investment of a lifetime, that we too may enter into the joy of the Master.
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