Get rid of your old self, which made you live as you used to- the old self that was being destroyed by its deceitful desires. Your hearts and minds must be made completely new, and you must put on the new self, which is created in God’s likeness and reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy. – Ephesians 4:22-24
As I journey towards my vocation, I am also called to renew my passion and search for the true purpose and meaning of my life. At the time, I was a teacher in a university. I used to be an independent person. I lived alone and I loved it. I was contented and happy. I worked and received salary. As a breadwinner in my family, I sent my siblings to school, I supported my parents’ house-expenses, and of course I provided for myself the things that I need and want. Back then, I was pressured by the society’s standard of living which builds my wrong self-identity. How much I make, the kind of neighborhood I live in, the number of prized possessions I have, the exclusive clubs I belong, the fashion clothes I wear, and the important people I know- these are the measures of society that I use to measure my self- worth and the worth of others. Till I met the Piarist Order last June 2019, my life then is never the same. Conversion as the spiritual writers would say is what happened to me.
I believe that following Jesus is not an easy path. Personally, I experience a lot of narrow ways to make me realize the will of God for me. And so, living as aspirant with the Piarists, I came to realize that I had a very poor self-image. That is through self-evaluation and individual conferences by my formator, some causes for this came to mind: guilt for the past mistakes and an inferiority complex that had its origin in my childhood. Gradually, I came face to face with the naked truth of my identity.
But one thing I am sure, why I’m still here. It is because I realized that someone loved me so much that He is willing to lay down His life for my sake. The more I stay in this path, the more I came to believe in God’s love for me. At this time, I am surrounded by loving people: I continue to experience God’s loving through them. Even my concept of the Passion of Christ widened. Before, seeing only the cross as a reason of my sins, now as I look at the cross, I realized His supreme gift of love for me and for all. Thus, I found the true love of God in Jesus Christ. It is concretely expressed in the Piarist Love-that is Christ’s love, a true love!
Romeo Manlangit (Filipino Live-In Aspirant)
Calasanz International House, Manila, Philippines