Thanks to God for calling and leading me to share in His plan of salvation through religious life. Pope Francis said: “We did not deserve consecrated life; it is a gift of love that we have received” (The World Day for Consecrated day). It is a gift that I realized in my initial steps of formation. I am not worthy to receive, but God, through the process with the occasions of life, prepares me to be available to do His will.
After listening God’s call to follow Him, I begin a single step of my journey by living in the Parish Convent with the Parish Priest as my personal mentor and director, in preparing myself for the entrance examination of a certain Diocesan Seminary in my hometown nearby (Vietnam). I lived there for four consecutive years ‘till I realized that it is not my forte and capacity, as such, I left the said convent. It may be called unsuccessfully though, however, with the experience of living together with them for four years, gained me a lot of things which helped me to discern and pray for more regarding my vocation. It includes basic ideas of becoming a consecrated person, participation in every Church activities and rituals, and most importantly was that it helped to be steadfast and strengthen my vocation.
Having informed back then, that there is a kind of Religious community nearby, namely, the Piarist Fathers, I never hesitated to try applying to be part and so by God’s grace and mercy, here I am. I officially begun the life of following Jesus through the charism of St. Joseph Calasanz, I feel those things I have learned in the previous part were very helpful, even now that I am in the Philippines for my formation became so relevant and imperative. It made me easy to adjust and integrate with other members of the community. Living in the religious life, my vocation is once again made firm, through the guidance of the formators and strengthening the community life. As the seed is being sown underground and taken care by watering, and fertilizing in order to sprout and become a tree one day. I also, being prepared, and collecting those essential things necessary for me to be a Piarist Father in three aspects, namely: priest, religious, and educator in the future.
Through any circumstances of life, I know that at present moment of my formation, I am under the care of the God’s guiding hand, leading me in whatever instance it may take along this journey. Everything is being provided by God slowly but gradually, so that I won’t feel heavy in carrying the cross given to me in religious life. As the Psalmists would say it: “The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want” (Psalm 23).
Nguyen Van Ha
Vietnamese Pre-Novice, Calasanz International House, Manila, Philippines