Seven novices of the Order of Carmelites in the Philippines professed their vows of keeping the evangelical counsels before Prior Provincial Rev. Fr. Artemio Jusayan, O.Carm., on the feast of the province’s patron, Bld. Titus Brandsma, as members of the order.
In his homily, Fr. Edison Paul Medina, O.Carm., the first Filipino Carmelite friar who was formed in the Philippines, shared with the brothers that just like Titus Brandsma who, despite the challenges that he had to face, like a good soldier and a good servant, fulfilled his obligations that led to his arrest and eventually his death.
“This is commitment,” he said.
“You are committed if you are powerless, otherwise, when you are in control, it is not commitment,” he added.
“Who is in control (of our lives)? No other than God. God controls, Jesus Christ controls, you have to have allegiance to the Lord and that is commitment,” he told the congregation.
He then added that in entering the Order the brothers are letting go of their comfort zones of economic security, of their desires, of having a romantic life because they are to “promise the vow of being poor.”
To love is also one of the challenges that Fr. Medina gave to the newly professed brothers.
“Our Lord said, ‘Love your enemies,’” he said. “It is easy to love another person, but to love yourself, your number one enemy, yourself, is very hard to love.”
He said that it is in loving that we are able to live a life of chastity.
The newly professed brothers are Br. Alexander Martinez of Bayambang, Pangasinan, Br. Mithy Layos of Bantayan, Cebu, Br. Michel San Juan of Tabaco City, Br. Adrian Ballares of Alaminos City, Br. Petronilo Flores of Hinobaan, Negros Occidental, Br. Dave Malinao of Ormoc City, and Br. Jaynor Gomez of Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental. (Text by Br. Ritche Salgado, O.Carm. Photos by Jeshrel Alimojaned).