Discernment Retreat Reflections
by Clinch Hussein Q. Cabatingan
This is my second time to join the Redemptorist discernment retreat. I have known the Redemptorists since 2015 when I first attended the discernment retreat. I can still remember what had happened. It is so vivid just like clear water. During those times I felt distress maybe because of some factors like fear, family approval and some personal issues. I am glad that the Redemptorists have been extending their help for me to know myself more and even face my personal issues through spiritual direction and counseling.
Now, I feel that I am as light as a feather; joyful I should say. The second discernment retreat was sort of a refresher to what Redemptorist life is all about and discovering my inner self. Here are the highlights of my reflections during the retreat:
Clarifying WHO AM I?
I thought I knew myself before but unfortunately I was just merely memorizing through objective context because of fear and because part of me was deeply hurt and part of me was in denial. I have realized I need to acknowledge not only my strength but my weaknesses as well and that is what I am doing now. It is not a piece of cake for me but I am taking action and I am going to continue acknowledging what I called “All of me” and use this in future productivity. I cannot say that I am totally healed because it is a process but I am embracing the “”All of me” and I am positive of who I am now.
All for GOD
This is not for me but this is for the glory of our God the ultimate redeemer. This vocation is a call from God. I am here answering the call not for my own personal view or self-gratification but all for Him and only for Him. To serve God and by serving Him is serving His people and that is what I call the epitome of LOVE.
Personal prayer is very important. It is my way of talking to a friend, father, bestfriend and my God. During the retreat I was asking myself “What is your fear Clinch?” I had a flash back about my life before including the discernment retreat and the “come and see” last year. I was facing a tree near the chapel of the Holy Family Retreat House. There I talked to God: Lord, I have realized that I was scared to commit because of fear. At hindsight, I found out and this will serve as my personal learning “one’s vocation or calling is always there but in all forms vocation without a decision and action is a dead vocation.” Now, I want to walk the talk not just by listening to the call. I go beyond my boundaries. It is time to commit not because I am at the peak of my emotion but because I am committed as what I have promised Him. If this calls for me to take a great risk I am assured that God is with me. His plans are bigger than my plans and whatever it takes I know He will catch me.
Listening is to understand what we have heard. I am now listening to my inner self and for me to be able to listen is to reflect with the presence of God. I tried to ask myself “What makes me feel that certain joy?” Does my family, friends and community feel the same way? Now, I can really say that my family is very supportive about my personal desire and decision. I thank God for that and that makes me at peace. They are even talking and sharing it with their close friends. It is intimidating on my part because there is no final result from the Congregation yet, but just like I said I will jump and take the risk. Some of my friends are supportive and some are just making jokes about my recent decision but I know deep in their hearts they are supporting me in a different way. I am still listening now and I will continue to listen.
What attracts me about the Redemptorist Congregation? It is their charism of spreading, expressing and applying the good news to the most abandoned. I am happy being with the people. I can still remember my first mission in Nuing last year. It was not that easy but I felt certain joy and fulfillment. I am still bringing those experiences here in my heart until now. I thought I will be the one who will teach the Manubo Tribe but it was them who taught me something. A kind of lesson that I will never learn in the four corners of the room.
Discernment is a process for you to choose the best decision but it doesn’t mean that if you have chosen or decided a certain decision that would be the curtain call and the time for you to take a bow. That is a big NO! Discernment is a process, it is continuous. Indeed my heart is restless until it rest in you my God. It is time to do my part, to answer and to commit because in Him and with Him “Copiosa Apud Eum Redemptio.”