AN UPDATE FROM THE DUMAGUETE TOC COMMUNITY
By Gloria Jumawan, TOCarm
A recollection was conducted by Fr. Paul Medina, O Carm on March 12, 2006 and attended by 34 members of the Dumaguete TOC Community. The term ‘RECOLLECTION’ according to him is to ‘collect again the life one must have to belong to the Carmelite Order.’ A Carmelite (TOC) should have a life of promise; a consecrated life to Christ and to Mama Mary. Just as Christ the anointed one, has consecrated his life in obedience to the Father with purity and poverty, taking a life of total surrender to the Father, so, should each and every one of us also follow his example of life of obedience, chastity and voluntary poverty.
Fr. Paul further shared to us that in the promise of obedience, humility is highly regarded as the greatest Christian virtue and is strictly observed. Obedience of the congregation to the superior should be observed and respected because the superior represents the community and the authority of the community is from God. If the Superior practices his authority for the good of the community this comes from God Himself. But if the Superior abuses his power this does not come from God anymore. In the context of the Third Orders it is expected that the members should obey their superiors, their memos and directives. If these directives and memos are for the good of the members, the members should follow because this authority comes from God Himself.
The promise of Chastity is the availability to serve the Lord. For the Third Order this is not the denial of sexuality but bringing it to the divine purpose with purity of thoughts, actions, gestures, speech, feelings and intentions. The members of the Third Order are expected to live in accordance with their state of life and practice the essence by which this promise is made.
In the promise of voluntary poverty, for the TOC this is the denial of worldly attachment in order to use the material goods for the greater glory of God. Poverty may be material, social and spiritual.
The recollection ended with the advice of Fr. Paul that when the National Council gives directives or memoranda for the community to follow, everyone should obey these rules because it is the voice of God who directs every member for the good of the whole community. One should not defy these rules since this may cause disobedience on the whole community. The members were also reminded to live a chaste life in accordance with one’s state of life. Our life is exposed to the dangers and temptations of this world but through the grace of God we shall be able to faithfully practice these evangelical virtues.