Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Here’s something I got from one of my readings:
“On a clear, bright sunny day take a powerful magnifying glass and a stack of newspapers and go outside for an experiment. Hold the magnifying glass over a pile of crumpled pages. Even though you are magnifying the power of the sun’s rays through the glass lens, you will never start a fire – if you keep moving the glass.
But if you hold the magnifying glass still, allowing it to focus the rays in a concentrated beam of sun energy, you harness the power of the sun and multiply it through the lens – starting a fire.
Focusing also works with your power of thought! Try it and ignite your wandering ideas.”
(Author unknown)

I believe that in whatever we do, whether in God’s service or in the service of our family, there is a need for us to be focused on what we are doing. To be focused, we have to have commitment. To have real commitment, we need to have discipline. And as TOCs we need discipline to rule our lives. Discipleship after all comes from the same root word as discipline.

In doing God’s work, we need to know and discern God’s will for us. Once known, we need to ask for the grace and the courage to dutifully follow it. Only when we are doing something that is in accordance with God’s Will, will we bear much fruits. And how do we know we are truly doing God’s Will? When we faithfully do our assigned tasks whether in our family, in our TOC community or in our society as a whole.

This is the reason why I continue to exhort all Priors/Prioresses to give priority to the TOC over any other parish mandated organizations. I know for a fact that there are a few who are holding important positions in other mandated parish organizations besides being the heads of their TOC communities. As a result, their time and energy are not focused on the TOC. Most of the time they are not able to give their full attention to the responsibilities demanded of them. They are not able to attend seminars and meetings where their presence is most urgently needed.

We should remember that as elected heads of our communities, IT IS GOD’S WILL that we truly attend to our functions in the TOC with utmost dedication and diligence. We need to give the Order our FOCUS and PRIORITY if we are to do God’s will in our Communities. This giving of priority is most important at this time when we are in the process of re-forming and re-orienting our members; at this time when we are trying to intensify and implement our new Formation Programs. We need FOCUS if we are to bear fruits from all these endeavours.

I am appealing to all local leaders to give this much thought and reflection. Our call to leadership in Lay Carmelite Communities is a call to service; a service which requires our full attention; a service directed to the welfare of our respective TOC communities and its members. Overseeing a TOC community and mentoring/shepherding its members is an awesome task by itself. It is a great disservice to the community if, instead of attending to its needs and its members, a prior/prioress is seen attending to other ministries which could very well be left to the others who have lesser responsibilities to attend to. How can we expect the members to give TOC activities priority when they see us not giving priority to our role and duties as their leaders? How can we demand faithfulness from them when we ourselves are not faithful to our responsibilities? As I have always reminded local leaders, please try to lead by example at all times and get focused on your role as overseers of your respective communities.

1 comment:

dj T.m said...

I'm interested in becoming a member of the confraternity of the brown scapular . I'm based here in Zamboanga City, Philippines, and presently a member of the SEcular order of the Discalced Carmelites. I feel that i may be more effective by being in the confraternity of the brown scapular instead.