“Be Strong in This World”
“Do not hinder the divine plan! Do not be an artificial pearl!
The pearls found in the sea are strong and do not break under pressure;
artificial ones are only glass; they are beautiful to look at but so fragile that they are crushed by the slightest weight.”
“Be strong in this world!” That was the message of the Bishop of Iligan, Bishop Jose Rapadas III in his homily delivered at the Mass of the Sacrament of Confirmation a few months ago at the Immaculate Conception Parish. A simple sentence, but has a deep meaning. Being strong is not so that we can boast about ourselves, but so that we can strengthen others with our love and service. Like our bodies, to be strong we need to consume enough nutritious food, exercise, and rest. In order to become strong, we also need to nourish our souls, with spiritual food, and train our mind with positive thoughts, recreation, prayer, etc.
True power is God (Mary of the Passion). To be strong we need to draw strength from God, fully aware that God is the One who sustains and strengthens us so that we will always return to Him and not boast about our strength. Never allow difficulties and challenges weaken us, but using them to forge ourselves to be stronger in God.
During my 4 months of mission experience with the FMM sisters at Sacred Heart Community, Iligan City, Philippines, I got many new precious experiences. I am grateful for the experience with the people at Deus Charitas Village, where I learned to give myself sincerely, fight fatigue, remain to be a good person no matter what other people may think, and keep moving forward as a Franciscan Missionary of Mary.
God provides everything we need to be strong and strong by the strength of His love, we are able to fully fulfill the purpose of our calling. Stay strong in the Lord.
Andriana Esti Setyawati, FMM
Sacred Heart Community, Iligan City, Philippines