Oi tobpinai ngaavi ku id di Tuhan Otumbazaan zou do…
It has been more than four years since I entered formation for the priesthood. I have never seen God with my own eyes or touched Him, but I strongly believe that He is there, somewhere beyond my knowledge. I know that He is ominpresent. I realize that He is here, working on me even as I am reflecting on all my experiences and letting my heart be guided by the Holy Spirit. “The Spirit will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:13) I just need to surrender myself to the Spirit of God.
I began the formation for priesthood in 2009 when I entered Aspirancy Year, which emphasized on the study of the English Language and community living. I moved on to Initiation Year where I was exposed to pre-major seminary courses that stress on spiritual life. The next stage at St Peter’s College (SPC), which is a major seminary located in Kuching, prepares me for the study of Philosophy (2 years) and Theology (4 years). I have just embarked on the 1st year of Theological studies.
There is a saying which is true: “Learning process will never end.” For me, my learning process will not end in the seminary! I need to continue to study by myself, and to keep on gaining knowledge for the betterment of the people of God whom I hope to serve one day.
As my formation deepens, the courses are more challenging. At times, I almost want to give up my vocation. I see myself unworthy for priesthood, especially in terms of academic study.
As I recalled my school days, my academic level for SPM was just “cukup makan ja”! I am not a fast learner but I can manage it with effort.
My 1st year of Theological studies has been very difficult. As I read the notes over and over again, understanding slowly but surely came. I noticed that as I gave all my difficulties to God and let Him work in me, my enthusiasm level rose. I knew I just need to put effort into my study, which I did using any free time that I had for study and prayers.
Countless times I have prayed to God, asking Him to show the right path. His words “Where is your faith?” (Lk 8:25) and “Have faith in God.” (Mk 11:22) touched me and urged me on.
At the beginning of the year, SPC would organize an in-house liturgy for Holy Week and Easter. It is done so as to expose the students more fully to the liturgical services and for a better understanding of why the Church celebrates it. The Year-3 students are usually put in charge to organize it
However, for 2013, there were only the two of us in Year 3 and 17other junior students. In addition, I was also College student leader. I thought I would not manage it. But, when our turn came to organize it, we did it!
Reflecting on this experience, I realize that everything will be fine as long as I have faith in God, no matter the difficulties or the joys.