God’s Mercy and Compassion: A Personal Encounter

I wanted to write my second reflection for “A Dose of God Today” during the Christmas break last year. However, a series of unpleasant events prevented me to do so. One significant hindrance was the demise of my elder brother. He died of cardiac arrest at the age of 62 last December 23, 2022 in Manila. It was a shock to the whole family. I then flew to Manila with his daughter and 2 other nieces. It was during this painful and devastating event that I personally saw the hands of God – His mercy and compassion to me and my whole family. With God’s grace and providence, we gave our brother a decent wake and burial within a week. Having 2 funeral masses during the wake were so consoling given the fact that we are not from Manila. Everything fell in place.

I felt the greatest joy when I heard a number of his neighbors narrating how kind, prayerful and highly spiritual my brother was. Indeed, the faith that was planted and nurtured by our parents was deeply internalized and lived out by my late brother. This is also the very reason why it was easy for us to cope well with this painful event. Our faith taught us to trust and embrace God’s will even if it is so difficult to accept that our brother will no longer be with us physically. I have to be strong myself since I am one of the pillars in the family.

This is not the only event that I can truly say that God’s mercy and compassion are overflowing in my life. As an Associate Dean of the Graduate School of a state university in Iloilo is not an easy feat, being a counselor-educator at the same time.  This has been my 2nd year in the post. Even before the death of my brother, I was already contemplating of leaving my post.

During the last 3 semesters, we had 2 major Accreditation visits, ISO re-certification once a year, Curriculum Review preparation, and many tasks in between.  I honestly told our Dean that I want to resign so I may be free from the many huge responsibilities. This was my 2nd attempt and to my dismay, the dean did not want me to leave my post. I prayed a lot and ask for God’s divine intervention. The result of my discernment was to stay for the rest of the semester until the end of this school year. I have to trust everything to a loving and faithful God. I tried to see the events in my life with the lens of faith.

Overflowing Mercy and Compassion

Looking back, I saw a merciful and compassionate God journeying with me as I tried to fulfill my responsibilities. We have successfully surpassed the major accreditation visits. I am truly grateful for the small victories that God has allowed me to savor so that I may shout out to the universe how faithful He/She is as a God. Indeed, my faith has been deepened. I see these uncomfortable experiences as a way of sharpening my person so I may be worthy of my role. As a reward for my hard work and dedication, I got promoted with 5 steps higher – with a commensurate pay. There is a long list of how God allowed me to enjoy the beauty of life – I was able to join our trip to Europe for our Project FORTH; my application as an Associate Member of the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) was approved; the gift of good health of mind and body in the midst of a crazy daily schedule. I have to wake up at around 5 in the morning and sleep at 10 at night because I live 29 kilometers away from my work place.

These indeed are clear manifestations that God’s mercy and compassion is overflowing in my life.

With the challenging schedule in the academe, for the past 4 years, I have been serving as a volunteer counselor and head of the St. Clement’s Pastoral Care and Counseling Ministry. I always find joy in my encounter with my clients. Sitting for 2 hours in our comfy office made me realize that I am an instrument of God’s healing and forgiveness.

At times, I have to deal with the clients during evenings and weekends- a call to get out of my way to be with these wounded persons. I have personally experienced how God has forgiven me for all my sins and imperfections. I do not even feel that I am worthy to be in this role, yet in humility, I acknowledge that God completes me, does things I am not capable of doing and guides me to make decisions that are life-giving and for the common good.

Thus, paying it forward – sharing my gift and person as a counselor-educator is all worth it! I am trying my best to answer the call to participate in the Ministry of Healing so that many people – the needy and wounded may experience the FULLNESS of life.

Being in this ministry made wonders in my own life. I have grown in all aspects of my life, mostly in the spiritual and professional aspects.  In the process, I am healed from the painful experience of losing a beloved brother.

The recent recollection for the healing ministries of St. Clement’s Church facilitated by our Spiritual Director and a good friend of mine, Fr. Jomil C. Baring, C.Ss.R, who is also the administrator and creator of this blog – A Dose of God Today” moved me to share my personal journey with you. Revealing my innermost thoughts and experiences – my sacred stories and space seen with the lens of faith, seem not easy at the beginning. Yet, I am inspired and driven to share my faith story – as Fr. Jom puts it – Faith is always loud and daring.

So here I am right now, sharing my testimony of how God’s mercy and compassion overflows in my life. I am sure God has been merciful and compassionate to each and every one of you! So dare to share your faith journey with the people you encounter with in your work place or wherever there is a chance to tell your stories of how God has touched your life; how God has been merciful and compassionate to you and your family. I just did!


One response to “God’s Mercy and Compassion: A Personal Encounter”

  1. The Lord is indeed magnificent. We may not understand He ways today but His grace will soon manifest. I am also going thru a hard time with my work, colleagues and my family. I would cry to the Lord and seek solace in His words. I know in time things will fall into it’s proper places (Ecc 3:11). Praying for everyone who gets to read this🙏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

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