Contemplative in Action
They say…in love, one dies to oneself. I say…in doing the dishes, I die to myself. But life is not easy; for some it’s a misery. So gathering my courage, I took my yoke And did the dishes and finished the work. Rinsing the fork, I heard my housemate, “Hey, Em, wanna go to New York? For Missionary formation?” But then I thought, What’s there to learn? They’re rich and comfy. They have no poor. Doing dishes, you see, Brings out the angst in me! But the Still Small Voice was pounding inside me.
So I went anyway, to the USA. As a Filipino missionary trainee, Their reality of poverty Unfolded before me, Materially poor, they may be not, But human relations they lack a lot, They desire connection but in isolation.
Individualism have stripped ‘em off, of authentic happiness that one could have, in human relationship, centered on Christ. Indeed we need Christian disciples, Whose hearts are burning with zealous desire, To bring the joy and peace of Christ, To all whose hearts are in disconnect, To the source of life, who is the Lord. Oh, how we need of laborers, in the vineyard of the Master, Who toil the soil,
But pray first of all. Contemplative in action!
Contemplative, hmm, what is it? Person who meditates, we read in Webster’s. Man who thinks of the Absolute Good, says the philosopher. One who meditates God who is Love, a Christian says. A mission is borne out of contemplation. Thus, a Christian missionary puts primacy, To intimacy with God, Captain of the mission. To contemplative prayer amidst commotion.
Is contemplative prayer only possible, In silence, in seclusion, or on mission? Oh no, I shall say to you. Contemplation of God is possible, Anytime, anywhere, noisy or rowdy, It is a fight to re-ascend, To find that stillness in the heart.
One day we got to tour around, The bustling corners of Manhattan ground, At first I thought, What’s there to see, but boring buildings, highways, Lady Liberty. But at that moment I marveled these sight, A sense of wonder breezed through my heart, Of the marvelous genius of human work! But what struck me most, I contemplate, is the Ingenious Work of Divine Lord, Awesome Maker of this creature, Human Being, is its nature. Oh glorious Lord who reveal His face, Through this lowly creature’s existence.
The weeklong formation Helped keep my fire and zeal for mission. For there I learned that a missionary Is a Christian disciple who’s constantly in awe of God and His mystery. His very existence to say the least. His mercy and goodness, amongst so many.
And now I ask the Virgin Mary,
to help me humbly say,
Let it be done to me
According to Your word.
Written by Em Em Talaboc. Em Em is currently a high school teacher of religion, and has been involved with Pure Heart since its beginnings in 2014.