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The WORD. The TRUTH.

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Holy Thursday, 1992

Dear Ate Leonie,

It is Holy Thursday again. This will be my seventh as priest; my third at the EDSA Shrine. This morning, I joined other priests at the Cathedral to renew my promises to the priesthood. I was happy to see you there. As I advance in years in the ministry, the renewal becomes even more painful to say, not because I no longer love the priesthood, but because I know now how difficult it is to be a good priest. Now I am seeing the consequences of the yes that I gave the Lord on the day of my ordination.

The priesthood is a difficult life. It is no joke to live a good priesthood. I am beginning to realize what the older priests have told me way back. People do not seem to grasp the full meaning of this. All they seem to see are the superficial facets of my life. They see me laughing and smiling and they conclude that I am happy. They see people listening to me at homilies and they conclude that I am successful. My superiors praise me publicly, and they conclude that I am fulfilled.

Not seldom in my life do I feel that I am like a clown. I have to hide from people my tears under a whitened made-up face because I do not wish to add to their burden. I have to dance and jump at their beck and call, even if my legs feel broken and bruised. Many think my life is easy because I am served good food; the people are cooperative and warm; and the children who come to me are so lovable.

Sometimes I feel that some people seem to forget that I am not superman. After each busy day in the church, I go back to my room, alone, fondly remembering the children who can never be my own. I return to my room, alone, with no one to listen to my happy story, with no one to bare my aching soul to. It is so difficult. I am called to be your shepherd. Not seldom do I feel more like a lost shepherd than a good one. It is so difficult.

But I know I am not alone. Jesus is with me always. He will never ever leave me. The priesthood is a difficult life. It is a life of hidden pains, a life of secret aches and crosses. People might not appreciate; people might not understand or simply refuse to understand. I am sure God does. God is always with me. If had another life, I would still choose to be God’s priest. Please pray for me, your sinner priest.

With you in Christ,

Fr. Soc

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