I finished few days ago my journey. I chose to travel by car and stay out of the City for almost a month because I wanted to breathe the air of the rest of Mindanao, to feel immersed in the scents of the environment and the life around me. It worked!
I saw new places and new ones have appeared to my eyes. I met people. In my journey I have traveled more than 2500 kilometers. Albeit partially, I experienced the difficulties of the roads which in their monotony or in their tortuosity bring, somehow, everybody to destination. What struck me was the silence of the night broken only by the noise of nocturnal animals. But above all I saw and met ‘brothers’ who knows how to welcome people. It has been very nice for me to experience that in every place I stopped I found each of you, PIME brothers, immersed in your work. I saw you totally dedicated. Without hesitation, without fear I have seen you in the service of others. A service made up of attention. A service that comes from awareness of the beauty of human dignity and the compassion of God for his creatures. With great and open heart to welcome people, to listen them in tune with their lives. In a word, I saw your life as a God’s gift placed in the history He created and in everyday story of every living being in Mindanao.
Thinking on what I saw around me I was led to reflect and proclaim the beauty of our PIME community in the Philippines. When we meet togheter we look shabby, a community that does not know how to live in community. When we are togheter we are afraid to talk may be in order to avoid the judgment of others. The awful judgment that slashes and condemns. Perhaps we take for granted the brother we know already. Perhaps we judged him and we are tempted to say that: “I know him very well! I know already what he think and what he is hiding of”. Perhaps we are tempted to think that what he says and does is non relevant. We take everything for granted. In our coming togheter perhaps we have forgotten the beauty and joy of wondering. So let us be capture by the astonishment and love that motivates us when we meet the poor in our workplace. That poor man and women who needs a word of consolation. That poor man who only feels to be loved by us. That poor man who sees the hope and the love of God incarnate in our face. We too are poor. We always take the positive aspect of people who work with us and are companion of our history. Let’s take the positive aspect too in the brother PIME who challenges us in his poverty, not to be judged, but to be loved as a person, as a manifestation of God in our history.
Maybe this has been taken for granted, but each of us need friendship. We need to receive and give friendship. Giving and receiving can resolve tensions and fears that sometimes arise when we meet others who do the same job we are doing. This could be the method that leads us to feel happy when we are together. We must treasure the experience of everyday life and do it so that it can become part of the larger PIME Phil as well. We are a small group scattered in different places, in diverse situations, but with only one goal in mind: to love what is around us and to give it a meaning even when it is hard to understand. We can translate all of this in PIME Phil. Let us act so that the few moments of our meetings might become occasions of grace.
A PIME’s traveler