The Grace of Lockdown

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Renewal of the Temporary Profession of Vows

The fourth Sunday of Easter is celebrated by the Church as Good Shepherd’s Day. It also coincides with the World Day of Prayers for Vocations. The dual celebration was perfect for the renewal of my temporary profession of vows as a Redemptorist.

I was anticipating that my renewal of temporary vows to be held in my country, Philippines but was changed due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis that affected the whole world.  From then on, nothing is certain anymore. The declaration of lockdown by the authorities was immediate and sensible to avoid the contamination. Thus, resulted to extend my stay in Myanmar.

However, life must go on as the grace of God continues despite the virus that afflicted many already. Sad to say, but I am not alone. Bro. Joseph, our companion in the mission, was prevented to travel back to Vietnam. The uncomfortable situation moved us to continue housing the six young men who joined the “Come and See” program because they also got stranded. The unfavorable situation was transformed into a comforting one. The lockdown came as a blessing because Brother Pham Duy Tien, C.Ss.R. made it possible to have two witnesses together with Fr. John the Baptist Nguyen Thai Thuong, C.Ss.R. Their presence surely came as a blessing as they were able to witness my special event. I guess, the “Lock Down” came as a special history to my lifeline because my renewal of temporary vows was the first that ever happened in Myanmar Redemptorist Mission Community.

Indeed, May 3 is a Red Date in my personal calendar. A date that I expressed my burning desire to continue following Jesus, my Good Shepherd, calling me and be with Him in His journey. This was graced by the support of Fr. Luke Le Viet Phuong, C.Ss.R., the mission superior, who accepted the renewal of my vows as delegated by Fr. Nico, the Provincial Superior of Cebu, with Fr. John the Baptist and Bro. Joseph, witnesses, and the joyful presence of the two aspirants and six men who joined the “Come and See” to know the life of the Redemptorists.

I empathize with the world in this challenging time…. paralyzing the natural flow of worldly life. Global leaders and their countries are in deep turmoil on how to address the unseen that has killed hundreds of thousands and made many lives in isolation. This prevailing unsolved issue may lead us in despair, exhaustion, and hopelessness, but this must not stop us from believing that our merciful God, the Good Shepherd, will eventually shed light on the discovery of a vaccine that will surely contain and help save millions of lives. We are all quarantined… locked down from freedom, but God’s grace will surely flow and flourish with His continued blessings of Hope and Love to everyone.

I am positive that things even in its cruelest way, may have reasons for us to turn to one Savior… Jesus Christ, Our Light, and Life.

Bro. Dennis D. Galan, C.Ss.R.

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