We began 2015 with many challenges: in our family, in the course of formation of marriages, in the apostolate we carry on this island and of course in finances. It is not easy to carry-on when you experience in the heart so many questions, uncertainties and human practicality which asks : How can a missionary family with four children live here without a secured income? Is it necessary to risk so much, and live without a salary or social security? Should we go ahead with the mission when we are experiencing so many difficulties?
As I write now, Pope Francis is concluding his visit to the Philippines. We had the feeling of having experienced through him, God's answer to our questions, when in a message to Filipino families in the "Mall of Asia" he stated: "Do not stop dreaming with your children, your marriage, and with the world " Inwardly I experienced that God answered my fears for the future of our children who have come with us to the Philippines, the future of the couples in the training course who are preparing to engage in the evangelization of families in this country, and the concerns we have as we face the future off the project Verbum Dei Missionary Family in the Philippines.
I understood deep in my heart, "Keep dreaming, do not stop dreaming, all this is born of a dream, a dream from God, and now I share it with you, that we may dream together.
However, there is a strong fight in my heart. Dreaming is not easy, we face the harsh reality that makes us want to "put our feet on the ground" (“be realistic”) and in me is constantly the questions: "How can we keep dreaming of continuing in the Philippines when we see that we do not yet understand this culture?"
"How can we keep dreaming of raising up a branch of couples who are dedicated to evangelization, when there are no financial resources to do so in the Catholic Church, and this kind of vocation is not understood?"
"How can we dream of an evangelized Asia when we are still millions Catholics, locked in our own selfish pursuit of security?
In a moment of prayer, I was asking the Lord "Give me the key to keep dreaming with you and like You." After making this request, there came to my mind a Bible passage that confronts me a lot: "Whoever would save his life will lose it , but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will find it" (Mk 8:35)
"What security do I seek, Lord? Why do I have this need to save my life and my family?"
Behind this strong and clear invitation of Jesus, I realized that the dream involves self-abandonment, surrender, and trust in His Word over my fears. A degree of passion for the Gospel that gives us a touch of "madness" in the face of our temptation to always need to ensure everything is ‘in order’ and to be "feet on the ground." (practical and 'realistic').
My answer was: "Lord, I will not give up the missionary dreams that You yourself have placed in our hearts since we were dating. Ask Mary to teach us to dream, she who despite being at the foot of the cross of her Son, did not stop dreaming and hoping for the promise of the Resurrection.