Thursday, November 08, 2007

Age to perfection

The rest of my housemates went today to the provincial house to greet Fr. Godo (it’s his birthday). I opted to stay behind since I wish to consult Sr. Mary (the one who gives us the seminar on prayer).

Our talk was rather short. We wrapped up after about 30 minutes.

I haven’t met any person like her who seems not to get tired talking. She talked for two straight hours in the morning—without break—and she was still managed to talk to me for another half an hour, considering the fact that she’s already 76 years old!

I recall that when we saw her the first time, we found her to be too old. In fact, Noble (he’s the in-charge of the classroom where we’re having the seminar) asked me if she needs a microphone. She didn’t need it. Today is the third day of our seminar and so far, her voice does not show any sign of faltering.

True, if God really calls you for something, He makes it sure that he’ll equip you with the necessary skill to carry it out.

We had lunch together, and still, she had it again. In between her scooping of rice and chewing of food, she filled me with her so many stories that ranged from spiritual to mundane.
You see when I’m eating with a stranger, there’s an eerie silence that I am not comfortable with; you know, that dreadful dead air that seems to punctuate our exchange of ideas, leaving the stranger and me thinking of a new topic that may interest both of us. Hence, as much as possible, I try to avoid such occasion.

But with her, it’s different. It’s like we’ve known each other for a long time. I didn’t experience the deafening silence and the awkwardness. But only the genuineness of her person in the many stories of her that she unselfishly gifted me with.

Being with her has made me realize that growing old, especially in the realm of the religious life, is not synonymous to folding to insecurities, fading of one’s beauty and strength and all those terrible hullabaloos depicted in mainstream films (and even literatures) portraying how old people generally are. Ageing is coming to perfection. And it is only in this stage that the call to integration, that is to become a whole individual, is in its loudest.