I am Lydio, one of the newly aggregated seminarians of the Columbans. This aggregation is a milestone in my faith journey. I am grateful to God, our mission partners, and the Columbans for their unwavering support and guidance. This aggregation signifies my commitment and responsibility as a temporary member.
I’m in my fourth year at the Columban International House of Studies, and doing my academics at the Loyola School of Theology. As I contemplate my faith journey through the lens of what I have gained from Loyola School, I am struck by the presence of paradoxes that shape it. Being a Christian, a Columban seminarian, and a disciple of Jesus is both a gift and a personal endeavor; Yes, it is also my doing.
Before joining the seminary, I recognized my strengths and weaknesses while pursuing a psychology degree. At the Formation House, I received affirmation of my potential while acknowledging my flaws. Despite feeling unworthy, I desire the loving presence of God, knowing that my calling is a gift, as no one can come to Jesus Christ without being drawn by the Father, and acknowledging Jesus as Lord is only possible through the Holy Spirit.
Moreover, being called by God necessitates a response, a conscious decision that I take full ownership of. I recall the moment when I chose to leave my previous studies and job to enter the seminary, fully committing to our integral human formation. Following Jesus became a deliberate human task, supported by God’s sustaining presence. Through listening to Church teachings, reflecting on Scripture, and discerning God’s will, my faith grew. The process of discernment involved choosing between two good options: the Trappist Monastery and the Columban Missionaries. I reflect on discerning God’s presence in every aspect of my life, from decisions and events to desires, sorrows, joys and contentment.
What helped me decide between these two good options was recognizing that the Columban Formation allowed me to transcend personal boundaries and meet Christ across cultures, languages, and nationalities, and sharing my faith with people from different countries. Embracing the idea of being “pilgrims for Christ,” as St. Columban emphasized, resonates deeply with me. Thus, being a Christian, a Columban seminarian, and a disciple of Jesus is both a gift and a personal endeavor, requiring wholehearted participation.
In conclusion, I would like to invite you to reflect on this question: Do you perceive your faith response as a gift or entitlement in your current stage of life? Is your faith an outcome of God’s work or a conscious choice? Consider your faith journey with our Loving God, recognizing how Jesus views you in your present relationship, as you receive His daily gifts and actively engage in His work.