No, it’s not my birthday today! But my mind keeps wondering on that moment when once upon an eternity, God said, “Let there be Felmar Castrodes Fiel!” Ah, wonder of all wonders.
I had really no plans of entering the seminary. I had seminarian friends in high school but I was not really attracted to their calling. I felt that entering the seminary would be like becoming a modern martyr. Imagine, they had to undergo ten years of formation!
But when God calls, He is really irresistible! A Persistent Suitor I would say. A religious missionary priest came to our school to conduct an entrance exam. My intention of taking that exam was only the guarantee of our Values Education Professor that I would be exempted for the midterm exams. Wahahaha.
Perhaps God was really serious with me. I passed the exam and I find myself availing of the search-in in Davao City. All of a sudden, I realized I wanted to enter the seminary. What a twist, the years of formation in the SVD congregation is not only ten years but eleven years!
In my many years of serving God, I have been into several troubles and confusions. Two weeks before entering the seminary, my mother got an accident. I was so sad because she was the one I asked to prepare all the things necessary for me to bring to the seminary. I thought God was so cruel and not supportive! He might have other plans for me than entering the seminary. But no, I felt something different with this call. So, I wrestled day and night with my convictions. I then worked all things out to prepare the necessary documents needed for my entrance in the SVD. On that rainy day of May 14, 1998, I went to the Divine Word Formation Center of Davao alone and yet convinced of my calling. That memory was very vivid to me.
One thing I learn through the years is to love the God I don’t fully understand. His ways are not my ways. I have other plans but His plans are bigger. Ah, several times I experienced the dark nights of my soul. But thanks be to God, I always wake up each morning knowing that I have a bright future full of hope. I know that everyday heaven is stormed by prayers of people praying for me. Thanks for that!