MISEVI and My Path to the Daughters of Charity

by | Nov 2, 2020 | Formation, Reflections | 1 comment

Like the Loving Father He is, God walked with me step by step and made me who I am today… Sometimes I see myself as Peter, a man who told Jesus that he will never leave or deny him, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” (Mt 26: 35), but then again, he denied him not once but three times. In his weakness, Peter failed. However, Jesus, in his unconditional love, not only forgave him, but he restored his confidence and told him to take care of his sheep.

The healing process of Peter is well known in Jn 21: 15-19… where Jesus asked Peter three times if he loves Him. “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” (Jn 21: 15). I know that every day, Jesus asks me the same question: Diala daughter of Abraham, do you love me?

At the beginning, when Jesus asked me, “Do you love me?” I used to answer, “Yes, sure I do… I am a practicing Christian, I go to mass every Sunday, I confess, I participate in all the ceremonies that happen in my parish. What should I do more than that?”

In 2007, I used to go with my sister to the house of the fathers, in Mejdlaya, North Lebanon. In the beginning, it was for me a sort of gathering where youth meets to pray and leisure. Just like at the beginning of St Vincent’s life, when he was searching for money, I was searching for friends and fun. It was getting more and more interesting, the more I knew, the more I wanted to know. The formation that we use to have in MISEVI back in the time, helped me build a personal relationship with God, discovering his endless love, his mystery, and the path that God has put to me.

Summer came, and a new experience has started. The missions in the villages were where I found God in another form. I discovered that He can be in those little children, young teenagers, and the elderly people who we used to visit at home. I discovered, like St Vincent, that God manifests Himself in the poor around me and the most beautiful thing was: God revealed Himself to me through the people I was serving.  I was expecting to bring God to them, but they were the ones bringing God to me.

At that point, when Jesus asked me, do you love me? I used to say, just like Peter, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you. I took my vacation to go on the mission, spreading YOUR word, preaching about you… what more could I do?”

Later on, I found God in the events of my life … in those sad moments, times of trials. That is when I first started to call upon my Father, where the small chapel turned into my sanctuary, my getaway, my home… and the big question started to pop into my head: why is all of this happening to me? During my conversation with my spiritual guide, he started talking about vocation.  My first reaction was, “Me??? Impossible… the sisters will run away…” But God makes miracles happen, and things we never thought might be possible, become reality: “For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Lk 1, 37)

So many times, I ran away from my vocation, thinking, “I’m not worthy,” and saying, “I have nothing.  What can I possibly offer you?  I don’t want to go and become your servant empty-handed. What could you possibly see in me?”  And every time I put an obstacle in the way, God managed everything … In the end, I understood that our vocation is simply, just like Mary, a “Fiat” for a greater love. “It is simply a response of love to a call of Love.” (C 29. b)

In 2015, and on my birthday, I remember very clearly standing in the church and saying: “Just tell me what you want me to do? Should I be a Daughter of Charity or go AD GENTES mission with MISEVI to tell the world about you?

After a long path in the Daughters of Charity discernment group, I wrote my first letter asking permission to be admitted as a postulant with the Daughters of Charity and a new path started, a new life. I was admitted on the Feast of St Vincent de Paul, September 27, 2015.

At the seminary, when I heard Jesus asking me if I love Him, I said “Yes, my Lord, I do … I left the world to be only for you. I consecrated my life to serve you in everyone, especially the poor.”

Now after four years of vocation, I can still hear Him say: Diala daughter of Abraham, do you love me? Now I reply, “Lord, you know me more than I know myself. You know my deepest desire and my biggest fear.”

Loving is just like St Vincent used to say, “Love is not just affective, there is also the effective love…” It is not easy to love unconditionally as Jesus asked us to do … not easy, but not impossible.” As long as I focus on Jesus, I can shout out loud, “Lord, you know I love you, and I know you will give me the grace to be able to love just like you love.”

Sr. Diala FARAH, Daughter of Charity

1 Comment

  1. Sr. Patricia Connolly

    Thank you for sharing your journey-it was so very honest and an echo of the on-going journey to listen to the “What’s next?” in our ever evolving journey with Jesus and His loved people. What a blessing for you and for all of us sharing the journey in the places God has called us to be with Him and His people.

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