Sem. Daniel Voltaire B. Hui
“Why don’t we get married?” My girlfriend then asked me. I was stunned by her question. I was not able to respond to her for I did not know what to say. Will I flatter her and say “yes,” or will I be honest? I did not like to reject her because I felt she could be the one. But I also knew then that I was not yet ready. All I knew was that it was not yet the right time.
I had planned my life and had set that I would get married at 30. I was in my early 20s and starting my career as a professional. I was enjoying my work and the money that I was earning from it. My girlfriend and I had been together for five years already during that time, but I felt that we still had a lot of things to secure. I wanted her to enjoy life and explore it the same way as I do.
But we had different plans. I could not get into her because all she wanted was to get married. I was searching for myself why I do not want to get married at that time. She took her own path and so did I. I wanted to understand myself because there was something in me that I needed to discover. I went on with my life and explored. I found joy in visiting less fortunate children in different institutions that care for them.
From a daily Mass-goer I became a Church servant. I did not realize that I was spending much time in Church activities already. I had devoted myself in leading the youth of our parish and felt overjoyed by it. I was inspired to work more for it seemed that I found my balance. I saw that everything I was doing made sense. I did not only get to do what I wanted, but also I had the chance to help others. I felt my life acquired its meaning already. But it did not end there. Although there was joy and meaning, I still could not find peace because there was still restlessness inside of me – something that was searching for more and wanting for more.
While I was attending Mass one morning, I felt something different. While looking at the host being consecrated to be the Body of Christ, I did not realize that there were tears in my eyes. If there was a moment in my life that I could say God was concretely present, it was that day. I felt afraid after that for I felt God was inviting me into something. I called it “something” for I did not know then how to regard it. I did not know what to do with it.
It was too much for me to contain such a feeling. I stopped attending the Mass because it might be coming from that experience. I was denying that the feelings I had were true. The more I tried to get rid of that feeling, the more it became stronger.
Our parish priest looked for me when I started not to attend the daily Mass. I went to him and relayed my experience. He was not sure if what I was feeling was a “calling” from God. But there was one thing he was sure of, I have to discover that “something.” He accompanied me to his former seminary and showed me his life as a seminarian. The glimpse of the seminary filled the void in my heart and helped me to name the “something” that I could not name. It was there that I found peace.
But still my rational mind argued how come someone like me could have a calling. Priesthood was not my dream. It was not even part of my wildest dreams. All I knew was to work hard, make money, help others, serve the Church and have my own family at 30. But as I resisted, all the more I became restless.
I attended the daily Mass once again and started praying for what God wanted. I told Him that I could not fight back any longer. I just wanted to know His will, but part of knowing it required me to work for it. I tried applying but before that I bargained with the Lord that if I would not be accepted, that would be the end of my journey and I will move on with my life plan. But my life plan did not happen, for I was admitted to the seminary after a year of continuous discernment.
Finally, in May 2010, I was one of the six men who entered the seminary. Until now, I could not believe that someone like me would be called by God and be gifted with this vocation. I could just be grateful to Him for He has remained ever faithful. I have forgotten my life plan already, for it was replaced with God’s plan which I continue to discover and respond to.
This March 2016, if God wills it, I will be ordained as a deacon and probably in less than a year I might become a priest. Still, the mystery of it all is little by little being revealed to me. There was nothing extraordinary about my story, for it just sprung out of the ordinary. How could I not love Him when all He did from the beginning was to love me more and more?