A student from St Scholastica shares how a short item from Peace by Peace inspired and encouraged her in her own involvement in their school’s outreach program.

Dear Father Seán,

You really have a lot of engaging and inspiring articles in your magazine. One short item that struck me was a quote by Blessed Mother Teresa in your Peace by Peace section, July-August 2005 issue. It said:

If you really belong to the work that has been entrusted to you, then you must do it with your whole heart and you can bring salvation only by being honest and by really working with God. It is not how much we are doing but how much love, how much honesty, how much faith is put into doing it. It makes no difference what we are doing. What you are doing, I cannot do, and what I am doing, you cannot do. Only sometimes we forget and spend more time looking at somebody else and wishing we were doing something else. We waste our time thinking of tomorrow and today we let the day pass and yesterday is gone.

This paragraph really struck me because I can associate it with my involvement in our outreach program in our school. I admit that during my first year, I considered it as an obligation because the outreach representative of our class was my close friend and I also wanted to have a high grade in our Homeroom. Later on, I began to participate in almost all of the outreach activities and that was when I realized that I no longer saw the outreach as an obligation but as an activity that I always look forward to and most especially, as a fulfillment. I am able to experience God when I am at Pandacan, Manila, where we have our outreach. There, I teach little children their Math and ABCs. Though it is very exhausting, I am able to enjoy and experience happiness.

Now that I am part of the High School Outreach Core, I know that the outreach is really a part of me. It is where I am given a chance to see the other side of life. Most importantly, the outreach was where I realized that while I am having trouble looking for the best outfit to wear or complaining about the food that I don’t want to eat, there are other people out there worrying about where they would get money food or how to pay their bills. It really is an eye opener and life changing. I don’t regret that I miss out on a lot of gimmicks and parties with my friends because the opportunity to serve the less fortunate is rare. I have learned the deeper meaning of happiness and fulfillment, that this can be achieved not by experiencing fun and pleasure but by giving one’s self, including your time, talent and resources to make others happy.

Thank you very much and God Bless!

Sincerely yours,

Melissa Andrea M. Kahayon
St Scholastica’s College Manila