Love and hate; good and evil; matter and form – These are some opposing realities in the world which perhaps can never be joined in equal degree and frequency. In principle, one must be superior to the other. These concepts have been unconsciously instilled in our minds, though sometimes correct, but, I think, this would not be accepted as a general truth. If you are influence with such ancient mentality, I was never exempted being imprisoned with such a myopic impression.
When I decided to leave the seminary, I tried to prepare myself to live in the real world, a world of vulnerability and competition. With my little experience, I was quite afraid to leave the portals of the seminary with the thought of how am I going to strike the balance of maintaining my spirituality while striving to search and work for a living. There is an evident tension between life in the ‘outside world’ in contrast with the microcosm of the seminary in which I accustomed to live.
I am now working here in Starjed- a micro finance company whose aim is to provide assistance for those people who wants to start small business for living. But mind you, this is not just an ordinary finance company. Starjed is so peculiar, which, at first, caused me to be amazed since it is not just simply a lending company but it also concerns on spiritual enrichment to its employees and clients. It is a worldly business who wants to help people not only their worldly affairs but more so in their spiritual journey to life. This is a rare reality to think, much more to believe in that every employee is not only preoccupied with business works but they also spend quality time for prayer and meditation. My presence in Starjed is a reason for me to admit that I was absolutely wrong with my preconceive ideas that worldly and spiritual things can never be intertwined.
When people hear Starjed, especially here in Surigao City, this might cause some elements of discussion as to its identity. Again, the tension of opposite is very much obvious; a tension between being worldly yet spiritually known; profit based yet service oriented company. Starjed is gradually working on her outreach programs helping our less privilege brethren alleviate their present sufferings and needs. The music ministry of Starjed is also exceptional as they render their service in singing liturgical songs during Eucharistic celebrations in the Church. We are not the one who made this identity; it is really the people who come in contact with us coined such distinct character. And the company is so blessed of having been known by people of Surigao not solely as a corporate institution but a company committed to collaborate in making real the reign of the Kingdom of God here on earth.
“To God be all the Glory” – a guiding principle of all the employees of Starjed which somewhat has a close paradigm of my patron saint St. Ignatius of Loyola with his famous line “Ad Majorem Die Gloriam” and perhaps the reason why I was employed here in this prestigious company. This principle have been concretely translated in our corporate purpose statement - “To glorify God by being faithful stewards of all that is entrusted to us, to have a positive influence of all who have contact with Starjed”. All these have the same common ground – SERVICE. To offer service to others for God’s greater glory, motivated by love in extending more and doing more than what is expected without counting the cost with the hope that others may take courage to do the same.
Indeed, two opposing realities to be joined are never impossible. Yes, there is an existing tension between material and spiritual things; a visible empty gap in the middle yet an avenue for God to manifest His presence. It is on this seemingly void space where mysteries come in, a sacred space that connects us to God. How wonderful it is to realize and be reminded that our mundane affairs can be and should be accompanied by our full dedication in serving God in whatever manner we can. By doings so, our responsibility as co-creator of God’s wondrous creation is highly exercise and at the same time, reap the fruits of our labors, with hearts full of gratitude, as we acknowledge God’s manifold grace working in our lives. DEO GRATIAS!