New Project

Captivated by my God

Many love stories are like fairy tales with happy endings.

Count mine in, except that mine is not the romantic, platonic, "the stars of the universe have aligned to bring us together" kind of story. Rather, the characters of my story are God and myself. It's even more special and the very best example of "may forever."

After I "met" the Lord in the charismatic renewal, He became very attractive and irresistible to me like a magnet. He gripped my heart and I wanted to be with Him always. Because of this, I went to where I could find Him - to prayer meetings, to the Scriptures, to Holy Mass. In turn, He also showed Himself to me in everyday things - in the flowers, the sunset, the moon, in the breeze, in the sound of birds, in music, in people; in so many things, places and people that others may consider as mundane.


First stirrings

When I graduated from college at 19 years old, my first job was as a preschool teacher in Holy Spirit School in Quezon City. I was very shy but teaching five-year-olds brought out the creativity, expressiveness, and the performing artist in me. It was in this school where I felt the first stirrings of a vocation. It was my first close encounter with the nuns, working with them many hours a day, hearing them chant the psalms, seeing the different tasks they do in the school and around the convent. Somehow, I felt an attraction to their way of life. This curiosity even made me go to a " search-in" to find out if God was calling me to be like them. I ended up sensing that my calling was for something else.

After four years in the Holy Spirit School, I moved to La Salle Green Hills (LSGH) where I taught Reading in the intermediate level. I also enrolled in a master's program in Reading Education. As I adjusted to the new school, I had more responsibilities. I was voted vice-president then as president of the Faculty Club. I was involved in a number of extra-curricular activities. Being the youngest teachers in LSGH then, my friends and I went to many after-school adventures together. Outside LSGH, I got accepted in a then-famous concert chorus. I would say that I had quite an active social life.

During this time, the charismatic renewal had reached the Philippines. In fact, a number of La Salle Brothers, faculty members, and high school students of LSGH were regulars in the prayer meetings held in Assumption Convent in San Lorenzo Village, Makati. Some of them were even part of the first community weekend retreat of Ligaya ng Panginoon in 1975. Unknown to me, the Holy Spirit was already actively working in LSGH. In fact, right after that community weekend retreat, some Ligaya members in LSGH conducted a Life in the Spirit Seminar (LSS) in the school. By God's miraculous intervention, I found myself attending the seminar.


Love knows no bounds

During the LSS, I felt God's love like I never had before. I experienced Him in my spirit, forgiving and accepting me, warts and all. My "baptism in the Holy Spirit" was particularly remarkable. It ushered me into a new, personal, dynamic, and transforming relationship with the Lord. He became home. A place of acceptance, love, security, forgiveness, mercy, and refuge, a Father, Emmanuel.

In 1978, I was invited to attend the Ligaya ng Panginoon Community weekend retreat. "I am not going," I said, I don't know anyone there." Yet in spite of my protestations I found myself packing my bag and going. There was the irresistible message in my heart that I could not refuse. I just had to be where I thought the Lord was leading me.

More leadings and following the leadings. In 1979, I left my apartment and moved into a married household in Ligaya ng Panginoon believing that living with other Christians would enable me to love God more.

I am grateful for the grace to love and serve Him now even as I aspire to faithfully love and serve Him forever.

In 1980, I joined some single women in community to start a single women's household. That year, I was also assigned to give pastoral care to the female students of Ligaya and be part of its university outreach. This service needed a significant time investment so I resigned from my teaching job, stopped my pursuit of a master's degree, and ended my membership in a concert chorus. Later on, I felt the Lord inviting me to "live single for Him," to give Him my undivided devotion. I said "Yes." I have been living single for the Lord since then.

Because of my service, I was sent me to many places in the Philippines, Asia, and other parts of the world to testify about God's love and to help build Christian communities. This gave me spiritual sons and daughters in many parts of the world. Indeed, "'the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her who is married', says the Lord" (Isaiah 54:1)


Test of true love

But true love is tested by fire. When my pastoral work in Ligaya ended, I shifted to corporate organizational development work. That was a huge stretch for me having done only Christian pastoral work for 20 years. I prayed and worked doubly hard to contribute to the company's goals, to be an asset instead of a liability to the company. I praise the Lord that my boss, a brother in our community, was patient as I hurdled my learning curve.

The international lay sisterhood where I lived out my single-for-the-Lord vocation encountered some challenges and split up. Much more than my shift in career, this break up severely affected me. It separated me from the people I dearly loved, challenged my vocation and way of life. I had to search once more for the Lord's plan in my life, who I was, where and how I was to live.

It took a considerable amount of time for the pain to heal and for me to move on from the loss. Years of prayer, self-examination, acceptance of the situation, trust in the faithfulness of God, commitment to my promises, continued surrender to God's will, pastoral care, enabled me to rise above the grief and to look to the future with hope.


A Grateful Heart

I am truly grateful to the many people who helped me find a personal relationship with God: My extended family who loved the Lord through their generosity to others, the parish priest of my childhood who heard my confessions, the nuns in Holy Spirit School who first made me aware about vocation; those who evangelized me through the Life in the Spirit Seminars; a La Salle Brother who after our baptism in the Holy Spirit faithfully brought my friends and I to the Assumption prayer meetings and to our doorsteps for many months; the brothers and sisters living single for the Lord in Ligaya and Sword of the Spirit; to all my married friends and their children; to all who I have ever served the Lord with; all of Ligaya ng Panginoon; and so many, many more! They all have helped me to love the Lord with all my heart, mind and strength and to put my hand to the plow and not turn back.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that the purpose of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. I feel truly blessed that God has enabled me to respond to His great love, to see Him as my purpose and passion. I am grateful for the grace to love and serve Him now even as I aspire to faithfully love and serve Him forever.

Ours is a continuing love story. He is my Good Shepherd who tenderly loves and cares for me here and now. He is the reason for my existence and the motivation for my choices. My fervent prayer is that I may exist and live for the praise of His glory now and for all eternity.


*Mae R. Legaspi is from Balete, Aklan. She does pastoral care and leadership training in Ligaya ng Panginoon Community where she serves as a Senior Woman Leader. She is a Regional Missionary Senior Woman Leader in the Sword of the Spirit (Asian Region) where she does community building and leadership training. She has a degree in Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, an MA in Family Ministry and Counseling, and is a candidate for MA in Reading. She is member of Bethany Association ( women single for the Lord in the Sword of the Spirit) and serves in its Council . She is also a Consecrated Virgin Living in the World.
Follow Us