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Arsenio C Jesena

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A Final Letter
by Arsenio C Jesena   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Sunday, July 31, 2011
Posted: Friday, July 29, 2011

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I am now seventy years old. And it is the end of the day.

I look back at my life, and this is what I see--

A Final Letter
by Arsenio C. Jesena

My dear Nyssa,

I am now seventy years old. And it is the end of the day.

I look back at my life, and this is what I see --

In 1959, the Jesuits took the risk of accepting me. I have not really
been a source of pride for the Jesuits. I was just an ordinary guy, doing
ordinary things.

But I remember -- now and then I went out to cut sugarcane … and be ordained by the Pope … I went out to teach
Latin and give good Retreats. To engage in a little activism and be
with peasant farmers and people in pain … to dry some tears and heal some wounds.

To search for myself and my real home. And finally to listen, yes, to listen to God … And write eight good YAYEE books.

Fifty-two long years. More than one half century. Of being

As this humble volume ends, Your Lola Mila and I would like
to express our gratitude --

To God … To our family … To our friends and benefactors.

To all those who shed tears for us. Because they loved us.

And to YOU, Nyssa, my favorite grand niece -- for understanding me, and praying for me. Thank you.
Thank you.

Do you know, my dear Nyssa,
That In the Philippines, when a Jesuit dies, he is buried in a little
cemetery at the back of the Jesuit Novitiate in Novaliches?

Buried in that little cemetery are my Jesuit brothers and teachers
and friends. And when I die -- when I die, that is where they will
also bury me.

And there, like Joey Velasco visiting Father Carlos Abesamis,
you, Nyssa, and some of my relatives and friends will, perhaps,
when you have the time, also visit me.

On the lapida -- on the headstone of my grave -- the only thing
you will see, the only thing you will see will be my name --
Arsenio C. Jesena SJ -- and then three dates -- natus, ingressus,
obiit -- my birthday, my entrance to the Jesuit order, and my death.

That is all. Yes, that is all. Nothing else.

Arsenio C. Jesena SJ. Natus 1940. Ingressus 1959. Obiit 2011.
That is all my gravestone will say -- just that. Only that.

But those irrelevant dates cannot portray the real me!

Not the real Juni Jesena.
Not the vibrant, living person that I was.
Not my incompleteness … not what attempted to complete me.
Not what made me laugh. Not what made me cry.
Not the people who loved me. And the people whom I loved.
Not what was important to me .

Not what I lived for. Not what I would gladly have died for ...
Nothing else … nothing except those unimportant, irrelevant
dates ...1940 … 1959 … 2011.

But the real, living Juni Jesena … the person I was … the crying,
laughing, living Juni, would be unknown --- would be unknown to
everybody. Unknown to all, especially to the descendants of Rene
and Xenia and Patty and Mila. And Naty and Selena Jesena.

Unknown. Forgotten. Forever.

And that, I think is why I wrote my Yayee books.
So that you … yes, you, my dear NYSSA
Might know -- and remember ME -- forever.

Yes ... that is why I have written my seven Yayee books --
to unveil -- to reveal my heart. And to share that unique heart
with you.

To tell you my story. My real story.
To gently say to the world, and especially to you,
Whom I love, oh so silently and so deeply --
“Here is Juni. This is Juni Cajili Jesena --
Crazy. Lovable. Sinful. Saintly. Human. Juni.”

“And here, too, is the God of Juni.
The God Who loved, and healed him…
And here the People, the precious People ...
Who loved Juni Jesena, and whom he loved.”

The book Yayee is Juni.
It is my book … it is -- me.

My dear Nyssa … long, long ago … my English professor …
Fr. James F. Donelan, SJ taught me to write.

What is true . And what is beautiful. And what is good.

And what, dear Nyssa, what have been true and beautiful and
good in my life?

#1. GOD. God and His infinite mercy and compassion, His forgiveness, and healing and grace -- again and again and again searching for me, seeking me out, inviting me and gently guiding
me back Home to him, and to my real Home … yes, to my real home.

#2. The Society of Jesus -- my brother Jesuits. If not for the goodness of the Jesuits, I would be nothing. Or wasted. Or lost. I can never hope to fathom the depth of their goodness. Thank you,
my brothers.

#3. My family. And the entire family of humankind. And that includes you, dear Nyssa, and all our relatives. And every
human being whom God has placed with us on earth -- Yes, everyone, everyone, everyone divinely-disguised, everyone
a hidden avatar, an incarnation of Jesus Christ the child of God.

Women and men, persons like you, Nyssa, every person -- in need of God, in need of Home, in need of love. Perhaps in need of -- even of me.

Today, as you read this book, Yayee 8 -- MY DEAR NYSSA, as I salute the vulnerability and the weakness, the failure, the incompleteness of every human being, I also salute, at exactly the same time, God’s gift of our Resurrection, and I also salute the
hero, the God, present and weeping and waiting in every man andwoman in this sorry world of ours ... For we have a God of love, Who stretches out His hand to create us, to nurture us, to save us,
to heal us, and help us with His merciful grace, to rise again from
the dead.

By the grace and mercy of God, let us be enraptured and empowered by His divine Spirit of life and of love.

And then, from the Calvary of our humanness and sin and
imperfection, God, our father-mother, will call forth a strange,
unexpected being -- a noble hero, a human divinity that chooses to
die, so that others may live. Today we can begin again. Today let us
begin again.

And as in truth we insist, "O Lord, I am not worthy!" --

God at the very same time declares,
"You are my beloved child -- whom I love very much".
“You are my beloved child -- whom I love -- very much."

O Father and Mother of mercy and life and love…
You were always there -- You are always there.

We praise you. We thank you --

Your loving granduncle,

Juni Jesena, SJ


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Reviewed by SILVER JO
You sound... HUMAN... and I love this article of yours!
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