First Councillor

Sr. Merle Salazar, FDNSC, Philippines

Many days you shall wait for me… I in turn will wait for you.” (Hos 3:3)

Through this text I felt called by God to the religious life back in 1994. I was young and successful but I was not happy. I felt an aching emptiness inside of me so I drowned myself with work…and this did not work.

One day, due to fatigue, I met an accident while driving. This made me realize that I can lose my life anytime and face my creator with empty hands. God was trying to speak to me and I began to listen. I met the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in July 1994 and their simplicity and hospitality captured my heart almost instantly. In January 1995 I entered the convent as an aspirant in Munoz, Nueva Ecija. Today, 20 years after my accident, I look back and see a God of mercy and compassion. He saw me and in His love, He called me; in His mercy, He brought me to our Congregation; in His compassion, He gave me a mission; in His generosity, He gifted me with the vocation to be His Heart on earth…today.

I come from a big Catholic Filipino family of eight children. By the time I went to university, my faith was already deeply rooted. Like most Filipinos, religion and its practice is a part of me. Upon entering the convent and going through formation, I met a different kind of spirituality, one that is more relational than devotional. I was introduced to our beautiful charism and the spirituality of the Heart. I also met Mary in a new way as Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.

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