When I became aware of my existence;
When I felt inexpressible joy being with friends;
When I first marveled at the beauty of creation…

When I took the first step in the journey of life;
When I met stumbling blocks on a thorny path;
When I became indecisive which way to go…

When I was tired and nobody could help me;
When I lost hope in myself;
When I saw my life as void and meaningless…

When everything in my existence seemed to be so wrong;
When I failed to trust others and talk about my feelings;
When I felt so alone despite the crowd around me…

When all good sentences sounded empty;
When my voice echoed a babble;
When my heart ached in hatred…

When nothing made me happy;
When I felt misunderstood, rejected and scorned;
When all nice remembrances seemed so distant…

When the road before me was dark;
When the past hurt to be remembered;
When the future looked so bleak;
When sin was present in my life…

When the sun rose behind the clouds;
When the stars kept watch over me in the night;
When the breeze uncovered a road less traveled by;

When I learned to pray…

When I opened my eyes…

Joel Gabriel

"Fray Joel" entered the Dominican formation in 1990 straight out of high school. In 1993 he received the habit of the Order of Preachers while being admitted to the novitiate. He obtained his A.B. Philosophy degree in 1996 at the same time that he decided to take a leave from seminary life. In the secular world, he trained as a mainframe programmer with Citibank which started his career in Information Technology, and the rest as they say is history. Joel has been an IT practitioner all his professional life gaining experience and expertise with global companies such as Citibank Asia-Pacific, RCG-IT, IBM Solutions, Accenture and James-Martin/Headstrong. Based in the New York metro area since 2012, Joel is currently an IT Support Operations Manager with Genpact possessing over 15 years of success leading diverse technology projects within the Capital Markets and Financial Services industry and domain. Joel is happily married to Nancy Aquino-Gabriel.

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