Thursday, February 23, 2006

THE CONSISTORY: Responding in Rasp

Welcome to Day Two.

Cardinal-designate Gaudencio Rosales of Manila gave remarks last night at Manila Cathedral despite having laryngitis. He gave a very gentle response to the news of his elevation at the end of a liturgy celebrating the 40th anniversary of the presence of the Focolare movement in the Philippines:

I have no voice.

First of all I have to apologize, I literally broke into your celebration, I am a gatecrasher. It was the Apostolic Nuncio who told me to come to the cathedral…nonetheless I am truly appreciative of the presence of the (members of the) Focolare Movement in the Philippines; your spirituality is one of unity and communion; unity embedded in the prayer of Jesus to his father, begging the father just a few hours before he entered his passion, “Father make me one as you are in me and I am in you. That they be one among themselves, that the world may believe you sent me.” That is the heart of the Focolare spirituality. Unity even among so many differences. And sharing in communion, cutting through their various status, socio-economic and cultural strata. Is this not what our country needs? Unity. I ask you as you celebrate your 40 th year of grace and presence in the Philippines, is this not exactly what our country is looking for? And if you think along that line, then I would say there is absolutely no unity and communion unless everyone makes a sacrifice of surrendering self, ambition, selfish interests no matter how good they think they are. Is it called sharing without giving yourself totally to the other in Jesus?

Pray for our country still looking for unity and yet is not willing to make sacrifice. It is a prayer, like the sacrifice Jesus was looking for in that prayer. Pray much. I’m sure we will find it (unity) one day, not through the barrel of the gun, not through selfish ambition, not through plots, power or powerlessness, but to only in the prayer and spirit of Jesus. I also want to thank you for praying to God for me. I need not tell you I do not deserve this. I’m completely unworthy. Woe to you that this added task or responsibility or work will not be honor but would mean greater service to the many poor around us, so neglected by the powerful, may be attended to, recognized, loved and served. Thank you so much for allowing me to concelebrate or celebrate with you. God bless.