S e n t i r e C u m E c c l e s i a

"To keep ourselves right in all things, we ought to hold fast to this principle: What seems to me to be white, I will believe to be black if the hierarchical Church thus determines it. For we believe that between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, His Spouse, there is the one same Spirit who governs and guides us for the salvation of our souls..." - Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius [365]

Friday, September 28, 2007

Sanlibo mang Buhay...

We celebrate today the Memorial of San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila and companions, Martyrs of the Faith in Japan. As we all know, San Lorenzo is the first ever Filipino to be beatified and then canonized a saint. We also know his story: he went to Japan with some Dominican Missionaries to propagate the Faith there. But for Lorenzo, it was tainted with the desire to flee Manila for he was accused of committing murder. But like most of the cases, God purified his intentions to serve His Divine Purpose and Plan.

San Lorenzo is very famous for his line Sanlibo man ang aking buhay, sanlibo ko ring iaalay (If I have a thousand lives, I will offer them all to God). In San Lorenzo then the Gospel of John (Ch. 12:24) becomes personified: Unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains a single grain. But if it dies, it bears much fruit. In San Lorenzo's and his companions' martyrdom, the Faith flourished in Japan.

Let us pray then that as we celebrate San Lorenzo's Memorial (and the 20th Anniversary of his canonization), we may follow his example of self-surrender. May we, like him, die to ourselves and so live for God alone. After all, San Lorenzo is our katagilungsod (fellow Filipino). He will help us.


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