Monday, April 2, 2012

The tears of Cardinal Sanchez

Cardinal Sanchez celebrating Mass. Source
What I admire most about Cardinal Sanchez was his deep reverence towards the sacred liturgy. Despite the certain limitations of his body, he would somehow find that inner strength and force his body to function properly just for him to be able to express the proper reverence ought to be given. At his age, he would forcefully genuflect when passing the tabernacle and during the consecration and he would even bow whenever Jesus Christ, Mother Mary and the Holy Trinity is mentioned. But what strikes me the most is that this man cries during the consecration at every mass. Such passion, love and commitment can only be read in books on the lives of saints and martyrs, yet I was one of the lucky ones, despite my unworthiness, to have witness such holiness and purity.
 ~ Testimony of Leopoldo Eduardo Nievera II (Cardinal Sanchez's "unofficial official photographer") on his blog, "Profratribus" (from the post "Discovering Cardinal Sanchez through my camera lens", March 11, 2012)

...He so identified with the suffering and passion of our Lord that many times during Mass, which he always celebrated with great solemnity, his eyes would fill with tears, his voice crack and tremble, as he pronounced the words of consecration and he would have to pause long and hard to regain control of his emotions before he could go on. 

~ CBCP Monitor, Editorial (p. A4), March 12 - 25, 2012, Vol. 16. No. 6. 

Jose Cardinal Sanchez was a man truly in love with God and with His Church. Although he was noted for his earnest demeanor, he was in reality a person very much in touch with his feelings. But while emotional men may cry over painful and sad events, Cardinal Sanchez sheds tears at the consecration of every mass. 
It may confound some observers, why his voice cracks as he pronounces the words of consecration. But Cardinal Sanchez was invariably moved by the tremendous reality that takes place at every Eucharistic celebration, when bread and wine turn into the Body and Blood of the Lord.  
He was a man of profound faith. Only the man who sees with the eyes of faith can appreciate the profound mystery of the Eucharist. This faith founds him on the solid rock of certitude, a quality not too many people possess today...

~ From Ricardo Cardinal Vidal's homily at the funeral of Jose Cardinal Sanchez. (Front page, CBCP Monitor, March 12 - 25, 2012, Vol. 16. No. 6.)

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