Tuesday, June 28, 2005

bigger than life

He died but his memory lives on. He passed on to the better life but his examples remain for observance in these difficult times. He left for his heavenly home but his spirit lingers to confront the present disturbing earthly realities.

He was a man of God but he also focused his concern and love on man. He was at ease with the powerful and influential but he was joyful in the company of the poor and the helpless. He loved his friends but at the same time understood those who were not.

He laughed much but suffered more. He did much but prayed more. He stood high but knelt more.

All these are Cardinal Sin. He was a citizen of the world, a man for all times. He was only one but influenced the whole country. He was a Filipino but became a feature of world history. He made a difference in the Philippines, in Asia, in the globe.

I was highly privileged and very proud to have worked with and for him for many years. I was his priest, his auxiliary bishop, his representative in the Episcopal Council. It was from him that I learned much. He shared with me his understanding of God and man. He taught me the power of truth, the meaning of life, the dignity of every human person—the unborn included.

A superior and a friend, a teacher and an example, a leader and a companion—that was Cardinal Sin to me. Effectively he mentored me. Gently he corrected me. Firmly he guided me.

One signal and distinct truth I learned from him and I keep observing specially during these trying times in my own life: God knows who I am as I know too whom am I. When praises are said about me, I am the same: they do not make me more. When curses are thrown at time, the same I remain: they do not make me less.

Cardinal Sin: You have served much and well. You have earned and deserve your rest. Go back to the father who awaits you. And although you no longer counted among the living, do know: you are bigger than life!

+O. V. CRUZ, D.D.
28 June 2005