By Leslie Ann Aquino
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle said one should strive to be holy from the moment of baptism and not only during ordination.
His Eminence issued this reminder Wednesday to participants of the Fifth Philippine Conference on New Evangelization, who are mostly priests and nuns.
“That’s why when I was still rector of a seminary when I see a seminarian who on his last year in the seminary suddenly becomes holy, I say: it’s too late. You should strive to be holy from the moment you are baptized,” said Tagle during the start of the five-day conference at the University of Sto. Tomas in Manila.
“We do not strive to be holy just because we are ordained. We do not strive to be holy because we are nuns or brothers. We strive to be holy because we are baptized,” he added.
To be holy, the cardinal said one can draw inspiration from Christ and the many witnesses of faith and holiness.
“Sometimes, we see that holiness of life among simple mothers and fathers, simple janitors, simple cleaner in the canteen, and laundry woman who suffers in order to send her child to school,” said Tagle.
In parting, the cardinal urged participants not to slack in their zeal and to always be firm in spirit.
“Do not grow slack in zeal. Be firm in spirit. Serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope. Endure in affliction. Persevere in prayer,” Tagle said.
“Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good. This is the priesthood of Christ in daily life,” he added.
PCNE was introduced by Cardinal Tagle in 2013 as a local response to the call of a new evangelization. It was first held from October 16 to 18, 2013 with the theme “God makes all things new (Rev 21:5)”.
PCNE I focused on rekindling the ardor of evangelization and renewal of faith experience in the local and Asian context.