A sermon in honor of San Lorenzo Ruiz, the first saint of the Filipino nation, was preached recently to honor his memory as the Catholic Church begins its year of faith on October 11.
The sermon, delivered by Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, says in part:
"Lorenzo was a married man and a father . . . by trade he was a calligrapher: before there were computers or even typewriters his job was to write out documents with beautiful penmanship. He was falsely accused of murder and he sought refuge with some Dominican friars who took him with them to Japan. They arrived there at a time when there was a fierce persecution of the Catholic faith. He was imprisoned . . . (again) . . . but in Japan, he did not shirk from being labeled a Christian, a Catholic."
The sermon mentions Lorenzo in the context of the "Year of Faith" that Catholics will begin on October 11, and contrasts his passion to modern practice. As the bishop says:
"We live in an increasingly secularized world, where belief is reduced to the subjective - a matter of one's private opinion - and where God really doesn't matter much. We live at a time when many people will define themselves as 'spiritual' but 'not religious' . . ."
San Lorenzo's creed was more distinct, notes the sermon, which begins and ends with the Tagalog phrase: "Isa akong Katoliko." I am a Catholic.
How important is faith in your life? Are you spiritual but not religious? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.