Thought for the Day – 4 January on the Memorial of St Manuel Gonzalez Garcia (1877–1940) the “Apostle of the Abandoned Tabernacles”
Excerpt from an interview with Cardinal Mauro Piacenza who was the Relator of the Cause of St Manuel.
Eminence, I understand that there are three committees present that must analyse an alleged miracle – the Medical Commission of theologians and Cardinals and bishops. What is the Mission of this Commission, of Cardinals and bishops, in the process of approval of a miracle? Which elements should you take into account to give your vote?
Examining the alleged miracles, the Congregation for the causes of Saints comes with a lot of seriousness. The study involves a series of steps, including the medical part is especially important. Finally, the Commission of Cardinals and bishops members of the Congregation examines the case. They receive, along with the letter … full documentation of the case and a booklet with a summary, that highlights the most relevant areas of the analysis, as well as possible difficulties.
You have been the Relator of the cause of Blessed Manuel González García at the regular meeting of cardinals and bishops. Can you explain the role of the Relator?
A cardinal is designated or a Bishop from among the members of the Congregation, and is called the ‘speaker’. He is responsible for presenting the case and expresses his own outlook. After this takes place, interventions of all those present, that is to adhere to or not to the conclusions of the Relator and then they present their own views.
The Relator presents the essential features of the biographical profile of Blessed, ie, describes the fundamentals of the case being examined, presents the evidence, the medical report (diagnosis of healing, prognosis, therapy, healing) and theological evaluation. Finally, it formulates its conclusion, issues its own vote also asking the agreement of the other members and then presentation of all the results is proposed to the Holy Father.
BL Manuel González García devoted many of his energies to the clergy and to the formation of the same, as well as seminarians. How can his message assist the current profile of the priest?
You ask me what particular message of Bl Manuel, can assist the priests and bishops of our time, in the whirlwind of their commitments.
Priests yesterday, today’s priests, priests of about-to-be: Yes, it is right to pay attention to time and to the diverse situations and circumstances but I would like to talk about what transcends time.
Being priests is to be Christ and Christ is the one who atones for others, He is the one who begs for everyone. He is the One at the top of the pedestal; on the other hand, the priest is under the pedestal and carries its weight. The priest elevates that weight to God with prayer. And this is what is called in the Eucharist: the offering of Christ and of the whole Church. In the instant that God raises His Son, raised, with the Son, also, is all mankind who, through the priest, must be saved. Yes, also by the means of his Ministry, which closely associates it with Christ the Saviour. This is the prayer of the priest. It is true that the only saviour of the world is God but this prayer brings God’s salvation.
Blessed Manuel Gonzalez with his example preached and believed that too much human activity, too, in a disproportionate manner, ends in a sort of Pelagianism. The activity of man is worth something if it is presented and united to God in prayer and it is imbued in this charity. From this it also follows, that the priest cannot be a victim because it is Christ, who has united in His person the priesthood and the victim. In pagan sacrifices, the priest sacrifices to someone else – in Christianity Christ Himself is sacrificed.
That is the great warning of our blessed [Manuel] – there is no possibility of priesthood if not through self-sacrifice [and the] immolation that the priest lives in the continuing gift of his own being.
The one thing made very clear from the whole of the writings of St Manuel, is how much we leave Christ alone in the tabernacle of our hearts and our lives, how much we are cheating ourselves of Christ’s presence and gaze. Saint Manuel González García’s writings are a means of discovering Who we adore, as well as reminding us constantly, why we ought to seek to always be adoring.
St Manuel Gonzalez Garcia (1877–1940)
“Apostle of the Abandoned Tabernacles”
Pray for Us!