It is a great pleasure and a privilege to be with friends in the Philippines once again. This time we are gathered at the Trappistine Monastery near the southern city of General Santos. Yesterday I shared a few reflections with the 30+enclosed nuns at the monastery and last night our community of friends gathered from GenSan, Cebu and Manila and other places.
The key word in our gathering is friendship. This is not a friendship that we have created or achieved. It is the simple and immediate fruit abundant among people who seek to follow Christ. We may not have spent much time together, nor know each other very well, but the friendship that we share is one of the greatest human experiences.
Our desire in being together is nothing more than to help each other to follow Christ. We do this not by designing programmes and networking, but simply by following Christ ourselves, knowing that only Christ can adequately answer the needs of the human heart.
Our problem is that we fail to understand a fundamental fact: that is that it is Christ who first calls us, and Christ who comes to us in the midst of whatever circumstances and reality we find ourselves in this moment. Our task is not so much to discover Christ, but to know that the one who seeks to live reality intensely quickly realises that Christ is present and active in this reality.