During a time in our culture where the Internet has allowed us to become so isolated from the people around us, the story of Luis Antonio Tagle can be particularly refreshing and eye opening to our worldview. Cindy Wooden paints an inspiring portrait of the cardinal and his passionate focus on community causing us to question how much we truly appreciate those around us.
Wooden gives us insight into Tagle’s early life in the Philippines and how this fostered his greatly celebrated sense of community. Living with fourteen family members, Tagle learned from an early age the skills necessary to solve conflicts and understand the emotions of those around him. His empathetic nature was able to thrive especially within the Catholic community, where great importance is placed on treating others with compassion. The kindness so deeply ingrained within Tagle can definitely be felt by reading Wooden’s vivid documentation, allowing an emotional connection between Tagle and the reader to be established with great ease.
Tagle very much attributes his success within the Catholic community to the people in his life, no matter how small their role within it. From grade school teachers to his immediate family, he appreciates all of the people that God brought to him because they have helped him shape his identity into the person he was meant to be. His recognition of these people allows us to realize that we do not live in a vacuum, separate from the others within the world. There are multitudes of people with thoughts and feelings just like our own that need to be recognized as important and valid, especially if they are within the marginalized portion of society. Tagle’s focus on the importance of community within his life enables readers to question the relationships they have with people and celebrate the role they play within their lives.
With the same draw possessed by Pope Francis, Luis Antonio Tagle is an advocate for the marginalized while also enabling everyday Catholics to feel a reconnection to their faith. Through his humility, Tagle allows Catholics from all walks of life to feel connected to his inviting presence. The importance he places on listening within his brand of Christianity also enables us to open our hearts and minds to ways in which we can make our communities enriching for everyone.
Wooden creates a unique voice for Tagle within the biography, including a multitude of quotes from his speeches and sermons. This enables readers to truly get a sense of the cardinal’s presence that is admired by the many people that have attended his talks and speeches.
In a world that feels so expansive and overwhelming, sometimes we may feel that our voices are going unheard, especially to God. But what Tagle’s story helps us realize is that our appreciation for those around us and listening to their struggles is what really allows God to truly hear us.
-Christina D’Agnillo, Marketing Intern