Thinking of You
Jul 15, 2005
Somehow, 75 seems to be a special number. My family talks about it a lot; so much so, that one of the littlest of the youngsters has started calling out Bingo every time the number is mentioned! By Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick.
(Catholic Standard, July 7, 2005) It is certainly a gift from God to have had 75 years of life and now, as far as I can tell, to be in good health and to have enough energy to do my work. As required by the canon law of the Church, I have sent my letter of resignation to the Holy Father and for now continue to serve as I await his pleasure.
People often ask whether I have any regrets. You know me well enough by now to know what they are. I wish I had tried harder to be a holy person so that I could be a better shepherd to all of you. After 47 years as a priest and 28 as a bishop, I should have prayed more, loved God more, been kinder and more generous, and become a better example to those whom, in God's mysterious Providence, I have been called to serve. As I look back over these long years, that's the one great regret.
In a real way, I have to say honestly that the regrets are balanced by a deep and confident joy. I know that you pray for me and that my love for all of you is so often wondrously returned by so many. Because of that, I trust that in whatever years or days God will continue to use me, I will try harder to get it right - to atone for my sins and my stupidities, to beg pardon for my faults and mistakes, to rejoice in God's overwhelming grace and to be a good father and brother and friend.
"The future is hidden from our eyes," as the beautiful old instruction at weddings used to say. We know that it will have its crosses and its sorrows, but we know too that if we bear those with a loving heart and with trust in God, we can carry them all with perfect joy. Thinking of you, as I cross the threshold of three-quarters of a century, I wish us all that same perfect joy.