02 April, 2005

Non abbiate paura!

John Paul II, Servant of the Servants of God, has gone to be with his Lord. I could write a great deal about the Pope, and perhaps I shall at a later date (let me apologize in advance); however, the best commentary comes from his own words, carefully chosen to address to the Church. Consider, for example, the title of this entry: they were the Pope's first words spoken to St. Peter's Square upon his election: Be not afraid! He carried out his pontificate in the same way that he began most of his writings: meditating on a quote from Scripture. One could characterize his entire papacy, and especially the agonies of his final days, by those first words: Be not afraid!

The other quote that I would choose to highlight, which I have found both poetic and inspiring in my own vocation, is the opening from his 1998 encyclical Fides et Ratio:

Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves. — Fides et Ratio (14 Sep 1998)
Many, many people would assert that faith and reason are inherently opposed to each other, but this pope, as a philosopher, knew better, and his well-reasoned encyclicals worked to remove that myth. When I was a seminarian, I heard even those who strongly disliked his policies admit the man's brilliance.

I have no doubt that a number of the saints whom he canonized, or whose writings he held forth as a model, were ready to greet him: Faustina Kowalska, Maximillian Kolbe, Edith Stein, Teresa of Calcutta, Gianna Molla, Thérèse of Lisieux, ...

Orate pro nobis.


Jorge Salinas said...

Of course I like a lot the Italian and can speak almost fluently, but I dont dare to write it. I studied and lived at Rome from 1960 to 1963, and became Doctor in Theology in the Lateran University. My level of English just this, what you are realizing.
I am very interested in connect with Russian people as those you have described and to interchange opinions and posts with them in my blog "mar adentro" in Spanish, English, French, Italian.
Fr. Jorge

jack perry said...

Fr. Jorge —

I'm so sorry! I expected you to reply in Blogodoxy, not here! I hope you haven't had to wait too long for my reply. I will look at your blogs, and I will try to email you to continue our discussion.