Saint and Father

 

DEAR brothers and sisters, four months have now passed since the storm that wreaked havoc on our farm and our lives here. Today, I am doing the last repairs to our cattle corrals before we turn toward the massive amount of trees that still remain to be cut down on our property. This is all to say that the rhythm of my ministry that was disrupted in June remains the case, even now. I have surrendered to Christ the inability at this time to really give what I desire to give… and trust in His plan. One day at a time.

So today, on this feast of the great Saint John Paul II, I wish to leave you again with a song I penned on the day of his death, and a year later, sang at the Vatican. Also, I have chosen some quotes that, I think, continue to speak to the Church at this hour. Dear St. John Paul, pray for us.

 

 

It is a mark of greatness to be able to say: “I have made a mistake; I have sinned, Father; I have offended you, my God; I am sorry; I ask for pardon; I will try again because I rely on your strength and I believe in your love. And I know that the power of your Son’s paschal mystery—the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ—is great than my weaknesses and all the sins of the world. I will come and confess my sins and be healed, and I will live in your love! —Homily, San Antonio, 1987; Pope John Paul II, In My Own Words, Gramercy Books, p. 101

In a word, we can say that the cultural change which we are calling for demands from everyone the courage to adopt a new life-style, consisting in making practical choices-at the personal, family, social and international level-on the basis of a correct scale of values: the primacy of being over having, of the person over things. This renewed life-style involves a passing from indifference to concern for others, from rejection to acceptance of them. Other people are not rivals from whom we must defend ourselves, but brothers and sisters to be supported. They are to be loved for their own sakes, and they enrich us by their very presence.Evangelium Vitae, March 25th, 1995; vatican.va

No one can escape from the fundamental questions: What must I do? How do I distinguish good from evil? The answer is only possible thanks to the splendour of the truth which shines forth deep within the human spirit… Jesus Christ, the “light of the nations”, shines upon the face of his Church, which he sends forth to the whole world to proclaim the Gospel to every creature.Veritatis Splendor, n. 2; vatican.va

Brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to welcome Christ and accept his power… Do not be afraid. —Homily, Inauguration of the Pope, October 22, 1978; Zenit.org

With tragic consequences, a long historical process is reaching a turning-point. The process which once led to discovering the idea of “human rights”—rights inherent in every person and prior to any Constitution and State legislation—is today marked by a surprising contradiction. Precisely in an age when the inviolable rights of the person are solemnly proclaimed and the value of life is publicly affirmed, the very right to life is being denied or trampled upon, especially at the more significant moments of existence: the moment of birth and the moment of death… This is what is happening also at the level of politics and government: the original and inalienable right to life is questioned or denied on the basis of a parliamentary vote or the will of one part of the people—even if it is the majority. This is the sinister result of a relativism which reigns unopposed: the “right” ceases to be such, because it is no longer firmly founded on the inviolable dignity of the person, but is made subject to the will of the stronger part. In this way democracy, contradicting its own principles, effectively moves towards a form of totalitarianism. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Evangelium Vitae, “The Gospel of Life”, n. 18, 20

This struggle parallels the apocalyptic combat described in [Rev 11:19-12:1-6, 10 on the battle between” the woman clothed with the sun” and the “dragon”]. Death battles against Life: a “culture of death” seeks to impose itself on our desire to live, and live to the full… Vast sectors of society are confused about what is right and what is wrong, and are at the mercy of those with the power to “create” opinion and impose it on others.  —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Cherry Creek State Park Homily, Denver, Colorado, 1993

Right from the beginning of my ministry in St. Peter’s See in Rome, I consider this message [of Divine Mercy] my special task. Providence has assigned it to me in the present situation of man, the Church and the world. It could be said that precisely this situation assigned that message to me as my task before God.  —November 22, 1981 at the Shrine of Merciful Love in Collevalenza, Italy

From here there must go forth ‘the spark which will prepare the world for [Jesus’] final coming‘ (Diary, 1732). This spark needs to be lighted by the grace of God. This fire of mercy needs to be passed on to the world. —ST. JOHN PAUL II, Consecration of the Divine Mercy Basilica, Krakow, Poland; preface in leatherbound diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul, St. Michel Print, 2008

This woman of faith, Mary of Nazareth, the Mother of God, has been given to us as a model in our pilgrimage of faith. From Mary we learn to surrender to God’s will in all things. From Mary, we learn to trust even when all hope seems gone. From Mary, we learn to love Christ, her Son and the Son of God. For Mary is not only the Mother of God, she is Mother of the Church as well. —Message to Priests, Washington, D.C. 1979; Pope John Paul II, In My Own Words, Gramercy Books, p. 110

 

RELATED READING

Read my supernatural encounter of St. John Paul’s presence at the Vatican: St. John Paul II

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