John Paul II- his thoughts

Bishops Have to be Vigilant that the Word of God is Faithfully Taught
(Pope John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor, no. 116)

We have the duty, as Bishops, to be vigilant that the word of God is faithfully taught. My Brothers in the Episcopate, it is part of our pastoral ministry to see to it that this moral teaching is faithfully handed down and to have recourse to appropriate measures to ensure that the faithful are guarded from every doctrine and theory contrary to it. In carrying out this task we are all assisted by theologians; even so, theological opinions constitute neither the rule nor the norm of our teaching. Its authority is derived, by the assistance of the Holy Spirit and in communion cum Petro et sub Petro, from our fidelity to the Catholic faith which comes from the Apostles. As Bishops, we have the grave obligation to be personally vigilant that the "sound doctrine'' (1 Tim 1:10) of faith and morals is taught in our Dioceses.

A particular responsibility is incumbent upon Bishops with regard to Catholic institutions. Whether these are agencies for the pastoral care of the family or for social work, or institutions dedicated to teaching or health care, Bishops can canonically erect and recognize these structures and delegate certain responsibilities to them. Nevertheless, Bishops are never relieved of their own personal obligations. It falls to them, in communion with the Holy See, both to grant the title "Catholic'' to Church- related schools,[179] universities,[180] health-care facilities and counseling services, and, in cases of a serious failure to live up to that title, to take it away.

John Paul II to Union of Superior Generals on November 14, 1979:

"Be certain that if your institutes strive sincerely to promote among the sisters constant, generous, and dynamic faithfulness to the requirements of
the consecrated life, the Lord , who does not let Himself be outdone in generosity, will send you the desired vocations you await for the advent of
his Kingdom."

Mysteries of the Rosary and using images to portray them
(Pope John Paul II, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, no. 29)
"Announcing each mystery, and perhaps even using a suitable icon to portray it, is as it were to open up a scenario on which to focus our attention.  The words direct the imagination and the mind towards a particular episode or moment in the life of Christ.  The Church´s traditional spirituality makes use of visual and imaginative elements (the "compositio loci"), judged to be a great help in concentrating the mind on particular mystery. 
This corresponds to the inner logic of the Incarnation: in Jesus, God wanted to take on human features.  It is through his bodily reality that we are led into contact with the mystery of his divinity"


Mary's Motherhood Reveals the Radiant Face of the Father
General Audience- Wednesday, December 23, 1998

"Come, Emmanuel, God's presence among us, our King, our Judge: save us, Lord our God!". Thus the liturgy invites us to invoke the Lord today, two days before Holy Christmas, as Advent now approaches its end. In these weeks we have relived Israel's expectation, witnessed in so many pages of the Prophets: "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined" (Is 9:1-2). Through the Incarnation of the Word, the Creator sealed the agreement of an eternal Covenant: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" (Jn 3:16). How can we not be grateful to the Father who gives his own Son, his beloved Son with whom he is well pleased (cf. Mt 3:17), placing in a creature's small womb the one whom the whole universe cannot contain?

In the silence of the Holy Night, the mystery of Mary's divine motherhood reveals the radiant and welcoming face of the Father. His features of tender concern for the poor and sinners are already visible in the defenceless Child in the cave who lies in the arms of his Virgin Mother. Dear brothers and sisters, I express my fervent wishes for a happy and holy Christmas for each one of you and for your loved ones. May the light of the Redeemer who comes to reveal the Father's tender and merciful face shine in the life of all believers and bring the gift of divine peace to the world.

The Truth that Makes You Free
Redemptor Hominis, #12

Jesus Christ meets the man of every age, including our own, with the same words: "You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free". These words contain both a fundamental requirement and a warning: the requirement of an honest relationship with regard to truth as a condition for authentic freedom, and the warning to avoid every kind of illusory freedom, every superficial unilateral freedom, every freedom that fails to enter into the whole truth about man and the world.

Today also, even after two thousand years, we see Christ as the one who brings man freedom based on truth, frees man from what curtails, diminishes and as it were breaks off this freedom at its root, in man's soul, his heart and his conscience. What a stupendous confirmation of this has been given and is still being given by those who, thanks to Christ and in Christ, have reached true freedom and have manifested it even in situations of external constraint!

When Jesus Christ himself appeared as a prisoner before Pilate's tribunal...did he not answer: "For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth" (Jn 18,37)? It was as if with these words spoken before the judge at the decisive moment he was once more confirming what he had said earlier: "You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free". In the course of so many centuries, of so many generations, from the time of the Apostles on, is it not often Jesus Christ himself that has made an appearance at the side of people judged for the sake of the truth? And has he not gone to death with people condemned for the sake of the truth? Does he ever cease to be the continuous spokesman and advocate for the person who lives "in spirit and truth"?

On Family Virtues
Message for World Day of Peace, January 1, 1994

The domestic virtues, based upon a profound respect for human life and dignity, and practiced in understanding, patience, mutual encouragement and forgiveness, enable the community of the family, to live out the first and fundamental experience of peace.

Pope John Paul II spoke the following words to pilgrims in St. Peter's Square:

The Son Himself became man, and as such He had a human heart, with which He loved and responded to love - first of all to the Father's love. Therefore on this Heart, on the Heart of Jesus, the Father's pleasure is concentrated. It is a salvific pleasure. Through it, the Father embraces in the Heart of His Son everyone for whom this Son became man; everyone for whom He has a Heart; everyone for whom He died and rose. In the Heart of Jesus mankind and the world rediscovers the Father's pleasure. This is the Heart of our Redeemer; it is the Heart of the Redeemer of the world.

“Make them bear fruit”: Human Work and the Kingdom of God
Homily for Luxemburg Workers, May 1985

When God created humankind, man and woman, God told them: “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.” (Gen 1:28) That is, so to speak, God’s first commandment, which is connected with the very order of creation. Thus, human work corresponds with God’s will. When we say, “Thy will be done,” let us also include these words about the work which fills every day of our life. We become aware of the fact that we are in accord with that will of the Creator when our work and the human relations that it brings with it are penetrated with the values of initiative, courage, trust, solidarity, which are so many reflections of our divine resemblance…

The Creator gave the human person the power to subdue the earth. Thus, he asks him to bring the area that has been entrusted to him under control through his own work, to exercise all his abilities so as to be able to develop his own personality and the whole community in a good way. Through his work, the human person obeys God and responds to God’s trust. That is not foreign to the request in the Our Father: “Thy kingdom come.” The human person acts in such a way that God’s plan might be realized, aware of having been made in the likeness of God and thus of having received from God his strength, his intelligence, his aptitudes for bringing about a community of life through the disinterested love he has for his brothers and sisters. All that is positive and good in the life of the person develops and connects with his true goal in the kingdom of God. You chose your motto well: “Kingdom of God, human life,” for God’s cause and the human cause are connected with one another. The world is advancing towards the kingdom of God thanks to God’s gifts, which make human dynamism possible. In other words, to pray that God’s kingdom might come is to stretch out with all one’s being towards that reality, which is the ultimate goal of human work.

Love explained everything to me
Last words spoken in the movie "Karol: A man who became pope"

"Love explained everything to me. Love solved everything for me. That is why I admire love wherever it is found. If loves is as great as it is simple, if the simplest longing can be found in nostalgia, then I can understand why God wants to be greeted by simple people; by those whose hearts  are pure and find no words to express their love. God came this far  and He stopped a short step away from nothingness, very close to our eyes. Perhaps life is a wave of astonishment, a wave of height and depth: Don't ever be afraid"

Only love can guard love
Meditation of the 12th station of the Way of the Cross, written by Pope JPII in 2004.

Only love has been able to overcome all obstacles,
only love has persevered until the end,
only love generates love in others.
And there, at the foot of the cross, a new community is born,
there, in the place of death, emerges a new space of life.
Mary receives the disciple as a son,
the beloved disciple receives Mary as a mother.
Only love can guard love,
only love is stronger than death (Song 8:6).


The demands of Christ and joy of heart

Discourse to young people in the Netherlands, May 14, 1985

Dear Youth, you tell me that you often think the Church is an institution that does nothing but promulgate rules and laws… And you conclude that there is a deep discrepancy between the joy that issues from the word of Christ and the feeling of oppression that the Church’s rigidity gives you.. But the Gospel shows us a very demanding Christ who invites to a radical conversion of the heart, to detachment from the goods of the earth, to forgiveness of offenses, to love of the enemy, to patient acceptance of persecutions and even to the sacrifice of one’s own life out of love for our neighbor. Where the particular area of sexuality is concerned, we know the firm position he took in defending the indissolubility of marriage and his condemnation even as regards the simple adultery committed in the heart. And could anyone not be impressed when faced with the precept to “tear out one’s eye” or to “cut off one’s hand” when these members are an occasion of “scandal”? …

Moral licentiousness does not make people happy. Similarly, the consumer society does not bring joy of heart. The human being only fulfills himself to the extent to which he is able to accept the demands which flow from his dignity as a being created “in the image and likeness of God” (Gen 1:27). That is why, if the Church today says things that are not pleasing, it is because it feels obliged to do so. It does so out of a duty to fidelity…

So is it not true that the gospel message is a message of joy? On the contrary! It is absolutely true. And how is that possible? The answer can be found in one word, one single word, one short word, but its contents are as vast as the sea. And that word is love. It is perfectly possible to reconcile the stringency of the precept and joy of heart. The person who loves does not fear sacrifice. And he even seeks in sacrifice the most convincing proof of the authenticity of his love.

Civilization of Love

"Letter to Families", February 2, 1994

13. Dear families, the question of responsible fatherhood and motherhood is an integral part of the "civilization of love", which I now wish to discuss with you. From what has already been said it is clear that the family is fundamental to what Pope Paul VI called the "civilization of love", an expression which has entered the teaching of the Church and by now has become familiar. Today it is difficult to imagine a statement by the Church, or about the Church, which does not mention the civilization of love. The phrase is linked to the tradition of the "domestic church" in early Christianity, but it has a particular significance for the present time. Etymologically the word "civilization" is derived from "civis" – "citizen", and it emphasizes the civic or political dimension of the life of every individual. But the most profound meaning of the term "civilization" is not merely political, but rather pertains to human culture. Civilization belongs to human history because it answers man's spiritual and moral needs. Created in the image and likeness of God, man has received the world from the hands of the Creator, together with the task of shaping it in his own image and likeness. The fulfilment of this task gives rise to civilization, which in the final analysis is nothing else than the "humanization of the world".

In a certain sense civilization means the same thing as "culture". And so one could also speak of the "culture of love", even though it is preferable to keep to the now familiar expression. The civilization of love, in its current meaning, is inspired by the words of the conciliar Constitution Gaudium et Spes: "Christ... fully discloses man to himself and unfolds his noble calling". And so we can say that the civilization of love originates in the revelation of the God who "is love", as John writes (1 Jn 4:8, 16); it is effectively described by Paul in the hymn of charity found in his First Letter to the Corinthians (13:1-13). This civilization is intimately linked to the love "poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us" (Rom 5:5), and it grows as a result of the constant cultivation which the Gospel allegory of the vine and the branches describes in such a direct way: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit" (Jn 15:1-2).

In the light of these and other texts of the New Testament it is possible to understand what is meant by the "civilization of love", and why the family is organically linked to this civilization. If the first "way of the Church" is the family, it should also be said that the civilization of love is also the "way of the Church", which journeys through the world and summons families to this way; it summons also other social, national and international institutions, because of families and through families. The family in fact depends for several reasons on the civilization of love, and finds therein the reasons for its existence as family. And at the same time the family is the centre and the heart of the civilization of love.

Yet there is no true love without an awareness that God "is Love"—and that man is the only creature on earth which God has called into existence "for its own sake". Created in the image and likeness of God, man cannot fully "find himself" except through the sincere gift of self. Without such a concept of man, of the person and the "communion of persons" in the family, there can be no civilization of love; similarly, without the civilization of love it is impossible to have such a concept of person and of the communion of persons. The family constitutes the fundamental "cell" of society. But Christ—the "vine" from which the "branches" draw nourishment—is needed so that this cell will not be exposed to the threat of a kind of cultural uprooting which can come both from within and from without. Indeed, although there is on the one hand the "civilization of love", there continues to exist on the other hand the possibility of a destructive "anti-civilization", as so many present trends and situations confirm.

Catechesi Tadendae, # 55

"A certain memorization of the words of Jesus, of important Bible passages, of the Ten Commandments, of the formulas of profession of the faith, of the liturgical texts, of the essential prayers, of key doctrinal ideas, etc., far from being opposed to the dignity of young Christians, or constituting an obstacle to personal dialogue with the Lord, is a real need, as the synod fathers forcefully recalled. We must be realists. The blossoms of, if we may call them that, of faith and piety do not grow in the desert places of a memory-less catechesis. What is essential is that the texts that are memorized must at the same time be taken in and gradually understood in depth, in order to become the a source of Christian life on the personal level and the community level.

          The Mercy of God
 Veritatis Splendor
, #118

No human sin can erase the mercy of God, or prevent him from unleashing all his triumphant power, if we only call upon him."


"We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures, we are the sum of the Father's love for us and our real capacity to become the image of His Son Jesus."



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