Sunday, May 1, 2011

Beatification of Pope John Paul II on May 1

This is a special day for two reasons - (1) Today is my birthday. Wow! I can't believe I'm turning 34 today.  God has blessed me with a wonderful husband, great family and friends and with a renewed Faith. (2) Today Pope John Paul II is being beatified today.  The Catholic Church is to declare Pope John Paul II "Blessed" today which is a step on the way to becoming a saint. It is kinda cool, awesome, and I am honored to share my birthday with a very special event which honors such a great, inspirational, spiritual, faith-filled person such as Pope John Paul II.  Then, in addition to all that wonderfulness it is also Divine Mercy Sunday.  Here is the background of the Divine Mercy devotion.  Here is some information on the Feast of Mercy.  
I found this article via Gateway Pundit 
Pope John Paul II called upon the young, and all of us, to build a “Culture of Life” with tremendous hope. He said, “Have no fear. The outcome of the battle for life is already decided … You too must feel the full urgency of the task … Woe to you if you do not succeed in defending life. …This is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel. It is the time to preach it from the rooftops.”
Father Frank Pavone helps us to understand why Pope John Paul II was and is so beloved and revered.
On Sunday, May 1 the Catholic Church declares Pope John Paul II to be “Blessed,” a step on the way to being declared a saint. This is done not as a judgment on the effectiveness or influence of his pontificate, nor on the depth of his knowledge of theology, but rather on his fidelity in living the Christian virtues.
The Church says, in other words, “If you want to follow Christ, look to John Paul II as an example.”
Each person whom the Church beatifies or canonizes, moreover, has his or her special theme, some aspect of discipleship that marks his or her life. For Pope John Paul II, it is the theme of pro-life. Not only was this a theme he spoke and acted upon continuously, but he gave the Church and the world a new way of understanding and practicing it.
This pope did not simply repeat the longstanding teaching of the Church that abortion is wrong. He did not simply hand down dogmas about what we can and cannot do, and how we are supposed to live up to the principles and the commandments, such as “Thou shalt not kill.”
John Paul II was able to join traditional, objective thought with the patterns of modern thought in what came to be known as his “personalism.” He focused on the dignity, the uniqueness, of each individual human person and affirmed their subjective insights and experiences. He taught that in each person we have a unique and unrepeatable being. And that uniqueness is precisely a reflection, or image, of God himself. Here is where the two worlds merge. Individual experience is not crushed, lost, or absorbed by the recognition that there is a God who has revealed universal moral norms. On the contrary, when God reveals himself to us in Jesus Christ, he reveals us to ourselves. 
The whole post is here.

The Washington Post has a slideshow of pics on the life of John Paul II. You can see them here.

Raymond L. Flynn explains how Pope John Paul II changed his life.

George Weigel on Remembering Pope John Paul II :

Strange as it may seem, I've been vaguely worried about today's beatification of a man with whom I was in close conversation for over a decade and to the writing of whose biography I dedicated 15 years of my own life.
My worries don't have to do with allegations of a "rushed" beatification process - the process has been a thorough one, and the official judgment is the same as the judgment of the people of the Church.
I'm also unconcerned about the fretting of ultra-traditionalists for whom John Paul II was a failure because he didn't restore the French monarchy, impose the Tridentine Mass on the entire Church, and issue thundering anathemas against theologians and wayward politicians. (See the "beatification catechism"below for my responses to the objections most frequently raised by John Paul's critics.)
No, my worries have to do with our losing touch with the qualities of the man himself.
When the Church puts the title "Blessed" or "Saint" on someone, the person so honoured often drifts away into a realm of the unapproachably good. We lose the sense that the saints are people just-like-us, who, by the grace of God, lived lives of heroic virtue: a truth of the faith of which John Paul II never ceased to remind us.
So what would I have us remember and hold fast to about John Paul II?
First, I hope we remember that everything he did was the accomplishment of a radically converted Christian disciple. His resistance to the Nazi occupation of Poland; his abandonment of his youthful plans in order to enter an underground seminary; his dynamic ministry in Krakow as priest and bishop; his philosophical and literary work; his efforts at Vatican II; his epic pontificate and its teaching; his role in the collapse of European communism and in the defence of the universality of human rights - all of this flowed from his radical conversion to Christ.
Why is this important to stress? Because it's his connection to the rest of us. There are over a billion Catholics on this planet; very few of us will enjoy the range of intellectual, spiritual, literary, athletic and linguistic gifts that God gave Karol Wojtyla. Because of our baptism, though, all of us share with him the possibility of being radically converted Christian disciples.
All of us can be Christ's evangelical witnesses in our families, our work, our neighbourhoods. All of us can live as though the truth John Paul II taught - that Jesus Christ is the answer to the question that is every human life - is at the very epicentre of our own lives.
The second thing I hope the Church holds onto, as it enrols John Paul II among the blessed, is the significance of the date of his beatification: Divine Mercy Sunday. John Paul's fondness for the Divine Mercy devotion, and his designation of the Octave of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday, struck some as a Polish imposition on a universal Church. Those who thought this were mistaken.
John Paul II had an acute sense of the gaping holes that had been torn in the moral and spiritual fabric of humanity by the murderous cruelties of the 20th century. A century that began with a robust human confidence in the future had ended with a thick fog of cynicism hanging over the western world.
As he wrote in his striking 2003 apostolic exhortation, "The Church in Europe," Christianity's historic heartland (and, by extension, the entire western world) was beset by guilt over what it had done in two world wars and the Cold War, at Auschwitz and in the Gulag, through the Ukrainian hunger famine and the communist persecution of the Church. But having abandoned the God of the Bible, it had nowhere to turn to confess this guilt, seek absolution, and find forgiveness. 
That, John Paul II was convinced, was why the face of the merciful Father had been turned toward the world now. The insight came from Poland; the need was universal. That was why he created "Divine Mercy Sunday." That is why we should remember that he was beatified on that day.  CONTINUED


Anonymous said...

It's a good move. Leaders like him don't come around very often... a true man of God.

Adrienne said...

Happy Birthday, Teresa.


Happy Blessed Pope John Paul II day, too...

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

Happy Birthday Teresa.