A Most Splendid Pontificate
by Father Charles M. Mangan
The quarter-of-a-century long Petrine ministry of Pope John Paul II is a remarkable gift for the Church and the world. Karol Wojtyla, a humble servant of the Lord and His Virgin Mother, has spent himself not only in fearlessly leading the Mystical Body of Christ on earth but also in forcefully challenging our all-too-skeptical and sin-laden world.
During this week's festive commemoration of the Holy Father's twenty-fifth anniversary, many scholars and journalists are trying to capture the essence of this Pontificate. What is the main contribution of Pope John Paul II?
This is not an easy question to answer. Perhaps there is no definitive response, for this "Servant of the Servants of God" continues to touch profoundly--in a host of ways--both believers and non-believers alike. In unpretentious fashion, he has striven to be "all things for all men." It is very difficult (and almost bordering on the foolish) to attempt to isolate his "main contribution." Such a futile exercise is sure to end in the unenviable position of ignoring his numerous achievements--all lovingly performed for the glory of the Lord God and the salvation of souls, including his own.
I have been blessed to concelebrate two Masses celebrated by the Holy Father in his private chapel atop the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City. As I watched him vest before Mass, I was struck by the thought: "He's a priest . . . He could be the pastor of a small rural parish in the neighboring village!" He put on his amice over his white cassock, then the alb with the cincture, followed by the stole and finally the chasuble.
The Bishop of Rome, I mused, is an ordained priest of Jesus Christ like any other.
Fundamentally, this Successor of Saint Peter is a priest who cheerfully abandons himself to the mysterious will of God. He is conscious of his need for the Almighty's abundant grace if he is to persevere in his sacerdotal vocation.
Pope John Paul II lives his ministerial Priesthood to the hilt. And now, in a most particular way, the sacrificial element of this Priesthood, as manifested in physical suffering, is illustrated plainly for every eye to see.
He has offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass tens of thousands of times since he was ordained to the Priesthood on November 1, 1946. Each morning he leans over the unleavened bread and the wine made from the fruit of the vine while uttering those immortal words that can only be said by an ordained priest: "Hoc est Corpus Meum . . . Hic est enim Calix Sanguinis Meis" ("This is My Body . . . This is the Cup of My Blood").
It is the Holy Mass that concedes the certain strength he desperately requires to lift up himself as a sacrificial victim to the merciful Lord. Surely, Pope John Paul II, in imitation of Jesus the Great High Priest, is priest and victim in his Priesthood and now especially in his corporeal suffering.
But the Holy Father marches forward in faith. Like Christ in the Garden of Gethsemani, he trusts completely his compassionate Father in Heaven. Until he is summoned by his benevolent Master, "Peter in our midst" will do his daily duty the best he can.
May Jesus and Mary richly bless this meek son of God. To the Holy Father, we extend our prayers and best wishes. "Ad multos annos!"
Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
http://www.catholic.org , VA
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan - Official, 390 66616-1125
Papacy, Pope John Paul II, Holy Father
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- 'Living Lent': Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent - Day 30
- Daily Readings for Thursday, March 30, 2017
- Was Jesus' portrait minted on ancient coins?
- Daily Reading for Friday, March 31st, 2017 HD Video
- Christian student suspended for arguing with Muslim teacher - ...
- St. Peter Regulatus: Saint of the Day for Thursday, March 30, 2017
- Implant allows paralyzed man to move arm using his thoughts HD Video
- Daily Reading for Thursday, March 30th, 2017 HD
- Cause of California's drought is revealed HD
- Pope Francis' important message for children HD
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, March 29th, 2017 HD
Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.