The process leading to the May 1 beatification of Pope John Paul II has shown that there was no distinction between the private life of the Pontiff and his public one. According to the postulator of his cause, the process has been "a confirmation of the total transparency of his life as a man and a priest."
ROME, Italy (Zenit.org) - The process leading to the May 1 beatification of Pope John Paul II has shown that there was no distinction between the private life of the Pontiff and his public one. According to the postulator of his cause, the process has been "a confirmation of the total transparency of his life as a man and a priest."
This was the reflection shared by Monsignor Sawomir Oder at a conference last Friday in Rome. "There wasn't a public Wojtyla and a private one," he said. "The opinion about him developed by the world during his more than 26 years of pontificate has been shown to be true."
According to the monsignor, the media didn't "create" a likable, fervent, engaging Pope. Rather, those qualities were the essence of his person.
The beatification process has also confirmed a "real treasure," according to Monsignor Oder. It has shown that the source of the Holy Father's consistency, energy, enthusiasm and depth was his "encounter with God, his falling in love with Christ and knowing he was loved by Him."
The postulator recounted something Karol Wojtyla once said: "They try to understand me from outside [...] but I can only be understood from within."
Prayer was the "air he breathed, the water he drank, the food that nourished him," Monsignor Oder stated, a prayer that endured until the last hour of his agony.
As many witnesses attested, for John Paul II "the first task of the Pope for the Church and the world is to pray."
"It was from prayer that the fecundity of his action stemmed," the monsignor affirmed. When the Pontiff asked collaborators to suggest solutions to particular problems and they said they had not found any, he would repeat to them, "They will be found when we have prayed more."
Free for truth
Monsignor Oder also attributed John Paul II's "capacity to tell the truth without fear" to his prayer, "because only one who is before God does not fear men."
His inner freedom was also expressed in his detachment from material possessions, the postulator continued, calling the Pope a "man of radical poverty."
He explained how witnesses from Krakow recall laundering new clothes several times so they appeared used, thereby tricking Karol Wojty³a into accepting them instead of promptly give them to the poor.
His inner liberty was also exercised in relation to others, the monsignor said. The Pope was a man who knew how to accept criticism, and he would not shun a difficult position out of fear -- neither fear of authorities during his years in Poland, nor of public opinion during his years as Pope.
Success was never his objective, Monsignor Oder said. Rather, it was "to proclaim the truth of the Gospel and to defend the truth about man."
From this liberty, he continued, founded on his relationship with God, "was born the cry, 'do not be afraid,' the beginning and motto of his pontificate."
Monsignor Oder described the Pope as someone who sought closeness with every person.
"Wojtyla, who very soon lost his natural family, had a strong sense of family and knew human warmth," he said. And these familial bonds stretched beyond the confines of the Church.
Monsignor Oder recounted an encounter with a Jewish woman who told him she had lost her father twice: "The first time when her natural father died, and the second with the death of John Paul II."
Free for suffering
The cross is another element in Wojtyla's life that shouldn't be overlooked, Monsignor Oder said.
He remembered how the Pope carried suffering "with dignity, and, at the end, in a silence that spoke more than words."
The postulator reflected, "Millions of people in the world keep in their memory the image broadcast by TV of the Pope from behind in his private chapel, embracing the cross during the celebration of Good Friday."
Monsignor Oder thus described the beatification process as more than a "bureaucratic examination." Instead, he asserted, it restored "intensity and vigor" to aspects already known about Pope Wojtyla, and brought to light many more.
By Alex Basile
Every carpenter must practice patience. We can learn important lessons from the wood shop in Nazareth from the humble Saint Joseph. I have always been a "do it yourself" type of guy thanks to my father. My dad is always a steady presence during my home-improvement ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith Fournier
This great defender of the faith insisted on the central claim of Christianity: God can be known and loved-indeed, that is why He came into our midst in the person of His Son; so that through a relationship with Jesus Christ, man could participate in the ... continue reading
By Deacon F.K. Bartels
St. Teresa's whole life is one of simple beauty and fervent purpose; it is a life contained in Christ. She shows us how to live the same way through Prayer.On reading from St. Teresa, a deep feeling of her love for His Majesty envelops us; we begin, in a very real, ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith Fournier
If Christ Jesus dwells in a man as his friend and noble leader, that man can endure all things, for Christ helps and strengthens us and never abandons us. He is a true friend. And I clearly see that if we expect to please him and receive an abundance of his ... continue reading
By St. Francis of Assisi
We must not be wise and prudent according to the flesh. Rather we must be simple, humble and pure. We should never desire to be over others. Instead, we ought to be servants who are submissive to every human being for God's sake. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on all ... continue reading
By St Therese of Lisieux
O Jesus, my love, at last I have found my calling: my call is love. Certainly I have found my place in the Church, and you gave me that very place, my God. In the heart of the Church, my mother, I will be love, and thus I will be all things, as my desire finds its ... continue reading
By Deacon F. K. Bartels
The Catechism of the Catholic Church informs us - The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls 'angels' is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition (328). Charged by God to ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith A Fournier
God and his angels look down upon us; Christ, who looks on as we do battle in the contest of faith. What great dignity and glory are ours, what happiness to struggle in the presence of God and to be crowned by Christ our judge. Let us be armed with a great ... continue reading
By F. K. Bartels
If there is any message which can be drawn from St. Augustine's life, and there are many, it is the message of repentance and conversion. This is a message the world desperately needs to hear today. It is one of heartfelt dedication to Christ as Master, Teacher and ... continue reading
By Deacon F.K. Bartels
It is true that the creature loves less because she is less. But if she loves with her whole being, nothing is lacking where everything is given. To love so ardently then is to share the marriage bond; she cannot love so much and not be totally loved, and it is in the ... continue reading