Skip to content

'Pope Reads His Life With the Eyes of a Contemplative'

Interview With Theologian Laurent Touze

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 15, 2005 (Zenit) - For French theologian Laurent Touze, John Paul II is a teacher of prayer and contemplation.

Father Touze addressed a congress, held last Thursday and Friday, on "Christian Contemplation: Experience and Doctrine," organized by the School of Theology of the University of the Holy Cross.

We spoke with Father Touze, a lecturer in spiritual theology, on the Pope's contemplative dimension.

Q: Many views expressed in the symposium presented John Paul II as a teacher of prayer and contemplation. What do you think are the main features of his teaching on prayer?

Father Touze: Among the many features, I would mention only two, either because of their centrality or beauty, a beauty that encourages one to pray.

The first is that Christ is the way to the Father. Therefore, our prayer must pass inevitably through Christ, whom we meet in his Word and in the Eucharist.

The second is that the New Evangelization requires of all the baptized -- priests, laity, consecrated persons -- the propensity to be ever more prayerful souls.

Q: Is this a doctrinal or predominantly experiential teaching?

Father Touze: I would say that it is a magisterium that is also born from the Pope's personal experience of prayer.

Not that I have met with John Paul II many times, but when I have had the good fortune to do so, I have always felt what many others have said: He is a man of prayer, who looks at others with the eyes of prayer.

One can really see that his prayer helps him to see people, and large and small events, with the eyes of God.

Q: What does a more "silent" Pope, such as the one at the Gemelli, and the one now convalescing at the Vatican, tell us about prayer?

Father Touze: Much, without a doubt! Since the Holy Father has returned from the hospital, I am reminded constantly of what one of his aides told me, who lost a sister at the same time as an earlier illness of the Pope.

When he was received shortly afterward by John Paul II, the latter said: "The Church needed your pain and suffering."

Precisely because he loves Christ, because he loves the cross, the Pope reads his life with the eyes of a contemplative, and understands what we can intuit of the divine plans.

Q: If Christian life consists essentially in contemplation of Christ's face, how is this possible in the midst of the daily noise in which most Christians live?

Father Touze: Many contemporary mystics have asked themselves the same question, as the Church is more aware of the universal call to holiness.

If all baptized people -- and in particular the laity, who are the majority -- must be apostles of Christ and saints, then they must be contemplatives, each one in his or her own family and social surroundings.

There comes to mind the example of Raissa and Jacques Maritain. In this context, the figure of St. Josemaría Escrivá is especially close to me, who has led many souls living in the professional world on the paths of prayer.


Catholic Online CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000



Pope, Tauze, Teacher, Prayer, Contemplative, Theology, Spiritual

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

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.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

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

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 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 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.