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JPII and St. Nicholas

Monday, October 1, 2012

JPII and prayer

Already, the memory of John Paul the Great is being forgotten by the world, less than 10 years beyond his passing.  Political leaders, wars and conflicts, controversial and immoral legislation threaten to take the place of his legacy.  Yet, his intercession endures as a timeless memorial of his magnanimity.
What is the proof?  Parishes all over the world have taken up the call to a New Evangelization!
Based on the example of John Paul the Great, members of the Church are free to substantially influence the world through faith and good works.  Never before has prayer been so widely accepted as a work of the laity; in meetings, adoration chapels, rosary groups, pilgrimages, retreat houses, healing Masses, and so forth.
Never before have Catholics so readily engaged in ecumenical prayer efforts with fellow Christians for the defense of life.  Never before have Judeo-Christian believers stood together for the sake of conscience rights for upright and moral living, as well as the free worship of the God of the Bible.

Undeniably, JPII opened the door of the Church to recognizing the efficacious nature of prayer--especially with his own prayer life!  He could be found kneeling for hours in prayer, with an unshakable reliance on the love of Christ the LORD.  His Christo-centrism was so determined and profound that he questioned whether or not a devotion to Mary was beneficial for his adherence to the Gospel.  Quickly he realized that Mary's participation in the life of Christ was crucial to any believer's understanding and communication with the LORD:    
Act of Entrustment to Mary
On Sunday, October 8, 2000, at the conclusion of the Jubilee of the Bishops, Pope John Paul II and the bishops entrusted themselves and the Church in the new millennium to Mary.
 "Woman, behold your Son!" (Jn 19:26).
As we near the end of this Jubilee Year,
when you, O Mother, have offered us Jesus anew,
the blessed fruit of your womb most pure,
the Word made flesh, the world's Redeemer,
we hear more clearly the sweet echo of his words
entrusting us to you, making you our Mother:
"Woman, behold your Son!"
When he entrusted to you the Apostle John,
and with him the children of the Church and all people,
Christ did not diminish but affirmed anew
the role which is his alone as the Saviour of the world.
You are the splendor which in no way dims the light of Christ,
for you exist in him and through him.
Everything in you is fiat: you are the Immaculate One,
through you there shines the fullness of grace.
Here, then, are your children, gathered before you
at the dawn of the new millennium.
The Church today, through the voice of the Successor of Peter,
in union with so many Pastors assembled here
from every corner of the world,
seeks refuge in your motherly protection
and trustingly begs your intercession
as she faces the challenges which lie hidden in the future. 
He knew well his 'voice' as the 'successor of Peter', and JPII prayed as the Vicar of Christ on earth.  He was a true father of faith, and his works reflect his prayer very well.  For example, World Youth Day reflected the 'gathering of God's children' that continues heartily to this day--teaching youth the value of prayer for the glory of God.  

JPII could not be mistaken for any type of "mega Church" guru either.  His very suffering was prayer, and an offering for the sake of the dignity of man in all stages of life to be given over to God:
 For All the Suffering
He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
The sick, the elderly, the handicapped, and the dying teach us that weakness is a creative part of human living, and that suffering can be embraced with no loss of dignity. Without the presence of these people in your midst you might be tempted to think of health, strength, and power as the only important values to be pursued in life. But the wisdom of Christ and the power of Christ are to be seen in the weakness of those who share His sufferings.
Let us keep the sick and handicapped at the center of our lives. Let us treasure them and recognize with gratitude the debt we owe them. We begin by imagining that we are giving to them; we end by realizing that they have enriched us.
May God bless and comfort all who suffer. And may Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world and healer of the sick, make His light shine through human weakness as a beacon for us and for all mankind. Amen.
[L’Osservatore Romano, 5-31-82, 3].
Rather than retiring in the prime of his public life, in decent health and without the threat of any more assassination attempts, JPII chose to slowly suffer in front of all mankind.  He chose to pray through the humiliation of not being able to stand or speak any longer, to have to be aided by others in going from one place to the next.  He chose a prayer posture much like Moses' hands extended over Joshua's battlefield, essentially to be supported with/by the prayers of others.  

JPII defined for a generation, and for generations to come, what it means to suffer redemptively.  Through his recovering from the bullet wound and forgiveness of his attacker, to his daily bouts with Parkinson's disease until his natural death, JPII fought the good fight of faith.
Still today his prayers to Christ are effective, as when he interceded effectively for a nun to be healed of her Parkinsons'.  Not only that, but I believe that his prayers are what continue to spur on the first-fruits of the New Evangelization throughout the wolrd.

John Paul the Great, pray for us.

Un resumen En Español:
Ya, la memoria del Juan Pablo II está siendo olvidado por al mundo, menos que diez años después de su muerte. Los jefes politicos, guerras y conflictos, y legislación immoral amenazan a interrumpir su legado. Sin embargo, su intercesión perdura como un intemporal monument de su magnanimidad.
¿Que está la prueba? ¡ Las parroquías por todo el mundo han respondido al llamado a la Nueva Evangelización!
A causa del ejemplo del Juan Pablo II, los miembros de la iglesia son libres para influir sustancialmente al mundo por la fe y obras buenas. Nunca antes ha sido tan ampliamente oración aceptada como una obra de los laicos: reuniones, capillas del adoración, peregrinaciónes, las misas de sanación, etc.
Nunca antes los católicos comprometidos con tanta facilidad en los esfuerzos ecuménicos de oración con los hermanos cristianos para la defensa de la vida.
…JPII eligió a sufrir lentamente delante de toda la humanidad. Eligió a orar por la humiliación de no poder ponerse de pie o hablar por mas tiempo—a tener que ser ayudado por otras en ir de un lugar a otro. Eligió una postura muy similar a la oración las manos de Moisés extendió sobre el campo de batalla de Josué, fundamentalmente con el apoyo de las oraciones de otros.
…Para una generación y para las generaciones venideras, JPII definió lo que significa sufrir de una manera redentora. A través de su recuperación de la herida de bala y el perdón de su agesor, a sus peleas diarias con la enfermedad de Parkinson hasta su muerte natural, JPII peleó la buena batalla de la fe.
Todavía hoy sus oraciones a Cristo son eficaces, como cuando él intercedió eficazmente para una monja para ser sanados de sus Parkinson. No sólo eso, pero creo que sus oraciones son las que siguen para impulsar los primeros frutos de la nueva evangelización en todo el mundo.

1 comment:

Br. Ted said...

If the Church is not prayerful, what business does she have caring for souls?
Many look down on popes, councils, and even saints with the attitude "they don't bear fruit in my world".
But without prayer, the wisdom of teachers is merely artifact and fit only for a museum.

We must pray for the presence of God to enlighten all to the wisdom and Christocentric reality of the Church, past and present.