2cornucopias

St. John Paul the Great: How Pope John Paul II lived and helped others live the new evangelization

In 04 Fr. John McCloskey on 2015/03/20 at 12:00 AM

In 1978, I arrived in Rome as a new seminarian, after six years as a Wall Street stockbroker. Talk about a life changer!

Ten weeks after my arrival, I found myself in St. Peter’s Basilica, along with thousands of other people attending the installation of the now-St. John Paul (dare I add “the Great”?) as our new Roman pontiff.

At that moment, my life and that of the world changed forever. Though we did not yet know it, the New Evangelization had begun, ushered in by a pope from a faraway country. Its high point under his stewardship was probably the celebration in 2000 of the closing of the second millennium of Christianity and the opening of the third — an event that, in his fearless way, he described as Crossing the Threshold of Hope.

John Paul (a man in full!) lived out his entire life as a priest, bishop, cardinal and pope through a “sincere gift of self,” made not once, but renewed day by day, moment by moment. He laid down his life for others right up to his last breath.

Who can doubt, then, that, from the realms of glory, he is now helping all who need help (and who does not?) when we ask his intercession in prayer.

To understand him better, you might consider reading or re-reading George Weigel’s magisterial biography or one of the many books of reminiscences by those who were closest to him in his long life.

Perhaps John Paul’s greatest work was to correctly define the meaning of the Second Vatican Council after several decades of contentious confusion. Being granted one of the longest pontificates in history gave the Holy Father the opportunity, through his writing and teaching, to make clear the Council’s emphasis on the universal call to holiness of all the faithful and their obligation to share their faith not only by example, but by word — in the workplace, among family and friends and in society.

CONTINUE READING…
http://www.catholicity.com/mccloskey/john-paul-the-great.html

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