Friday, October 22, 2021

 ST JOHN PAUL II 

Psalm 49, Verse 17

Do not FEAR when a man becomes rich, when the wealth of his house grows great. 

The next verse drives the point: for his glory shall not descend with him! 

Inheritance vs. Legacy[1] 

Fix your eyes on that which endures. In the movie Centennial it portrays a young Arapahoe child in the year 1756, who learns his father has just been killed in battle and is taught the lesson that 'only rocks live forever'. God encourages us to fix our eyes on the eternal. Leaders become consumed with the momentary but forget the lasting. Christ tells us that leaders must not pursue wealth or power for true greatness comes from inside out. Even our own bodies make a testimony to this by accomplishing the healing from the inside out. True leaders pursue a legacy rather than wealth. What does any man take with him to the grave? Only a vision came outlive a man. Think of Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln. A huge difference exists between a legacy and an inheritance. Anyone can leave an inheritance. An inheritance is something you leave TO your family or loved ones, and it also fades. A legacy is something you leave IN your family and loved ones. 

·         An inheritance is something tangible you give to others, but a legacy is something you place in others.

·         An inheritance brings temporary happiness but a legacy transforms lives.

·         An inheritance is spent but a legacy is renewing.

·         An inheritance may or may not pay off, but a legacy always propagates. 

Live, Love, Learn and Leave a Legacy[2]

One of the great achievements of Steven Covey was the coining of the phrase “To Live, To Love, To Learn, To Leave a Legacy”. Beyond the beautiful wording, it taught that a fulfilling life requires recognizing the existence, importance and differences of four human dimensions.

·         Physical-The first dimension is the the physical dimension. It is the world of action, the world of survival, the world of physical pleasure. It’s easy to access this dimension through an activity like eating, but the pleasure is short-lived and ends shortly after the last bite.

·         Emotional-Next up is the emotional dimension. It’s the world of belonging, caring, connecting and loving. It takes more work to properly access this dimension because it involves other people. The pleasure is much deeper and more meaningful than the physical. A litmus test is that one would not trade the true love of a spouse or a child for even $1billion, which can buy a lot of physical pleasure.

·         Mental-Higher up is the mental dimension. It’s the world of learning, understanding and creating. These activities require more time, thought and effort than emotional activities. They are the activities at the root of self-actualization, and they help us keep our emotional and physical activities within the proper measure. It is the dimension that powers the political, business and altruistic worlds in which people often sacrifice their emotional relationship in pursuit of solutions to big problems.

·         `The highest dimension i`s the spiritual dimension. It goes beyond self-actualization to self-transcendence, higher purpose and leaving a legacy. It is the realm of belief and dedication to a Higher Power. It is all the dimension of free will and doing the intrinsically right thing

When a person is actively cognizant and living within these four human dimensions he is functioning at a higher level. Understanding them is a key component of health, happiness, and meaning.

True Audacity of Hope[3]

 

Today is also the feast of Saint John Paul II. He was a man afflicted, he was a man of endurance, he stresses that Christ is our only hope and he showed us the love of God.

 

Karol Wojtyla came of age at one of the darkest moments of the twentieth century. When he was 19 years old and just commencing his university career, the Nazis rolled through his native Poland and instigated a reign of terror over the country. Almost immediately, the conquerors decapitated Polish society, killing the intelligentsia outright or sending them to concentration camps. All distinctive forms of Polish culture were cruelly suppressed, and the church was actively persecuted.

 

Young Wojtyla displayed heroic courage by joining the underground seminary run by the Cardinal of Krakow and by forming a small company of players who kept Polish literature and drama alive. Many of his colleagues in both of these endeavors were killed or arrested in the course of those terrible years of occupation.

 

Sadly, the Nazi tyranny was replaced immediately by the COMMUNIST TYRANNY, and Fr. Wojtyla was compelled to manifest his courage again. In the face of harassment, unfair criticism, the threat of severe punishment, etc., he did his priestly work, forming young people in the great Catholic spiritual and theological tradition. Even as a bishop, Wojtyla was subject to practically constant surveillance (every phone tapped; every room bugged; his every movement tracked), and he was continually, in small ways and large, obstructed by Communist officialdom. And yet he soldiered on. Of course, as Pope, he ventured into the belly of the beast, standing athwart the Communist establishment and speaking for God, freedom, and human rights.

 

In doing so, he proved himself one of the most courageous figures of the twentieth century. Karol Wojtyla was a man who exhibited the virtue of justice to a heroic degree. Throughout his papal years, John Paul II was the single most eloquent and persistent voice for human rights on the world stage. In the face of a postmodern relativism and indifferentism, John Paul took the best of the Enlightenment political tradition and wedded it to classical Christian anthropology. The result was a sturdy defense of the rights to life, liberty, education, free speech, and above all, the free exercise of religion. More persuasively than any other political figure, east or west, John Paul advocated for justice.

 

George Weigel titled his magisterial biography of John Paul II, Witness to Hope, by identifying Karol Wojtyla with a theological virtue. In October of 1978, the newly elected Pope John Paul II gave his inaugural speech to a packed St. Peter’s Square. This man, who had witnessed at first hand the very worst of the twentieth century, who had intimate experience of how twisted and wicked human beings can be, spoke over and over again this exhortation: “Be not afraid.”

 

There was, of course, absolutely no political or cultural warrant for that exhortation, no purely natural justification for it. It could come only from a man whose heart was filled with the supernatural sense that the Holy Spirit is the Lord of history.

 

Finally, was Karol Wojtyla in possession of love, the greatest of the theological virtues? The best evidence I can bring forward is the still breathtaking encounter that took place in a grimy Roman jail cell in December of 1983. John Paul II sat down with Mehmet Ali Agca, the man who had, only a year and a half before, fired several bullets into the Pope. John Paul spoke to him, embraced him, listened to him, and finally forgave him. Love is not a feeling or a sentiment. It is, Thomas Aquinas reminds us, an act of the will, more precisely, willing the good of the other.

 

This is why the love of one’s enemies—those who are not disposed to wish us well—is the great test of love. Did John Paul II express love in a heroic way? He forgave the man who tried to kill him; no further argument need be made.


 

Fitness Friday-Start the Universal Man Plan

 

Recognizing that God the Father created man on Friday the 6th day I propose in this blog to have an entry that shares on how to recreate and renew yourself in strength, mind, soul and heart.


Daily Devotions

·         Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Increase of Vocations to the Holy Priesthood.

·         Total Consecration to St. Joseph Day 24


·         Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         Iceman’s 40 devotion

·         Universal Man Plan

·         Operation Purity

·         Rosary


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