Sunday, April 03, 2005

Farewell Pope John Paul II

All of Christendom, including the spiritual offspring of Luther such as myself, joins this week in celebrating the life of Pope John Paul II.

He had a heart for reconciliation, as he demonstrated with his litany of trips around the globe. His life and faith survived, and ultimately triumphed over, Nazism and later Communism. He was unrelenting in his defense of moral standards that the relativists wished to change. He was a steadfast champion for life and the dignity of each person.

Matthew Bunson, Editor of the Catholic Our Sunday Visitor, describes the source of John Paul II's belief in human dignity and the consequences of that belief:
By proclaiming that human dignity can be seen only in the light of Christ, John Paul II challenged modern thinking and oriented the church to defend the human person against the great threats posed to true freedom and dignity by the political and philosophical systems of the 20th century.
Bunson also writes that John Paul II's view of the dignity of man was seen ultimately as a reflection of mankind's relationship to God:
John Paul II preached freedom for the world — not the ephemeral freedom of material possessions and moral license of modern culture, but the liberating horizon of acknowledging the sovereignty of God. Of this liberation, the pope declared, "To accept the Gospel's demands means to affirm all of our humanity, to see it in the beauty desired by God, while at the same time recognizing, in light of the power of God Himself, our weaknesses: 'What is impossible for men is possible for God.' (Luke 18:27)."