Karol Wojtyla will be acclaimed
with accolades well deserved. No doubt his significance will emphasize his evangelistic
message and his pivotal contribution in the defeat of Soviet Communism. His legacy
will be seen as that of a traditional radical. The secular world is uncomfortable
with the meaning of the gospel. Christ is marginalized whenever possible and
those who worship Jesus as God are viewed as threats to the New World Social Order.
Religion of all sects is seen as the rival for loyalty. Obedience to the
material worldview power plan is the objective and the creed of the State is the doctrine.
Within this context John Paul II was slated for assassination.
His survival of that brush
with death ought not be described as mere coincidence. Non believers often want
to claim an accident of history explains why he recovered from that attempt to gun down this holy man. But even those who snub a transcendental existence can deny his moral presence. The dignity of every human being is a very revolutionary viewpoint.
The fundamental Christian vision requires a surrender to our Creator’s plan for humanity. In a post modern society, rational disconnect is held up as intelligence, while faith is defiled as illogical. Who can dispute John Paul’s scholarly prowess?
In effect this academic thinker bridged the practice of critical inquiry and the realm of spiritual existence. He was essentially a mystic.
A mystic on the whole is
misunderstood and more often berated. Bishop Joseph A. Galante offers this assessment: “I came away from those times with a conviction that our Holy Father is truly a mystic.
His relationship with the Lord is so total and consuming that to be in his presence when he is at prayer enables one to experience
the presence of God.” Is it any wonder that a union with divine authority
is a force that the evil predators of world despotism fear the most? The implication
of preaching social justice in a world planned around individual servitude is at the core of the realpolitik culture war. A reality that one cannot see is a strength that cannot be destroyed. Worldly force cannot defeat spiritual conviction.
John Paul II was consistent
and faithful to traditional Christian teachings. Institutional Catholicism has
frequently fallen short of the teaching of Jesus and the Church has had a blemished history.
Nevertheless, compared to the defective and condemnable establishment authorities that promote a culture of social
relativism, the foundation of moral principle as preached by John Paul II is heaven on earth.
Ecumenical need not be ecclesiastical for the gospel to offer salvation. Born
again is a shared gift for all believers. For God to live in our souls, truth
must exist in our world. What more pronounced difference can there be than the
political and public divergence between the way of a holy man and the deeds of the social engineers?
Throngs of moral relativists
share a dogma that life is a chance of biological selection, no more than unadorned evolution and certainly not part of a
divine design. From this viewpoint, individual human rights are simply conferred
by civil authorities, by their system of rule. For the humble and repentant who
are concerned about their last judgment, the uniformity of revelation inspired laws is paramount. Accepting the disclosure of truth is a foundation of faith. Without
truth all things evil is possible. With faith, truth can be known and free will
can be exercised to choose conviction.
According to Cardinal Julián Herranz, the Pope has shown the evangelizing power of a mystic. “He is
a man who lives in continuous union with God. He not only is the vicar of Christ, but also wants to make Christ present in
his words, his teaching, and his actions. I think that mystical dimension is the source of all his apostolic and missionary
energy . . . People talk about records, about marks, about miles traveled. But there is another phenomenon which we haven’t
heard too much about: the Pope has set a record for hours spent praying before the Blessed Sacrament. These 25 years are a
great proof of the enormous evangelizing power that a mystic has.”
Prayer, may seem so passé to the
titans of the universe that strive to run this planet, but to those sincere souls, who understand the limits of human righteousness,
the need for spiritual help is self evident. Mystical direction augments the
innate abilities of our human nature. Only the self-absorbed and egomaniacal
view themselves above humbling oneself to the author of the human race. To them
a Pope who begs forgiveness is like a worthless peon born to be disadvantaged. As
the world rejects its own complicity in fostering the systems of exploitation, so does each person of hubris absolve themselves
from their own responsibility in the human tragedy.
Preaching the gospel of the Good
News is the commission for any believer. John Paul II just did it better
than most. What mankind knows about God - has been told to us by God. Is it so hard to accept that which has been given to us to overcome our own flaws and failings? Ask that of the movers and shakers, their actions will demonstrate just what they believe. John Paul II transcended the administration of a religious church and was a messenger of goodness by the
acts of his compassion. The power of his mysticism was real and shown to all
who accept the purpose in one’s own heart. If only politicians were driven
by their spiritual voice, our institutions of coercion could become associations of brotherhood.
Now that the speculation
for his successor has become the media focus, who will be the next Bishop of Rome? The
prophecy of St. Malachy O’Morgair, Archbishop of Armagh, Ireland, who died in 1148 is dismissed by the tenured educators,
but is respected by students of Christian tradition. He wrote down a description
for each of the succeeding Pontiffs with two to four Latin words. This next Pope
will be the second last Pope - Gloria Olivae. The archbishop of Florence,
Silvano Piovanelli was from a family dedicated to the culture of the olives. Might the mysticism of St. Malachy be the prophecy of the present?
If you consider John Paul II as a religious mystic, what other revelation is about to be fulfilled! For now the grief of his passing is tempered with the joy of his life.
If only that can be said for each of us, there would be no need to fear the future.
March 4, 2005