See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Kiss...


Mr. Peabody here:
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Not really - it's just me.  But yeah, the photo of JPII kissing the Koran always confused me and I never heard a good explanation for it - to my knowledge Ven. John Paul II never explained his actions either.  I came across some explanations by others online, one by a priest where he kind of bends over backwards to explain what the Pope did.  He doesn't know.  I think it is better if all of us just admit we don't know why he did it and leave it at that. 
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We also must accept the fact that his action was a personal response and not a witness to anything else.  Popes make mistakes - not when they speak ex-cathedra on faith and morals of course, but sometimes their personal thoughts and actions and statements may not always line up exactly how we expect they should.  St. Peter was corrected by St. Paul - so we see the first Pope made mistakes as well.  I know people very devoted to Ven. John Paul cannot tolerate the least criticism against him - but that is their problem, not mine.  Fact is, when a fellow Christian is at best confused, at worst scandalized, that is serious business and those affected should not be dismissed - Paul had much to say about that as well.
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It happened.
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Stuff happens - stuff gets taken out of context - nevertheless there is nothing wrong with delving into things to satisfy one's conscience.  One of the mistakes we laymen and pop scholars make is that we fail to understand the Holy Father's spirituality and mysticism which formed the foundation for all of his actions.  I may be wrong, but I think everything he taught emanated from a deeply Johannine (of the Cross) mysticism.  Like Edith Stein, who penetrated the teachings of the Teresian charism, I'm convinced John Paul II completely realized in himself, for modern times, the teaching of St. John of the Cross, to the extent that JPII's life and papacy had been informed by light and love alone.  It would be good if a genuinely spiritual scholar could undertake an examination or study on the subject, and write an exposition upon this dynamic in the life of John Paul II.  (Perhaps it has been attempted already.)  As it is, many today extract specific teachings or actions of his, failing to understand the mysticism which formed his teaching and world view.
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I see his mysticism especially in his Marian devotion, lovingly expressed through the Mysteries of Light...  the mysteries of light - shinning in the darkness of faith. 
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Never accuse me of suggesting John Paul II was an apostate or anything less than a saint.  Great?  I don't know - history alone determines that - not contemporary devotees and religious goods merchandisers.  Can I ask questions regarding what he personally said or did?  Definitely.

4 comments:

  1. Leo n'Chak6:43 PM

    Really terrance, if you wish to scandalize, and there are a lot of such photos in the repertoire of the late Pope, THIS PHOTO does the job more effectively than any other.

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  2. Hey, now, Leo...THAT'S a whole 'nother kettle of fish, as my Irish grannie used to say...
    Maciel was a royal, well, you-know-what; and it's a scandal beyond imagining...but JPII has to be "cut some slack" here; he had all kinds of "gremlins" around him (Sodano for one) and who knows what kind of Byzantine intrigue was going on.

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  3. I think part of it is that as a head of state these is a particular kind of "schmoozing" that ya gotta do, smile, shake hands, accept the wierd gift, because cameras are flashing from everywhere and if you don't you'll be on the front cover of News of the World as being a total cad..

    I remember being in Desert Storm and having the opportunity to meet King Fahd, the ruler of Saudi Arabia...the protocol pukes gave us this HUGE briefing, not to be taller than the king (yeah right--he's about 5 feet tall), us women have to lower our gaze, etc... We marched in pass and review past his dias (there was about 200 of us, Air Force and Army)....and then he stopped everything --he's the King--he can do that--came down from the podium--much to the probable shagrim of his security and staff-- and proceeded to walk down the line and greet EVERY single one of us, shaking our hands, and smiling at us--even us women...the only time in my life that I have ever had the chance to meet royalty up close. What a kind thing to do...afterwards he invited us to a big feast that he had set up special..what a spread..his special chefs must have had worked for days on it..

    I wish that had made the news...but if so I'm sure Al Quaida would have had a field day with it..

    Sara

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