"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Interesting piece on St. John Paul II

I saw it on Fr. Martin's Facebook page.

Fr. Martin introduces the story with the following caveat:

First, everyone falls in love, including men and women who have made a vow of chastity in a religious order, and priests who have made a promise of celibacy. It's part of the human experience. As my novice director said, "If you don't fall in love, there's probably something wrong with you."

Second, it doesn't seem that St. John Paul ever broke his promise of celibacy (he was not a member of a religious order, so did not take a vow of chastity) or led her on in any deceitful way. - James Martin S.J.
Pope John Paul II was definitely a man's man - he was a manly man - and this friendship, as other friendships with women, seem to me to be confirmation of this.  My first thoughts led me to consider the friendships I've known of between some priests and women friends - as well as with men.  Chaste friendships, but close.  This is so natural - although many lay people might consider it inapropriate, I don't at all.

As Fr. Martin noted; most people don't have a clue about what it means for a person who has promised celibacy or who has vowed chastity to fall in love. For most people, even falling in love in that "state of life" is seen as some sort of hypocrisy.  I agree with Fr. Martin, that these things are very often misunderstood.  The falling in love most likely differs from what is experienced in courtship and more pointedly, falling in lust.  For me, the story reinforces my convictions regarding close chaste friendships.  It can happen.

At any rate, the article is interesting and gives us a glimpse into the personal life of the saint.

Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka was a great hoarder, and she seems to have kept everything relating to her 32-year friendship with Saint John Paul. After her death, a huge cache of photographs was found among her possessions. We are used to seeing John Paul in formal papal clothing amid the grandeur of the Vatican, and yet here he is on the ski slopes, wearing shorts on a lake-side camping trip, and, in old age, entertaining privately in his rather sparse-looking living quarters.
When the two met in 1973, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla - as he then was - was the Archbishop of Krakow. Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka was Polish by birth, and, like him, had endured the searing experience of the Nazi occupation during World War Two. After the war she left to study abroad and eventually pursued an academic career as a philosopher in the United States, where she married and had three children. - Finish reading - Secret Letters, BBC

Wojtyla was a good looking guy.

Anyway - the Vatican issued clarifications to the story:
"John Paul II was surrounded by a circle of friends – including clergymen, nuns and laypeople - with whom he stayed in close contact. Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka was within this circle of friends – John Paul II’s friendship with her was neither secret nor extraordinary." - Source

Works for me.

*I'll post my camping trip photos from the '70's.


Song for this post here.


  1. Dude .... You are really that old? I thought you were in your 20's.

    And why does everything look so much more awesome in the 70's? The clothes, the looks, having fun ...

    1. Haha! I know you did and I never said anything to correct you! LOL! I so enjoyed it. I do suffer from 'arrested development' however, so mentally I'm about twenty-two.

  2. Oh yes. Camping trips. My mother was a maniac for camping trips....I don't know why....generally her enthusiasm was directed at high-end shopping. How well I remember the night our poor neurotic dog chased down a skunk. How my father would come (sometimes...) after work and proceed to get very, very drunk: they both would, in fact I think everyone at every campsite did ! but, why leave the kitchen at home to do this ? The camping site was a mere 30-40 minutes away ? I whined quite a lot.
    and of course, the next morning, searching for the closest Catholic church, always very, very small and full of people smelling of wood smoke. Oh those alcoholic families sure knew how to party !
    re: the 70's: there Was something very heady about it all, the sudden liberation, our true naivete' and the innocence of it all, for many, at least. The difference with today....seems to me to be the presence then of A Great Hope. *sigh*

    1. I never went very often - but my friends did - it was a sort of hippie thing to do. We weren't drinkers back then and I think we had stopped smoking dope and stuff. The photos above were taken just before I entered the monastery - so it was after my conversion.

  3. They said the same thing about Clare. I hope there are tabloids in Heaven or we are all doomed.

  4. I can just feel the wood and chrome of the patio set lol ! And cut offs - there's nothing better in the summer :)

    1. Haha! And the cut offs were so short!

    2. Haha! And the cut offs were so short!

  5. I would have totally cast you in Jesus Christ Superstar if I had been the director!

    1. I loved JC Superstar - that was sort of instrumental in my conversion... it caused me to start thinking about Our Lord.

    2. I was 8 when I saw it for the first time but it left such a huge impression on me. Even after all these years when we read parts of the Gospel out loud during Holy Week it transports me right back to that movie.


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