John Paul II: Divine Mercy Reaches Human Beings through the Heart of Christ Crucified Tuesday, Oct 5 2010 

“Confitemini Domino quoniam bonus, quoniam in saeculum misericordia eius”;

“Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his steadfast love endures for ever” (Ps 118: 1).

So the Church sings on the Octave of Easter, as if receiving from Christ’s lips these words of the Psalm;

from the lips of the risen Christ, who bears the great message of divine mercy and entrusts its ministry to the Apostles in the Upper Room:

“Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you…. Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (Jn 20: 21-23).

Before speaking these words, Jesus shows his hands and his side. He points, that is, to the wounds of the Passion, especially the wound in his heart, the source from which flows the great wave of mercy poured out on humanity.

From that heart Sr Faustina Kowalska, the blessed whom from now on we will call a saint, will see two rays of light shining from that heart and illuminating the world:

“The two rays”, Jesus himself explained to her one day, “represent blood and water”.

Blood and water! We immediately think of the testimony given by the Evangelist John, who, when a soldier on Calvary pierced Christ’s side with his spear, sees blood and water flowing from it (cf. Jn 19: 34).

Moreover, if the blood recalls the sacrifice of the Cross and the gift of the Eucharist, the water, in Johannine symbolism, represents not only Baptism but also the gift of the Holy Spirit (cf. Jn 3: 5; 4: 14; 7: 37-39).

Divine Mercy reaches human beings through the heart of Christ crucified:  “My daughter, say that I am love and mercy personified”, Jesus will ask Sr Faustina.

Christ pours out this mercy on humanity though the sending of the Spirit who, in the Trinity, is the Person-Love.

And is not mercy love’s “second name” (cf. Dives in misericordia, n. 7), understood in its deepest and most tender aspect, in its ability to take upon itself the burden of any need and, especially, in its immense capacity for forgiveness?

John Paul II (1920-2005): Homily at Mass for the Canonization of Sr Mary Faustina Kowalska.

John Paul II: “Man Has Access to the Father in the Holy Spirit” Friday, May 21 2010 

As St. Paul teaches, “all who are led by the Spirit of God” are “children of God” (Rom 8:14).

The filiation of divine adoption is born in man on the basis of the mystery of the Incarnation, therefore through Christ the eternal Son.

But the birth, or rebirth. happens when God the Father “sends the Spirit of his Son into our hearts” (Gal 4:6; Rom 5:5; 2 Cor 1:22).

Then “we receive a spirit of adopted sons by which we cry ‘Abba, Father!’” (Rom 8:15).

Hence the divine filiation planted in the human soul through sanctifying grace is the work of the Holy Spirit.

“It is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Rom 8:16f).

Sanctifying grace is the principle and source of man’s new life: divine, supernatural life.

The giving of this new life is as it were God’s definitive answer to the Psalmist’s words, which in a way echo the voice of all creatures: “When you send forth your Spirit, they shall be created; and you shall renew the face of the earth” (Ps 104/103:30).

He who in the mystery of creation gives life to man and the cosmos in its many different forms, visible and invisible, again renews this life through the mystery of the Incarnation.

Creation is thus completed by the Incarnation and since that moment is permeated by the powers of the Redemption, powers which fill humanity and all creation.

This is what we are told by St. Paul, whose cosmic and theological vision seems to repeat the words of the ancient Psalm: creation “waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God” (Rom 8:19), that is, those whom God has “foreknown” and whom he “has predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Rom 8:29).

Thus there is a supernatural “adoption”, of which the source is the Holy Spirit, love and gift. As such he is given to man.

And in the superabundance of the uncreated gift there begins in the heart of all human beings that particular created gift whereby they “become partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet 1:4).

Thus human life becomes permeated, through participation, by the divine life, and itself acquires a divine, supernatural dimension.

There is granted the new life, in which as a sharer in the mystery of Incarnation “man has access to the Father in the Holy Spirit” (Eph 2:18).

John Paul II (1920-2005): Dominum et Vivificantem, 3,2,52.

John Paul II: Trinitarian Doctrine of St Thérèse Friday, Nov 6 2009 

Even though Thérèse does not have a true and proper doctrinal corpus, nevertheless a particular radiance of doctrine shines forth from her writings which, as if by a charism of the Holy Spirit, grasp the very heart of the message of Revelation in a fresh and original vision, presenting a teaching of eminent quality.

The core of her message is actually the mystery itself of God-Love, of the Triune God, infinitely perfect in himself.

If genuine Christian spiritual experience should conform to the revealed truths in which God communicates himself and the mystery of his will (cf. Dei Verbum, n. 2), it must be said that Thérèse experienced divine revelation, going so far as to contemplate the fundamental truths of our faith united in the mystery of Trinitarian life.

At the summit, as the source and goal, is the merciful love of the three Divine Persons, as she expresses it, especially in her Act of Oblation to Merciful Love.

At the root, on the subject’s part, is the experience of being the Father’s adoptive children in Jesus; this is the most authentic meaning of spiritual childhood, that is, the experience of divine filiation, under the movement of the Holy Spirit.

At the root again, and standing before us, is our neighbour, others, for whose salvation we must collaborate with and in Jesus, with the same merciful love as his.

Through spiritual childhood one experiences that everything comes from God, returns to him and abides in him, for the salvation of all, in a mystery of merciful love. Such is the doctrinal message taught and lived by this Saint.

John Paul II (1920-2005): Divini Amoris Scientia, 8 (on the declaration of St Thérèse of the Child Jesus [1873-1897] as a Doctor of the Church).


John Paul II: The Meaning of Liturgy Wednesday, Oct 14 2009 

In the liturgical experience, Christ the Lord is the light which illumines the way and reveals the transparency of the cosmos, precisely as in Scripture.

The events of the past find in Christ their meaning and fullness, and creation is revealed for what it is: a complex whole which finds its perfection, its purpose in the liturgy alone.

This is why the liturgy is heaven on earth, and in it the Word who became flesh imbues matter with a saving potential which is fully manifest in the sacraments:

there, creation communicates to each individual the power conferred on it by Christ.

Thus the Lord, immersed in the Jordan, transmits to the waters a power which enables them to become the bath of baptismal rebirth.

Within this framework, liturgical prayer in the East shows a great aptitude for involving the human person in his or her totality:

the mystery is sung in the loftiness of its content, but also in the warmth of the sentiments it awakens in the heart of redeemed humanity.

In the sacred act, even bodiliness is summoned to praise, and beauty, which in the East is one of the best loved names expressing the divine harmony and the model of humanity transfigured, appears everywhere: in the shape of the church, in the sounds, in the colors, in the lights, in the scents.

The lengthy duration of the celebrations, the repeated invocations, everything expresses gradual identification with the mystery celebrated with one’s whole person.

Thus the prayer of the Church already becomes participation in the heavenly liturgy, an anticipation of the final beatitude.

John Paul II (1920-2005): Apostolic Letter Orientale Lumen; H/T Byzantine Ramblings

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