View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pope John Paul II: A man in love with God

I have been reading A Life with Karol by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, former secretary to Pope John Paul II.

The book gives a glimpse into the man who was pope. It's personal, and sometimes funny (as when they sneak out of the Vatican to ski).

But it also reveals the depth of Pope John Paul's deep spirituality.

In one section, Cardinal Dziwisz notes, "But even the time he set aside for work was peppered with prayers, with short bursts of prayer. So it was as if he never stopped praying throughout the day. It wasn't a rare occurrence for one of the secretaries to look for him and find him prostrate on the floor of the chapel, completely immersed in prayer. ..."

He then goes on to say:

"Mass, the Breviary, frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament, plus moments of recollection, devotions, weekly Confession, and religious practices (he continued to keep the full fast even at an advanced age) were also fundamentally important parts of his daily spiritual life, by which I mean his constant intimacy with God. And let me say that there was nothing sanctimonious about any of this. He was in love with God. He lived on God. And every day, he would start over again. He always found new words to pray, to speak with the Lord."

He was in love with God.

Inspiring, and challenging. How often do I put off praying because I'm busy? How little time do I devote to conversing with God?

It's easy to see why so many say he will be declared a saint.



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