Pope John Paul II - Be Not Afraid

...to stand up for Truth and to follow God's call.     Our community is currently watching this week's The World Over (a Catholic news program on EWTN). Raymond Arroyo is interviewing Newt and Callista Gingrich about their new movie Nine Days that Changed the World which examines Pope John Paul II's 1979 trip to Poland and his role in the fall of communism. WOW - many of us were brought to tears. We pray this movie will touch many hearts and open the minds of all our citizens to see where the American elite are leading our beloved nation - to be a nation of people who are not free to practice our faith.

    Speaking of Pope John Paul II, I came across the following quote in some reading I did during our annual 8-day retreat and have been looking for an opportunity to share it with you. I think I just found that opportunity. This is an excerpt from a talk given by Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B. during the Eucharistic Congress in Washington, DC last September.

     With the on-going purification the Church is going through right now and the need to keep focused on the necesity and importance of ministry and consecrated life in the Church today, I thought you would appreciate these stirring words of Pope John Paul the Great at the concluding Mass of World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto.

    Even a tiny flame lifts the heavy lid of night. How much more light will you make, all together, if you bond as one in the communion of the Church! If you love Jesus, love the Church! Do not be discouraged by the sins and failings of some of her members. The harm done by some priests and religious to the young and vulnerable fills us with a deep sense of sadness and shame.

    But think of the vast majority of dedicated and generous priests and religious whose only wish is to serve and do good! There are many priests, seminarians and consecrated persons here today; be close to them and support them! And if, in the depths of your hearts, you feel the same call to the priesthood or consecrated life, do not be afraid to follow Christ on the royal road of the Cross! At difficult moments in the Church's life, the pursuit of holiness becomes even more urgent. And holiness is not a question of age; it is a matter of living in the Holy Spirit, just as Kateri Tekakwitha did here in America and so many other young people have done.

    ...Do not let that hope die! Stake your lives on it! We are not the sum of our weakneses and failures; we are the sum of the Father's love for us and our real capacity to become the image of his Son."