Friday, April 08, 2005

Emerging Priest Karol Wojtyla

I was just reading the homily from Pope John Paul II's funeral. The whole text of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's message is available here. Following is an excerpt which highlights one part of his life as a young priest. He clearly always had a passion for the young and for preaching the gospel in ways that engaged them.

Follow me! In July 1958 the young priest Karol Wojtyla began a new stage in his journey with the Lord in the footsteps of the Lord. Karol had gone to the Masuri Lakes for his usual vacation, along with a group of young people who loved canoeing. But he brought with him a letter inviting him to call on the Primate of Poland, Cardinal Wyszynski. He could guess the purpose of the meeting: he was to be appointed as the auxiliary Bishop of Krakow. Leaving the academic world, leaving this challenging engagement with young people, leaving the great intellectual endeavor of striving to understand and to interpret the mystery of that creature which is man and of communicating to today's world the Christian interpretation of our being -- all this must have seemed to him like losing his very self, losing what had become the very human identity of this young priest. Follow me -- Karol Wojtyla accepted the appointment for he heard in the Church's call the voice of Christ. And then he realized how true are the Lord's words: "Those who try to make their life secure will lose it, but those who lose their life will keep it" (Luke 17:53). Our pope -- and we all know this -- never wanted to make his own life secure, to keep it for himself, he wanted to give of himself unreservedly, to the very last moment, for Christ and thus also for us. And thus he came to experience how everything which he had given over into the Lord's hands came back to him in a new way. His love of words, of poetry, of literature became an essential part of his pastoral mission and gave his new vitality, new urgency, new attractiveness to the preaching of the Gospel, even when it is a sign of contradiction.

I am so drawn to watching the hand of God in this man's life. I can begin to trace how his circumstances and passions were orchestrated to equip him to become one of the most influential individuals in history. I enjoy picturing him canoeing with a bunch of students, and feeling God call him away from a stage of life which he relished, only to be led to something higher and better. So often when God calls us to something new we grieve the part we leave behind so that we cannot or will not see the bigger picture. Yet this godly man set out in faith and did even more than he might have dared imagine. What an example to all of us seeking to emerge into what God has created us to be.

Micah Girl

Check out the link at the 65th Christian Carnival where this post was included.


Blogger WES ELLIS said...

Yeah we cant forget what we are saved to while we remember what we were seved from.

2:46 PM  

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