– The service of John Paul II was intended to attract people to Christ so they could discover themselves, their greatness and dignity of God’s children, said Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski during the “Dialogues” which took place in the parish of St. Brother Albert in Cracow in January. The theme of the meeting was: “Karol Wojtyła. Thoughts about the beauty of humanity”
The Archbishop said that this year we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of John Paul II’s birth. He encouraged to participate in the national pilgrimage to Rome. The Archbishop also referred to a street survey during in which people of different generations participated. He recalled Pope Francis’ message for the World Day of Peace, in which the Holy Father spoke of ecological conversion, which is to renew relations with God-Creator, other people, and nature.
The Archbishop said that St. John Paul II was the man of God, which manifested in his prayer; recalled that he was dedicated to the Blessed Mother and through the Mother he was getting closer to Christ. John Paul II built relationships with other people. – He did a lot for a man. In a beautiful way he presented how to lean over each man, especially when the other person is a sick and suffering. Recorded in the history are photographs from the pilgrimage to India, when he hugged and kissed lepers, the act that required great courage, said the Archbishop. He also recalled that Karol Wojtyła loved the world and nature; papal trails commemorate his hiking trips. – John Paul II teaches us to be open to God, the other man and to the world, which finds its definition in Pope Francis’ terminology of an ecological conversion. The conversion to these most important relationships that man maintains with God, man and created world – said the Archbishop.
The Archbishop reminded that as a young seminarian Karol Wojtyla wrote the drama “Our God’s Brother” about St. Albert Chmielowski. This demonstrates his particular sensitivity to people who are rejected and are on the margins. – The dialogues between the painter and Christ whom he is portraying are outstanding as they refer to a beauty to which you need to break through the shells of a destroyed, sometimes unfaithful human face – said the Archbishop and pointed out that the title refers to the attitude of St. Brother Albert, who carried the poor to God.
The Archbishop also stated that John Paul II is the “brother of our God”, because he was concerned about every man and he looked at people through the eyes of Christ’s love. The Holy Pope was giving testimony throughout his life as to how beautiful man’s life is when you look at it through the eyes of Jesus and His Gospel. – The entire John Paul II service was intended to attract people to Christ so they can discover themselves, their greatness and dignity of God’s children – he concluded.
Answering questions, the Archbishop noted that intellectual theft is the sin related to the seventh commandment of God. – This opposes the inner righteousness of Karol Wojtyła – said the Archbishop and admitted that in school times the future Pope did not praise dishonesty, did not allow himself to “cheat”, but he was always was willing to help someone in learning.
Internet users asked whether the teaching of John Paul II is still valid. The Archbishop stated that the vision of God, presented by the Holy Father, will always remain valid. He recalled that in the first homily that was inaugurating his pontificate the Pope said that a man could only understand himself by opening himself to God. The Pope expanded this subject at the Victory Square in Warsaw, by saying that Poles will not understand themselves without Christ. John Paul II proclaimed the truth about Jesus not only with his words, but also through his suffering.
Next questions related to the holy confession. The Archbishop explained that the confessor forgives sins on behalf of Jesus. He referred to the book “Love and Responsibility”, in which, in the introduction, Karol Wojtyła wrote that often a man asks for help during confession, so the priest has the opportunity to enter into human life, which makes him the witness of deep secrets. The priest is a tool of God and Christ gives him the power to perform his service.
One of the participants said that for him John Paul II is the most beautiful man of his generation because of the bond that he had with God. He noted that the Pope was always close to God and asked how to preserve optimism among people facing the dangers of the present days. The Archbishop stated that Europe rejects the pillars on which it is built, including the faith in God. – How to save Europe? Referring and going back to the Gospel, it is ours to be or not to be. Over here is the big dispute and the struggle related to – what will happen to us: with Europe and Poland – he said. He reminded that St. John Paul II was calling for Rosary prayers to save the world.
Another person asked why John Paul II was called as the Pope-philosopher. The Archbishop stressed that, above all, the welfare of families was in the Holy Father’s heart and that he wanted to be remembered in the history as the Pope of families. The Archbishop noted that the Holy Pope spoke of a man in the context of Christ. He said that the John Paul II philosophy is related to Christianity -He looked at people and the world through the eyes of God, it was the fundamental criterion for him, so that is the reason he had so much confidence in the other person – the Archbishop said. He recalled that John Paul II spoke of a man in the context of the Church. The Archbishop referred to the book “The Acting Person”, which portrays a man in various dimensions: carnal, motivational, but above all spiritual. He recalled that, according to John Paul II, the tree elements are the essence of a spiritual life: freedom, conscience, and truth. The truth can be identified through a properly formed conscience. Authentic freedom it means to do good acts and to avoid evil. The Pope said that the freedom is obedient to the truth. – In this respect, his teaching about a man is still active and important – pointed the Archbishop. The Archbishop stated that the Pope referred to the authentic attitudes – solidarity and opposition and the inauthentic ones – conformism and avoidance. The common good must be built jointly and severally, opposing evil. The Archbishop stressed that the John Paul II teaching is still valid.
At the end of the meeting, the Archbishop gave his blessing to all participants.