Saturday, April 02, 2005

Honoring Pope John Paul II

In honor of Pope John Paul II, here are some excerpts from his writings on St. John of the Cross (one of my spiritual heroes):

On St. John's Authentic Faith
"Faith promotes communion and dialogue with the brethren in order to help them to travel the paths that lead to God. Friar John was an authentic former of believers. He knew how to introduce people to familiar conversation with God by teaching them to discover His presence and His love in all circumstances, whether favorable or unfavorable, in moments of fervour and in periods of apparent abandonment alike."

On the Value of Human Reason
"It might surprise us that the Doctor of Faith and of the Dark Night extols so earnestly the value of human reason. His is the celebrated axiom: "One thought alone of man is worth more than the entire world; hence, God alone is worthy of him" (14). Rational man's superiority to the rest of mundane reality should not lead to pretensions of earthly dominion. Instead it ought to guide him toward his most proper end, union with God, to whom he is similar in dignity. For that reason, faith does not justify scorning human reason. Nor is human rationality to be regarded as opposed to the divine message. On the contrary, they work together in intimate collaboration: "A person can get sufficient guidance from natural reason, and the law and doctrine of the Gospel" (15). Faith is not a disincarnate reality. Its proper subject is man a rational being, with his lights and limits. The theologian and the believer cannot renounce their rationality; instead, they must open it to the horizons of mystery (16)."


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