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Karol Wojtyla as a Writer

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I love this Pope.  Apart from the fact that he was the one who inspired me to continue working in the Web, he has also showed me in a most personal way that his office is the phyrical principle of unity of the Church that is scattered throughout the world.  When I was a kid, I used to watch the satellite telecast of the proceedings of Vatican II.  I saw TV images of John XXIII and Paul VI.  It was only later, as a priest that I learned what these two popes of Vatican II did for the Church.  I was in first year college when Paul VI died and was succeeded by John Paul I.  When John Paul I died after only about a month and was succeeded by the first non-Italian pope after a long while, I was intrigued.  Karol Wojtyla comes from a communist country!  But the man didn’t look as if he were a plaster-cast saint.  He was athletic and had some ruggedness about him.  It was only when I was already into my years in theology when I realized how steeped in culture this Pope was (as all the other Popes before him were). 

I remember the period 1984-86  when we were asked to read the encyclicals that he seemed to publish every year!  To tell you the truth, I found it difficult to understand what he was saying because the way in which he explained things were so different from the way our professors in the seminary explained the truths of faith.  John Paul II seemed to be talking to himself, meditating discursively on this or that mystery of the faith in a circular way.  Later I learned from Etienne Gilson that this was characteristic of those who contemplated and meditatively shared what they have contemplated on.  The method is not linear — as in an Aristotelian discourse — but circular as in the epistles of Paul or John.

This morning I bought a book written by Karol Wojtyla.  I was looking for Ward Cunningham’s “The Wiki Way” but it seems that it hasn’t been heard of yet in the Philippines.  Instead of going home without anything to show for the hours I spent outside of the convent, I picked up “Rise, Let Us Be On Our Way.”  The title is one of those statements in the gospel of John that has tantalized many a bible scholar.  It is also an obscure passage in the book of Micah.  I picked up the book and started reading it immediately.  It is going to be heavier than the two previous books from Lee Strobel that I’ve read.  But hey, after all, it is a book of the Pope!  It may not be a magisterial document, but from a great writer, it is worth a read.

Originally posted 2004-12-31 08:40:02. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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