Sunday, April 02, 2006

John Paul II: My Favorite Quotes


"When freedom does not have a purpose, when it does not wish to know anything about the rule of law engraved in the hearts of men and women, when it does not listen to the voice of conscience, it turns against humanity and society."

"Be not afraid."

"Do not be afraid. Do not be satisfied with mediocrity. Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch."

"True holiness does not mean a flight from the world; rather, it lies in the effort to incarnate the Gospel in everyday life, in the family, at school and at work, and in social and political involvement."

"It is legitimate and necessary to ask oneself if this [gay marriage] is not perhaps part of a new ideology of evil, perhaps more insidious and hidden, which attempts to pit human rights against the family and against man."

"As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live."

"The cemetery of the victims of human cruelty in our century is extended to include yet another vast cemetery, that of the unborn."

"It is unbecoming for a cardinal to ski badly."

"I have a sweet tooth for song and music. This is my Polish sin. "

"I am a young person aged 83 -- speaking to youths."

"The Pope cannot remain a prisoner of the Vatican. I want to go to everybody...from the nomads of the steppes to the monks and nuns in their convents...I want to cross the threshold of every home."

On Mahatma Ghandi, during a visit to India in 1986:"He was never a Christian and he never pretended to be a Christian, but I learned a lot from him."

"I remember, above all, the Wadowice elementary school, where at least a fourth of the pupils in my class were Jewish. I should mention my friendship at school with one of them, Jerzy Kluger — a friendship that has lasted from my school days to the present. I can vividly remember the Jews who gathered every Saturday at the synagogue behind our school. Both religious groups, Catholics and Jews, were united, I presume, by the awareness that they prayed to the same God."

The Pope's last audible words, on hearing tens of thousands of young people singing in St. Peter's Square as he lay in his deathbed, Friday, April 1, 2005: "I sought you out and now you come to me. Thank you."

"The goal and target of our life is He, the Christ who awaits us -- each one singly and altogether -- to lead us across the boundaries of time to the eternal embrace of the God who loves us."

"The abuse which has caused this crisis is by every standard wrong and rightly considered a crime by society; it is also an appalling sin in the eyes of God." — To American cardinals summoned to Vatican during church sex abuse scandal, April 23, 2002.

"What really maters in life is that we are loved by Christ and that we love Him in return. In comparison to the love of Jesus, everything else is secondary. And, without the love of Jesus, everything is useless."

"There is no evil to be faced that Christ does not face with us. There is no enemy that Christ has not already conquered. There is no cross to bear that Christ has not alreasy borne for us, and does not now bear with us."

"Brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to welcome Christ and accept his power ... Open wide the doors for Christ. To his saving power open the boundaries of states, economic and political systems, the vast fields of culture, civilization and development."

"Jesus Christ has taken the lead on the way of the cross. He has suffered first. He does not drive us toward suffering but shares it with us, wanting us to have life and to have it in abundance."
On Poland's debate in 1996 on whether to liberalize abortion legislation:"A nation that kills its own children has no future. "

During his first public audience after dislocating his shoulder in 1993:"I'm all in one piece. I'm not dead yet."

"Physical condition or advancing of age are not obstacles to a perfect life. God does not look at external things but at the soul. "

"The question confronting the Church today is not any longer whether the man in the street can grasp a religious message, but how to employ the communications media so as to let him have the full impact of the Gospel message."

"Darkness can only be scattered by light, hatred can only be conquered by love. "

"In Christ and through Christ man has acquired full awareness of his dignity, of the heights to which he is raised, of the surpasssing worth of his own humanity, and of the meaning of his existence."

"Marriage is an act of will that signifies and involves a mutual gift, which unites the spouses and binds them to their eventual souls, with whom they make up a sole family - a domestic church. "

"The great danger for family life, in the midst of any society whose idols are pleasure, comfort and independence, lies in the fact that people close their hearts and become selfish."

"Young people are threatened... by the evil use of advertising techniques that stimulate the natural inclination to avoid hard work by promising the immediate satisfaction of every desire."

"The vow of celibacy is a matter of keeping one's word to Christ and the Church. a duty and a proof of the priest's inner maturity; it is the expression of his personal dignity. "

"Faced with today's problems and disappointments, many people will try to escape from their responsibility. Escape in selfishness, escape in sexual pleasure, escape in drugs, escape in violence, escape in indifference and cynical attitudes. I propose to you the option of love, which is the opposite of escape."

"Euthanasia is a grave violation of the law of God, since it is the deliberate and morally unacceptable killing of a human person." ~Evangelium Vitae, 1995

"The evil of our times consists in the first place in a kind of degradation, indeed in a pulverization, of the fundamental uniqueness of each human person."

"Truth must be the foundation stone, the cement to solidify the entire social edifice."

"Each man, in his suffering, can also become a sharer in the redemptive suffering of Christ."

"Do not forget that true love sets no conditions; it does not calculate or complain, but simply loves."

"Once again, through myself, the Church, in the words of the well-known declaration Nostra Aetate, 'deplores the hatred, persecutions and displays of anti-Semitism directed against the Jews at any time and by anyone.' I repeat, "By anyone."

"The distinctive mark of the Christian, today more than ever, must be love for the poor, the weak, the suffering."

"Forgiveness is above all a personal choice, a decision of the heart to go against the natural instinct to pay back evil with evil."

After his visit to his would-be assasin: "What we talked about will have to remain a secret between him and me. I spoke to him as a brother whom I have pardoned and who has my complete trust."

"The way Jesus shows you is not easy. Rather, it is like a path winding up a mountain. Do not lose heart! The steeper the road, the faster it rises towards ever wider horizons."

"It is a mistake to apply American democratic procedures to the faith and the truth. You cannot take a vote on the truth. The value of democracy stands or falls with the values which it embodies and promotes."

"The family, as the fundamental and essential educating community, is the privileged means for transmitting the religious and cultural values which help the person to acquire his or her own identity. Founded on love and open to the gift of life, the family contains in itself the very future of society; its most special task is to contribute effectively to a future of peace."

"Dear young people of every language and culture, a high and exhilarating task awaits you: that of becoming men and women capable of solidarity, peace and love of life, with respect for everyone. Become craftsmen of a new humanity, where brothers and sisters — members all of the same family — are able at last to live in peace."

"Finally, true freedom is not advanced in the per missive society, which confuses freedom with licence to do anything whatever and which in the name of freedom proclaims a kind of general amorality. It is a caricature of freedom to claim that people are free to organize their lives with no reference to moral values, and to say that society does not have to ensure the protection and advancement of ethical values. Such an attitude is destructive of freedom and peace. There are many examples of this mistaken idea of freedom, such as the elimination of human life by legalized or generally accepted abortion."

"Abortion, euthanasia, human cloning, for example, risk reducing the human person to a mere object: life and death to order, as it were!"

"The commandment you shall not kill even in its more positive aspects of respecting, loving, and promoting human life, is binding on every individual human being."
~Evangelium Vitae-Gospel of Life Pope John Paul II-1995

"Similarly, euthanasia and assisted suicide are never acceptable acts of mercy. They always gravely exploit the suffering and desperate, extinguishing life in the name of the "quality of life" itself."
~Living the Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics-National Conference of Catholic Bishops(United States)-1998

"Those who advocate euthanasia have capitalized on people’s confusion, ambivalence and even fear about the use of modern life-prolonging technologies. Being able to choose the time and manner of one’s death, without regard to what is chosen
is presented as the ultimate freedom."
~Statement on Euthanasia- National Conference of Catholic Bishops (United States) 1991

"The sickness of a family member, friend or neighbor is a call to Christians to demonstrate true compassion, that gentle and persevering sharing in another’s pain."
~Ad Limina Apostolorum to Bishops of the United States-John Paul II -1998

“I cannot fail to note once again that the poor constitute the modern challenge, especially for the well-off of our planet, where millions of people live in inhuman conditions and many are literally dying of hunger. It is not possible to announce God the Father to these brothers and sisters without taking on the responsibility of building a more just society in the name of Christ."

“Hence in every case, a just wage is the concrete means of verifying the justice of the economic system… It is not the only means of checking, but it is a particuarly important one and in a sense the key means.”

“Wages must enable the worker and his family to have access to a truly human standard of living in the material, social, cultural and spiritual orders. It is the dignity of the person which constitutes the criterion for judging work, not the other way around.”

"To humanity, which sometimes seems to be lost and dominated by the power of evil, selfishness and fear, the risen Lord gives the gift of His love which forgives, reconciles and reopens the soul to hope."

"Precisely in an age when the inviolable rights of the person are solemnly proclaimed and the value of life is publicly affirmed, the very right to life is being denied or trampled upon, especially at the more significant moments of existence: the moment of
birth and the moment of death."
~Evangelium Vitae

"While it is true that the taking of life not yet born or in it’s final stages is sometimes marked by a mistaken sense of altruism and human compassion it cannot be denied that such a culture of death, taken as a whole, betrays a completely individualistic concept of freedom, which ends up by becoming the freedom of " the strong" against the weak who have no choice but to submit".
~Evangelium Vitae

"Man’s life comes from God: it is his image and imprint, as sharing in his breath of life. God therefore is the sole Lord of this life: Man cannot do with it as he wills."
~Evangelium Vitae

‘The Gospel of life must be proclaimed and human life defended in all places and all times."
~Living the Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics- National Conference of Catholic Bishops (United States) 1998

"And Christ, through His own salvific suffering, is very much present in every human suffering, and can act from within that suffering by the powers of His Spirit of truth, His consoling spirit."
~Salvifici Doloris- On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering- Pope John Paul II-1984

"Thus to share in the sufferings of Christ is, at the same time, to suffer For the kingdom of God. In the eyes of the just God, before his judgement, Those who share in the sufferings of Christ become worthy of this kingdom."

~Salvifici Doloris- On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering-Pope John Paul II-1984


“Love of Christ does not distract us from interest in others, but rather invites us to responsibility for them, to the exclusion of no one….”

"Stupidity is also a gift from God, but one mustn't misuse it."

"To celebrate the Eucharist "to eat his flesh and drink his blood", means to accept the wisdom of the Cross and the path of service. It means that we signal our willingness to sacrifice ourselves for others, as Christ has done. Our society desperately needs this sign, and young people need it even more so, tempted as they often are by the illusion of an easy and comfortable life, by drugs and pleasure-seeking, only to find themselves in a spiral of despair, meaninglessness and violence. It is urgent to change direction and to turn to Christ. This is the way of justice, solidarity and commitment to building a society and a future worthy of the human person."

"The future starts today, not tomorrow."

"To all I want to say just one thing: "May God reward you."

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