October 22, the Church celebrates the Memorial of St. John Paul II and honors his service and fidelity to Christ Jesus. Time and time again, during his pontificate he reminds us of the words of Christ proclaimed throughout sacred scripture, “Be not afraid.” He understood that God’s Word is truth; God’s Word is what matters, and not the world’s definition of truth, and so he reminds us to be not afraid and trust in Christ Jesus. He reminds us we are part of the kingdom family of God and this time on earth is temporary and not our true home but rather heaven is.
The lives of the Saints are a tremendous resource for us to learn the many paths to holiness. Sometimes when we contemplate the lives of the Saints, it can be a little difficult to relate to a first, second, or third century saint, or even a fourteenth or fifteenth century Christian’s life and sainthood. Perhaps it’s a bit easier to relate and understand the awesome witness of saints and soon to be canonized Christians such as St. John Paul II, and Blessed Theresa of Calcutta (Mother Theresa), as we have first-hand knowledge of their lives, living in a world we are intimate with.
St. John Paul II, on marriage and the family
As the bishops meet on the Synod of the family to discuss topics related to the family and evangelization, we pray that the Church remains true to Christ’s mission, the Word of God, and doesn’t conform to the world’s relativistic culture that has been under attack by Satan himself. Let us pray that the bishops look to the past leaders of the Church, like St. John Paul II and not current world governments and cultural trends – especially regarding marriage and the family. The bishops need not look any further than the apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio (On the Christian Family in the Modern World).
This document, penned November 22, 1981 by St. Pope John Paul II remains not only relevant, but a necessary document in the guidance of the faithful. If you’re not familiar with this document, I urge you to read it and learn from it, and from this great saint, a saint that lived in our time as a faithful witness of holiness.
Read the document:
Familiaris Consortio (On the Christian Family in the Modern World).
Part One: Bright Spots and Shadows for the Family Today
Part Two: The Plan of God for Marriage and the Family
Part Three: The Role of the Christian Family
Part Four: Pastoral Care of the Family: Stages, Structures, Agents, and Situations
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