My co-workers and I are very excited about the canonization of Blessed John Paul II on Sunday. My DVR is already set for 4:00 am EST. I remember watching coverage of his funeral. People cried, “Santo subito! Santo subito! [Saint now],” as St. Peter’s Square busted far beyond its seams. So it will again on Sunday as an expected 7 million people gather to see this great man proclaimed a saint.
The question JPII sought to answer during his life was this: What does it mean to be human? The question of questions! Are we not a mystery to ourselves? Yet, the work of JPII unveils more than a bit of the mystery. There were so many things I didn’t understand about God and man until I learned about Theology of the Body. I didn’t understand what it meant to be created in the image of God. I didn’t understand the true nature of love; moreover that it is my primary vocation. I had a superficial understanding of femininity that was limited to wearing dresses and being dainty. And I certainly didn’t understand the teachings of the Catholic Church on marriage and sexuality.
My experience mirrors many of the couples we teach in our NFP classes. Fortunately, JPII has given us a language—the language of the body—which provides a background for understanding and appreciating the sacrament of marriage and the practice of NFP. Whether couples have been exposed to the teachings of the TOB previously or are hearing them in our class for the first time, JPII’s work is an integral part of the success of our mission. In his encyclical letter Fides Et Ratio JPII wrote, “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth…” Similarly, CCL believes Theology of the Body and NFP are two components inexorably linked to bring about a culture of life.
CCL thanks God for the life of John Paul II and looks forward to seeing the fruit of his work for years to come. Pope Saint John Paul the Great, pray for us!
– Sarah Drew