It seems that often a person, who lives a life of heroic virtue and strives to uplift others as Jesus commanded, does not see the fruits of their labor evolve and blossom during their lifetime.
John Paul II’s Legacy
It seems that after they die wonderful things become known and spring from their works. I hope this is the case with Pope John Paul II because no one has done more to reveal the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church on women than John Paul II.
He wrote an Encyclical “Muliaris Dignitatum” (The Dignaty of Women) and a “Letter To Women” both of which are extremely supportive and intuitive of women’s gifts. Unfortunately these wonderful works have never gotten to the women in the pews but the press and Internet are flooded with articles about how terrible the Catholic Church treats women. How they oppress and degrade them. How they conspire to hold them down in the lowliest ecclesial positions.
But now I sense a new awakening in the Church. In the mysterious way God so often works many things seem to be coming together which can make a real difference. Pope Benedict has declared 2012 “The Year of Faith” with emphasis on the New Evangelization. The new evangelization theoretically relates to those who have drifted from the Church or those who have been baptized but not sufficiently evangelized – those who have not been taught the true beliefs of the Catholic Church.
I see activity in my local parishes where they are bringing in new programs geared to educate adults in the traditional beliefs of their Catholic faith. One of particular interest to me is called ‘Endow’. Endow is the acronym for: “educating on the nature and dignity of women”. It is a program for women and developed mostly by women although the works of Pope John Paul II are a main focus along with the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas. A Sr. Prudence Allen R.S.M. PhD, who has done breakthrough studies on how women were viewed and the extent to which they were respected or valued from earliest of human history, is a significant contributor. I can’t say enough about how positively I view Endow which is based in Denver, Colorado.
Pope John Paul II left us with much more than just hope for women and if we learn and follow his legacy our Church will be wonderfully enriched and the world a much better place. The concept of the ‘New Evangelization’ was his and it includes documents and teachings on the correct moral underpinnings of government, the economy, social relations and solidarity – something the whole world was forced to take notice of when the little country of Poland wrested the tentacles of the giant communist Russia and won its freedom.
Most of all John Paul II has left us with hope and inspiration. He had it all. He was very good looking, filled with charisma, elegant, intelligent, physically talented and if he looked you in the eye for only a second your mind was impressed with the memory for a lifetime. How do I know? Because I was blessed to be frontline in a large crowd when he visited Los Angeles. He looked into my eyes while his hand was on my forehead, signed a tiny cross with his thumb and in a second was on to the next person but I can see his deep, expressive eyes as if it had just happened.
Let us pray that the Legacy of blessed John Paul II is totally fulfilled in the very near future!