Consecrated to the Heart of the Redeemer under the patronage of the Theotokos and Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

30 April 2011

Notes in the Octave VII: I'm All Yours

Totus tuus ("Wholly yours") was the motto of Pope John Paul II (r. 1978-2005).  The "you" to whom he refers is the Blessed Virgin Mary, who received JPII's consecration of self, Church, Russia, and world many times over the years of his life as a youth in Poland, as a priest, a bishop, and as Sovereign Pontiff.  The Church received hundreds of saints at his direction; now he is being elevated to the "blessed" by his erstwhile chief doctrinal advisor and successor, Pope Benedict XVI. 

The beatification of John Paul may be, at best, an afterthought in a culture consumed with all things that tend unto death--and more recently, with the glamour of a British royal wedding--but this is the world that God so loved, that He gave His only-begotten Son as the "offering of peace, the sacrifice of praise" (Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom).

For the day of beatification the Church appropriately chose the Solemnity of the Divine Mercy that JPII instituted worldwide in 2000 amid the canonization of Sister Maria Faustina.  To this simple Polish nun, Jesus revealed His intention for the feast, and many other reassurances of God's compassion toward sinners.  The Church prays that this feast will awaken in the hearts of all a greater appreciation and immersion in the lifelong process of reconciliation.

Mercy is the Church's standard operating procedure.  Granted, her leaders and trusted servants stand in need of it as much as, if not more than, the devout and the errant laity; this we cannot sufficiently emphasize.  It is always a joy to kneel or sit before a brother priest to receive the same forgiveness that I am humbled to bestow upon others.  I am called to this not only as a sacramental agent, but as a man among men.  Priests are nothing if not humble seekers and sharers of Divine Mercy.

To that end, pray for us.  Pray, too, that other men may consider this a viable life direction, that they may align their interests and aptitudes with God's desire for their lives.

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