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John XXIII, John Paul II Linked by Love of Dialogue With World
Vatican City, Apr 17, 2014 / 12:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- John XXIII and John Paul II, who will be canonized April 27, are “bound together” by their love for addressing the world in conversation, a cardinal who worked with them both has said.
“Before John XXIII, the Pope was perceived as one who made pronouncements from on high; John XXIII was the first Pope speaking off the cuff, and he paved the way for a new style,” said Cardinal Paul Poupard, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture, in an April 15 interview with CNA.
“And of course we all remember the spontaneous meetings John Paul II had, especially with young people.”
Cardinal Poupard worked at the Secretariat of State beginning in 1959, the second year of Angelo Roncalli’s papacy.
John Paul II appointed him head of the Secretariat for Non-Believers in 1980, and he was president of the Pontifical Council for Culture from 1988 to 2007.
Cardinal Poupard had the opportunity to spend time with both Popes, and saw that “during their meetings, both of them turned into, in a sense, who they had been before their election.”
He recalled his first meeting with John XXIII, when he, a 29-year-old priest of Paris, presented the Roman Pontiff with the book he published after his doctoral dissertation, about the appointments of bishops in France.
“The appointment of bishops! You wanted to work hard!,” John XXIII told Fr. Poupard, reminded of his own efforts in French bishop appointments.
Roncalli had been apostolic nuncio to France from 1944 to 1953.
“In the conversation, he turned into the apostolic nuncio again,” Cardinal Poupard reflected.
He then recounted that “when John Paul II spoke about the situation in Poland, he spoke such that he turned back to being the Bishop of Krakow, mentioning the Primate, Stefan Wyszynski.”
Cardinal Poupard said that “John XXIII was the first Pope ‘speaking off the cuff’”, and he also “introduced into the style of encyclicals, the reading of the signs of times.”
This style is peculiarly evident, he said, in Pacem in terris, John XXIII’s last encyclical and “his spiritual legacy, I would say, since he died some weeks after the encyclical had been issued.”
Cardinal Poupard explained that “every chapter of the encyclical starts with a statement dealing with an aspiration of men … to peace, to freedom, to dignity.”
This style of Pacem in terris was an inspiration for the Second Vatican Council’s Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, which was something “new in the history of ecumenical councils.”
“Conciliar documents had always been based on God, on revelation … Gaudium et spes inaugurated a new way of addressing the world, an inductive method which began from the aspirations of the human being instead of a deductive method with a basis in revelation.”
He said John XXIII paved the way to a more spontaneous way of being Pope, upon which John Paul II built, citing in particular the Pole’s institution of World Youth Day.
John Paul II frequently engaged in conversation with the world through his trips to 129 countries, and his dialogue with other Christians and with the followers of other religions.
This week begins with the festive procession with olive branches: the entire populace welcomes Jesus. The children and young people sing, praising Jesus. But this week continues in the mystery of Jesus’ death and his resurrection. We have just listened to the Passion of our Lord. We might well ask ourselves just one question: Who am I? Who am I, before my Lord? Who am I, before Jesus who enters Jerusalem amid the enthusiasm of the crowd? Am I ready to express my joy, to praise him? Or do I stand back? Who am I, before the suffering Jesus? We have just heard many, many names. The group of leaders, some priests, the Pharisees, the teachers of the law, who had decided to kill Jesus. They were waiting for the chance to arrest him. Am I like one of them? We have also heard another name: Judas. Thirty pieces of silver. Am I like Judas? We have heard other names too: the disciples who understand nothing, who fell asleep while the Lord was suffering. Has my life fallen asleep? Or am I like the disciples, who did not realize what it was to betray Jesus? Or like that other disciple, who wanted to settle everything with a sword? Am I like them? Am I like Judas, who feigns loved and then kisses the Master in order to hand him over, to betray him? Am I a traitor? Am I like those people in power who hastily summon a tribunal and seek false witnesses: am I like them? And when I do these things, if I do them, do I think that in this way I am saving the people? Am I like Pilate? When I see that the situation is difficult, do I wash my hands and dodge my responsibility, allowing people to be condemned – or condemning them myself? Am I like that crowd which was not sure whether they were at a religious meeting, a trial or a circus, and then chose Barabbas? For them it was all the same: it was more entertaining to humiliate Jesus. Am I like the soldiers who strike the Lord, spit on him, insult him, who find entertainment in humiliating him? Am I like the Cyrenean, who was returning from work, weary, yet was good enough to help the Lord carry his cross? Am I like those who walked by the cross and mocked Jesus: “He was so courageous! Let him come down from the cross and then we will believe in him!”. Mocking Jesus…. Am I like those fearless women, and like the mother of Jesus, who were there, and who suffered in silence? Am I like Joseph, the hidden disciple, who lovingly carries the body of Jesus to give it burial? Am I like the two Marys, who remained at the Tomb, weeping and praying? Am I like those leaders who went the next day to Pilate and said, “Look, this man said that he was going to rise again. We cannot let another fraud take place!”, and who block life, who block the tomb, in order to maintain doctrine, lest life come forth? Where is my heart? Which of these persons am I like? May this question remain with us throughout the entire week.
The Triduum is made up of the three days before Easter - Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. It is a single prayer of final preparation where we enter into the redemption of humanity and the salvation of the world made present in the Resurrection of our Lord.
This is the holiest part of the year and makes present the mystery of Jesus passion and death before He rises again.
Holy Thursday - The Mass of the Lord's Supper, it is the celebration of the first Eucharist in the upper room. This is when we have the annual washing of feet. Usually there is no other Mass celebrated on this day. Extra hosts are consecrated and then all of the Blessed Sacrament are taken from the Church and the tabernacle is left open to signify our longing for Christ. We have adoration after this mass as our last act of worship before the sorrow of Good Friday.
Good Friday - Celebration of the Lord's Passion. There is no Mass this day. Usually there are Stations of The Cross and a Communion service. This is when we have veneration of the Cross and the entire Passion of Christ is read.
Easter Vigil - This is the high-point of the Church's year. During this celebration of Christ's death and Resurrection we have the RCIA candidates and elect receive the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist). The vigil must take place after night falls. It starts with an Easter fire outside of the Church. Then the paschal (Easter) candle is lit and processed into the Church. Then we all share the light of Christ with one another. Afterward, we have the Liturgy of the Word, which will have many readings about the story of God's Salvation history (7 Old Testament and 2 New Testament readings). Then after the homily, we celebrate baptism and confirmation. After this we celebrate the Eucharist. It is a long and absolutely beautiful liturgy with many "smells and bells".
We should prayerfully enter into the coming Holy Week in preparation for Christ's rising from the dead. Christ have mercy on us all!
Holy Week in Two Minutes
Want to know why Catholics wave palms on Palm Sunday; wash each other's feet on Holy Thursday; or kiss the cross on Good Friday? Look no further than BustedHalo.com's® two-minute video that describes the final week of Lent we spend preparing for Easter.