Thursday, September 13, 2007


In my earlier post on 'Contemplation and the Active Apostolate' I quoted Pope John Paul II's statement that he believed that : "the future of mission depends to a great extent on contemplation. Unless the missionary is a contemplative he cannot proclaim Jesus in a credible way." Thinking about it, it seems to me that this is a pretty incredible statement! I simply had no idea that Pope John Paul felt so strongly about the role of contemplation in the mission of the Church.

I remember watching the Pope on TV at the many world youth conventions that he attended. It always amazed me how many young people were there and how enthusiastic they were. There seemed to be something about the Pope that was irresistible to the youth of the Church. Is it possible that he was a mystic, a contemplative? That this is what drew them? I remember the many times the camera panned to him, and his eyes were closed and he was holding his large crucifix in a tight grip. Was he in deep prayer?

I think he was! One of the reasons for my belief is because silence seems so important to me in establishing a relationship with Christ. If we don't listen to Him, if we don't pause in silence to let His Spirit inform us, how can we ever hope to be a contemplative? In his Apostolic Letter, Roasrium Virginis Mariae, Pope John Paul II says: "A discovery of the importance of silence is one of the secrets of practicing contemplation and meditation. One drawback of a society dominated by technology and the mass media is the fact that silence becomes increasingly difficult to achieve." The fact that Pope John emphasizes silence speaks eloquently to me of his appreciation of how to foster our relationship with Jesus.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


The first time I checked Amazon to see if Mother Teresa's book, Come Be My Light, was available on the internet, I came up empty. Today, I ordered the book through Amazon for delivery within a week or so! After reading Christopher Hitchens' article in Newsweek, and comparing it to the article in Time magazine which I mentioned last week on this blog, I am more interested than ever in reading Mother Teresa's letters!

I was fascinated to learn in Hitchens' article that he had been invited by certain Vatican dignitaries to testify at the Beatification hearings on Mother Teresa. To many of my readers this may be surprising. However, it is standard Catholic procedure to invite people to provide negative testimony at such hearings. And that is precisely what he does in this article, The Dogmatic Doubter. As far as I remember, aside from the first sentence of the article, it is negative from start to finish. Read it and see what you think!

The one statement he makes, that I would like to comment on at this time, is "She got what she wanted, and found it a crushing disappointment." How does Hitchen's know that it was a 'crushing disappointment?' One of the ideas that I frequently ponder, is "What goes on inside a person's mind and heart, particularly when it comes to their relationship with their God?" Comments?