Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A few minor MOJ reflections on the first feast of St. John Paul II

Today's feast day celebration caught me by surprise. When I think of the man, I think "Pope John Paul II," not "Saint John Paul the Great." He was a man, a great man; and he is a saint. But to think of him as Saint John Paul the Great puts him at too much of a distance from my experience of him from a distance. And I hold on to that experience as a source of grace.


One source of experience was personal. I attended World Youth Day in Denver in August 1993 and was part of the cheering crowd that greeted Pope John Paul II in Mile High Stadium.

Another source of experience has been through his writings, particularly his encyclicals. Three that have been influential are Veritatis Splendor, Evangelium Vitae, and Fides et Ratio.

A third source of experience has been Mirror of Justice. The spirit of Pope John Paul II has inspired many contributions to this blog. (Find them yourself!)


Two John Paul II injunctions that may be particularly appropriate at this time for a blog devoted to the development of Catholic legal theory: Be not afraid! Duc in altum! 


One final thought. The opening sentence of Veritatis Splendor bears some similarities to the well-known opening lines of Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.:


The splendour of truth shines forth in all the works of the Creator and, in a special way, in man, created in the image and likeness of God (cf. Gen 1:26). 


The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil ...


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