|With my brother Russell, under the cross, 1956, Florida|
For my first post I used a picture from my childhood taken on a beach in Hawaii (1964) -- I spoke of John Paul II's image of the "reef" out beyond beyond the shore, the reef of the cross, against which reason may falter and crash, or find a footing to move out into the open sea. I have tried to avoid the coral rock; I have done much swimming in the deep and sometimes rough water. For this anniversary post I share a picture from a family visit to St Augustine, Florida in 1956; my brother and I sit beneath the cross and the heritage of the great Spanish mission to the new world.
Last year Good Friday fell on this date, March 31. Now we are still on the Lenten journey. The cross still beckons. Its wisdom is like a spring welling up to eternal life. I share again this fundamental idea and challenge from the Philosopher Pope as the inspiration for this blog:
The wisdom of the Cross, therefore, breaks free of all cultural limitations which seek to contain it and insists upon an openness to the universality of the truth which it bears. What a challenge this is to our reason, and how great the gain for reason if it yields to this wisdom! Of itself, philosophy is able to recognize the human being's ceaselessly self-transcendent orientation towards the truth; and, with the assistance of faith, it is capable of accepting the “foolishness” of the Cross as the authentic critique of those who delude themselves that they possess the truth, when in fact they run it aground on the shoals of a system of their own devising. The preaching of Christ crucified and risen is the reef upon which the link between faith and philosophy can break up, but it is also the reef beyond which the two can set forth upon the boundless ocean of truth. Here we see not only the border between reason and faith, but also the space where the two may meet. Fides et ratio §23
The Philosopher Pope will be beatified on May 1 2011, Divine Mercy Sunday, the week after Easter Sunday. The Pope John Paul II Forum will co=sponsor a special celebration on the campus of the University of St Thomas. Please look at our website for details (www.jp2forum.org)
Please pray to John Paul II for the new evangelization and for the Pope John Paul II Forum for the Church in the Modern World.
Yours in Christ
Director, Pope John Paul II Forum