"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Canonizations

When Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII are canonized this week, the Church will celebrate the two popes most closely associated with the sea change of the Church that was Vatican II.   Pope John XXIII, of course, convened Vatican II, while Pope John Paul II, as the longest serving Pope since the adoption of the Vatican II reforms, more than anyone else brought its teachings into practice.   What are they?   Some might focus on the formalities -- moving away from Latin, increasing the participation of the laity in Mass, forcing the priest to turn around and face his congregation, etc.   But to me, the main teaching of Vatican II is simply that everything the Church does, whether in its teaching role or in the sacraments, should be focused on bringing individual human beings to encounter Christ and His mercy. 

What a great day April 27th will be!   It's like we get a second holy week!

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