Thursday, September 3, 2009

Crossing the Threshold of Hope (3)

John Paul II. Ed. Vittorio Messori. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 1994.

Why read it? Well, it isn’t easy to read. But John Paul II was a great human being and his ideas are worth considering. The purpose of the book is to answer questions that people have about the Catholic religion and about other religions as well. Some important questions, I’m afraid, remain unanswered, at least to my satisfaction.

Sample Ideas and Quotes:

“Men turn to various religions to solve mysteries of the human condition, which today, as in earlier times, burden people’s hearts: the nature of man; the meaning and purpose of life; good and evil; the origin and purpose of suffering; the way to true happiness; death; judgment and retribution after death; and, finally, the ultimate ineffable mystery which is the origin and destiny of our existence.” p. 78.

“The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these other religions.” p. 80.

“Instead of marveling at the fact that Providence allows such a great variety of religions, we should be amazed at the number of common elements found within them.” p. 82.

“The ‘enlightenment’ experienced by Buddha comes down to the conviction that the world is bad, that it is the source of evil and of suffering for man.” p. 85.

“The more we are liberated from these ties, the more we become indifferent to what is in the world, and the more we are freed from suffering, for the evil that has its source in the world.” [Buddha] p. 85.

“The fullness of such a detachment is not union with God, but what is called Nirvana, a state of perfect indifference with regard to the world.” [Buddha] p. 86.

“To save oneself means above all, to free oneself from evil by becoming indifferent to the world, which is the source of evil. [Buddha] p. 86.

“But this Doctor of the Church…proposes detachment from the world in order to unite oneself to that which is outside of the world—by this I do not mean Nirvana, but a personal God.” p. 87.

“This God opens himself to union with man, arousing in him the capacity to be united with Him.” p. 88.

To be continued.

No comments:

Post a Comment