Friday, September 4, 2009

Crossing the Threshold of Hope (4)

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:

“The God of the Koran…is ultimately a God outside of the world, a God who is only majesty, never Emmanuel, God-with-us.” p. 92.

“All racial hatred inevitably leads to the trampling of human dignity.” p. 97.

“The Gospel is not a promise of easy success.” p. 103.

“The Gospel contains a fundamental paradox: To find life, one must lose life; to be born, one must die; to save oneself, one must take up the Cross.” p. 104.

“…man feels the inner need to transcend himself.” p. 104.

“The experiences of teachers and pastors confirm, today no less than yesterday, the idealism present in young people, even if nowadays it perhaps tends to be expressed mostly in the form of criticism, whereas before it would have translated more simply into duty.” p. 120.

“Communism as a system fell by itself.” p. 132.

“Communism proved to be a medicine more dangerous than the disease….” p. 132.

“It is therefore a revealed truth that there is salvation only and exclusively in Christ.” p. 136.

“The Church, inasmuch as it is the body of Christ, is simply an instrument of salvation.” p. 136.

To be continued.

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