Today is the feast day of Pope St. John XXIII, sometimes called “the Good Pope”. He was to be a “caretaker pope”, holding things together until the church could elect a younger and healthier man. When he surprisingly initiated Vatican II, he prayed, “Oh Lord, renew Your wonders in this our day, as by a new Pentecost. Shortly after that, the Charismatic Renewal began in the Catholic Church. Pope John was 76 when elected, and reigned for just 5 years, dying at 81.
Pope John XXIII was called the “good pope”…partly because he was a kind and humble man who was able to laugh at himself. It’s reported that after his election, “when he first saw himself in the mirror in his new vestments, he said with an apprising and critical look “this man will be a disaster on television !”Following his election the new pope told the tale of how in his first weeks he was walking when he heard a woman exclaim in a loud voice: “My God, he’s so fat!” The new pope casually remarked: “Madame, the holy conclave isn’t exactly a beauty contest!” (He was 5’2” tall and 200+ pounds.)
Pope John lived from 1881 to 1963, one of the most tumultuous periods in history. Ordained in 1904… he experienced WWI & WWII, the Holocaust, Communism, the Bomb …… . He was a great diplomat as well as a saint. He was respected all over the world… France, Bulgaria, Russia, the U.S., Israel and the Middle East. In all of his high level interactions, he would say, “whoever has a heart full of love always has something to give.” The quotes listed in his picture can speak to our current difficult times….”consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams….”
When he was elected Pope at 76 years of age and in poor health, he must have been tempted to say, “are you serious Lord…. I’m too old for this… I’ll just keep my head down and play out the clock.” Well, he didn’t… he sought the Lord and prayed for a new Pentecost. At the time of Vatican II, Cardinal Montini, who later became Pope Paul VI, remarked “this holy old boy doesn’t realize what a hornet’s nest he’s stirring up”. That was certainly true.
Okay, time to try and wrap this BLOG up. I first want to thank God for this great and holy man, and all the great and holy men and women who have kept the church afloat over the years. Secondly, just because we’re getting older doesn’t mean we can quit and start looking out the window. Pope John was 76 when elected. Yikes, I’m now 76. I can’t quit either. I need to also cry out “Lord, renew Your wonders in this our day, as by a new Pentecost.” And with Pope John, let us “consult not our fears but our hopes and our dreams….” And you never know what can happen.
3 thoughts on “Consult Not Your Fears”
We can never stop doing God’s will until we breathe our last breath. He has given us gifts to do all we called to do. When we step out and use those gifts, the grace starts to flow.
He has an amazing plan for ALL of his created human beings!
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Live life to the full each day! Thanks for the reminder Dad!
I really liked the quotes from pope John 23 – thank you for sharing!