Unburned letters of John Paul II reveal richness of Trinity
by Elise Harris
Pope John Paul II Visits the United Nations Credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider
Entitled “I am so much in God’s hands: Personal records 1962-2003,” the book was published by Krakow-based publisher Znak on Feb. 12, and contains 639 pages of meditations and some photos and scans of the pages from two of the late Pope's notebooks, one beginning in 1962 and the other in 1985, which were both published in Italy by the Archdiocese of Milan.
Coming from one of the notebooks, the pontiff writes on the identity of the Trinity in three separate meditations, one focusing on God the Father, one on the Son, and another on the Holy Spirit.
“The analogy of the fatherhood which is given to us in the created world, is variously reached and at the same time is very poor and out of proportion in comparison with that reality of the 'Father' in God,” the soon-to-be Saint wrote.
“God in some ways identifies with the Father, and at the same time He exceeds all that we can think of regarding the subject of 'father' in the dimension of the creature, especially in the dimension of a human reality.”
A father, he continued, “is one who gives life, who hands down humanity and who conditions its development, who is a point of reference for a child, and a correlator of the certainty of existence and good.”
Explaining how God is “mysterious” in both the world and in Creation, the pontiff reflected that this mystery “is beyond everything” and that it “is cleared up with one reference: it is the reference of Christ.”
“In Christ’s consciousness as well as in His mission and the world, the Father completely obscures 'the Absolute,' although at the same time it absorbs Him in a certain way.”
He then highlighted that if a person is able to think about God in terms of “the Absolute” and the “height of existence,” it is only possible “on the condition that they accept, after Christ, the truth about Love.”
“Outside the 'mystery of the Father,'” the Blessed emphasized, “there is no evolution of man in truth and love.”
Referring to the figure of God the Son in another personal note, Bl. John Paul II recalled Jesus' words when he said that “anyone who has seen me has seen the Father,” and that “the Father and I are one.”
“These words are the key of the meditation,” he affirmed, observing that “the Son appears as a 'visibility' of the Father, not only His invisible Image that is the Consubstantial Word, but also his 'revelation' in the history of mankind, which enters in becoming a Man.”
“In this ultimate closeness to a man, to mankind, to history, Jesus” acts “above all as Consubstantial to the Father (Consubstantialis),” the Pope reflected, drawing attention to the “thorough way” in which the Person of Jesus enters into human history.
Noting how this closeness enters firstly “in the event of the Cross, a fulfilling sacrifice which has salvific power,” he emphasized that the Father is still becoming visible, and that “the ‘mystery of bearing the Son’ is ‘unfathomable.’”
“The Son is eternally Consubstantial – and as eternally the Son, He is bearing by the father. There is dependence, giving birth is a sign of consubstantial-ness between the Son and the Father – and also between the Holy Spirit in the unity of the Divine.”
Reflecting on the Holy Spirit in a third meditation, Pope John Paul II noted how “God is a spirit,” and that all who worship him do so “in spirit and in truth.”
“This reality is at the same time ‘purely’ spiritual and ‘purely’ personal,” he reflected, observing how “the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are a spirit.”
Highlighting how “the Spirit permeates everything,” including “the depths of God,” the Blessed explained that “we know He is Holy, that He is a Person, as are the Father and the Son. We know that He ‘proceeds’ from the Father and the Son as Love. God is love.”
“The Holy Spirit is love of the Father and the Son. Therefore He is ‘Holy,’ as holiness is love.”
In his meditation, Bl. John Paul II went on to explain that the “mutual giving of the Father to the Son and the Son to the Father in the Holy Spirit…is a complete mystery of faith.”
Observing how “the Holy Spirit is a ‘hidden God’ (Deus absconditus),” the pontiff wrote that “If He is an internal gift with whom the Father and the Son are united – He especially has been revealed to man as a Gift.”
“At the cost of the Son’s Passion and Death” the Holy Spirit becomes “a gift for souls” he noted, emphasizing that “‘God’s Love is spilled in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given to us’” as a gift, and reveals to us both truth and love.
“As long as the Son, Christ, consists of the ‘visibility’ of God and His ‘historicity’ – the Holy Spirit re-introduces us to His ‘invisibility.’”
Explaining that that the Holy Spirit “is above all an Action,” the pontiff emphasized that “He is Effectiveness and Bearing fruit – not entering into the sphere of our sight. His action in the soul, however effective and basic, is always action of the Invisible in the invisible.”
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