Our Church canonized two popes on Divine Mercy Sunday: Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II. Perhaps like many of you reading this, JP2 was pope for most of my life. I’m less familiar, on the other hand, with J23. About a year ago, I came across “The Daily Decalogue of Pope John XXIII.” The decalogue is ten pearls of wisdom, each one gorgeous in its simplicity, potency and truth. I’m trying to bring these into my daily life — my mom, for example, picks one to focus on each day. I love that idea!
Our present-day culture is starving for inspiration. Look at nearly any lifestyle magazine or website, and you’ll find endless tips from talk-show hosts, celebrities, financial consultants, etc. on how we can live our lives in a healthier/smarter/more organized/fill-in-the-blank way. I enjoy discovering new ways to do things just as much as the next person, but I am, on the other hand, a hard sell when it comes to taking advice at face value. I ask questions like “who is this coming from?”, “what’s their motivation?” A healthy form of skepticism, I hope.
But my bigger hope in asking these questions is to find the Truth. In today’s gospel Jesus says: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Where can I find Christ for sure? Well, gorgeous works given to us from popes and saints is a pretty awesome place to start.
—Kristin Dillon is a lay minister who participates in Charis Ministries programs. She lives in Chicago with her husband and seven-month-old son.