Redeemer of Man – The Church and the mystery of Christ

In section 12 Pope John Paul II called the Church the “guardian of freedom.” Freedom, he said, must be exercised under the requirement of truth and heedful to the warning that there exists an illusory freedom. He ends section 17, on rights, by stating that the Church, in approaching the modern world, asks for “no privilege,” but “only respect for an elementary right.” Paul VI and Jacques Maritain said concerning Vatican II, the Church asks only for freedom. (See my article on Church and State, found here)

The final section of Redeemer of Man is entitled “The Church’s Mission and Man’s Destiny.” While the Church on earth is indeed the Guardian of Freedom, her full nature and mission is more deeply ennobled by the mystery of Christ. The Church is more truly the “guardian of a great treasure.” That treasure is Christ. The Church lives “more profoundly her own nature and mission by penetrating into the depths of this mystery.”

The mystery transforms all who enter into it; “Man is transformed inwardly by this power as the source of a new life that does not disappear and pass away but lasts to eternal life.” The full vocation and destiny of each human being is revealed in the life of Christ.

“This ‘divine destiny’ is advancing, in spite of all the enigmas, the unsolved riddles, the twists and turns of ‘human destiny’ in the world of time. Indeed, while all this, in spite of all the riches of life in time, necessarily and inevitably leads to the frontier of death and the goal of the destruction of the human body, beyond that goal we see Christ.”.

2 Comments
  1. "… in spite of all the riches of life in time, necessarily and inevitably leads to the frontier of death…"

    At times John Paul II's writing is poetry. Amazing to read.

  2. very true; worth close reading is it not?

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