Thursday, November 10, 7:00 pm Jones Hall, University of St Thomas Dr. Casarella, DePaul University
Dr. Peter Casarella, Director of the Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology, DePaul University, will give a presentation on “The Proper Weight of Love: What Can we Learn from Pope John Paul II’s The Jeweler’s Shop?” —
Love comes from the human heart, but our thoughts and our words are limited in expressing what lies hidden in the heart. Our utterances do not always serve as the best measure of a genuine and true love. But we still must ask ourselves: “How do we know when the desire in our heart reflects a commitment that will last and endure?” This universal question was addressed by Pope John Paul II many times in his life and writings, and glance at his early life shows how his thoughts on this began to be formed at an early stage. The young Karol Wojtyla considered the spoken word and the theater to be his calling, but Our Lord, he said, thought it was the priesthood. His play, The Jeweler’s Shop, bore the telling subtitle: “A Meditation on the Sacrament of Matrimony, Passing on Occasion into a Drama.” This literary work was produced by the underground theater that Wojtyla co-founded and represents a voice of resistance to totalitarian repression but much more as well. The play reveals the profound musings of a young Wojtyla on interpersonal love, symbolism of being a spouse of another and of God, the body, and marriage. Combining engaging ethical reflection with rich poetic imagery, the audience of The Jeweler’s Shop is invited to think profoundly about the meaning of love in view of the ultimate meaning of life. This talk will examine the dramatic encounters of the play. In that way we can better engage Wojtyla’s early thoughts on the fragility of the human heart and the idea of responsible selfhood.
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