The great Apostle of God’s Divine Mercy, Pope John Paul II, was physically seen by more people than any human being in history. I have been deeply humbled to have touched him. How I wish I could share that Christ-like feeling of being in his presence and hearing his words. Maybe you’ve experienced that feeling though, in prayer with Our Lord. God wants you to know that presence. God is calling you now to know that because the Lord is with you.
The very long-story short about my meeting Pope John Paul II is, that after my wife and I were told we could meet him personally we went to Rome and shared with him our simple pro-life works. He gently touched our children, gave us each Rosary beads, and blessed us.
When I think that now he’s being canonized on Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast day he initiated, it only emphasizes how truly great his message and preaching of God’s Mercy was, along with his tireless preaching about the Gospel of Life.
How elated Joan and I were when Pope John Paul II wrote that letter, Evangelium Vitae, The Gospel of Life, and called us all to create a culture of life. He answered the ageless question: Am I My Brother’s Keeper? with an inspiring YES. Most of all, we are called to assist the vulnerable, particularly babies in the womb and of course this also means homeless, pregnant women.
Thanks to you, thanks to all in the Good Counsel family, together we help create a culture of life by providing real tangible help to pregnant women in need before and after birth. The Holy Father reflected on John 10:10: I came that they may have life, and it has always been our purpose inside each Good Counsel home to go beyond food, clothing and shelter and offer each mother and child vibrant life, a hope and prayer that it would be a new life with Christ.
Pope John Paul II acknowledged that we are living in a culture of death and one that has forgotten the Commandment: Thou Shall Not Kill. He writes that God is the creator of life and every human being is made in the image and likeness of God. In today’s world, abortion is the greatest evil we face as millions of innocent lives are lost each year. Good Counsel stands ready to combat this evil with loving help.
For women who have had an abortion, for men who have lost children to abortion, for all those who support or participate directly in abortion, Pope John Paul II also explicitly offered the Mercy of Jesus Christ who forgives all sin. For Catholics, abortion can be forgiven through the Sacrament of Confession. All who seek the mercy of God can find it. At Good Counsel, through our Lumina ministry, those who have had an abortion, men and women, can find healing and hope. Even siblings of those aborted can find solace and support through Good Counsel’s Lumina.
Pope John Paul II focuses his last section of The Gospel of Life on creating a new Culture of Human Life, one that inspires both young and old to look toward Jesus for inspiration in order to do works of mercy and to transform our society. The Holy Father does mention assisting charities who are involved in the life-saving work of caring for pregnant women as you do who help Good Counsel.
I believe we should call St. John Paul the Great. In that spirit, let us live our lives inspired by the Gospel of Life, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and build a culture of Life as Jesus calls us to do. Our Lord used this Great Pope to guide and encourage us not only during his life, but even now and beyond this new millennium. It is up to you and me to fulfill God’s command to love, forgive and show mercy to everyone, most especially babies in the womb and mothers in need.
Let us thank God for life, love and mercy!
God bless you.