Posts Tagged ‘John Paul II’

Photo credit: By Kancelaria Prezydenta RP – prezydent.pl, GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11813191

It’s not constant, but this week we’ve kept ETWN on in our home to watch the coverage of the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict.

Last night, before grace, we prayed for the repose of his soul with little doubt that this philosopher-king has been granted entry into the Eternal. After we prayed, I couldn’t help to notice how different things were this time.

I’ve lived through the passing of four Popes: Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, and now Pope Benedict. The difference now, however, is the absence of anticipation of who will be Peter’s successor.

I’m not saying that’s good or bad. Just different.

I remember crying after hearing that Pope John Paul II died. His papacy had such an impact on my life. Maybe that’s why I cried? But I also felt a paternal loss. I cried at the passing of my hometown parish priest, Monsignor James McDonald, and I cried again, recently, when our present parish priest, Fr. Tom Morrette, announced that he was being transferred.

Each time, I felt like my dad had died all over again. However, I didn’t cry when I heard the news about Pope Benedict’s death. As much as I was connected with Pope John Paul II and the other two priests, I identified more with Pope Benedict.

An avid reader of all things Catholic, I felt a much greater connection to the works of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger than the writings of Saint John Paul the Great, which greatly inspired me. And while the election of Pope John Paul II surprised and captivated me (along with the rest of the world), I felt so connected to Cardinal Ratzinger that I predicted his election as Pope and subsequently, defended him throughout his papacy — though he truly needed no defending.

Yet, even though I feel like we have suffered a great loss with his passing, I didn’t cry. I didn’t cry and haven’t cried because I am still torn over the fact that he resigned.

I understand that he was wanting to retire before his election as Holy Father and that, he felt that was getting too old to continue as Pope. Maybe, if I am blessed with old age, and make it to 85, I’ll have a stronger understanding. But right now, I don’t.

Let me make it clear. I’m not judging Pope Benedict XVI. I’m just torn.

Should the successor of Peter be allowed to quit? Priests and bishops are required to retire. Why not Popes?

According to news reports, Pope Francis has a letter of resignation prepared. This is not a Benedictine trend continued by Pope Francis. Pope Paul also had one as did Pope Pius VII and Pius XXII, both were concerned about being kidnapped; and Pope John Paul II wrote two. [1]

The Apostle John, who according to St. Epiphanius lived to 94, appeared to pass the reigns to his successors in his old age.

St. Jerome handed down the story that when Saint John “was no longer able to preach or make long discourses to the people, he used always to be carried to the assembly of the faithful by his disciples with great difficulty; and every time said to his flock only these words, ‘My dear children, love one another‘.”

Though not the Pope at the time, the office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of the apostles united to its head. (CCC 1444). So, passing on the keys has to fall under Apostolic Tradition?

So then, what present-day lesson are we supposed to take from this “new” tradition in the reign of Peter? Always the teacher, with Joseph Ratzinger, there always is a lesson somewhere. What is it?

Has he prepared us for a world where the position of the Holy Father is fraught with danger? Where the concern of kidnapping that Popes Pius VII, XXII, and maybe even John Paul II felt become real and possibly constant? Or maybe it’s something simpler? Something paternal and not so apocalyptic?

Fathers, in many of our child-like eyes, appear somewhat invincible like kings who reign mightily until the end.

However, a father’s job is actually a short-lived task. It is to raise strong, faithful Christians and prepare them for adulthood. Most dads, though available when needed, inwardly hope for an early retirement. One enjoyed in comfort with their beloved spouse. He is not a King. For that matter, either is the Pope. He’s a Prime Minister at best.

There is only one True Father and one Reigning King, Jesus Christ Our Lord.

That being the case, then our dearly departed brother Joseph and spiritual father and teacher, Benedict, has carried out his role as Holy Father faithfully and was greeted at the Gate of St. Peter with the heavenly proclamation we all long to hear, “Well done, Faithful Servant.”

So then, why am I still torn? Maybe, just maybe, I’m not ready to cry again.


James is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the SoulThe Christmas Save, and two children’s books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to ALL 

As a writer, James’s appearances include Newsweek, The Inside Success Show, Bob Salter (CBS Radio), Mike Siegel, Mancow, Megyn Kelly, and more.  

Beyond writing, James worked with At-Risk youth in Southern California for over six years.  His contributions to the classroom — featured on local television and in the LA Daily News and the Los Angeles Times’ Burbank Leader — earned him the honors of “Teacher of the Year”.    James was also twice honored by a CASDA Scholar as the teacher who had the greatest influence on that student.   As an educator, James also appeared twice on America Live with Megyn Kelly. 

Today, James lives in New York where he continues to teach — and write.   Besides his books, you can follow his musing on this blog Corporation You.

To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

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Sex. Kind of an odd topic for someone who muses often on Faith. Heck, I just recently I reposted a piece on the Mary’s Perpetual Virginity. So, why am I now focusing on sex?

Well, I’m actually focusing on sex within marriage, namely the Heavenly-designed marital embrace.

Truth be told: Christians have sex. Next to evangelization, it is another way we make more Christians — and probably the most popular. Books like Emerson Eggerichs’ Love & Respect and Dietrich von Hildebrand’s In Defense of Purity, which influenced the theological works by Pope St. John Paul II, such as Love and Responsibility and Theology of the Body, have highlighted the importance of love making in a healthy marriage.

However, life changes in a marriage after you have kids — and so do priorities. Sadly, one of those priorities is sex.

Though many people feel that planning a tryst with your spouse removes the romance from the encounter — and maybe it does for some — it can also also add a bit of excitement and make every encounter feel like a honeymoon.

But men and women are wired differently.

Men have the capacity to push every thought to the side and focus solely on one thing, if need be. In fact, we can focus on nothing if we have to, blocking out the whole world simply by venturing into the “Nothing Box” in our brains. Our wives brains, however, are built differently.

Women’s brains have a box for everything. [1] The only box a woman’s brain doesn’t have is a “Nothing Box.”

Without the risk of being crude, the roof could be leaking, the neighbor’s house could be on fire, and a man could push everything to the side and be prepared to make love. Women on the other hand — moms especially — often come to bed with a checklist of unfinished business in their heads and every neuron afire.

So Gentlemen, if you want to bring the excitement back into your love life; if you want your next romantic encounter with your bride to be something beyond a night of Netflix and chill; if you want to have amazing sex with your wife, then…

Empty out the dishwasher!

Vacuum the living room before she gets home. Clear off the kitchen counter. Make the bed. Do a load of laundry or two. If you really want to go to the extreme, learn how to fold fitted-sheets.

Give her nothing to think about. Give her nothing else to focus on except for you and her body.

If you want to have an amazing love life with your bride, get to work and make your home her “Nothing Box.”

James Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, The Christmas Save and two children’s books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to All.   For six years, James taught At-Risk kids in Los Angeles. Today, he lives in New York where he continues to write — and teach. James would like to thank congerdesign from Pixabay for contributing the image for this blog post. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman & McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

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Recently, I received a text with a link to a short clip titled “Jordan Peterson cries talking about Jesus.”

I watched the clip and responded.

Immediately, the exchange continued.

Like Jordan Peterson, I often rely on scientific means to BELIEVE.

Though today I don’t subscribe to the 1960’s Hippie imagine of Saint Francis of Assisi, his writings did inspired me to leave home and study Wildlife Biology at the University of Montana. As my scientific knowledge increased, my Faith grew stronger.

For example, the scientific discovery of Fetal microchimerism better formed my understanding and acceptance of the Catholic Church’s Marian Dogmas. My blogpost The Theology of Jesus’ Blood Type explains how science helped seal my Faith in the Church’s teaching on the Eucharist.

In fact, the Church uses science all-the-time.

The Church calls in scientists to try to disprove every alleged miracle or apparition.[1] For example, the Lourdes Medical Commission, while documenting thousands of extraordinary cures, has only validated only a handful of them. [2] Additionally, the Church sends a Promoter of Faith to interrogate and challenge those who are promoting someone’s sainthood. You might know that person as The Devil’s Advocate.

It is his duty to suggest natural explanations for alleged miracles, and even to bring forward human and selfish motives for deeds that have been accounted heroic virtues.

The ultimate weapon of the Devil’s Advocate: The Scientific Method!

God knew many of us would need more than blind faith to follow Him. That’s why there’s science.

The Church is steeped in science — and always has been. *

Take Saint Thomas the Apostle. Thomas needed evidence to believe and became the first Saint to use the Scientific Method!

Scripture tells us that Christ didn’t leave the Apostles faith to chance so he gave them evidence. He appeared to them, not once, but twice — when Thomas was present.

We all know the story. Thomas couldn’t believe in the resurrected Christ until he personally made an Observation.

Though John’s Gospel has Thomas silent at the moment of Christ’s visitation, Thomas had previously formulated a Hypothesis eight days before when he said, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

Thomas was given a chance to test his hypothesis with an Experiment when Christ had His incredulous disciple reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust [it] into my side.

Thomas had both felt and seen the physical evidence of the Resurrected Christ, and was able to Draw a Conclusion, when he said “My Lord and my God.”

Finally, Thomas Communicated the Results, traveling the four corners of the globe spreading the Good News to the blessed who have not seen, but believe. Tradition, in both the East and West, has Thomas preaching in the regions south of the Himalayans, including India, where he suffered martyrdom in Madras.

This was not the first time that Thomas showcased his inquisitive mind. Earlier, in the 14th Chapter of John’s Gospel, Thomas asked the question: “Lord, we know not whither thou go; and how can we know the way?”

Maybe that’s why Thomas is also known as Didymus, meaning Twin — because he’s the spitting imagine, in heart and soul, of all of us who draw our conclusions by using the scientific method.

Who knew that following the science could lead one to follow Christ.

James Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul,  and two children books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to All.   For six years, James taught At-Risk kids in Los Angeles. Today, he lives in New York where he continues to write — and teach. To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman & McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

* NOTE: I figured some readers would have a problem with the line “The Catholic Church is steeped in science — and always has been” due to the Galileo Affair. With that, here’s a LINK to my blogpost of this incident.

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praying hands collusor
Saint Brother André Bessette had an extraordinary devotion to Saint Joseph.

The eighth of 12 children, Brother André was adopted at 12.  According to Franciscan Media, he had various trades: farmhand, shoemaker, baker, blacksmith.  He was also a factory worker in the United States.

At 25, André applied for entrance into the Congregation of Holy Cross — and the rest, as they say, is history.


John Paul II participated in the solemn rite of beatification for Brother André on May 23, 1982 in St. Peter’s Square.  On October 17, 2010, Brother André was canonized in Rome by Pope Benedict XVI. [1]

My first visit to Brother André’s  St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal was life changing.

Built in the Italian Renaissance style, the basilica is set on top of Mount Royal as a model of Christian charity.  It’s shining copper dome — second-largest of its kind in the world, smaller only than St. Peter’s in Rome  — cannot be hidden from the eyes of all people below.  In the nave of L’Oratoire Saint-Joseph, one entire wall is dedicated to crutches miraculously left behind by cured pilgrims for all to see.

However life-changing that experience was, nothing changed my life more than a simple prayer that I found on Pinterest attributed to Brother André.

“When you invoke St. Joseph,” Brother André said, “you don’t have to say much. Say…

If you were in my place, Saint Joseph
What would you do?
Well, pray for this on my behalf.”

It’s a prayer I recite often throughout my day. I have never felt such inner peace since giving this simple prayer a try.

Try it!  Ite ad Joseph. Your life may change as well.

James DobkowskiJames Henry is the author of Corporation YOU: A Business Plan for the Soul, Kwanzaa Klaus, Hail Mary series, and two children’s books: The Second Prince and Klaus: The Gift-giver to ALL!  As a writer, James has been widely featured on Bob Salter (CBS Radio), Mike Siegel, Mancow, and more.

Today, James lives in New York where he continues to teach — and write.

To contact James or book an interview, please contact Mark of Goldman/McCormick PR at (516) 639-0988 or Mark@goldmanmccormick.com.

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