The Marian pope was a man of hope in an exemplary way [Cf. Messori V, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, and Weigel G, Witness to hope: The biography of Pope John Paul II).
On this point, he is particularly close to Thérèse of Lisieux, who is par excellence the Doctor of Mercy and Hope, that is to say, of unlimited Hope in the infinite Mercy of the Redeemer.
Already in his first encyclical, John Paul II highlighted the mystery of merciful love contemplated in Christ the Redeemer:
“God is love” (1 Jn 4:8). Above all, love is greater than sin, than weakness, than the “futility of creation” (Cf. Ro 8:20), it is stronger than death; it is a love always ready to raise up and forgive, always ready to go to meet the prodigal son (Cf. Lk 15:11-32), always looking for “the revealing of the sons of God” (Ro 8:19), who are called to the glory that is to be revealed” (Cf. Ro 8:18). This revelation of love is also described as mercy (Cf. St. Thomas, Summa Theol., III, q. 46, a. 1, ad 3); and in man’s history this revelation of love and mercy has taken a form and a name: that of Jesus Christ (Redemptor Hominis, no. 9).
François-Marie Léthel, o.c.d.
Lenten Retreat for the Roman Curia: Meditation 4 (2011)
The splendor of charity, faith, and hope lived by John Paul II with Mary most holy
Lethel, F 2011, La lumière du Christ dans le coeur de l’Église : Jean-Paul II et la théologie des saints : retraite de carême avec Benoît XVI, 13-19 mars 2011, Parole et Silence, Paris.
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