It has been on my heart for a few days now to write on a great man, a saint: Pope John Paul II. But, what to say about him? As I have said before, I really struggle to share about things very near to my heart…which is why I often find myself writing about embroidery and not my faith. What I often feel is that so many others, who know more than I do, have already shared so beautifully on John Paul II, what do I have to add? Yes, I saw him when I traveled to Rome as a college student, and yes, I felt that undeniable bond of daughter-hood with him, even as I stood in a crowd of a thousand. He changed history, he changed my faith but he stood upon the rock of Peter, established by Jesus himself.
Pope John Paul was my pope, as he was for everyone in my generation, and the one before. His greatest gift to me, however, was his simple, direct teaching on marriage and love–the Theology of the Body–which he started to share as a young priest in Poland. He lived his life as a chaste priest, and yet his teaching is the truest on the topic of Marital Love and family.
As I said, and maybe it’s just my insecurity, but I always feel that someone else has said it better. In the video below, Blythe from The Fike Life give a beautiful description of Catholicism–one that includes marriage, family and sacrifice as the very foundation. I think Pope John Paul II would have approved. Watch it. Really, watch it now.
Yes, yes! Right? I loved seeing all those large Catholic families and I hope to one day have my own herd of kids (although I’m not sure about homeschooling…). But then, I remember Ash Wednesday, earlier this year, an experience best explain visually.
Yeah, it was rough. Even the people in the cry-room were fed-up with me and my two crazy kids by the end, and I was in tears too. And the most horrible thing is that throughout I couldn’t help thinking, “in June there will be one more…” with dread.
I love all the blessing and graces that come with a big family and being open to life, but man it’s tough sometimes. Very. Especially when the kids are close in age, naps are skipped and little ones are sick (which seems often).
In my short life as a parent I have learned that none of this is possible, or survivable, without real surrender and a role model. Pope John Paul II was not a mother–but when it came to Surrender he knew who to look to, our shared mother, Mary.
His apostolic motto was simple: Totus Tuus, Totally Yours, with which is dedicated himself completely to Mary
A million times a day I need to re-surrender, re-commit myself to my vocation and re-focus my love. Because I am that type of person that posts notes all over the house to remind myself of various things, I made a special little note to keep where I know I will look a thousand times a day, my cell phone. I tied to make it simple and clear so that every time I opened my cell phone those words would jump out at me Totus Tuus: Totally Yours, Surrender, Trust, Love.
If you’d like to have the image for your cell phone, or really whatever, you are free grab it and download it. The link is located below the image below:
And, of course, I’m not the only one that has shared on the topic of Saint John Paul the Great. If, like me, you just can’t get enough on this new saint, check out what these other bloggers have to say:
- My Pope, My Shepard–Mercy is Divine from Campfires and Cleats
- Equipping Catholic Families to Celebrate the Canonization of Pope John Paul II from Equipping Catholic Families
- Celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday and the Cannonization of 2 Popes from a Slice of Smith Life
- John Paul II, a lifelong love story from California to Korea
- 7 Lessons from Pope John Paul II from Saints 365
Thanks for being here, and may we all live in the spirit of Saint John Paul the Great!