Pope St. John XXIII
“Our greatness, our glory is found in our serene daily efforts – without excess – marked by profound love for Jesus. In our daily effort to carry out the duty Providence has assigned us, we should give more attention to doing the little things well rather than trying to accomplish great works.” Secret to Happiness: Wisdom from John XXIII (Classic Wisdom Collection, Pauline Books and Media).
In an effort to learn more about the real Pope John XXIII, I took to the internet. After being raised Catholic in a marginally Catholic home, and disconnecting for several years; I “reverted” back to practicing the faith in 2005. My knowledge of the Catholic faith, especially of the early Church and the papacy, was extremely limited. After reading so much about John XXIII’s incredible reign as pope, I wanted to experience his spirituality in his own words. I picked up Journal of a Soul: Autobiography of Pope John XXIII; and our spiritual love affair bloomed. The only thing about this fabulous book I did not like was the size!! While it is a blessing to have so much of his personal thoughts and writings to contemplate, it is a wee bit bulky for my pocketbook or ‘adoration reading materials’ bag. **Although, the majority of the spiritual reading I bring with me for my Adoration Holy Hour can be found on smart phone or iPad; I still love bringing books and novena pamphlets with me. These help me from straying off my reading and into social media on those days my resolve is weak!
Secret to Happiness
In Secret to Happiness: Wisdom from John XXIII , my spiritual journey with this dear Pope continued. As often happens when you seek guidance from the Holy Spirit; the theme and teachings contained in this book came at the most perfect time. Struggling with envy and self-absorption, especially in my work, I found in Pope St. John XXIII the perfect words to guide me forward to God and away from these sinful inclinations. John XXIII shared his own battle with these topics – which given how humble and obedient to God’s will he always appeared — brought me great comfort and hope!
Words of Wisdom
John XXIII taught me not to try to rework the masterpiece of another to fit me, but to allow God – through the submission of my will to His – to mold me into the original work of art I was created to be. I was not created to be a carbon-copy; evidenced by my unique fingerprint and dental imprint (perhaps I need to watch a little less CSI – regardless the point still remains). “I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well” (Psalm 139). Jealousy and self-love have no place in the work of sanctification; His love and grace are sufficient to bring us all to sainthood, if we allow Him to accomplish His great work within us.
All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras
First Appeared onAssociation of Pauline Laity Blogspot, 2016