Every day is a Pilgrimage

By the time I finally became an “adult” and started really digging into my Catholic faith, Pope Benedict XVI was my pope. And in my youth, while Pope John Paul II was a familiar face and voice, I really didn’t know all that much about him. And it’s been a great treasure for me to discover, in time, more and more about the man and how profoundly he impacted the Church and the world.

So I was happy to hear about a new special edition collection of documentaries coming out, all on Pope John Paul II. It’s called The Man, The Pope and His Message. It’s not a new production, but rather a new collection of previous documentaries.

I just got to watch a pre-screening of Volume 4, entitled On This Rock, giving a journalist’s (Andre Frossard) point of view of JPII’s papacy.

One of the themes it hits on, and one that has always been something I admire about our Catholic Church, is how much JPII did to remind the world of the dignity of every, single human person. That each person has value and deserves love not because of their utility or ability, but only because they were made in the image and likeness of God. And because God gave Man a certain immutable dignity simply by becoming one of us.

It’s a most radical proposition, really. One that we’re regularly challenged to accept, even when faced with the starkest of contradictions.

And it was really neat how JPII viewed all of his many travels, not just as trips, but as pilgrimages. And not so much as pilgrimages to holy places, but pilgrimages to people. People who are dignified by Christ - every one of them tabernacles of Jesus Christ. How different the world would be if we each viewed the people we encountered today that same way.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to checking out the rest of the series and discovering much more about this great man, pope and message.

Along with the DVD series, there is also a free discussion guide (with answer key for group leaders) to make it helpful for education or study groups. You can find that and more at the website: johnpaulseries.com. Here’s a quick trailer for the project: