Reconciliatio et Paenitentia 35: Concluding Expression of Hope, Part 2, Prayer and Hearts

Some final words from Pope John Paul II in his Concluding Expression of Hope. First, he invites us into his prayer:

I entrust to the Father, rich in mercy, I entrust to the Son of God, made (flesh) as our redeemer and reconciler, I entrust to the Holy Spirit, source of unity and peace, this call of mine, as father and pastor, to penance and reconciliation. May the most holy and adorable Trinity cause to spring up in the church and in the world the small seed which at this hour I plant in the generous soil of many human hearts.

From our human hearts, he urges onward into the heart of Jesus Christ:

In order that in the not too distant future abundant fruits may come from it, I invite you all to join me in turning to Christ’s heart, the eloquent sign of the divine mercy, the “propitiation for our sins,” “our peace and reconciliation,”(Litany of the Sacred Heart, cf 1 John 2:2; Ephesians 2:14; Romans 3:25; 5:11) that we may draw from it an interior encouragement to hate sin and to be converted to God, and find in it the divine kindness which lovingly responds to human repentance.

And further into the heart of Mary:

I likewise invite you to turn with me to the immaculate heart of Mary, mother of Jesus, in whom “is effected the reconciliation of God with humanity…, is accomplished the work of reconciliation, because she has received from God the fullness of grace in virtue of the redemptive sacrifice of Christ.” (Pope John Paul II, General Audience Address of December 7, 1983, No. 2) Truly Mary has been associated with God, by virtue of her divine motherhood, in the work of reconciliation. (Ibid., General Audience Address of January 4, 1984)

Into the hands of this mother, whose fiat marked the beginning of that “fullness of time” in which Christ accomplished the reconciliation of humanity with God, to her immaculate heart-to which we have repeatedly entrusted the whole of humanity, disturbed by sin and tormented by so many tensions and conflicts-I now in a special way entrust this intention: that through her intercession humanity may discover and travel the path of penance, the only path that can lead it to full reconciliation.

For ancient Judaism, the heart was the seat of the will, and not emotion as such. That thread may well be considered as we reflect on the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart. The will of the Lord for us is well communicated in the Gospels. He desires unity with his sisters and brothers. He calls us to unity. He preaches forgiveness and shows it repeatedly in his life and witness, even to his death. Among his expressions of impatience, they seem to be tied to a lack of mercy and understanding, a willfulness in going one’s own way, even if that path is judged to be religious.

To all of you who in a spirit of ecclesial communion in obedience and faith (Cf Romans 1:5; 16:26) receive the indications, suggestions and directives contained in this document and seek to put them into living pastoral practice, I willingly impart my apostolic blessing.

Given in Rome at St. Peter’s on December 2, the first Sunday of Advent, in the year 1984, the seventh of my pontificate.

This document is Copyright © 1984 – Libreria Editrice Vatican. The link on the Vatican site is here. Any final thoughts from you few remaining readers?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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