WIT AND WIDSOM
OF THE GOOD POPE JOHN XXIII
idea of the Council [Vatican II] did not ripen in me as
the fruit of long meditation, but came forth like the
flower of an unexpected spring."
A prelate of the Curia told the Pope:
“It is absolutely impossible to open the Council in
1963.” Pope John replied, “Fine, we’ll open
it in 1962.”
Council has begun, I know well
the task that will be reserved for me:
"Let us look
at each other without mistrust,
meet each other without fear, talk with each other without
in necessary things, freedom in doubtful things, charity
in all things."
to everything, forget much, correct little."
created shadows, it was in order
to better emphasize the light."
The Pope asked
a child, “What’s your name?” “Arcangelo,”
the child replied.
"Oh, poor me," replied the Pope,
"I’m just plain Angelo.”
of the bishop lies in patient, generous and brotherly goodness.
and calm, two beautiful qualities. The tiny thorns that
are endured for the love of Jesus
become roses. One must make oneself love.
I must be everybody’s bishop. Where charity
is lacking what can we expect? Oh, how we must imitate the
Lord and be patient
"To be always
busy and yet never be
in the grip of haste is a foretaste of heaven on earth.
Calm of spirit in the face
of difficulties constitutes my strength."
food is necessary to the life
of the body, so good reading is necessary
to the life of the soul."
of Cain is stamped upon our foreheads. Across the centuries,
our brother Abel was slain in blood which we drew,
and shed tears we caused by forgetting
Thy love. Forgive us, Lord, for the curse we falsely attributed
to their name as Jews. Forgive us for crucifying Thee
a second time in their flesh. For we knew not what we
overlook a great deal, correct a little."
"Men are like wine - some turn to vinegar,
but the best improve with age."
"Prayer is the raising of the mind to God.
We must always remember this. The actual words matter
not your fears but your hopes
and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but
about your unfulfilled potential."
"Concern yourself not with what you tried
and failed in, but with what it is still possible for
you to do."
is a great, an immense family...
This is proved by what we feel in our hearts at Christmas."
looked into your eyes with my eyes.
I have put my heart near your heart."
created shadows it was to better emphasize the light."
it opportune to remind our children of their duty to take
an active part
in public life and to contribute toward
the attainment of the common good of
the entire human family as well as to that
of their own political community. They should endeavor,
therefore, in the light of their Christian faith and led
by love, to insure that the various institutions—whether
economic, social, cultural or political
in purpose—should be such as not to create obstacles,
but rather to facilitate or render less arduous man’s
perfecting of himself
in both the natural order
and the supernatural.... Every believer
in this world of ours must be a spark of light, a center
of love, a vivifying leaven amidst his fellow men. And
he will be this all the more perfectly, the more closely
he lives in communion with God
in the intimacy of his own soul."
DAILY DECALOGUE OF POPE JOHN XXIII
1) Only for today,
I will seek to live
the livelong day positively without wishing to solve the
problems of my life all at once.
2) Only for today,
I will take the greatest care of my appearance: I will
dress modestly; I will not raise my voice; I will be courteous
in my behavior; I will not criticize anyone; I will not
claim to improve
or to discipline anyone except myself.
3) Only for today,
I will be happy
in the certainty that I was created
to be happy, not only in the other world but also in this
4) Only for today,
I will adapt
to circumstances, without requiring
all circumstances to be adapted to my own wishes.
5) Only for today,
I will devote ten minutes of my time to some good reading,
remembering that just as food is necessary to the life
of the body, so good reading is necessary
to the life of the soul.
6) Only for today,
I will do one good deed and not tell anyone about it.
7) Only for today,
I will do at least one thing I do not like doing; and
if my feelings are hurt, I will make sure that no one
8) Only for today,
I will make a plan
for myself: I may not follow it
to the letter, but I will make it.
And I will be on guard against
two evils: hastiness and indecision.
for today, I will firmly believe, despite appearances,
that the good Providence of God cares for me as no one
else who exists in this world.
for today, I will have no fears.
In particular, I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful
and to believe in goodness. Indeed, for twelve hours I
can certainly do what might cause me consternation were
I to believe I had to do it all my life.
quotes are from The Wit and Wisdom of Pope John XXII
by Henri Fesquet
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