John and John Paul – The Vine and the Trellis

Here is my latest article for Aleteia–a reflection on how Pope St John XXIII and Pope St John Paul II characterize the two main principles of Vatican II.

C.S. Lewis once observed, “How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerors have been: how gloriously different are the saints.”

Each saint is unique because he or she is an ordinary individual brought to extraordinary fulfillment by God’s power. A saint is a person who has become all he was created to be and is therefore more gloriously and uniquely alive than those who follow the dread and dull path of the Dark Lord.

In thinking about the canonization of Pope St. John XXIII and Pope St. John Paul II it occurred to me that these two popes who were typified as “bookends of the Second Vatican Council” also epitomize in their own personalities the two key words of the council: the Italian wordaggiornamento and the French word resourcement.

Aggiornamento is the word for openness and optimism. The Second Vatican Council, started by St John XXIII was an opportunity for the church to engage with the modern world in a positive spirit of affirmation, vitality and dialogue.

Read the whole article here.