This week, we are marking the 12th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s death.
The Polish pontiff passed from this life to the next on April 2, 2005, and his funeral was held that April 8.
But his legacy still lives on. Many believe that one of his greatest contributions to the world were his exhortations on love and sacrifice.
John Paul II continually taught that the evil present in the world could only be defeated by imitating Jesus’ love and sacrifice on the cross. Anything else in his eyes would inevitably fall short.
It was a belief that he held until the very end of his life, offering his numerous physical sufferings as a sacrifice of love for the world.
To help enter into the final days of Lent, here are five quotes from John Paul II that highlight the power hidden within love and sacrifice.
1) “Genuine love … is demanding. But its beauty lies precisely in the demands it makes. Only those able to make demands on themselves in the name of love can then demand love from others.”
2) “The question about the value of life, about the meaning of life, forms part of the singular treasure of youth. Still more so, when youth is tested by personal suffering, or is profoundly aware of the suffering of others; when it comes face to face with the mystery of sin, of human iniquity (mysterium iniquitatis). Christ’s reply is this: ‘Only God is good; only God is love.’”
3) “Darkness can only be scattered by light, and hatred can only be conquered by love.”
4) “Yours is the gigantic task of overcoming all evil with good, always trying amidst the problems of life to place your trust in God, knowing that his grace supplies strength to human weakness. You must oppose every form of hatred with the invincible power of Christ’s love.”
5) “Prayer joined to sacrifice constitutes the most powerful force in human history.”