Nine Days That Changed the World – Coincidence?

Pope St. John Paul II’s 1st Visit to Poland as Pope – June 2-10, 1979

(9th centenary year after the death of St. Stanislaus, Patron of Poland)

The following two paragraphs were part of Pope St. John Paul’s homily on the Eve of Pentecost, June 2, 1979.  Please be mindful that he was speaking to millions of Poles who had lived under atheistic communist dictatorship since World War II.  He was surrounded by communists and their military at this Mass.  They, who had tried for decades to silence the Catholic Church.  They, who had closed Catholic churches and attempted to limit Catholics’ access to the Mass and the Sacraments.  He did not begin his first visit to Poland with platitudes to the ruling party!

To Poland the Church brought Christ, the key to understanding that great and fundamental reality that is man. For man cannot be fully understood without Christ. Or rather, man is incapable of understanding himself fully without Christ. He cannot understand who he is, nor what his true dignity is, nor what his vocation is, nor what his final end is. He cannot understand any of this without Christ. (My emphasis).

Therefore Christ cannot be kept out of the history of man in any part of the globe, at any longitude or latitude of geography. The exclusion of Christ from the history of man is an act against man. Without Christ it is impossible to understand the history of Poland, especially the history of the people who have passed or are passing through this land. The history of people. The history of the nation is above all the history of people. And the history of each person unfolds in Jesus Christ. In him it becomes the history of salvation.

St. John Paul ended his homily with the following prayer to the Holy Spirit in his homily on Saturday, June 2, 1979, the Vigil of Pentecost:

Let your Spirit descend.
Let your Spirit descend.
and renew the face of the earth,
the face of this land. Amen.

Was it coincidence that this Pope from the Iron Curtain was to visit his country for nine days – the length of days the Apostles prayed from the Ascension to the Coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost; the first Novena?  Was it coincidence that his first public Mass was on the Vigil of Pentecost?  Communism was doomed at the conclusion of the above prayer by the Successor of St. Peter whom the Holy Spirit had chosen to be pope less than a year before.  In less than a decade Communism was all but gone in Eastern Europe beginning in Poland.

Nothing is coincidence with God.

How applicable are St. John Paul’s words to us.  How we can learn from his example and prayer.

It is no coincidence that we find ourselves nine days from Pentecost.  Let us learn from Pope John Paul to ask – implore – God, the Holy Spirit, to come upon our families, our parish, our diocese, our nation, our world during these times of crisis.  We can pray as he did:

Let your Spirit descend.
Let your Spirit descend.
and renew the face of the earth,
the face of this land. Amen.

Please consider praying the Novena to the Holy Spirit over the next nine days (Friday, May 22 – Saturday, May 30) for a greater fervor for Mass and the Sacraments; for many to return to Our Lord and His Church; and for religious liberty of the Church wherever She is being persecuted.

The Novena to the Holy Spirit can be found at:

https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/devotions/novena-to-the-holy-spirit-for-the-seven-gifts-309

God bless

FRVW

(Please know that I hope to write a second post on Friday re: Holy Communion Outside of Mass and related topics.)