It is simply not possible to speak of greatness without referring to Karol Wojtyla (pronounced Why-tee-wah), otherwise known as John Paul II. No other person than Rocco Buttiglione, Professor of politics, social ethics and economics at the International Academy for Philosophy in Liechtenstein (pronounced Lick-ten-stein) has grasped the significance that was John Paul II. He continues to pour out treatises inviting readers to enjoy the work of a new philosophy of man; to participate in the work of its construction, which was initiated by Karol Wojtyla during the 1950’s, but only to see its culmination in other writers like Hans Urs von Balthasar and Henri De Lubac.
Karol Wojtyla interprets this new philosophy of man as perfecting the tradition so eloquently elaborated upon by Aquinas, as Thomist realism, one that never denies individual identity, conscience or objectivity, but permits their expression and perfection along trajectories that was discovered in modern philosophy. Pope John Paul The Great pursued thinking to see in which way man is a person, in which way the metaphysical structure proper to his being are reflected in his consciousness. To think about consciousness and freedom, the twin discoveries of modern philosophy. All without renouncing the realism of being as expressed by Aquinas.
In this project, human freedom itself, opens itself to this discovery that is a binding truth; the truth of being a creature. The truth that is human liberty. John Paul The Great has written that “consciousness and freedom have the the task of making the interiorization of truth and the gift of self in love, possible.” This has profound social implications for those writers who believed that modern man was incapable of managing his future! (See my posts on Churchill and Raymond Aron, Eric Fromm, Huxley and George Orwell.)
How else can one reveal the power that was John Paul II. What exactly did he wish to achieve?
JOHN PAUL II SPENT HIS LIFE EMPHASIZING THE TRANSFORMING POWER OF CULTURE IN THE LIFE OF A NATION THROUGH THE WORK OF THE CHURCH!
For Wojtyla and many throughout the Eastern block that fervently embraced the secular humanism that was Marxism, it ultimately became necessary to discover that faith itself assists the person in the discovery of humanness. Faith becomes an attitude that shapes the fundamental dispositions of existence. This is a profound difference from the modern focus on disembodied forces. For Wojtyla, the human person is a dependent creature that must live in accordance to its nature, or to put it philosophically: in accordance with the structure of their being.
John Paul decided early in his life to give himself over to the task of overcoming the opposition between modernity and Christianity. He desperately wanted to show, to demonstrate that a philosophy of being and Christianity were able to do justice to consciousness and freedom.
“The one who loves us, wants for the beloved a greater good than his love is capable of giving, that perfect happiness which is God himself.”
Rest in Peace, Johannes Magus Palus.