Saturday, November 11, 2006

John Paul II on Mediocrity

"...since Baptism is a true entry into the holiness of God through incorporation into Christ and the indwelling of his Spirit, it would be a contradiction to settle for a life of mediocrity, marked by a minimalist ethic and a shallow religiosity." --Novo Millennio Inuente [Apostolic Letter] , 31:

"Dear young people, do not be content with anything less than the highest ideals! Do not let yourselves be dispirited by those who are disillusioned with life and have grown deaf to the deepest and most authentic desires of their heart. You are right to be disappointed with hollow entertainment and passing fads, and with aiming at too little in life. If you have an ardent desire for the Lord you will steer clear of the mediocrity and conformism so widespread in our society."--"You Are the Salt of the Earth": Message for World Youth Day, 2002 [7-31-01]

"...it is good to aim high, and not to be content with mediocrity, since we know we can always count on God's help." --Mane Nobiscum Domine [Apostolic Letter], 29:

"Resist the temptation of mediocrity and conformism," --Address to the Members of UNIV 2002, 25 March 2002.

3 comments:

Carmel Cut-throat said...

Mediocre of course means to place oneself in the middle. Spiritually, I think it could be used as equivalent to hypocrisy. It also reminds me of the words to the Laodiceans: "because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth."

Anonymous said...

Well Said Carmel; I also thought of this same Old Testament scripture as I read these wonderfully encouraging and spiritually challenging quotes. The blog additionally made me consider the words of St. James in one of his letters, although I cant remember which one specifically; I am terrible at quoting scripture verbatim, one of the things that I hope to get better at through extensive use of this site!:)

Anyway, St. James comes right out with the truth and states that if you show him a faith without works, he will show you a dead faith. I think that this passage is interesting and important to consider for a couple of reasons, but in this case specifically because it calls the faithful of Christ to action. If we do not actively engage each and every day in some aspect of our faith (hopefully reaching the point where one day every waking action is a reflection of that faith), then our faith will inevitably begin to dull and lessen, then ultimately, vanish. One of the ways that we as Christians strengthen our faith, in addition to prayer, study of scripture and frequenting the sacraments; is to recognize and remind ourselves constantly that we are a people set apart, a pilgrim people on a pilgrimage to the Heavenly Jerusalem where our high priest intercedes for us to the Father. But in order to progress further on our pilgrimage it is not enough simply to believe the truth and then stand still at the start of the journey, as if we are on one of those walkways at the airport that will bring us to our destination with no effort on our part. We have to actively make our way towards God, solely by His grace and mercy, seeking to constantly grow in both knowledge and love of God through an active and strong faith that brings forth fruitful works of love towards our fellow man. Seeking and settling for anything less will at best leave us with a “flabby faith.” If we can keep this truth in front of us and respond accordingly, by not only seeking to grow in our faith but also to practice it and surround ourselves with people who do likewise, we can continue to make our way towards Jesus Christ. Paying no attention to the raging waters of the secular world that toss back and forth beneath our feet; threatening to pull us in if we turn our gaze away from Christ for too long.

Trubador said...

I once read a commentary some time back conjecturing that the passage in Revelations to the Laodiceans was a reference to two "towns" in opposite directions from that region: one town in one direction had/has cold running water from the mountains (therefore, being refreshing and quenching thirst), while in the opposite direction was a town that had/has hot springs (therefore, being soothing and healing). Whereas, in Loadicia(?), the only source of water was swampy and stagnant. And that John's comment to the Laodiceans was saying that "your spiritual life is just like your source of water, neither quenching your thirst nor healing your soul."