John Paul II. The Pope (and now saint) of our time whose words seemed to flow down through his messages right into our hearts and homes. Known as the Pope of the youth, and Pope of the family, he made everyone feel loved and appreciated by the Catholic Church and is still impacting us today through his inspiring words.
At his canonization, Pope Francis referred to JPII as “the Pope of the family”. While at first, it may sound like he meant family in the nuclear sense, upon closer examination of JPII’s words and wisdom to young Catholics, we can see that he meant family in a much broader, faith based sense.
Regardless of whether or not we have spouses or children of our own, God calls us to participate in the family of our Church – in which we all belong. It is impossible to live our faith alone. Being single doesn’t mean you are not part of a family, but quite the opposite.
JPII was very clear about the fact that as singles, we have a special calling to love the families we were born into and to aid and encourage others who have families of their own. By doing so, we contribute to the culture of life and love.
John Paul II devoted his life to inspiring and encouraging people of the faith and had a special place in his heart for the single people praying and searching for their vocations. He always urged young people to not be so stuck in looking to their future that they forgot to live their present.
Because I could never write words of wisdom as eloquently as he, I’m going to turn this over to one of the greatest saints of all time (in my opinion) and let him speak to you directly through the quotes of gold that he passed on during his time in ministry.
Quotes About Love
1. “What really matters in life is that we are loved by Christ and that we love Him in return. In comparison to the love of Jesus, everything else is secondary. And, without the love of Jesus, everything is useless.”
2. “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.”
3. “There is no place for selfishness and no place for fear! Do not be afraid, then, when love makes demands. Do not be afraid when love requires sacrifice”
4. “You perceive it in the depths of your heart: all that is good on earth, all professional success, even the human love that you dream of, can never fully satisfy your deepest and most intimate desires. Only an encounter with Jesus can give full meaning to your lives.”
5. “A person’s rightful due is to be treated as an object of love, not as an object of use.”
6. “When a young man or woman recognizes that authentic love is a precious treasure, they are also enabled to live their sexuality in accordance with the divine plan, rejecting the false models which are, unfortunately, all too frequently publicized and very widespread.”
7. “Love of Christ does not distract us from interest in others, but rather invites us to responsibility for them, to the exclusion of no one….”
8. “The human body includes right from the beginning…the capacity of expressing love, that love in which the person becomes a gift – and by means of this gift – fulfills the meaning of his being and existence.”
9. “Darkness can only be scattered by light and hatred only conquered by love.”
10. “Do not forget that true love sets no conditions, it does not calculate or complain, but simply loves.”
Quotes on Beauty and Human Dignity
11. “It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your hearts your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle.”
12. “God has assigned as a duty to every man the dignity of every woman.”
13. “An important day in a young person’s life is the day on which he becomes convinced that this is the only Friend who will not disappoint him, on whom he can always count.”
14. “Take away from love the fullness of self-surrender, the completeness of personal commitment, and what remains will be a total denial and negation of it”
15. “Man is called to a fullness of life which far exceeds the dimensions of his earthly existence, because it consists in sharing the very life of God. The loftiness of this supernatural vocation reveals the greatness and the inestimable value of human life even in its temporal phase.”
16. “Women have the right to insist that their dignity be respected. At the same time, they have the duty to work for the promotion of the dignity of all persons, men as well as women.”
Quotes on Faith and Reason
17. “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself.”
18. “When you wonder about the mystery of yourself, look to Christ who gives you the meaning of life. When you wonder what it means to be a mature person, look to Christ who is the fullness of humanity. And when you wonder about your role in the future of the world…look to Christ. Only in Christ will you fulfill your potential…as a citizen of the world community.”
19. “All human activity takes place within a culture and interacts with culture. For an adequate formation of a culture, the involvement of the whole man is required, whereby he exercises his creativity, intelligence, and knowledge of the world and of people. Furthermore, he displays his capacity for self-control, personal sacrifice, solidarity and readiness to promote the common good.”
20. “To men and women there falls the task of exploring truth with their reason, and in this their nobility consists.”
21. “Faced with problems and disappointments, many people will try to escape from their responsibility: escape in selfishness, escape in sexual pleasure, escape in drugs, escape in violence, escape in indifference and cynical attitudes. But today, I propose to you the option of love, which is the opposite of escape.”
22. “God made us for joy. God is joy, and the joy of living reflects the original joy that God felt in creating us.”
Theology of the Body Quotes
23. “Alone man does not completely realize this essence [of being a person]. He realizes it only by existing ‘with someone’ – and even more deeply and completely – by existing ‘for someone’…The communion of persons means existing in a mutual ‘for,’ in a relationship of mutual gift.”
24. “The body, and it alone, is capable of making visible what is invisible: the spiritual and the divine. It was created to transfer into the visible reality of the world the mystery hidden since time immemorial in God [God’s love for man], and thus to be a sign of it.”
25. “Self-control is not needed because the body is evil—the truth is just the opposite. The body should be controlled with honor because it is worthy of honor.”
26. “The body reveals the person. This phrase tells us all there is to know about the body. Science can examine our flesh in minute detail, down to our cells and even our DNA. But no amount of scientific exploration can replace the truth that our bodies reveal us, giving form to our innermost being and unique personality. Our bodies are sacramental—they make the invisible visible.”
27. “Genesis 1 says that man was created in the image of God. In Genesis 2, he becomes the subject of a covenant with God. A person is meant to be a partner of God. He must discern and choose between right and wrong, life and death. Among all living creatures of the visible world, man alone has been chosen for communion with God. Every human person has a unique, exclusive, unrepeatable relationship with God himself.”
28. “Man, whom God created male and female, bears the divine image imprinted on his body ‘from the beginning.’ Man and woman constitute two different ways of the human ‘being a body’ in the unity of that image.”
Quotes of Encouragement
29. “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you. Therefore no harm can befall you, all is very very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
30. “The future starts TODAY, not tomorrow.”
31. “It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be grounded down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.”
32. “Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and Hallelujah is our song.”
33. “No one is without a family in this world: the Church is a home and family for everyone, especially those who ‘labor and are heavy laden”
34. “Do not be afraid. Do not be satisfied with mediocrity. Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”
35. “Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure.”