For me, his first lecture at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family remains unforgettable. In it, he showed us the peculiarities of the Eastern way of thinking compared to the clear and unambiguous syllogisms of Western thinking. The young professor from Krakow offered us the metaphor of the flight of the eagle, which draws concentric circles in the sky as it approaches its prey. These circles allow the eagle to see its prey from new perspectives. Knowledge of life cannot be contained in definitions and concepts that claim to grasp an object, he told us. Rather, it is a matter of personal relationships and communion. Truth is an event that happens and surprises us. It does not repeat itself, but it goes deeper and deeper. It requires us to be willing to go on a constant pilgrimage, to be humble, to search prayerfully, and to be open to live in communion with others.
Very concisely, we would like to indicate two fundamental issues concerning the reasons inspiring the Veritas Amoris Project: the first point concerns the crisis situation in which we find ourselves; the second regards fruitful strategies that we deem necessary in this historical situation.
The present reflection seeks to approach anew the horizon opened by Pope John Paul II’s perspective on the body as “sacrament.” What follows is an attempt to explicate the claim that the essential truth of the body revealed in its givenness is love. That is, the body, in the pope’s evocative words, is “a sign that efficaciously transmits in the visible world the invisible mystery hidden in God from eternity.” The goal is to show just how deeply the body is implicated in the mystery of human identity, action, and the eternal love offered to man by the mystery of God’s assuming of the human nature in the Son.
Granados’ focus upon bodily existence as allowing us to enter “the space of the truth” moves from the body as providing both physical and cognitive space to consideration of Jesus’ flesh as opening the ultimate Temple of God to humans. Clearly the Logos took a body in order to become the true Temple and draw all men inside himself as their true home. We enter Christ through an extension of his glorified body to live in the divinity that is inseparable from Him. His body has provided a new space for us to objectively participate in God through a true union of wills. Truth has led us into authentic union and higher life through love. The body is not an obstacle to the Spirit, but the very means of entering the Spirit in truth and not imagination.
The second thesis of the Veritas Amoris Project seeks to explore how Christ brings with him the fulfilled unity of truth and love. If we believe that “only in the mystery of the incarnate Word does the mystery of man take on light” (Gaudium et Spes 22), this applies as well to the truth of love as a key to understanding human life. What the truth of love is all about, takes on light only if we look at Christ. And, at the same time, the mystery of Christ can best be perceived if we start from the truth of love as the key to understanding man, the world and God. To explore this topic, I will first link Christ to the unity of truth and love (1). I will look then for the appropriate vantage point to perceive this unity in his person and work (2). Finally, I will focus on the Gospel of John to show the different ways in which Christ and the truth of love go together, since John has placed special emphasis on this connection (3).
That love is needed for moral discernment is a central thesis in Livio Melina’s paper. An old Latin proverb says, Ubi amor, ibi oculus – where love is, there is the eye. According to St. Thomas, the rightness of judgment can come to be in two ways: in one way, following the complete use of reason, in another way, because of a certain kinship (connaturalitas) with what one must judge at present. And this connaturality or kinship itself comes to be through love.
On October 9, Prof. Stanisław Grygiel received in Warsaw the "Totus Tuus" award for promoting the teaching of St. John Paul II. This is the most important Catholic award in Poland, also called the Catholic Nobel Prize. It is awarded by the Foundation "Works for the New Millennium" of the Polish Episcopal Conference. On this occasion he delivered the speech reproduced here.