September 18, 2003

Karol Wojtyla Minces No Words!

This is from a series of sermons he preached during spiritual retreats in the 1960s. This excerpt was from a talk for male students:
There is a certain tendency to see religion as a women's matter and something rather unsuitable for men. Men always feel more at home in the role of Nicodemus, who was a member of the Sanhendrin who recognized Jesus, but only in secret. We have a tendency toward the Nicodemus type of religious attitude, toward the type of devotion which is characterized maybe only by superficial discretion but very often also by fear of what others might think.

This male Catholicism is not interior or deep enough; the male believer does not have a true interior life. What he maybe thinks of as his own particular religious style - this discretion and distance or detachment from devotional practices and the sacramental life - in effect means that his interior life is defective and lacking depth.

Christ said that we should go out and teach. My dear sons, this does not refer only to bishops and priests, but to all of us. Now, when have you, as grown men, taught somebody? Have you taught any children their catechism? Or started a discussion of some religious topic with a colleague? You may feel that such matters are embarrassing, but here we must make a clear distinction between discretion and cowardice or simple superficiality...

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