Common Grounds

The Evangelical Pope | The Fullness of Joy

November 13, 2023

Living Words from John Paul II

Edited by Abraham A. van Kempen


Published Sunday, July 4, 2021

The Evangelical Pope | The Fullness of Joy

Each week we let Saint Pope John Paul II share meaningful signposts to spark socio-economic resolves through justice and righteousness combined with mercy and compassion; in short, love


               16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 


               7 He is before all things, and in him, all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:16-17 New International Version NIV).


In speaking of responsibility before God, we know that it is not just a matter of what is nowadays called ecology. It is not enough to seek the cause of the world’s destruction only in excessive industrialization, uncritical applications in industry and agriculture of scientific and technological advances, or an unbridled pursuit of wealth without concern for the future effects of all these actions. Although it cannot be denied that these actions do cause great harm, it is easy to see that their source is more profound: it lies in man’s very attitude.


               It appears that what is most dangerous for the creation and humankind is a lack of respect for the laws of nature and the disappearance of a sense of the value of life.


The law written by God in nature and capable of being read by reason leads to respect for the Creator’s plan, which is meant to benefit humanity. This law establishes a specific inner order which man discovers and which he must preserve. Any activity in conflict with this order inevitably does damage to all of humanity.


This happens when the sense of the value of life as such, and human life, in particular, disappears. How can nature be effectively defended if justification is claimed for acts which strike at the very heart of creation, which is human life?


               When the good of science or economic interests prevail over the good of the person and ultimately of whole societies, environmental destruction is a sign of absolute contempt for man.


All who have at heart the good of man in this world need to bear constant witness to the fact that “respect for life, and above all for the dignity of the human person, is the ultimate guiding norm for any sound economic, industrial or scientific progress” (Message for the 1990 World Day of Peace, No. 7)


               “… In Your Presence is Fullness of Joy …” (Psalm 16: 11 King James Translation)


Read more: ‘A World More Dignified for All,’ by Abraham A. van Kempen


Excerpted from:


Apostolic Journey To Poland, LITURGY OF THE WORD, HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II, Zamosc, 12 June 1999


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