About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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“In 1854 John Mason Neale co-founded an order of women dedicated to nursing the sick. Many Anglicans in his day, however, were very suspicious of anything suggestive of Roman Catholicism. Only nine years earlier, John Henry Newman had encouraged Catholic practices in Anglican churches and had ended up becoming a Roman Catholic. This encouraged the suspicion that anyone such as Neale was an agent of the Vatican, assigned to destroy Anglicanism by subverting it from within. Once, Neale was attacked and mauled at a funeral of one of the Sisters. From time to time unruly crowds threatened to stone him or to burn his house.”
— Unknown Source

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Poetry of John Paul II
published 4 April 2011 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

Even though I am not very good at understanding any poetry more complex than, say, Tagore’s, when a book came out of John Paul II’s poetry shortly after his ascent to the Papacy, I grabbed it. Well, truth to tell, he was a rather avant garde poet, not the kind easily understood by anyone, however, one line reached me permanently.

As you probably know, he did many different things from playwright, actor, rock quarry work, philosopher, and finally Bishop and then Pope. This poem comes from balancing rocks during that quarry time:

“When I have borne an equal weight of horror and hope,
no one will accuse me of simplicity.”

I take it that he means by simplicity here, naivete. And probably a young man of his consummate purity of soul and body would have been considered to be a naive simpleton.

In my own experience as a philosophy professor and a speaker, I did find that when the horrible tragedies of life came upon me, as well as horror at things I was capable of, that my words took on a different tone – no longer beautiful sayings of Catholic truth, but hard won survival witnesses of hope coming only from grace.

As we come closer to John Paul II’s canonization, let us never forget the price he paid for his truths.

Dr. Ronda has many free e-books and audios on her website rondachervin.com. If you go to her website and read or listen and then want to correspond with her she will be available. Her schedule does not permit, however, responding to comments on the Blog, though she enjoys reading them. Dr. Ronda’s newest project is spiritualityrunningtogod.com.