Five of the members of the MGs hit the streets last month to film certain clips that would illustrate JPII’s teaching on human dignity. In true JPII form, they put on their acting roles and dressed accordingly. The goth-punk-emo-teen, person who was indigent, the rich yuppie lawyer and a bimbo, brought to life what it meant to have dignity and respond appropriately. The footage was then edited and used in a presentation given to the 13 candidates as part of the formation they are receiving with the MGs. The acting is not just a great experience for the candidates, it is a great aid to helping members of the community learn. St. Pope John Paul II emphasized that theoria must always be accompanied by praxis- it is not enough to know truth, the subject must integrate what is learned, must build his interior life based on that truth (c.f. JPII, Sources of Renewal, part 3).
After giving a series of talks at the Disciples of Jesus Summer School from 5-9 January 2015 on ‘Love and Responsibility’ Clare Pike remarked, “They were an amazing group of young people. You can’t put a price on that moment when the truth sinks in. They suddenly realize how a distorted vision of the human person and love can lead to so much heartache, and they become excited about how this teaching can transform hearts and indeed the whole world.” Students attended 6 lectures and received an overview of the newest English translation of JPII’s book which was first published before its time in 1960. After understanding the main concepts in the work, the students began to apply them to specific situations, e.g. one male student practiced how he would approach an immodestly dressed female with another student, and some of the students brought the differences between the utilitarian and personalistic attitude to life in a drama.
Feedback from the students:
“My experience of the lecture series on the book of Love and Responsibility by JP2 is one of profound understanding. It didn’t matter who you were or what walk of life or background you come from. It was relational to everyone. It spoke an undeniable truth that we have all experienced. Revealing through reason and logic of Who the human person is! What the human person is made for! and How are we going to get there! It highlights the immense value and dignity of every person and how to grow in all our relationships and interactions. It focuses on us as individuals maturing, bettering and learning more about ourselves and explains on personal levels why we go through and experience the things we go through. I found it very practical and straight forward yet still sensitive in true JP2 form. It was wonderful and enjoyable, bringing to light how important it is for everybody to hear and put into practice this message of Love and Responsibility” Tim, 23
“Love and Responsibility gave me the tools to be able to analyse past experiences of love and recognise them as true or not. With this I’m able to better protect myself from falling into societies norm for relationships and set my standards higher both for myself and for my future spouse. The series certainly touched more than a few raw nerves for me and challenged a lot of my thoughts and actions which was what I needed. I feel like I can adapt some of the teachings to pass on through role modelling and words of encouragement in my teaching, hopefully influencing the actions of some children and even parents” Natasha, 24
“Each and every person has an immeasurable worth, and it is so important for this worth to be recognised, respected and treasured by self and others. This course has given me a more in-depth understanding of this concept and taught me some practical ways in which we can use this knowledge in the formation of solid relationships” Vanessa, 23
“Forget every self help book or guru you have ever heard about. JP2 with his book Love & Responsibility provides us all with a very important framework in how we approach others and form relationships with them. Bucking the trend of Western society where we just seek to satisfy our own selfish desires, this approach presents us with the notion that we need to respect and appreciate, respect and value the dignity of the entire person. Thus our relationships will be much more meaningful and bring us closer to God. Thank you Clare Pike for presenting us with an easy to understand, interactive and authentic way to build positive relationships with lots of great examples and testimonies that were encouraged and respected for their honesty” Richard, 35
“I absolutely love learning about JP2’s vision for humanity. It is so important to keep revisiting the truth of the profound dignity of every human person! I especially loved journeying together with Sr Clare and the other young adult participants through the teachings and brainstorming ways we could support and encourage each other in the pursuit of chastity and self mastery” Kate, 22