October 26, 2010

Karol Wojtyla - the Man of Will

"Love and move inwards, discover your will."   Through poetry, John Paul II explores three kinds of men - the emotional, the intellectual and the volitional.   He describes the limitations of emotions and thought when it comes to really living life.  Can the man of emotion, so caught up in the enthusiasm of love, embrace the distance between hearts that must be entered into with reverence?  Can the man who lives out of his head really appreciate the charm, variety and adventure of life?   When it comes to following the Lord, sometimes we think too much.  Sometimes we must act even when we feel nothing.  Against unbridled emotions and cold thought, he holds up the one who lives by making the right choice.  Such a person is free to live by love.  The end of this meditation says a lot about his own character and the secret of his faithfulness to the Lord:

Man of Will

Colourless moment of will yet heavy as piston's drive,
or sharp as a whip,
a moment that, on the whole,
encroaches on nobody --
or only on me.
It doesn't ripen like fruit, out of feeling,
or emerge from thought,
it just shortens the road.
When it comes I must lift it up
and this I do, on the whole.

No place for heart and thought,
only the moment exploding
in me, the cross.

A poem by John Paul II in his Collected Poems translated by Jerzy Peterkiewcz (Random House, 1979, 1982) p. 87.