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athgarvan

LETTER-WRITING AS A MINISTRY

I'm sure all have read in the media recently about the "love" correspondence between Pope Paul II and a married Polish lady friend of his, Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka, over many, many, years. Anna-Teresa was a Polish-born philosopher and was Wojtyla’s intellectual equal, recognised internationally for her work on Edmund Husserl. She described the pope as an incomparable philosophical partner.

In actual fact there was nothing much secret about the friendship. But why spoil a good story? A nod is as good as a wink! I'm sure there was a great depth to the friendship between the two, but why consider that as a sign of anything unseemly. John Paul seems to have had a phenomenal capacity for friendship, something which our age longs for but often finds difficult.

He was a man of huge personal warmth. He is often seen in the company of women. This is a formal one of him with Mary Robinson our former President. He corresponded for decades with hundreds of people and had many friendships with women.

Some years ago I wrote here about an aunt of mine who was for years Rev. Mother of an enclosed convent of Poor Clares in Cork. She accepted communication by letter as one of her principal ministries as a religious. She must have written thousands of caring and loving letters to people, especially during WWII.

In a comment to an article by me some years ago my LJ friend, curiouswombat, referred me to a book called Galileo's Daughter: A Dream, A Drama of Science, Faith and Love, by Dava Sobel, which presented 120 letters written to Galileo by his daughter who was a Poor Clare nun herself! Maybe she wrote to other famous men as well!

Maybe I should have taken up a ministry of letter-writing myself when I retired!

Comments

I hate it when people think any relationship between a man and a woman has to be 'love' or 'sex'. I've had many good male friends throughout my life, without there being any hanky panky. Yes, it IS possible!
I feel the same.
Hear hear! I've just finished reading a book of T E Lawrence's letters and he had intense friendships by letter with various women. Friendships only, given that he appears to have been asexual.
It is sad when people assume that all love has to be sexual.Human beings have a great range of emotion. Maybe we need more words for love like the ancient Greeks had?
*nods* I'm a governor at a Church of England school - our three core values are love, hope and forgiveness. Trying to get the children to understand the various ways that 'love' plays out in life is a challenge.
How true.
evidently your mission is Live Journal : )
It's easier any way. Wider but how effective is another matter.
Letter writing as a ministery is a wonderful concept x

Edited at 2016-02-23 11:32 (UTC)