It is necessary that, in light of the faith, all rediscover the true meaning of the parish; that is, the place where the very mystery of the Church is present and at work, even if at times it might be scattered over vast territories or almost not to be found in crowded and chaotic modern sections of cities. The parish is not principally a structure, a territory, or a building, but rather “the family of God, a fellowship afire with a unifying spirit.”


In order to overcome conflicts and to ensure that normal tensions do not prove harmful to the unity of the Church, we must all apply ourselves to the Word of God. We must relinquish our own subjective views and seek the truth where it is to be found, namely in the Divine Word itself and in the authentic interpretation of that Word provided by the Church. In this light, listening to one another with respect; refraining from hasty judgments; being patient; the ability to avoid subordinating the faith that unites to the opinions, fashions, and ideological choices that divide: these are all qualities of a dialogue within the Church that must be persevering, open, and sincere.


Have no fear. The outcome of the battle for life is already decided, even though the struggle goes on against great odds and with much suffering. The paradox of the Christian message is this: Christ – the Head – has already conquered sin and death. Christ in his Body – the pilgrim People of God – continually suffers the onslaught of the evil one and all the evil of which sinful humanity is capable.

Continue to “On the Eucharist and the Mass” or see the full list of excerpts.

from Go In Peace, by John Paul II