Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Jeweler's Shop

My book club just read The Jeweler's Shop, a short play written by Karol Wojtyla, Bishop of Krakow (later to become Pope St. John Paul II). I just finished it, albeit a month late. It's only 75 pages but I think I had a pretty good reason for my delay! :)

It. was. so. good.

JPII has a special place in my heart. So many of his writings have formed me, especially his Theology of the Body and reflections on the meaning of love and what it means to be human. I told Mike it felt like I was reading something written by an old friend. JPII pray for us, I miss you!!!

The play is a reflection on the meaning and existence of love in three different marriages. JPII writes "with insight, and at times with great power, about human love; love that has survived the grave, as in the case of Andrew and Teresa; love that has withered and died, as in the case of Stefan and Anna; love budding out of complexes, doubts, and uncertainties as in the case of Christopher and Monica. There are no easy solutions, there is no happy ending. But there is hope, if only we can reach out of ourselves, see the true face of the other person, and hear the signals of a Love that transcends us" (from the introduction).

A few lines were nuggets that I want to preserve for my own record. Hope you enjoy them too!

"Love is not an adventure. It has the taste of the whole man. It has his weight. And the weight of his whole fate. It cannot be a single moment. Man's eternity passes through it. That is why it is to be found in the dimensions of God, because only He is eternity." - Adam, page 43

"In the Bridegroom's face each of us finds a similarity to the faces of those with whom love has entangled us on this side of life, of existence. They are all in him." - Adam, page 49

"Love is a constant challenge, thrown to us by God, thrown, I think, so that we should challenge fate." - Christopher, page 61

"Sometimes human existence seems too short for love. At other times it is however, the other way around: human love seems too short in relation to existence - or rather, too trivial. At any rate, every person has at his disposal an existence and a Love. The problem is: How to build a sensible structure from it? But this structure must never be inward-looking. It must be open in such a way that on the one hand it embraces other people, while on the other, it always reflects the absolute Existence and Love; it must always, in some way, reflect them." - Adam, page 73