Sunday, April 27, 2014

Remembering John Paul II on the occasion of his beatification

I really couldn't think of what to write for the occasion of seeing public acknowledgment of something I already know, that Pope John Paul II is a saint. Of course, I'm not the only one. Public acclamation of him as "the Great" began at his funeral. I was interested to read in one of Mike Aquilina's books recently that the people proclaim someone as "the Great." The Church later makes it official.

I couldn't think of anything better than this tribute which originated with my thoughts upon John Paul's death and which I have updated very slightly below. Nothing I can say can cover the scope of such a personality and many others in the news and online will doubtless do it better. But this is how I feel and that's often why you come by. So let's look back at the beloved Papa we all were so privileged to know.

At 9:37 p.m. on the evening of April 2, 2005, (a Saturday) Pope John Paul II died.

I will never forget it, not only because I loved him more than I realized until heard that news, but also for the company I was keeping at that moment. Mama T, Smock Mama, Steven Riddle and I were sitting in the Rockfish Grill dawdling over a long, enjoyable lunch. As I wrote the next day...
We were in a restaurant but it was as if we were in a soundproof bubble. Nothing else existed except the four of us and our shared, mingled sadness and joy. Tears flowed and we clasped hands and shared prayer together for our pope and our church. What an odd "coincidence" for us to be together to share that moment ... as if I believed in coincidence. In fact, my husband has said three times that he still can't believe how odd it was that I was with those St. Blog's parishioners at that time (and he doesn't repeat himself like that).
Of course, as much as I loved John Paul II, it must be admitted that no one is perfect. For instance, I can't believe he didn't use a Mac. But we will overlook these little flaws.

Today we are living in an age of instant communications. But do you realize what a unique form of communication prayer is? Prayer enables us to meet God at the most profound level of our being. It connects us directly to God, the living God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in a constant exchange of love.
Pope John Paul II
Celebration with Youth, St. Louis, 1999
The above photo and quote is one of a series that I did during those days of mourning afterward. I like looking through them. They remind me of what a treasure he was for the Church ... and for me.
This was written much later but is my review of Peggy Noonan's book, John Paul the Great: Remembering a Spiritual Father. I highly recommend it and there are several good links in that review as well.

1 comment:

  1. Amen, amen, amen. Benjamin Franklin is said to have made a delightful joke that beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. But much funnier, happier, deeper, and more joyful is the very truth that the Bishops of Rome are proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.