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Veritatis Splendor

"Keep your eyes fixed upon Jesus, who inspires and perfects our faith" --Hebrews 12:2


Pope Benedict XVI before our Lord

And only where God is seen does life truly begin. Only when we meet the living God in Christ do we know what life is. We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution.
Each of us is the result of a thought of God.
Each of us is willed,
each of us is loved,
each of us is necessary.
There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him.
~Pope Benedict XVI, Homily April 24th, 2005



Sunday, April 03, 2005

John Paul the Great, rest in God's peace



At 9:37 pm (Rome time) on April 2, 2005, on the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday, on the First Saturday of the month, the day of our Lady, our Holy Father, our Papa, John Paul II was "welcomed by the angels" into God's glory. We were prepared, and yet we were not. I was not.

He was the only Holy Father I have ever known, I was born in 1981, which firmly places me in the "JP II Generation." All my life, he was there. Whether I wanted to be Catholic, or wanted to just forget my baptism, he was there. I knew there were other popes before him, of course, but they just seemed like history. This pope was not history, he was my pope.

On Friday, as reports came from Rome that death was "a matter of hours," all I could think of was how fitting God's Providence is. First Friday, the day of penance and sorrow, combined with the glorious solemnity of the Octave of Easter. What a splendid dichotomy, what joyful sadness! What a truly Catholic moment in time.

On Saturday evening here at the Cathedral in St. Paul, our Archbishop Harry Flynn celebrated Mass for our Holy Father, the Mass for Divine Mercy Sunday. As I knelt there before Mass, I gazed up at our sanctuary and noticed the beautiful convergence of mourning and joy. All around were the beauty of the Easter flowers, looking even better than they did on Easter Sunday, in full bloom, and yet there behind them, hung behind the crucifix, was the long black veil of the mourning Church. Sorrow and joy, together. And I began to cry, tears of sorrow and of joy.

Again, during the Mass itself, when the bishops and priests got to the part of the Eucharistic Prayer, where normally the name of the pope is prayed, there was an uncomfortable pause and then the naming of our bishops instead. What sorrow, and yet what a joyful reminder of where he truly is, that our Papa has not left us but is now present to all of us.

I continue to pray for our Holy Father, John Paul the Great, while also being firmly confident that I can also pray for his intercession, as I, and countless others, strongly feel that he is already safely in the arms of Mary at the foot of the throne of grace.

Giovanni Paolo II, Karol Wojtyla, ora pro nobis

2 Comments:

Blogger Ben said...

Hey, I just noticed that you are attending St. Thomas University and studiying Catholic Studies & Philosophy. I'm going to be visiting the seminary there from Tuesday to Friday this week. I was wondered if there was a blogger from there, cool.

By the way, nice little piece you wrote on the passing of the Pope. It is so difficult to put into words the gratitude I have for the man, truly John Paul the Great.

Giovanni Paolo!!!

April 03, 2005 11:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your beautiful post about our beloved Slavic pope. Over the last few days, like you I have cried tears of both sorrow and joy. I, too, loved this man.

I just surfed onto your blog today via a link from Jeff Miller's blog. I am a St. Thomas alumnus, although it has been nearly 20 years since I have set foot on campus. It was a young CST philosophy professor, Dr. Hayden, who first introduced me to John Paul II's philosophical writings when I was a sophomore. They burned into my heart like nothing I have read before or since. Had I not had the good forutune to sign up for that course, it is unlikely I would ever have found my way to his extraordinary writings which have continue to sustain me unlike any other.

Thank you God for the gift of John Paul II.

April 06, 2005 4:33 PM  

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