Pope John Paul II
News reports have arrived in the last hour or so that Pope John Paul II has been hospitalized.
Whether this is the time at which God calls his servant home or not, I found myself stopping this time upon hearing the news to ponder the enormous contribution he has made to the world and the cause of good over the last few decades, including:
His example of piety and devotion.
The grace and forgiveness he showed after being shot.
His deep and influential writings on major religious, political, and economic issues that have influenced many of us and defied simplistic categorization.
The strength of his leadership in the fight against Soviet communism, especially in his Polish homeland.
His reaching out to people everywhere as he traveled around the world combined with his overt challenges to many societal practices.
The valiant fight against disease that has ravaged his own body in recent times.
I doubt there will be another pope like this one for many, many years and the world is a better place due to his service.
Horrible wrongs have occurred in the American Church in recent years. In contrast to those misdeeds, Pope John Paul II’s life provides all of us with a role model of devotion to God. I believe we would be better off both individually and as a Church in the future if we paid greater attention to the example he set before us.
God bless you, Holy Father.