Saturday, April 02, 2005

"I have looked for you, and now you have come for me..."

Those were the words of the Pope as he lay dying. He was told of the many young people who crowd St. Peter's Square waiting to hear news of him. They are poignant words, spoken by a man who spent most of his life seeking out people to hear the Good News of Christ. Indeed, those words could be applied to John Paul's impending meeting with his Maker - for he has looked for Christ in everyone he met.

It is an interesting juxtaposition, the impending peaceful death of this beloved Pontiff, to the strife which accompanied the death of Terri Schiavo. Yet I do not think it is a coincidence that we would see his passing so soon after hers. After all, he was the most outspoken public figure in defense of the helpless, the marginalized, the abandoned.

The world will feel a sense of loss when this man, one of the greatest of the 20th century, passes away. Prolific writer, poet, playwright, traveller, linguist, philosopher, mystic, sportsman, statesman, he was truly a Renaissance man. Already towards the end of his pontificate he was being called "John Paul the Great", and some believe that he will be canonized someday. It would be a fitting culmination for this holy man, who canonized more saints than any other, to be finally proclaimed one after he attains his well-deserved place in God's presence.