10 things about papa
We're about half way through the novena of Masses for the repose of the soul of the Holy Father, John Paul II and I think I've finally come up with some things to say.
I shall attempt to list them, in order of personal importance. Many things are reiterations of what I have read throughout the last week or so.
1. JPII was, in many aspects, a father-figure and very much like a family member. He was always there in my life-time. And, like any good parent, I'd only just begun to fully appreciate and understand all that he did for me in my lifetime. Yes, I said me. The Holy Father accomplished much in his lifetime and touched many millions (perhaps a billion) people. I include myself among those people. I take his passing very personally. I'm sad that he is no longer here in this world for me to continue to learn from him. I'm left with loads of books and letters though. I look forward to being ready to read them all. I find his words soft and reassuring.
2. I was about $2,000 short of actually getting to visit the Vatican. Matt & I debated vacation locations and ultimately had to pass up a tour of Italy because of our budget. If we would have had the money, I'd not be writing this. I might be in line at the Vatican. I'm still trying to wrap my thoughts around what this means for me. Does it mean that it's OK that I wasn't able to make this pilgrimage because I wouldn't have gotten to meet the Pope anyway? Does it mean that I should have tried harder and spent less and been more frugal so that I could have attended his funeral? I feel some amount of guilt for not choosing to go on that tour. (see above reference to family member)
3. Even though I am not in Italy right now, I have experienced something wonderful this week. Yesterday, I took a marvelous roadtrip in beautiful spring sunshine to my alma mater & attended a dinner honoring a wonderful professor. Sister Ann was a biologist and advisor of the Respect Life Club on campus, among many other things. She reminds me of JPII. Perhaps that's a story for another day.
4. I love that John Paul II loved young people, especially teens and young adults. People from about age 12 to age 35 often seem to need the most love... so many people seem to want to brush off the youth with their crazy ideas as unimportant. The Holy Father embraced the youth, called out to us and reminded us that we are the future and we have the ability to shape our lives to love and serve God and to help make the world a better place.
5. John Paul II wrote and spoke out about many many issues. The media keeps referring to his writings and things he said as "his teachings." I wouldn't exactly call his work his "teachings" but more of his "method of teaching". The things JPII has said and written were already and have been for a very very long time a part of Church teaching. He just wanted to help us all to understand.
6. I like the Church's teachings on all of these things that the media seems bothered by. I might not always understand them or agree with them, but I try my best to live with and follow them. I'm glad to have lived my life thus far under a pontif who saw the importance of teaching us about these things.
7. I'm glad that so many of the mainstream media stations are covering the death of the Pope, even if half of what they report is rubish. JPII was not only the leader of the Catholic Church on Earth, but he was also head of the Vatican City which is a country. He's a head of state and as such he deserves at least that much attention on the news. I watched hours of news coverage on the death of Ronald Reagan while on my honeymoon (well, ok, so maybe not hours, but it was on every time we turned on the TV). We can handle this much coverage of the Pope and we can fly flags at half-staff. I'd like to think that our media could afford such coverage and attention when any head of state dies.
8. Amongst all the rubish, I'm excited to see news programs interviewing people who defend the Church's teachings and, as one priest said, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
9. Catholics do not worship the Pope. See 1.
10. I do not believe that the Pope is man-appointed. He is elected by the college of cardinals through prayer and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. God picks, cardinals write.
I apologize for not providing a link to everyone who has inspired me with a thought or who has said something that made me think "hey I agree with that, too". I know that much of what I have written has already been expressed elsewhere. The blog-o-sphere is a buzz with a lot of good thoughts. My inspiration comes from my side-bar.
posted by Amy : 4:37:00 PM