This week has been one of much news. For many days the news media has been mentioning the imminent death of John Paul II. While I see many of his pronouncements as detrimental to the very causes he espouses, he has been a strong and consistent voice for the Catholic Church during the past twenty-six years. So at 9:37 Italian time and 2:37 Eastern Standard Time, the pontiff passed and I pray that he meets with God.
Moments like these are the ones when I wish I had been able to retain some of my earlier blind faith. It seems that faith can provide people with comfort when they can not control much of their lives. In the end, how much more power do I really have? Am I better for my acquired education? I know the answer is "yes" but some how it feels like a "no." Perhaps this is because much of what I 'd hoped to accomlish in my life is not yet accomplished. However, I think the process of my life has taught and continues to teach me to continue even when I am uncertain of the outcomes of my actions. Listening to the news reporters talk about how John Paul would not contenence fear reminds me that he learned as I am learning that fear keeps us from doing whatever it is that God wants for our lives.
Because we are all so immersed in our own lives, I hadn't noticed in recent pictures of the pope just how frail he'd become. I remembered the young pope he started out as and how strong, attractive and personable he was. Then as the reporters catalogued all his ailments I can understand the reason they equated his suffering as a model for us to follow. I imagine he thought that he could endure suffering as Christ endured suffering. In fact, his suffering seems to have begun at an early age with the loss of the people he loved -- parents and siblings --by the age of 20. However the adage "if God gives you lemons, make lemonade" seems to have been something he understood. One of the reporters mentioned a John of the Cross who had written about the need to go through dark night in order to understand an appreciate the light at the end of the long dark night. The dark night of the soul is how the reporters mentioned it.
Even Cuba's Castro allowed coverage of Pope John Paul II's passing:
More later as I can't get the kinks out of this message.