Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Welcome, Pope Benedetto XVI

I'm pleased! In lieu of my own ramblings, check out the links to the right (Mark Shea, Jimmy Akin, Curt Jester, Catholic News Geek, and Insight Scoop) for some great reading!!!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

The passing of Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II (whom I'm sure will one day soon be referred to as "Pope Saint John Paul the Great") has taken his final earthly breath, and is now firmly embraced by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in heaven.

I was a sophmore in high school when JPII became supreme pontiff, and one year later I had the opportunity to be an usher at his visit to my home town of Philadelphia in 1979. Just this past weekend, while I was back east for a week to visit family for the Easter holy days, I was going through some of my belongs which I had left behind when I moved to California 10 years earlier. I came across the yellow usher hat that I was privileged to have worn during that spiritually exciting visitation of the Holy Father. I almost thought of throwing that hat away. Something (the Holy Spirit?) prompted me to do otherwise. I placed it back inside the plastic container in my parent's garage.

I was also prompted very early this morning (12:30-1:30 AM) to go to my local church for Eucharistic Adoration. I brought the specially-handmade rosary I had given to my Mom when I left for California in '94 (my Dad had given it back to me when she died three years ago), and I prayed two of the four Mysteries for the ailing pontiff: The Luminous Mysteries (in honor of JPII who added these mysteries several years ago), and the Sorrowful Mysteries (in honor of his sharing in the sufferings of Christ in these his final moments).

Words cannot express what I and many, many others are feeling right now. The passing of Johannes Paulus II is a great loss for the Church and for the World, but a great gain for the Heavenly Hosts. The shoes of this fisherman will be difficult to fill, indeed.