Saturday, April 02, 2005

A Man of the times who remained steadfast in the truth.

Pope John Paul II has now entered the final chapter of his life with grace and dignity. I am humbled, and amazed, and saddened. But most of all, I have a great sense of hope and encouragement.

Pope John Paul II, despite the permissive and secularly-centered culture of the world of the past 27 years, remained steadfast in maintaining the truths and doctrines of the Catholic church. After storm upon storm of criticism heaped upon him from both catholic and non catholics, regarding abortion, euthanasia, marriage of priests, birth control, and gay marriage, the Pope remained unwavering to the Catholic Church and its teachings. After all, ultimate truth is ultimate truth. Truth itself is unwavering. The Pope also taught humility in acknowledging the shortcomings of the Church, specifically regarding the issue of the sexual abuse scandals that have rocked the Church in the past 20 years.

But what gives me hope and encouragement, dear readers, despite his unpopular stances on the above issues, the Pope remained the best-loved and most highly revered public figure on the world scene. I cannot say for sure, but I believe that in today's secular, no-holds barred, anything-goes society, people long for guidance. Like most children instinctively know (although they may express otherwise), a sense of limits and boundaries borne of love helps them to feel secure in their world. A firm, loving parent who sets boundaries is at once loved and respected by the child, despite the child's innate tendency to rebel. The child in his or her heart of hearts knows what the parent says to be true, and internally accepts it. A sense of being loved and cared for also emanates from that structure.

The Pope, dear readers, was that loving, authoritative parent, and provided structure, to which although we often rebelled against, nonetheless provided the same structure and sense of being loved which every human desires and needs.

We have been truly blessed these past 27 years. May God bless us with an equally steadfast successor.