Friday, April 01, 2005

Farewell Papa

As i write this we are awaiting news on the impending passing of the Pope.
What an impact he has had on the world while he was passing through.
For me personally it has had some significance.
I was a recently divorced Catholic when he was elected.The first divorce in my family of practicing and non-practicing Catholics.
My father converted when he was marrying my mother. She couln't have been more Catholic. Had she been alive I don't know that I could have gone through with the divorce.
Its odd to think she never knew this Pope. She would have admired him and gotten a real kick out of him.
In many ways he was unconventional.
He wasn't from the Italian hierachy of the church which had people take notice. He was young by Pope standards. He was athletic, He was outspoken. He was unconventional in some ways yet hard lined in others.
But, the world never doubted his convictions.
At that time because of life events I chose to become a non-practicing Catholic. What that means is I couldn't agree in some of the teachings of the faith yet raised as I was enough of the " Mother " church was in me that has remained there throughout all these years.
I've had many, many Catholic friends try to get me back into the faith over the years. What they failed to get was I had the faith hust not the religion.
I like to say I am spiritual but not religious.
The principles of Jesus' life are the rules I try to live by not the dogma of the religion.
In his capacity this Pope opened up an awareness into the human spirit that I think has gone unriveled. There are a few who have come close in their own way. Nelson Mandella, Bishopt Tutu and even Mother Teresa but none have had the capacity to affect the change as this Pope has.
He belonged to the people second after belonging to his faith.
There is a legacy that he leaves that I hope stays on in our hearts.
That legacy would be that one person can make a difference. A poor young boy in Poland who went through much hardship rose above it all and became the leader of the Catholic faith. In that capacity he was able to affect lives and bring change to nations through individual people one at a time.
I heard he would gather people around him at mealtimes to discuss the events of the times and glean all viewpoints. Yet, if he still opposed your viewpoint you knew it but still felt his capacity for compassion and understanding.
I can only imagine President Bush being scolded by this elder grandfatherly statesman for rushing into war with Iraq.
I wonder if he felt like a whipped puppy with his tail between his legs?
However, I'm sure President Bush was left to walk away with his dignity intact.
There will be books printed in years to come about this man yet I doubt any wiould reveal a character flaw or skeletons we otherwise would be surprised about from this man.
Right now, along with all the Catholics in the world I am praying, " Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with you. Bleesed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen

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