Saturday, April 02, 2005
JP2! We Love You!
January 1995. It was this year that His Holiness, Pope John II came to Manila to participate in the World Youth Day. It was a very memorable time for me. Not only did I get the chance to be a volunteer (the handicapped delegates were entrusted to our care), but it was a chance to get as close as I can to the most charismatic person that I have ever known.
January 1995 was also a traumatic time for me. That's why I only remember bits and pieces of the event. It was during these World Youth Day celebrations wherein my first boyfriend and I broke up. Talk about selective amnesia.
Anyway, I've been closely monitoring CNN (cnn.com and cable tv) regarding news about the Pope's health. JP2 (as we fondly called him during his visit in Manila) has been stricken with Parkinson's and it's taking its toll on his frail body. Just seeing him bent and shaking from the disease makes me break out in tears. How can somebody who is so full of joy and love end up in such a state? Nevertheless, even in his condition, he still emits the old peace and serenity that influenced people around the world.
Last Thursday, Vatican came out with a press release that the Pope's health is deterioriating with the onset of a urinary track infection and high fever. It's already Saturday and the Vatican is due to come out with a briefing in half an hour. I can't help but feel anxious with what they will report.
Because of this, I don't know how to word my prayers. Part of me wants the Pope live so he could spread the miracle of the Lord's faith to more people. But I don't know if he is strong or even young enough to recover from such an ailment. In His age, he deserves to rest and prepare himself for his meeting with our God.
I remembered reading a news article wherein he was a subject of a failed assasination attempt in the 1980's. After recovering from the bullet wound, he visited his would-be assasin in jail and forgave him. I cried after reading that article. I was so touched because he exemplified Jesus' commandment, "Love one another as I have loved you." JP2 loved his would-be killer and he loved him enough to forgive him. That shows character. That is what real love is all about.
I haven't personally met this man. However, I have known him through my whole conscious life, as the successor of St. Peter. His name is uttered in masses and he usually makes news with his strong statements and influential missives. His goodness, peace and obvious love for God and His people inspires me to be a better Christian.
Death is imminent for this once-energetic person. I wish I could stand by his bedside and personally wish him farewell and thank him for touching my life the way he has, or at least be one of the hundreds of people at St. Peter's Square. But all I can do is stay here, pray and pay homage to the person who is loved by so many, and no doubt, is well favored by our Lord God.
JP2, we love you. May you peacefully go and meet our God. No doubt, He Himself is waiting there by Heaven's gates, ready to welcome you Home.
Thanks to popejohnpaul.com for the pictures.