It is quite startling - shocking, even, to see those videos of John Paul II in those early days. What a difference 26 years made, and either we barely noticed, or we simply forgot. The vigor, the energy, a middle-aged man with almost a bounce in his step at times...in the intensity of recent years, those images have almost been forgotten, as our eyes have been drawn to the difficulties, the dramatically changed visage, the faltering step.
At every point, though, we've understood our response to the changing face and aging body as rooted in the same place that our reaction to the younger, energetic Pope was: what hath the Spirit wrought here? What are we being taught? What does God confront us with here?
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