Sunday, April 03, 2005

Amy Welborn has a very nice post on how quickly time passed under John Paul II, and how his aging was yet another example to us:
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 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?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

At my paper, I put together several pages of matter on the pope's passing, his history, his legacy, what happens next, etc. Particularly striking were the photos, and I believed we all could identify somehow with these things. There was John Paul II giving his very first blessing, his robust youth fairly radiating through bulky vestments. There he was, speaking to the man who shot him as if to an old friend, looking little the worse for the experience. There he was working the crowd in Aurora, Colo., reaching as far as he could to touch as many as he could. And there he was, stooped by age and stiffened by Parkinson's - the same disease my father suffered - looking at a toddler held before him, and on his face that same, wry smile that let us all in on his humor and grace - the same smile as in the first photos taken of him after his election. I am a Baptist, of the sect sometimes regarded as the natural enemy of Catholicism. But this was a good man and a servant leader in the name of God.