Letters From a Young Catholic

My reflections as a Catholic young adult passionate about the Faith, seeking to grow in knowledge and understanding of God and discerning the will of the Lord in my life.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Missing Pope John Paul II

I really miss him. That may sound juvenile, but it's true. I was reading a book of his poetry the other day and as I was reading it I was reminded of what an amazing person he is. I know that I've only scratched the surface, yet as I begin reading more and more of his texts, such as Love and Responsibility, The Theology of the Body, and many of his encyclicals I feel as if I'm getting to know him better in his death than in his life. I am confident though that our beloved John Paul II is guiding me in my readings.

He means so much to me as a "JPII'er." He's the only Pope I've ever known until a couple of months ago, and what a witness to the role of the papacy and magisterium he has been for me.

I went to World Youth Day for the first time this year. At first I was skeptical of the whole event, but falling to my knees in adoration with 800 000 other people of God convinced me that the event was valid. Only God can bring one million people together to adore Him. What a legacy Pope John Paul II has left us in World Youth Day. It's not just a legacy of celebration, but also a legacy of expectation.

He expects the youth of the world to strive for a better world, in which the dignity of life is protected and its sanctity upheld. He expects us to live in the life of the Spirit and in accordance with the teachings of the Church. I think the problem with many young adults in our society is that no one has given them appropriate expectations to live up to. John Paul II has called us on a very specific mission, the renewal of the face of the Earth through the work of God.

Thankfully, it's not just his legacy that lives on, but rather he is still alive and well in the Church. Thanks be to God for the universal Church!

Thanksgiving and praise be to God also for providing us with Pope Benedict XVI. He too bears the serenity of the Holy Spirit's precense. One need only look into his eyes, as I did at World Youth Day, and all doubts with regards to the Holy Spirit's presence and guidance in the papacy will vanish.