the old man that we see

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His Holiness according to richard brookhiser :

"Now John Paul II is falling apart before our eyes. The handsome skier, the tireless pilgrim, has become a wraith, like characters in Endgame, like the inhabitants of a thousand nursing homes. He could shut himself up in Castel Gandolfo or in a hospital, but he doesn’t. What does he mean to say by exhibiting himself to us?

... we wear out, grow weak, whisper, shake. Our lovely rose-tinted flesh rots away, like roses. Everyone knows this, and everyone does not want to know this. So John Paul II is using his star power to remind us. Also to tell us that we are still worthy of respect and love, if only for old times’ sake."

lifted shamelessly from TSO.


This is exactly why I think the pope should never think about stepping down (unless God tells him to, of course). He is a massive sign of contradiction for our times. We are only interested in those who are rich, thin, beautiful and healthy. We like to maintain the illusion that we weill always be that way, even though we know it is not true.

I saw one of LaVonne F's wedding pictures the other day--from 1956. She was absolutely beautiful, and without the eyes of love, you don't see the resemblance between the dewy eyed bride (and her fireman husband) and the person she is today. But LaVonne is just as beautiful today as she was then, just different.

Our precious Papa is bravely being a witness to that "difference." When we went to Rome on pilgrimage, we went to the Vatican photo shop, and I bought a picture of the Pope for my home. I was torn, of course; there are many beautiful ones. (And I adore the pictures of him skiing!) But in the end I picked a close up of our old pope--one where his hearing aid shows and his skin isn't perfect. Because it reminds me: "Be not afraid."



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This page contains a single entry by smockmomma published on March 2, 2005 10:39 PM.

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