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.