His Holiness ends his pontificate as he began it

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it seems to me that His Holiness is ending his pontificate exactly as he began it, with the message "be not afraid." the first three words our precious Holy Father used to usher in his papacy were the words "be not afraid," echoing the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ, "be not afraid, only believe." (st. mark 5:36)
john paul II has always stood as a beacon of light and hope, encouraging us to "be not afraid." now, as he passes from this life to the next, as he turns to Our Savior through Our Mother, his message to us is still one of light and hope. he reminds us that death is not something for believers to fear. how beautiful, how fitting, that our Holy Father should remind us until the very end that we should "be not afraid."

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His Holiness ends his pontificate as he began it.

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A friend found this in an old book of poetry.

Some of the thoughts are very appropriate in meditating on Pope John Paul II, as he reaches the end of life.



by A. D. Hope

To every season its proper act of joy,

To every age its natural mode of grace,

Each vision its hour, each talent we employ
    Its destined time and place.

I was at Amherst when this great pope died;
    The northern year was wearing towards the cold;

The ancient trees were in their autumn pride
    Of russet, flame and gold.

Amherst in Massachusetts in the Fall:

I ranged the college campus to admire

Maple and beech, poplar and ash in all

Their panoply of fire.

Something that since a child I longed to see,
    This miracle of the other hemisphere:

Whole forests in their annual ecstasy

Waked by the dying year.

Not budding Spring, not Summer's green parade
    Clothed in such glory these resplendent trees;
The lilies of the field were not arrayed
In riches such as these.

Nature evolves their colours as a call,

A lure which serves to fertilize the seed;

How strange then that the splendour of the Fall
Should serve no natural need

And, having no end in nature, yet can yield
    Such exquisite natural pleasures to the eye!

Who could have guessed in summer's green concealed
The leaf's resolve to die?

Yet from the first spring shoots

through all the year,
Masked in the chlorophyll's intenser green,
    The feast of crimson was already there,

These yellows blazed unseen.

Now in the bright October sun the clear

Translucent colours trembled overhead
And as I walked, a voice I chanced to hear
    Announced: The Pope is dead!

A human voice, yet there the place became Bethel:
each bough with pentecost was crowned;
The great trunks rapt in unconsuming flame
Stood as on holy ground.

I thought of this old man whose life was past,
Who in himself and his great office stood
    Against the secular tempest as a vast

Oak spans the underwood;

Who in this age of Armageddon found

A voice that caused all men to hear it plain,
The blood of Abel crying from the ground
To stay the hand of Cain;

Who found from that great task small time to spare:

- For him and for mankind the hour was late -
So much to snatch, to save, so much to bear
  That Mary's part must wait,

Until in his last years the change began:

A strange illumination of the heart,

Voices and visions such as mark the man

Chosen and set apart.

His death, they said, was slow, grotesque

and hard,
Yet in that gross decay, until the end

Untroubled in his joy he saw the Word

made spirit and ascend.

Those glorious woods and that triumphant death
Prompted me there to join their mysteries:
    This Brother Albert, this great oak of faith,
Those fire-enchanted trees.

Seven years have passed, and still,

at times, I ask
Whether in man, as in those plants, may be
    A splendour, which his human virtues mask,
    Not given to us to see?

If to some lives at least comes a stage

When, all the active man now left behind,
They enter on the treasure of old age,

This autumn of the mind.

Then, while the heart stands still, beyond desire
The dying animal knows a strange serene:
Emerging in its ecstasy of fire

The burning soul is seen.

Who sees it?

Since old age appears to men
Senility, decrepitude, disease,

What Spirit walks among us, past our ken,
As we among the trees,

Whose unknown nature, blessed with keener sense
Catches its breath in wonder at the sight
And feels its being flood with that immense
Epiphany of light?


I just heard officially that he has died. May his sould and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of GOd, rest in peace.

What a beautiful illustration and marvelous thoughts. In the midst of death, we are in life.

Be not afraid... i love how our Pope always called us to truly live out that statement. It brings me such comfort during this time.



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This page contains a single entry by smockmomma published on April 1, 2005 10:29 PM.

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