Tuesday, January 25, 2011

John Paul the Great

They are calling him John Paul the Great, and it is pretty tough to argue. Now, he is one step closer to sainthood.

What a model of holiness this man was. What a reflection of Jesus.

This humble servant of God was the third longest serving Pope in the storied history of the Catholic Church (Saint Peter, Pius IX) which may have been hard to imagine when he followed John Paul I who served a mere 34 days.

What most of us will remember from this giant of a man is his gentle spirit, his undying devotion, his boundless fear and his constant admonition echoing the words of Jesus; "Be not afraid" In the end, we remember the man who emulated his Lord by patient suffering.

What John Paul II personified was a walking, talking refutation of Catholic haters who would paint the Pope as arrogant, sinful and worldly. Billy Graham once called John Paul II the "moralist man on earth" and, if anything, it was an understatement. JP II exemplified everything it is to be a true Christian- goodness, purity, courage, forgiveness and humility. The world became a poorer place when he left us in April of 2005.

We can now rejoice that his cause of sainthood has taken another step. On May 1st (The feast of the Divine Mercy), John Paul II will be beatified by Pope Benedict XVI.

A documented miraculous cure of a French nun stands as Heaven's confirmation that this blessed servant of God stands in the Father's presence serving. We are so happy for you, Pope John Paul the Great and cannot wait to call you saint as you take your place in that great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1).

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