Last weekend found my mother, sister Emily, and me at the video store picking out the week’s rentals. Chic flicks, action videos, and dramas sat beckoning us to choose them. However, one movie had caught my eye the last time I had been at the movie store. It was no romantic comedy or action thriller. Rather, it was a film about a simple saint known the world over.
As I sat watching the film John Paul II, I found myself becoming acutely aware of how much I missed the man behind that name. He was the first Pope I had known, and I knew him for a lengthy time. A simple man with a unique message, he suddenly met world fame like no other pope in history had. And yet, this did not attack his pride. Rather, he used this to spread God’s message even further.
It was from his mouth I first understood the importance of Catholic young people. JP II called out to the young particularly because we have a special mission as new adults in a materialistic and immoral world. Rather than sheltering ourselves from this massive frenzy, we young Catholics should run to seek them. We should pray with them, as John Paul II did with the man who shot him.
It was JP II who started World Youth Day, a time when as many Catholic young people as possible can come together to pray, worship, and learn together. He would speak the most profound words at these functions, illustrating how God’s message is not stopped by the barriers of continents and languages. No, God’s message overcomes all obstacles.
I still meditate on various precepts of the Faith that JP II clarified during his time as Pontiff. His literature on Theology of the Body has made a profound impact and his numerous encyclicals have affected politics to a degree which many still cannot comprehend. Books, poetry, and other works by the man still circulate and touch readers everywhere. The man was amazing.
So, tonight, as I drift off to sleep, I shall pray that John Paul’s message is still propagated world wide. I beseech that all Catholic young people realized the awesome responsibility they have as members of a degenerate society; that we must reach out and bring back the lost sheep. I pray that all who have been touched by John Paull II can give the messages and lessons to those who were not so fortunate to have known him. But, most of all I pray to always strive to put into action the lesson of Love that John Paul II taught through out his life. He truly was the personification of, “Preach the Gospel always, use word when necessary.” JP II, we miss you.