Remembering Pope St. John Paul II

Our Catholic Writers group leader gave us a writing prompt recently, asking us to write something about Pope St. John Paul II. I thought to share it here for this Pentecost Sunday.

I realize that while having many impressions of this saint of our time, I have few specific insights. I was an adult and aware of him during his papacy, but I wasn’t an active Christian or a Catholic, so his persona, the news of his movements and exhortations were all just words from a foreign land for me, surface impressions, rather than deeply felt insights. I could mourn those days when I was apart, mourn the opportunities missed (he visited just a few miles from where I lived at one point), if You hadn’t blessed me so completely in this time.

All things in Your time, Lord, including Your call to me.

My most cherished thought of St. John Paul II is his journey into Poland. Much detail has been written of him and his life, but the most powerful for me has to be the most simple. It’s the peoples’ response to him, to his words of Your Love for them, Holy Lord.

Jesus, You helped Peter to claim his love for You three times in recompense for his thrice denial that awful morning. So too does it seem that Jerusalem’s screams of “Crucify Him! Crucify Him! Crucify Him!,” might be replaced with the cries of thousands of Poland’s children — forgiven, redeemed, beloved —when they cried out in unison, “We want God. We want God. We want God.”

What greater gift, to them and to us, than their voices, heard round the world, “We want God.”

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