A day of prayer, grief and hope

It has been a long, emotional and ultimately exhausting day as I've followed nearly minute by minute the news of Pope John Paul II's imminent death.

Earlier today at lunchtime I was moved to tears as I attended a mass at the cathedral in downtown Kansas City. It was a strange experience, as the presiding priest informed us after mass that the pope had died. I traveled back to work under this impression, where I subsequently found out that the Vatican had denied the report of his death. As I left the cathedral, I was interviewed by channel 9 news. It was all quite surreal. When the mass ended, I sank into a pew and wept along with others in the chapel. It was a feeling of profound sadness, yet also joy as I celebrated the end of the pope's suffering. As it was, it was all a bit premature. Although I would have appreciated the poetry of being at mass when the pope died, it was not to be. I'm still glad I attended. I prayed for the pope's spirit during his suffering and for the entire world as it watches the earthly demise of this great man.

I don't have the eloquence to explain what the pope means to me. Simply put, I love him. He has undoubtedly been the most significant person along my journey of faith. For myself, his influence has not been about his doctrine or his worldly accomplishments, but about his spirit and the manner in which he has lived his often painful life. I am certain to think, and possibly write, more in the coming weeks about the pope, his life and his death. For the time being, I continue to pray and ultimately look forward to praying with him as he resides in heavenly glory.

Comments

Sean said…
a touching eulogy, Eric.

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