Friday, September 20, 2019

John Paul the Great

John Paul the Great spends some time providing a biography of Pope John Paul II. However, most of the book details the author's spiritual journey. For many immigrants, Catholicism was an "old world" custom that they sought to avoid. Their descendants needed the spiritual confirmation rather than custom to participate in the church. Pope John Paul II was keen to this and was a humble, prayerful figure that traveled the world to help spread the message of peace. This helped open the church up to many that would otherwise have not sought it. Alas, at the time, the church was also suffering from bad behavior from many priests. The Pope's great love may have made it difficult for him to take early decisive action to stop the bad actors. (This was also influenced by his experience losing his family at a young age and enduring the horrors of communism and Nazism.)

There are many scenes of the Pope's humility. When the author, Peggy Noonan, met the Pope helps show his non-judgmental nature. In the same audience as her was a rocker, dressed to the part. Pope John Paul II treated him just as the others, and even signed the music that was presented. In another instance, Pope John Paul II met with his would-be-assassin for an extended time period, and forgave him. the author had a great respect for the pope as a person - and even more for what he enabled her to accomplish in her spiritual life.

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