On this day, 4 years ago, pope John Paul the Great passed away. He was a source of inspiration for many to rise up and follow Christ, including for me.
A description of the last moment of the holy father from father Jarek Cielecki, director of the Vatican service news and of the Italian TV catolick Tele Padre Pio, tells us the last moment of life of this great man. “The Holy father died looking at the window, gathered in prayer. As such he was conscious. Just before dying, the Pope raised his right hand in a sign of blessing, as if he was aware of all the people gathered in prayer. Then, as soon as the prayer ended, the Pope did a huge effort, said the word ‘Amen’ and died.”
“Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it. This, as has already been said, is why Christ the Redeemer “fully reveals man to himself”. If we may use the expression, this is the human dimension of the mystery of the Redemption. In this dimension man finds again the greatness, dignity and value that belong to his humanity. In the mystery of the Redemption man becomes newly “expressed” and, in a way, is newly created. He is newly created! “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus”. The man who wishes to understand himself thoroughly-and not just in accordance with immediate, partial, often superficial, and even illusory standards and measures of his being-he must with his unrest, uncertainty and even his weakness and sinfulness, with his life and death, draw near to Christ. He must, so to speak, enter into him with all his own self, he must “appropriate” and assimilate the whole of the reality of the Incarnation and Redemption in order to find himself. If this profound process takes place within him, he then bears fruit not only of adoration of God but also of deep wonder at himself. How precious must man be in the eyes of the Creator, if he “gained so great a Redeemer”, and if God “gave his only Son “in order that man ‘should not perish but have eternal life’.” –From Pope John Paul II’s Encyclical Redemptio Hominis, #10.