Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Should John Paul II retire/resign?

I am greatly inspired by the pope's capacity to give witness to his physical suffering in a attractive and powerful Christian manner, especially in these last weeks. As usual, another health crisis gets him and a possible resignation lots of coverage. I suspect that he has made some plan in case he became mentally incapacitated and could not know what is happening before him. But short of that, I am hoping and praying that he lives out his ministry to its final moment. Human life is so cheap, expendable and even now commercial that his witness is all the more required now. Of course, we all would like to retire - some do so at a very early age. But this ministry of such great significance in the past 100 years is destined to be an eternal sign of the enduring power of committments lived, promises renewed and kept, and to the everlasting faithfulness of God which John Paul has always so vividly trusted and depended on. Even in the harshest days of Communism, he always showed a fierce inner serenity based on his deepest conviction that it would fall of its own tragic errors. I remember him speaking to reporters on a plane to Africa shortly after the Fall of the Berlin Wall when he directed the world's attention to the poverty and disease of Africa without any slight triumphalism over the outcome in Central and Eastern Europe. And to the very end, and into eternal blessing.