Today the Church celebrates a giant of the faith – St. John Paul II. Today I personally celebrate this man who has had such a huge influence on me even though I never met him.
My conversion to the Catholic Faith is in no small part due to to John Paul II. His writings and holiness of life made me proud to enter the Catholic Church. I was proud of him and how he showed the world the beauty of the Catholic faith.
John Paul II’s love for the Virgin Mary has always been a great inspiration to me. Although my devotion to the Mother of God pales in comparison, he helped me to see the necessity of turning towards our Mother that she may show us how to love her Son.
Faced with illness for the greater part of my life, John Paul II was a wonderful example of how to embrace the cross and redemptive suffering. In the midst of such a great pontificate, his last days spoke more to me than any other. How can we forget his embracing the cross with devotion and love on the last Good Friday?
When the time came for me to make my oblation I knew without a doubt that St. John Paul II would be my spiritual guide. His name I would take as I made my oblate promises. I sought not only his prayers and guidance but a small part of his spirit too. St. John Paul II is the epitome of a Benedictine even though he was never one.
Obedience to the will of God lead John Paul II to places he never could have imagined. Stability kept him close to the deposit of faith, his beloved Poland and to the world. Conversatio Morum was his way of life as he strove to live Christ more fully in his state in life.
I am privileged to be called a son of St. Benedict. I am honor to have St. John Paul II pray for me that I might be worthy of such a life.
St. John Paul (the Great), pray for us!