Beloved Holy Father, Blessed John Paul II

Fr Ireneusz Skubis

We turn to You in a special moment when the Church is solemnly honouring You, declaring You 'Blessed,' thus confirming Your perfect life in God and strengthening our faith in the possibility of achieving salvation. You always were our authority. When we read about Your life: childhood, youth, beginnings of priesthood and then shepherding as bishop, we know You always made us admire Your wisdom, love and humility as well as a proper attitude towards various matters, many a time relieving the inflated balloon of human images and opinions by Your humour. You knew where to seek God and You tried to lead others there. That's why there were mountains or canoeing with young people - who became the so-called Environment - places where they managed to get closer to Lord God through contacts with the nature he created, and to enrich one another through faith and knowledge. Your whole life taught us how to pray and trust God. We often saw You praying sincerely and fervently; we saw You praying in the strangest, humanly speaking, places. We knew that Your dedication 'Totus Tuus' was not only external, for us, but also true and complete, embracing hardships and adversities. You understood the latter properly: God's omnipotence was to be revealed in them…
You never despised anyone. I would add more, Your eyes always discerned some concrete faces in crowds and sought those who did not dare approach You. You spoke to social groups but You spoke to each of us. With love and concern, and with heartfelt encouragement: 'Sursum corda!' 'Lift up your hearts! Do not be afraid; you are not alone! You are very important to God! I understand you perfectly well - I experienced similar dilemmas… We can see all these things and today when we listen to Your speeches directed to us and also we can hear when you were approaching the end of your life in great suffering You managed to thank so many individuals, noticing their love and dedication…
I was lucky to have met You personally, to have talked to You about pastoral matters and then saw You in private audiences. I thank You for those meetings. I also thank for all the audiences for our editorial board, which we are proud of and which are unforgettable meetings with Peter and experiences of the universality of the Church, and our pictures with You and the rosaries You gave us are precious relics. We realise these things will never happen to us again.
Therefore, without a scintilla of exaggeration we confess that we love You very much as one of our dearest and closest people. I said: we love You since this love continues, cannot be destroyed by death and time and nobody can forbid it. Moreover, You can see that the whole world loves You, the world that becomes silent every year on 2 April at 9:37 p.m., when people recollect You, evoking their noblest emotions and intentions.
Despite the difference of age and physical condition You were - and will be - a great fried and spiritual guide of young people. Your sincerity and simplicity reached the hearts of those who could notice the lack of authenticity at once. And although You never flattered them; on the contrary, You inspired them to make efforts and actions. You gathered crowds that listened to Your words since they saw Christ in them. This love lasts and is supported by Your experience of God as the fairy 'roll that grows anew.' We thank you, John Paul II, for wonderful young people in the Church.
You prepared yourself to go to the Father's House through all your life. By your example you also prepared many of us. We thank You for your good words directed to the sick and elderly, that You showed us that life was valuable till its end.
I could say more - about the world that watched You attentively, about other religions that thanks to You saw friends in Christians, about peace You tried to make happen in the world and finally, about Poland, confused, restless on various ways, poor and wounded. Holy Father, Your presence and teaching were signposts. And although Your teaching is being implemented differently the world and we all are not the same. I think we are somewhat closer to Lord God, the more that we have You so close to God as our Intercessor. By our public veneration of You we will adore God, listen to him because it was You that showed God to us. Holy Father, Blessed John Paul II, we thank you especially for that.

"Niedziela" 18/2011

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Lidia Dudkiewicz • Translation: Aneta Amrozik • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl