Tuesday, April 05, 2005
"Man always travels along precipices. His truest obligation is to keep his balance."
-Pope John Paul II
Reading a biography about the Pope, I can't help but think how much it would have been interesting to meet him in person, even though I'm not Catholic. A writer, an actor, a scholar, a social activist, and most of all, a man of faith. He was probably the most accessible and open pope in history, visiting Jerusalem and even a mosque, yet he held firmly to unpopular Biblical stances on issues such as abortion and gay rights.
He truly was one of a kind.
What resonated with me the most about him was reading about the personal tragedies and sufferings in his life - the early deaths of his mother, older brother and his father; living in Nazi-occupied Poland; being hit twice(!) by cars as a young man... he was a person intimately and personally aquainted with suffering in every sense of the word.
I respect that a lot about someone. I think only those who suffer/have suffered can truly empathize with those are suffering.
On a happier note, he left quite a large volume of written work, including a memoir describing his entry into the priesthood titled Gift and Mystery. Maybe I'll read it after I get through the other books in my ever expanding "to read" pile.
There was a CoHi meeting recently... I wrote some random thoughts on the Wudan Mountain blog. I'm also hoping to update the CoHi 2005 site soon... but the CoHi blog seems to be adequate for now.
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