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April 3, 2005

Echoes of Immortality

How much influence John Paul II had on my sense of the world is, I regret, absolutely impossible for me to say. Just as Ronald Reagan was the personified Mr. President for people of my age, Karol Wojtyla defined the character of The Pope. For me, however, the difference is that political conversation was in the air surrounding my family, whereas only the periodic intersection of politics and religion brought the latter within view of my unreligious youth. Indeed, it was only a few years ago that I began thinking of the Pope before Paul Anka and Reggie Jackson among people with whom I share a birthday.

This is all to say that the central emotion evoked by the passing of this man for whom the media has held a deathwatch for as long as I can remember is regret that I wasn't very aware of John Paul II while he walked the Earth. But as in everything, there is hope buried beneath such regrets: so much of Wojtyla's life and works are left for me, along with countless generations, to discover — fresh and alive, an echo, we can hope, of the immortality of which the man himself spoke on the Capitol Mall in Washington, D.C., on October 7, 1979: "Human life is precious because it is the gift of God, a God whose love is infinite; and when God gives life, it is forever."

A precious life to be sure. Pray for us, Karol Wojtyla, John Paul II, Holy Father.

Posted by Justin Katz at April 3, 2005 2:43 PM

Amen to that.

Posted by: lisa at April 6, 2005 5:49 AM