I am an 18-year-old devout Catholic, and an adorer of His Holiness. I felt compelled to write this short and quick note to tell you how thoroughly I enjoyed “The Pope at 83: One Day the E-Mail Will Be Right” (Opinion & Commentary, May 18-24).
Austin Ruse's account of the “end times” for John Paul the Great is so clear and concise it's frightening. I have long wondered and dreamed about what the time will be like.
In the past few years I have visited Rome four times, and I plan to return in September. I am always terrified, and dare I say excited, of the possibility of his death while I'm in the Holy City. But were I to be in the States, I imagine the reaction to be on level with the accounts I hear of the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy. I can see myself driving and hearing the news, and just having to pull over. Or being in class and having to leave.
I pray that day will not come for many long years for our Holy Father, but, when the day comes, I know that St. Peter will be ready and waiting — and he and JP2 will meet with open arms.
BRANDON M. BELINSKY
My husband left your commentary page open on the kitchen table and left a note — “Read this” [referring to Austin Ruse's tribute to Pope John Paul II on his 83rd birthday]. While enjoying my morning coffee, I read the words and the tears flowed.
The death of our Holy Father has been anticipated by many. Our own Milwaukee Journal has predicted his imminent death numerous times. When they report on his worldwide travels, they [never fail to] mention his “frail” health or how he slurs his speech. They miss the point that his “slurred” words fall on thousands and thousands of young people eager to be with him and hear his eternal message of hope.
We love our Holy Father because he is so good, so holy, so wise. He tells us not to be afraid and points to the way of Christ as the way to happiness. He writes eloquently and profusely about the things that matter to us common folk — marriage, family, virtue, priesthood, the sacraments, the Eucharist, consecrated life, the rosary.
Oh, how I love him and will miss him; there cannot be another like him in my lifetime. However, knowing that he will be met “by Jesus…[and he] will take him in his arms and love him like he loved the Apostle John,” I pray that day comes soon for my dear father, Pope John Paul the Great! Thank you for your beautiful words.
Kansas City, Missouri
I just read “The Pope at 83: One Day the E-Mail Will Be Right.” I'm not good enough with words to express what I thought about your beautiful words. I wanted to cry. I wanted to shout Alleluia! My heart beat faster. I wondered if it was just me, so I asked my wife to read the article without comment from me. She said it gave her goose bumps.
This is truly inspired writing. May God continue to bless you.
San Pablo, California
Thank you so much for your ringing endorsement of Pope John Paul II. Having read several criticisms of him recently in other publications, I was getting a bit discouraged. Your editorial (The Faded Pope? June 1-6) really lifted my spirits and my confidence in the Church. So thank you again.
via e -mail