November 2, 2008
ALL SOULS DAY
“He’s risen from the dead”
I was at his tomb recently. You have to keep moving on because the others are approaching. But you can hide behind the rope and stand there as long as you wish. That’s what I did – I stopped at a niche; few people were standing there already. I stood beside a woman and after a moment I realized that she was crying. People were constantly coming, stopping for a moment, making sign of the cross, kneeling, kissing the tile floor, placing rosaries on it. But there were also others, who passed by without taking off hats of their heads, indifferent, without casting even a glance towards the tomb. She was still crying. I didn’t want to ask why. I don’t know if she would be able to answer me.
And it occurred to me that maybe she was crying for she realized how his traces had been trampled over; in Church and in the world.
I went to Rome for a convention titled: “John Paul II and Vatican Council II”. It lasted three days. Extensive papers were presented; theologians and cardinals and high ranking Vatican officials spoke. They tried to bring the person of John Paul II closer, to bring closer his theology, his philosophy. But sometimes it was counterproductive – his traces were being trampled.
I don’t go to the movie theatres where the feature films about our Pope are playing. I don’t watch such movies on TV, either. I am afraid that they will trample my memories of him. I don’t want the words “John Paul II” to evoke in me a figure of an actor pretending to be John Paul II.
And we are - of him. As much of him is genuine within us as much of the truth about him we know. Therefore, let’s listen to the recordings of his speeches. Let’s watch documentaries. Let’s read what he’s written. Let’s take in his personality like the most precious treasure.
Fr. M. M.