Well, what a week...a real turmoil for me personally. Any week in which I make three posts and then take them down indicates a certain personal instability. I have to say that what I admire most about Pope John Paul is his ability to hold it all together on the human level. I just can't do it, even with so much less to cope with than he had throughout his life. I think that I have mentioned before Fr. Benedict Groeschel's suggestion to ask under which of the transcendentals (the One, the True, the Good, or the Beautiful) you most relate to God. (Awkward sentence) I definitely relate to God most as the One. I simply cannot hold it together apart from God.
Pope John Paul seems to me to be the most humanly integrated of men: holding it together through the loss of his mother when he was a child, his brother as a teenager, his father when he was in college, his nation and education under the Nazis, freedom under the Communists, being shot while pope, his health as an old man, and on and on. None of these things diminished his humanity or his love of God. They rather enhanced them. It looked easy in him, but it was not. It was indeed heroic sanctity. He had possession of himself because he had allowed God to possess him. Somehow this self-possession was tied to God without diminishing his humanity. How brilliant, how prayerful, how aesetic, how gentlemanly, how athletic, how holy, how self-controlled, how loving, how interested, how interesting...was this man. He was a man.
I believe that it was Bl. John Paul who told us that in Jesus, God reveals man to man. Pope John Paul revealed Jesus, the man, to me.