Monday, April 04, 2005

L'Osservatore Romano's front page on 3 April 2005 - John Paul II Posted by Hello

Photo: © L'Osservatore Romano

As I walked into the office this morning, it started pouring, so much so that I couldn't see anything at all from my office window. It matched my melancholy mood, and indeed, the same mood that fellow Catholics in the office were in.

Surprisingly, I managed to get some work done, at least more than my usual Monday productivity. And good thing too, because I planned to attend the Requiem Mass held at 8 pm tonight. The memorial Mass, originally intended to be a vigil for the Pope's health, was to be held simultaneously across 33 churches in Singapore.

I usually dread going to church because I find it boring, but this time was different. In spite of the reason why we were at Mass, I was happy. We were reminded of the many great things Pope John Paul II had done during his lifetime, and instead of feeling sad that he has left us, I was happy - happy that he had been given to us in the first place.

No doubt I disagreed with some of his views; for one thing, I'm not against the use of contraception, for another, I'm for abortion under special circumstances, and thirdly, I think euthanasia can be justified under certain circumstances, but that doesn't mean I don't think he was a great person. In fact, in spite of my rather blase attitude towards the Church and life in general, in a way, I'm glad for the Pope's death, because it showed me that I'm not as distant from my religion as I thought, and in fact, as I'm discovering now (and I'm sure - so are many other Catholics), I did love the Pope.

Death of the Pope in Pictures (link via The Pope Blog)

The Pope's Final Letter to the World (Prepared for the solemnity of the Divine Mercy)
(Thanks to Jimbo of The Pope Blog for the translation)

Dearest Brothers and Sisters!

1. Resonate also today the joyful Alleluia of Easter. Today's reading from the Gospel of John emphasizes that the Resurrected one, the evening of this day, appeared to the Apostles and "showed them his hands and side" (Jn 20,20), that is the signs of the painful passion impressed in permanent way on his body even after the resurrection. Those glorious wounds, which eight days later made to touch to the doubting Thomas, reveal the mercy of God, that "he so loved the world that he gave his only Son" (Jn 3,16).

This mystery of love is at the center of today's liturgy of Sunday in Albis, dedicated to the belief of the Divine Mercy.

2. To all humanity, which at times seems so lost and dominated by the power of evil, selfishness and fear, our resurrected Lord offers in gift his love that pardons, reconciles and reopens the soul to hope. The love that converts the hearts and bestows the peace. How much need the world has to understand and to receive the Divine Mercy!

Lord, whose death and resurrection reveals the love of the Father, we believe in You and with confidence we say again to you this today: Jesus, trust in You, have mercy on us and the entire world.

3. The liturgical feast of the Annunciation, that we will celebrate tomorrow, pushes us to contemplate with the eyes of Mary the immense mystery to us of this merciful love that gushes from the Heart of Christ. She helps us so that we can comprehend the true sense of the paschal joy, which I found myself on this certainty: He whom the Virgin has carried in her womb, that has suffered and died for us, is truly risen. Alleluia!

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