"In the obedience of faith, before Christ my Lord, completely
trusting in the Mother of Christ and the Church, aware
of the tremendous difficulties, I accept." These words changed the
course of the twentieth century. They were spoken by Cardinal
Karol Wojtyla twenty-five years ago when he accepted the heavy
yoke of being the bishop of Rome.
The first time
I saw him was at San Juan de Los Lagos,
Mexico in 1990. It was only for a few seconds
but it was enough to inspire me with enthusiasm and
admiration. He has become a point of reference for my
Since then, I have seen him more than
thirty times and each one has been an unforgettable and
unique experience. John Paul II is a rock of fidelity.
How could we be disappointed by a man who carries
the sufferings and problems of all humanity deep within his
He cares for each and every person, calling out to
them to build a better world where love and peace
take the place of hatred, war, injustice and jealousy.
there is a contrast between the vitality and strength of
his faith and the frailty that comes with age and
sickness, yet he still encourages and motivates the millions who
hear him each week. His health has some wondering and
questioning but his person still conveys that characteristic enthusiasm and
optimism. He does not fear death just like he has
not been afraid to truly live.
He knows, with the
inexplicable certainty of faith, that his final day here in
this world is not the end; that on the other
side awaits a smiling Woman, the One to whom he
consecrated his service, who will be waiting for him with
open arms. She will lead him to her Son, to
a place where suffering and fatigue no longer exist.
II gave us the reason why he never quits: "If
Christ did not come down from his Cross then why
should I come down from mine?" Our Holy Father has
an iron will and every day he picks up his
cross as Christ´s representative.
"The Church isn´t governed with its feet
or hands, the Church is governed with its heart and
head," the Pope said when some were asking for his
renunciation. And still he goes forward in spite of his
limitations and sickness. John Paul II is stronger when he
appears weak because his strength is in Him whom he
By now he is a man on his knees, a
man of prayer who pulls himself along yet seems to
be elevated like an angel. The best way we can
show our love for a man who has shown such
love and perseverance for twenty-five years is by the love
of our prayers.
(October 16, 2003)