The passing of our beloved John Paul II was not unexpected, yet most of us will remember, I think, where we were when we heard that he had died. I would, perhaps, have chosen to be in my studio, or at Adoration, or any other place where I might have given his passing the attention it deserved and had time for prayerful reflection. As it was, our house was a flurry of activity as we prepared for my daughter’s birthday party later that day. Decorations needed hanging. Last minute tidying had to be done. One more trip to the store for this and that forgotten item. I caught the announcement on FOX News as I was getting in the shower. Life went on at a dizzying pace.
The party (a sleepover) was a big success. The last guest has gone. We have almost finished cleaning up. Before we attend Mass tonight we will gather in prayer as a family and reflect on the passing of our Papa. I will go to Adoration tonight at midnight and offer prayers for the repose of his soul, for his successor and for the cardinals who will gather to elect him.
Tomorrow the trees will continue to throw out their buds, our dogs will go on pestering the squirrels and I will get back to painting. Over the coming months the magnitude of this loss will soak into our awareness like a slow spring rain.
John Paul II, we miss you. Pray for us.