It’s been a year since John Paul II went to his reward. Apologies for a personal reflection, but I owe the guy a lot.
I drifted away from the faith in college, became an example of how a little learning can make you quite a dumb guy. I read a lot of Nietzsche and Marx, bought all the “opium of the masses” and “god is dead and Christians killed him” rhetoric that one tended to pick up on campuses in the late 70s and early 80s. When I graduated, I was working in Washington, D.C., as a business reporter. I worked hard, played harder, was living a far from resolute life.
One day I found a copy of John Paul II’s Redemptoris Hominis in a used book store, bought it for a quarter, and took it home. What I read changed my life. I had never felt the church had anything to say about my life or the world I live in. Here’s the pope talking about Jesus as the answer to the arms race and Jesus being the only one who could show me who I really am. I read everything I could find by the pope. A little later, while on business trip, I started reading a Gideon’s Bible in a hotel room. Again, only because John Paul was always talking about Scripture. It was the first time I ever opened a Bible. I took it home and kept reading it over and over. And I just kind of kept reading my way back into the church. Eventually I went back to graduate school to study Scripture and religion. After that I landed a series of jobs writing about the church. I’ve been doing that for the last 16 years.
So I guess I owe the man my life. It’s still rare that a day goes by when I don’t consult his writings on something. JP2, pray for us.Bookmark it: del.icio.us | Reddit | Slashdot | Digg | Facebook | Technorati | Google | StumbleUpon | Window Live | Tailrank | Furl | Netscape | Yahoo | BlinkList