|John Paul II the Great (1920-2005)|
Blessed John Paul II selected this text to use in his meditation on the mystery of death for Pope Paul VI (See Sign of Contradiction, p. 160). It is an appropriate emblem of his own life and death. It is a good lesson for us during this Holy Week.
Here is a brief excerpt from his meditation: "So every dying man has in him the biological reality of death, the 'dissolution of the body'. and also the human experience of dying, in which the 'the seed of eternity . . . rebels against death,' and this seed is inherent in every man, 'who cannot be reduced to mere matter' (see Gaudium et spes §18): finally every man has inherent in him the mystery of a new life which Christ has brought and which he has grafted on to humanity. . . .
The christian life [is] a life in awareness of the mystery of Christ. Any life lived in such awareness is in a way ratified by death: 'Cupio dissolve et esse cum Christo' [I desire to die and to be with Christ] (cf. Phil 1:23)-- that is to say I desire a dimension of life that has begun in me by Christ. The Christian is aware that he anticipates this; and that awareness is the distinguishing mark of his dying."