He was mighty. He was strong -a Super-Power ... He was a Pillar of the Faith, a Tower. He lasted longer than any Pope but two. He rent the Iron Curtain, adored the Poor. He adored Youth; Youth adored Him.
He honored Suffering. He was likewise gentle with the ignorant ... yet He was worthy of the name of "intellectual", "man of letters". He had mastered the Art of body-communication arising from His genuine theatrical flair-- a dramatist's unerring sense of timing-- conveying innermost Spirit through outward stance.
<ul><li>He was of all the Popes the most widely-traveled with a reputation for building community wherever He landed ... His Parish the wide, wide Earth! </li></ul>
<ul><li>He honored five hundred Saints and thrice as many "Beati", whose glorious ranks He yet may join, as Time confirms His Holiness ... </li></ul>
a total Man of colossal Honor and Integrity-- "breadwinner" to all the Church. Yet He was gentle and forbearing with me, a total stranger: He noticed my writings, however insanely busy ... and often sent me gracious acknowledgments-- the last received mere days before He died.
The mere touch of His words, as of Christ's garment, was enough ... allowing me to use Him to grow. He bore my insults for the Gospel with a genuine forbearance, passing them over with a heroic Silence and always pointing only to what was positive.
<ul><li>May His shining Spirit embrace and shield me always to inspire and to bless me and encourage me! May the Father reward Him richly; the Son confirm the task well-done; and may the Spirit spread His influence throughout the Ages through all the Saints He honored, as He tried hard to build bridges between Heaven and Earth. </li></ul>