This week for many it is the highest holy holidays with Palm Sunday last week and this week with Good Friday and Easter on Sunday many of use reflect on our lives and what we have around us during these past couple of weeks. We in many cases reflect on our religious beliefs or non-beliefs as there are both sides to many of these beliefs. But generally, if you are Christian this week with the culmination of Easter on Sunday it is our most sacred and holiest of times.
Let me first wish you and your families during these trying times a blessed Easter…
As time has gone by in my life, and in reflecting on many things that l have done and wondered in most instances, have l had any higher forces helping me through my life and if so, how has it affected me?
This question and the one that l ask is “Why”
I have gotten into the habit of asking the question “why” before l do anything, especially something of significance. It doesn’t matter what age you are; you should get into the habit of asking yourself this question of “why” and try to give yourself an answer that may make sense to you and why you do things. This brings me to why l question my faith, my religion and those that preach to me, its views and its symbolism.
My personal journey with religion and all that it has brought to me in the way of faith, support and just something that l need in my life to exist. I grew up a normal roman catholic kid with all the usual ceremonial events of baptism, communion and confirmation and each time that l could recall except for my baptism, the events were something that l needed to get done because of either family pressure or just the fact that this is what a good catholic kid does.
With all these religious symbolic/ceremonial events, not one of them had any significant impact on me that l would say stuck out in my memory bank regarding these events…. oh yes, l do remember getting a Bulova watch on my confirmation and a few bucks.
However, when l reflect back on these events and in reflecting on those moments, l ask my self what my feelings were to these close encounters with God. And l must confess that although they were religious experiences, l really never felt a closeness to God during those times. I have searched within my soul and tried to find the light or a feeling, but nothing that l can express as momentous or a minute of religious uplifting. Consciously searching and continuously asking myself why lam not feeling that feeling or enlightenment. I couldn’t answer that question until l meet… Pope John Paul II.
It wasn’t the fact that l personally meet Pope John Paul II and tell you that it was an amazing moment, but in fact it was….to this day some 25 years later, that feeling of being in his presence was something special, exhilarating and special. Although he was canonized after his death and made a saint, you knew when in his presence he was a very special individual. Pope John Paul II had a tremendous impact on me and with many other individuals… he was a saint walking among us. This particular Pope to me unlike the others, including todays Pope was someone that possessed a special power, that intangible, unforgettable presence and special ability to make you feel a surge of light through you.
Pope John Paul II was a Pope of Popes in my humble estimation, with an energy that was unexplainable, you instantly sensed that he had something. Pope John Paul II had depth and a deep feeling of Heaven and Earth. I remember very vividly and just like it was yesterday that meeting John Paul II he was a saint, and his presence was very moving. This Pope was someone that was able to walk into a room and you knew that he was in your presence. Once l was in the same room with him, l felt special and my mindset told me that you are in the presence of a special person. When l came into contact with him and had a very fortunate moment to speak with him and touch his holiness, my persona at the time was very much in touch with my emotions.
What do l mean by that?
In my lifetime l have had the good fortune of meeting very special people from Kings and Queens to Nelson Mandela to movie stars at all levels of entertainment to very influential people, but none like my special moment with Pope John Paul II. This moment transcended for me a very special gift and something that l would cherish forever. I knew at the time it was special and that l would never feel like that ever again. The most vivid experience that l had was that l felt a white light or image going through me and something that l am trying to explain to the best of my personal feeling of this encounter. I am not doing this feeling justice, but l wanted to let you know how l felt meeting Pope John Paul II.
The Vatican announced that Pope John Paul II would be declared a saint after it was proven he had performed two miracles – both of them after his death. According to the church, John Paul performed his first miracle on a French nun with Parkinson’s disease, several months after he died, while he performed the second miracle on a Costa Rican woman with an aneurism, six years after his death. John Paul served as Pope from1978 until he died in 2005. He was beatified in 2011.
My feelings at that time were that l was in the presence of greatness…
Meeting Pope John Paul II was the closest thing that l would ever get to Christ on earth.