The Right Coast

April 01, 2005
John Paul the Great
By Tom Smith

I think there is little doubt he will be known as that. He is one of those very few men whose achievements require you to span more than one century to find an equal. I feel sick that we are soon to lose him. It cannot be more than two or three days, a week at the most.

Who would have thought a Polish Pope, leading a people under the banner of the Black Madonna, would face down and defeat the greatest tyranny in human history? No battalions, but millions of human hearts, not afraid. That alone would have secured him a place in world history. But then he led the Church through confusing times, restored it, and equipped it to fight what will probably be the most important moral battles of this century.

I suppose that's the thing to dwell on. Not what we are losing, but what he accomplished. How many have lived a fuller life and how many are as well prepared to leave it?