Human, Oh too human…

I had a weird surge of emotion today while watching honorary clips of Pope John Paul II on Euronews. There was something incredibly caustic about the feeling I got, like a tiny droplet of HCl from a Pasteur pipette trickling down the corner of my heart. And I don’t understand why. Why would I feel this about an old man I know very little of, who sowed the words of a God I don’t believe in. To me, the Pope was but a mute figure of an institution which aged without renewal, a symbol to an empire desperately clinging on to its glorious past. Maybe it was because I never thought of him as fully human. I always wondered how anyone could devote their entire lives to something that is so abstract. I always wondered whether he doubted his choice, whether he doubted the human heart, whether he ever doubted God’s existence after all. I mainly wanted to know how he was able to cling on to his beliefs despite all these doubts (because I’m pretty sure he did). I also asked myself whether he had impure thoughts and if he repented immensely for those sins. So much of the Pope distanced him from life around me and life inside me…from my thoughts and actions that seem to be in perpetual uncertainty straying on a multitude of directionless paths. I envied the air of grounding he seemed to exhume, the sense of belonging which I never felt. Did I feel that momentary rush of "emotions"(sadness, let down, relief, overwhelming fear, euphoria of revelation? can't pinpoint exactly what it was) because death reduced him to humanity? That no matter how different we all are, we remain united in death?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't feel that the death of Pope John Paul II "reduced him to humanity"- he was always human. It is only after he is canonized that Catholics will see him as a saint.

I guess the main difference with his life from my own is that his existence was to serve and be forever faithful to God alone. In doing so, the Pope became an incredibly selfless man. Some may see his altruistic nature to be somewhat abnormal, and consequently see this man as a hallowed figure, yet I see his temperance and good-will as a template for me to follow. As a Catholic, I cannot gaze and marvel at the piety of another- I must adopt it.

For me, the Pope was a very holy and great man. His passing made me see the insignificance of my own actions. Yes, I will probably attend mass and maybe confession this evening, but will that necessarily alleviate the guilt and corruption in my heart? According to the Bible, it should; however, I feel that it is just an easy way out.

2:16 PM  
Blogger Y said...

Allo lav! thanks for replying, i did need someone of faith to reply to this...
I meant to say that the pope was only reduced to humanity in my mind. Although I did technically know he was human all along,(I mean i'm pretty sure we all sleep and shit the same), I always saw him as a plastic figure--and plastic figures aren't supposed to die. Oops, my bad.
Pardon my ignorance but do all popes get canonized? I was just thinking about how the Borgias must have been pretty damn lucky. Live in sin, Die a saint. Fantastic.
I have always been fascinated by the catholic belief on the infaillibility of the Pope or so many other things as a matter of fact (Virgin birth, truth as interpreted by the church, apostolic succession, immaculate conception, existence of God (duh) etc...). It just seems so easy for them to have faith and to find peace of mind--- or maybe it just seems that way to me.

Somehow, it all seems to come down to guilt. That painful yet wonderful, driving force humanity bears whether it is in its religious or secular form. Go figure.

10:10 AM  

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