Tomorrow Pope John Paul is to be beatified in Rome. Some believe it is too soon. Whatever you think about that there is no doubt this man, totally dedicated to the Christ, was used by the Lord to touch many, many lives. Here's an example I came across recently.
'World Youth Day' saved my life", said the Canadian woman. 'I was 24 years old and had being living on the streets since I was 15. I had become an alocholic and a heroin addict.' Here she rolled up the sleeves of her blouse to reveal the scars of the needles. 'And I had become a prostitute to support my habit. I was dying, and I wanted to end it all.
The kids from a parish group who had always been nice to me, took me in, cleaned me up and invited me to come to Toronto with them to the World Youth Day. And there I met an old man who has changed my life. This old man told me he loved me. Oh, a lot of old men told me they loved me, for 15 minutes in the back seat of their cars. This old man meant it.
He told me God loved me, and that I'm actually God's work of art.
He told me that God who made the stars actually knows my name.
He told me God enjoys me so much he wants me to spend eternity with him, and that he sent his Son, Jesus, to help me get there.
This old man told me I actually share God's own life deep inside of me. This old man made sense. This old man got through to me. Now I want to live!'
That 'old man' was, of course, Pope John Paul. God's love was revealed though him and that poor young woman found new life in the divine goodness that liberates and gives us new beginnings.