February 06, 2005

John Paul II

In deep winter he continues his work of suffering, in full view, so that the world can know this aspect of God. On the news, old footage shows him forgiving his would-be assassin, who has now sent him wishes for recovery.

Is it possible that this man of political power, with his stubborn reactionary views and vestigial prejudices, is that rarest and noblest of beings, a true Christian?

Those of us who seek such a creature must accept the contradiction, for the true Christian is not necessarily politically infallible, even from the papal throne.

The complication for us: to hold both in mind at the same time, the reactionary and the saint, and to know that the same being can contain both, and that the decisions we deplore were arrived at through the sincerest calculation of the good. And why not? The same Being encompassed the first spark of life in the ocean billions of years ago, and the killing of every organism ever born since.

(via Althouseon Friday 2/4/05 at 8:01 am, but I’m having trouble transmitting the link to her specific post and an NYT article.)