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Thursday, April 2, 2009

He was filled with Grace

Exerpt from The Catholic Sun, Catholics reflect on the man who forever changed their lives

“But what I will never forget was a moment that may not have lasted long in which I looked into his eyes. It was then that I began to understand why his presence was so overwhelming. I saw in his eyes a love that I had never seen before,” Faddis said. “I swear that I saw the weight of God’s love in those eyes.”

It’s moments like this one described by Faddis, that have a profound, lifelong impact — and there are thousands of Catholics throughout the diocese who have similar experiences to share. - Robert DeFrancesco, The Catholic Sun, Sept. 6, 2007

That's me - the skinny kid holding John Paul II's hand - and that is the moment, a moment I'll never forget, it was the moment I saw the depth and mystery of God's love for me.

In that moment, locking eyes with John Paul II of blessed memory I saw through him the love, the mercy, the generosity of God's love. This moment which I have relived over and over again is the moment in which God used his humble servant to share His love with me, and it is the moment I believe which has led me to youth ministry.

John Paul II is known and remembered for so many numerous acts, words, and deeds that made a difference in millions of lives. We remember him as a champion of social justice, a
defender of life, a fighter of the communists, and a victor over evils of all kinds. Still, he was merely a man - a man called by God, who through faithfulness and great courage became a walking and living saint.

For a long time I wondered why that experience was so powerful to me. I mean, he was merely a man and I had met so many famous people before and never had the same reaction, nor did it ever have the same effect. Why had his presence, his holiness, and his simple look given me such a powerful and life altering glimpse into the mystery of God's love for me?

It was shortly before his death that I had the realization that John Paul II was so filled with God's grace that he truly had been a mirror of God's love. That is our goal to become "full of grace" - that is why Mary is our model, and that is why the Saints are so important. John Paul II was a living, breathing, walking sign of God's Grace in our horribly confused and troubled world.

Today we remember him and ask him to pray for us. John Paul II, thank you for living out the Gospel in such a Heroic way.

To read more about my experience check Catholics reflect on the man who forever changed their lives