Pope John Paul II - Masculine Spirituality

There has been much said about the Pope and with the funeral Friday, the coverage by mainstream media and by the blogging community will be huge.

Being a Protestant Christian, I am not very familiar with Catholic matters and I'm only familiar with the Pope to the extent of news coverage. However, seeing some of the profiles on TV, I have to say the life and times of John Paul II were remarkable. Some commentators place him in the top tier of influential people of the 20th Century and they are probably right on.

Talk radio host, Dennis Prager who is Jewish and politically conservative, remarked on his program that there were areas where his disagreed with the Pope's views. However, he respected Pope John Paul II's "masculine spirituality." He believed there is simply too little of that in the world these days. I think what he meant by "masculine spirituality" was that the Pope was the kind of person who knew what he believed and fought for what he believed and yet at the same time exhibited remarkable grace in personal interactions.

Living here in Los Angeles, one video clip that has been played numerous times had to do with the Pope's visit to LA. In particular, an electrifying moment when a young musician Tony Melendez played guitar and sang for the Pope. Melendez, born with no arms played the guitar with his feet. When he finished the song, the Pope, much younger then and full of vigor, bounded up from his seat and leaped off the stage to meet Melendez. Since Melendez has no hands for a handshake, he lowered his head so the Pope could hug him and kiss him. The Pope encouraged him by saying Meledez was an example of courage and his life gave hope to others. Like those there then, when I saw this video clip a week ago, I was moved to tears.

Here a USA Today story recounting that incident.