The Almighty has done great things for me...

Good bye, Holy Father, until we meet again in Heaven!

My first thought when we got the news that our Holy Father John Paul II had died was, "now we have a powerful intercessor in heaven. We haven't lost him and in fact, because of the Communion of Saints he is closer to us than ever."

But today, watching the funeral Mass, I must admit that the tears began to flow when the Magnificat was intoned and the bells began to ring and especially when the pallbears paused and turned the coffin around for one last look, one last good bye.

Tears of loss, of course, because we have lost a truly great man, but tears of joy because "the Almighty has done great things" to this man we call Papa. Seeing that simple coffin of wood carried away to its resting place I realized that we have been privileged to live in such a time of grace.

We call him "John Paul the Great" and began to give him this accolade even before his death. The media has it all wrong, though. John Paul II isn't "great" so much because he changed the course of world history, or because he brought down communism or because of his strong, unequivocal defense of the sanctity of life, or even because of his philosophical or theological contributions but because he is a man who said YES to God with every fiber of his being, who lived always in the presence of God, who loved God so much that he had to bring the Good News to every person on the face of this earth. John Paul II was an icon of God's love for us. A person, radiant with the Truth, he had to give this Truth to us until his last breath.

John Paul II, continue to look on us with love and intercede for us, your children to God!