Nobody, but nobody does a Beatification like the Church of Rome!
Watch the Vigil and the Beatification of Ven. Pope John Paul II live, here.
A good Catholic monarch would be a fine thing, but watching this Vigil, it is difficult not to be impressed by the prayerful devotion, especially of the Polish, to God and the very soon to be Beatus. There is 'round the clock Rosary going on in Rome. It serves to remind us that the Lord's Kingdom, 'is not of this World'.
What we will see tomorrow in Rome is the joyous celebration and jubilation expressed by thousands lining the streets, because the Resurrection has brought someone, Pope John Paul II, to reach the Beatific Vision of God Himself, the destiny to which we are all called.
Certainly, Pope John Paul II led the great Polish nation out of the captivity of Communism and, more importantly, into the arms of Our Lady in prayer. As well as consecrating himself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary ("Totus tuus" was his heartfelt daily prayer), he established devotion to the Divine Mercy through the canonisation of St Faustina and established both her Feast and the Feast of Divine Mercy (tomorrow) into the Church's calendar. His achievements on Earth are possibly too long to list. His evangelical mission continues in Heaven! Deo gratias!
I'm still relatively new to the 'liturgy wars' but even while now considering the Traditional Latin Mass to be the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven, I do also believe Pope John Paul II was an heroic and very holy Pope. More important than what I think, however, is what Heaven thinks and since the Holy Spirit guides the Church into raising men and women to the Altar of God, I can't see how any faithful Catholic worth his salt can put his arms up in the air decrying anyone's Beatification. The Church has spoken! End of! I suppose you could say I'm something of a Johannine-Pauline convert, in as much as reading his book, 'Crossing the Threshold of Hope' was perhaps the most influential contribution on the road leading to my decision to knock on the door of Westminster Cathedral and ask for instruction to become a Catholic. That will always be the single most important decision that I have ever made or ever will, even if the road ahead is unsure, long, arduous or even painful.
Tomorrow is a great Feast of God's great mercy and a celebration of a Pope who proclaimed this great mercy, 'in season and out of season.' He never tired of proclaiming the Gospel in its fullness and entirety to all the nations. While Bishops and Priests ran away from Catholic teaching on marriage, family life and the Church's teaching on sexuality and artificial contraception, Pope John Paul II reaffirmed, through his theological contributions to the Church, the beauty of human love, fidelity and sexuality expressed in the Sacrament of Marriage.
May his intercession obtain for us many graces on our earthly pilgrimmage, so that we may follow where he now is, for he is reigning with Christ! Alleluia! Whether he is having further discussions with Lefebvre or not, is another matter altogether. It should be of no interest to us. God is with His Church. Christ is with His Popes! Let us rejoice in God, our Redeemer! Pope Benedict XVI, now gloriously reigning, is to make an appearance live tonight apparently.
I know that the Royal weddings are naff, vulgar and at times quite moving, but then Royal weddings are about the dead honouring and celebrating the dead. On the other hand, people who cannot celebrate the glorious Beatification of the living, of a holy Pope who is counted as one of the living, are big time killjoys who need their heads examined. Gosh, there are so many languages and different songs from all the different cultures from around the World at the Vigil, though...so many! The Cardinals on the stage, however, keep praying the Pater Noster and the Ave Maria. Interesting! I look forward to the highlights of the Beatification tomorrow after Mass.
I believe that the death of Princess Diana overshadowed greatly the funeral of Bl. Teresa of Calcutta. It would be sad, if supremely ironic, if the media's thirst for Royal wedding post-union analysis, while running reels of that 'second kiss' and engaging in endless discussion about the the dress, overshadowed the Beatification of Bl. Teresa of Calcutta's friend, Holy Father and Leader - the 265th Successor of St Peter, Pope John Paul II.