"It was enough to see him praying"

Zenit news has an English translation of the homily given by Pope Benedict at the Mass today for the third anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II. It never fails to impress me that when Pope Benedict speaks about his predecessor, he does so from a genuine admiration and affection. Having worked so closely with Pope John Paul for so long, I think that he is in a better position than most people to appreciate the dedication, motivation and profound spiritual life of Pope John Paul.
It was enough to see him praying: He literally submerged himself in God and it seemed that everything else during those moments was left outside. During the liturgical celebrations, he was attentive to the mystery being carried out, with a keen capacity to perceive the eloquence of God's word in the development of history, penetrating deeply into God's plan. Holy Mass, as he often repeated, was for him the center of the day and all his existence -- the "living and holy" reality of the Eucharist that gave him spiritual energy to guide the people of God on the path of history.

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