President Barack Obama made the historic announcement last night, May 1st 2011, of the capture and death of al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, the man responsible for the death of over 3000 Americans and countless other innocents across the world. Commenting on how this slaughter has touched many countries including our own, the President reassured us that "…his (Osama's) demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity."
The coincidence of this announcement reaches beyond the quirky syntax of "Obama gets Osama" to something far more significant: the date of May 1st this year also marked the formal beatification ceremony of the late Pope John Paul II at the Vatican. As one who views the news of the world through the lens of Catholic thought and teaching, I cannot bring to mind any individual in modern time, Catholic or otherwise, who was more committed to "peace and human dignity" than our late Pope John Paul II.
In heaven's mysterious world, veiled from view, I imagine our beloved Holy Father approaching the throne of the Almighty on his special day. "Just one favor, Father" he would ask in his Polish, determined tone. "Whatever you wish, I grant my beloved servant" is the unhesitating response. And in that instant, those Navy Seals were not acting alone. They had behind them the force and faith of a man who had fought for peace and human dignity with his entire priesthood. The arrest of a man so utterly opposed to these was the favor granted.
It's no coincidence: Our world owes thanks to heaven for a beatification gift from the newly Blessed John Paul II!
Posted by Suzanne Summers Spence, R.N. B.A.