I am not Catholic-- I go to a non-denominational Christian church that would be considered a "Holy Roller" Baptist Pentecostal church .
When I was a child, my pastor always spoke highly of Pope John Paul II, and he taught me that God has blessed all the denominations- He also taught me that the Catholic denomination is the example to mankind of the Kingdom of God on Earth and showed us all the ways God has used the Catholic church for His Will on Earth- and the spiritual influence of Pope John Paul to keep Communism from filtering in everywhere.
I am very saddened beyond words that we lost a great Shepherd today.
Pope John Paul suffered greatly all his life-- losing his family a little at a time- suffering through the German Holacaust, then suffering through Polish Communism.
His sufferings were used by God to perfect him and gave him the spiritual character that made him such a wonderful shepherd for God's children. He upheld spiritual values, and never wavered.
Many people would criticize him -- wondering when he would finally step down. But he knew his calling was appointed by God and that it was a Calling that demanded his entire being and life. He proved that during his last days by dragging himself up to that window and reached out to the people below- giving them encouragement - smiling to them and attempting to speak some words through a throat injured by a tracheotomy.
He was a Peoples Pope-- he was one of the people- what a legacy!
God help us now, and may God provide us another shepherd that will be of His choosing for his flocks. May it not be of man's choosing- but only God's choice for His people. May this new Pope have the same spiritual values and love for Jesus as Pope John Paul, II.