More wisdom from the poetry of Pope John Paul the Great:
from "Thoughts on Maturing"
from The Space Within
tr. Jerzy Peterkiewicz
Maturity: a descent to a hidden core,
leaves fall from the imagination
like leaves once locked in the trunk of their tree,
the cells grow calm--though their sensitivity still stirs;
the body in its own fullness
reaches the shores of autumn.
Maturity: the surface meets the depth;
maturity: penetrating the depth,
the soul more reconciled with the body,
but more opposed to death,
uneasy about the resurrection.
Maturing toward difficult encounters.
How well and in how few words Pope John Paul captured the essence of some of the changes that we go through as we age. We often speak of youth thinking that it is immortal. No! Youth knows in its bones, in an immediate knowledge that comes only from those who see angels and sense the presence all around them of the mysterious, that we are destined for immortality. Youth sometimes does stupid things to arrive there more quickly; however, it knows with a certainty that fades away as we grow used to our bones and flesh. We are lulled into a sense that all we knew before is false and unclear.
Look to the young, particularly to the very young. In those first inarticulate, nearly incomprehensible words, you will find a world of knowledge, of things we have long forgotten. Samuel used to talk frequently about when "I was heaven before I was born." I think he was trying to convey something of his sense of life. Older and resistant, I'm not sure I heard the fullness of it. I must learn to listen more closely.