Karol Wojtyla: Imperfect and mortal, like all humans - but not ordinary; he was certainly an extraordinary man - a great defender of the dignity and sanctity of Human life, and of Eternal, Universal values.
He knew Human Life was meant to be more than merely a short exercise in carnal fulfillment and a competition for temporal rewards. He knew that when we serve only ourselves, we serve ignobly and fall short of our innate potential. He knew we are each created with inalienable rights and a responsibility to live in accordance with the Universal. He sought to get humanity to fufill that eternal charge.
His best efforts and great and good achievements shall never fade as long as people continue the struggle to be all that we should be, and make life on Earth harmonious with that is eternally Holy, True, Just, Merciful, Beautiful and Good.
And as Michael Ledeen wrote earlier today:
"... even those of us who do not share his faith have been ennobled and inspired by much of what he said and did. But for the entire world, he will forever stand as a symbol of the power of individuals standing firm for freedom. "Be Not Afraid" is indeed the phrase we will associate with him, as it was the phrase that inspired millions of people to risk all against tyranny. "
He helped battle against the tyranny of our fellow humans, and they tyranny of our own weaknesses and faults - for there are many ways to be enslaved. For JPII's noble efforts, we give thanks.
(ASIDE: the president of the United States has ordered the flag be flown at half-mast. WILL THE ACLU SUE?)