Elinor at Mommentary posts:
He’s worse, and not expected to last the night. I’m going to start throwing things if I hear one more vapid nitwit hope that the Holy Father’s end will be "peaceful and painless". Can anyone really suppose that he would shrink from suffering?
Interesting point. It is most likely we who shrink from suffering and are really comforting ourselves when we hope someone else is dying peacefully and painlessly.
She also posts something from a review of the Pope’s book Memory and Identity. Professor John Haldane writes:
Some while ago, John Paul spoke of the importance of bearing witness to the human condition in its frailty, countering the cult of invulnerability with the unavoidable image of suffering. But in these reflections he also speaks of a mystical transformation. What would otherwise be an evil, and appears such to many, is a path leading to God. Blameless suffering, willingly accepted out of love, transforms the life of the person. A peace descends of which the world has little understanding.
I think the motive for hoping the Pope’s death will be peaceful and painless is, not fear that he will shrink from suffering, but desire that he not suffer as he dies. If the desire that someone not suffer is a sign of vapid nitwitness, someone needs to rewrite a lot of Catholic prayers.