Good Friday and Easter weekend: My boss said, "Why don't you not be your usual cranky self? Why don't you give us a little inspirational message that makes people feel good going into this religiously important weekend?"

My boss thinks a leopard can change his spots, evidently.

So let's give it a shot.

Think about Pope John Paul II (search) this weekend. Here is the leader of a couple billion Catholics living his life as an example to us all. He is frail, aged, has medical problems and yet he tries to fulfill the obligations of his office. He couldn't come to the window at St. Peters Friday, so he appeared by video link.

Other people think suffering should mean an early end to life. He does not. He says God will end his life when it is time and in the meantime he will live.

Now, there are far worse circumstances than what the pope is suffering through, of course. Some people are in deep pain, living in hopelessness, no chance of recovery and for them we have the choice of the right to die.

That of course leads us to Terri Schiavo (search), who the courts believe has expressed her wish to not be kept alive in conditions such as those she is in now. We certainly must hope the courts are right because if they are not then they are condemning to death a woman who might very well want to live.

There's been a lot of hot air expended on this subject; but on this Easter weekend, at this precise moment, I am going to take the hopeful point of view. I'm hopeful that the judges' judgment is more visionary, more prescient, and far more wise than mine because I would not have made the call the judges made. So they are confident in their judgment — confident Terri Schiavo should be allowed to die. And I'm hopeful they are right.

Having said that, I prefer to turn my attention to the pope. His attitude appears to be live while you can live. The thing that comes after living will come in its own time, and plenty soon enough.

So let the pope be an inspiration this weekend and let Terri Schiavo be a cause for hope.

That's My Word.

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