True Charisma

A lot of people try to say that President Barack Obama is “charismatic”.  I’ve seen some of his speeches over the internet, such as the victory speech he made when he defeated Hillary Clinton in the Iowa caucuses  in 2008.  He has the “deep voice” and can speak “assertively”, etc.  But one thing that I’ve noticed about President Obama is that his charisma always seems forced.  He’ll yell, challenge, etc, but I’ve rarely seen him just smiling and joking to groups, being himself, especially large groups.

Compare that to Pope John Paul II’s natural, relaxed charisma in the below clips, when he visited the Catholic University of America in 1979.  His charisma, at least to me, seems more real, natural, and not at all forced.

I saw Pope John Paul II in 2002, at the World Youth Day in Toronto.  Though I wasn’t really a “youth” back then (World Youth Day is mainly late teen and early 20’s), it was a good experience.  Even as an 82 year old man, he seemed relaxed.  I remember his line, as he spoke in English, “You are young, and the pope is old!”  His point being that it was up to us, with our energy, to evangelize the world.

His message in the following video clips at Catholic University was similar.

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3 Responses to True Charisma

  1. I was at WYD in Toronto too. Good times despite the heat, rain, crowds.

  2. It was a challenge. I very much remember the heat and rain.

    Being in the middle on 800,000 people was a bit much for me 🙂 But I would do it over again.

    I was by a Polish group, and helped hold up their banner. You could just feel the presence as the Holy Father entered on his Pope Mobile. Though I saw John Paul II as he went by, he was probably 2 football fields-length away from me during the actual Mass.

    I wish I’d been able to see him as the young, strong pope back when he was first elected. But I count it as a blessing that I was able to see him.

  3. JessicaHof says:

    Yes, he was the Pope who made me re-think everything I’d been taught about the Catholic Church. I remember seeing an interview with him and just thinking that here was a real holy man, and that whatever rubbish I’d been fed about his Church must be real wrong. A truly great man – and I hope he is soon St. John Paul.

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