Below is an excerpt from the poem "The Roman Tryptych: Meditations" by Blessed John Paul II.
In the excerpt, John Paul reflects on the conclave that would choose his successor after his death. We now know that succeessor as Benedict XVI.
Now, as we prepare for the conclave that will choose Benedict's successor, John Paul's words offer a powerful meditation on the conclave and on the role of the Sistine Chapel in the choosing of the pope:
...It is here, at the feet of this marvelous Sistine profusion of color that the Cardinals gather—Photo: AFP/GETTY
a community responsible for the legacy of the keys of the Kingdom.
They come right here.
And once more Michelangelo wraps them in his vision.
"In Him we live and move and have our being
Who is He?
Look, here the creating hand of the Almighty Ancient One, turned towards Adam....
In the beginning God created....
He, the all-seeing One....
The Sistine painting will then speak with the Word of the Lord:
Tu es Petrus—as Simon, the son of Jonah, heard.
"To you I will give the keys of the Kingdom".
Those to whom the care of the legacy of the keys has been entrusted
gather here, allowing themselves to be enfolded by the Sistine's colors,
by the vision left to us by Michelangelo—
so it was in August, and then in October of the memorable year of the two Conclaves,
and so it will be again, when the need arises
after my death.
Michelangelo's vision must then speak to them.
"Con-clave": a joint concern for the legacy of the keys of the Kingdom.
They will find themselves between the Beginning and the End,
between the Day of Creation and the Day of Judgment.
It is given to man once to die and after that the judgment!
A final clarity and light.
The clarity of the events—
The clarity of consciences—
It is necessary that during the Conclave, Michelangelo teach them—
Do not forget: Omnia nuda et aperta sunt ante oculos Eius.
You who see all—point to him!
He will point him out....