Pope John Paul II
The Spirit of God who, we are told in the Book of Genesis, breathed upon the waters at the very beginning of creation (cf. 1:2), is the same Spirit of life who was breathed into man, so that "man became a living being" (ibid., 2:7). This is what makes us different from every other creature. In our bodies we are a mere speck in the vast created universe, but by virtue of our souls we transcend the whole material world. I invite you to reflect on what makes each one of you truly marvelous and unique. Only a human being like you can think and speak and share your thoughts in different languages with other human beings all over the world, and through that language express the beauty of art and poetry and music and literature and the theater, and so many other uniquely human accomplishments.
And most important of all, only God's precious human beings are capable of loving. Love makes us seek what is good; love makes us better persons. It is love that prompts men and women to marry and form a family, to have children. It is love that prompts others to embrace the religious life or become priests. Love makes you reach out to others in need, whoever they are, wherever they are. Every genuine human love is a reflection of the Love that is God himself, to the point where the First Letter of Saint John says: "The man without love has known nothing of God; for God is love" (4:8).
From his Homily at Central Park, 7 October 1995