As Jeff Jacoby notes, there could not be two more different approaches to life, and death, than that of Hunter Thompson and the Pope. On one hand, Thompson shows us what life looks like if there is no God: pointless and without any inherent value. The only thing left to do in this empty void of a universe is dull the pain any way you can until finally "taking control" of your brutal existence by ending it.
On the other, the Pope is offering a shining example of what life looks like if humans are created in the image of God. We live as His servants and children, glorifying Him by our very existence. Our lives are inherently valuable and purposeful, to be enjoyed to the fullest as we wait for our Heavenly glorification in His good time.