Friday, March 1, 2013

Benedict XVI

At the homily of Benedict XVI for the inauguration of his pontificate, the then Pope said among other things:
We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary. There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. (April 24, 2005).
When Benedict left his office on Thursday, February 28, 2013, he flew by helicopter from the Vatican to Castel Gandolfo. He was followed by cameras and the scenery was beautiful, over the homes and ruins of Rome and in the nearby countryside. Once inside his temporary residence, he emerged through a doorway over a crowd of people to say a final goodbye:
Thank you, thank you from my heart. I am happy to be here with you surrounded by the beauty of Creation and your friendship that warms me. You know that today is different from others. As of eight pm I will no longer be the Supreme Pontiff of the Holy Roman Church. I am a pilgrim who is beginning the last part of his pilgrimage on earth. But with all my interior strength, with all my heart, with all my love I will work for the good of the Church and all humanity. (Vatican Radio)
These first and final statements are tied with the appreciation of Creation. To know we are made by God is to commence the relationship with appropriate awe and wonder. Then we learn more and more of the Lord who is not only genius but love. Though our lives on this plane last only so long, there is no end to the delight the Creator can supply.

Despite the severe troubles we may experience individually and collectively, the greatness of the Lord and his Creation come through. The problems drag us down, but the glory of the Lord lifts us up. We know He is able to overcome. We know He has the victory.

Benedict, Pope Emeritus now prays for the Church and the next pope. May all Catholics join with him in humble supplication for truly wise leadership.

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