After I turned my phone on this morning to see the news on Facebook/Twitter/text messages, Jim and I happened to turn on the news as he tried to revive himself with a morning cup o' coffee. The Today Show was on and we caught the interview with Cardinal Dolan. If you missed it check it out HERE. As I have read other blogs this morning and watched a few things on the news, I'm really struck by this quote of a religious sister from the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist (the nuns who were on Oprah): "Pope John Paul II remained in office so that he might show us how to suffer and how to die. Pope Benedict XVI is leaving the Papal Office so that he might show us how to live in humble honesty." For me personally, that insight really helped. As JP2's health continued to decline and as he was dying, his acceptance of suffering showed the world that suffering united to Christ is not a bad thing; that it can even be a fruitful thing. As he lay in his apartment dying, he showed us what it meant to truly respect all of human life, to unite our suffering to Jesus, and that death is not the end. JP2 showed us perseverance, and now Pope Benedict is showing/teaching us humility.
And so as Pope Benedict XVI prepares to leave the Papal office, I think one of the lessons we can walk away with is the great humility of the Holy Father and his deep love for the welfare of the Church as he steps away. The Holy Father's resignation is a selfless and noble act done for the good of the life of the Church that he has loved and served for decades. Sure, it's a shock for all of us...but it just strikes me that he does with the best interest of the life of the Church in mind. So let's try to keep that in mind in the coming days, especially as there are attempted spins on the "real" reason the Pope is retiring.
Two days before Lent begins, this announcement is made. Perhaps this Lent, all the universal Church has greater significance to unite all our Lenten prayers and sacrifices for the cardinals as they head into the conclave...for the next successor of St. Peter. How amazing would that be if all Catholics around the world band together this Lent for one common purpose?!?!?!? So as we head into Lent, in a special way, let's all work together as prayer warriors for this momentous task ahead of the Church. Are you with me???? I don't know about you, but it definitely puts a different spin on Lent for me. What an exciting time to be a Catholic! Also consider showing Pope Benedict XVI some love and support for all his hard work at his Twitter @Pontifex
Ohhhh NOW I get it. #YearofFaith #PopeBenedictXVI