Regarding our beloved Pope...tears! Tears of joy, tears of gratitude. I am very happy for him to resume his private life, knowing how little he wanted to do this job in the first place. I have always viewed his acceptance of and humility regarding his position to be heroic and inspiring. As pondered by Matthew Archbold at Creative Minority Report, I can only imagine that, after viewing Pope John Paul II's physical and mental deterioration in the papacy, he is probably saving our Church from what would no doubt be however many hands in the pot making decisions for him under the guise of ongoing leadership.
He has chosen something like 68 of the Cardinals currently in leadership; as they will choose our new leader under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I trust Pope Benedict's leadership will continue to be felt. He has had, in spite of all the press blathering, a profound influence on the Church. Just a few examples would include the Anglican Ordinariate, Summorum Pontificum which has been a VITAL means by which our Liturgy will continue to be restored to reverence, his social and doctrinal conservatism and frequent decrying of the tyranny of moral relativism, and strides toward reunification with the Orthodox. There is more...that is just what comes to mind off the top of my head. As a newly Byzantine Catholic, I have appreciated that he is an ardent defender of the eastern Churches and their identities as distinct from Rome. What peace to witness him in front of the iconostasis earlier this year during his trip to Lebanon.
View more pictures here.
As unassuming as he has been compared to his predecessor, he has been "my first Pope" as a convert and I never fail to be profoundly impacted in my relationship with Christ whenever I take the time to read his homilies and writings. I love him with a genuine affection and look forward to watching how the Holy Spirit will guide our Church in this season of Lent. A profound time for this profound change.
May God bless Pope Benedict XVI and grant him many more happy and blessed years.
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
"And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”