This morning I woke up to the news that Pope Benedict (our beloved German Shepherd) is resigning as the Bishop of Rome on February 28th. My initial reaction was of shock and sadness since he has made a great impact on me as I have come to know my faith.
Upon further reflection I have come to the following thoughts:
- Yes, his resignation is shocking but shouldn’t have been a surprise since before becoming Pope he handed in his resignation to Pope John Paul II, in which he rejected. Only, then to accept the papacy under great obedience.
- Furthermore, he took a pilgrimage to pray at the tomb of Pope Celestine V who was the last Pope to retire (600 years ago). No one took notice to this but in light of the news it is now clear what the Holy Father was trying to tell us.
- With the sudden announcement of his resignation within just a few weeks, it scarcely gives time for the cardinals to book flights–much less to be politicking. And Vatican insiders will have not had enough time to get “their man” in place.
- The Pope might even be present at the conclave to help ensure that the legacy of his papacy and Bl. Pope John Paul II’s continues.
- Gone are the days when the Pope could remain idle in his office. In this world where there are enemies both outside and inside the Church, the one who holds the Office of St. Peter needs to be sharp and able to take on the challenges that the Church faces. (Hence, why Pope Benedict has stated that he is stepping down since he is deteriorating both mentally and physically to properly carry out his Divine Office.)
- Lastly, the announcement came just before Lent, a time of reflection, prayer, fasting and renewal.
I will miss our Pope but I am also eagerly awaiting for the next Pope (I am routing for a North American Pope – either Cardinal Oulette or Cardinal Burke).
In all of this we need to realize that the Holy Spirit is at work and will guide the Church until the end of the world. “And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” – Matthew 16:18
Danke Papst Benedikt XVI. Ich liebe dich und Gott segne Sie.