Saturday, February 16, 2013

Leading By Example

This week began with the announcement of our Holy Father Pope Benedict's decision to resign his office. the news sent shick waves around the world. Nature this week provied a shock with the landing of a meteroite in Russia. It seems to me that the Pope's decision has caused much stir in the media. For most Catholics whom I have encountered this week, the history making news did not "rock Peter's boat".

I have been graced to be a daughter of the Church under six Popes: Pius XII; John XXIII; Paul VI; John Paul I; John Paul II, and then Benedict XVI. Each one exuded holiness, wisdom; strength and peace. Each of couse in his own way. John XXIII was--in some peoples' estimation--an interim "filler" who would not last long. Instead the Holy Spirit used Pope Roncalli to usher in the Vatican II Council. Paul VI had the task of pulling together the many topics of the second Vatican Council and concluding it. He had the courage to issue the brief, clear and prophetic document On Human Life Humanae Vitae. He wrote much including a document of Joy.
Pope John Paul I had a very short time to reign as Pope. His smile and his choice of a double name had a lasting effect. When Karol Woytya was elected to replace John Paul I, it seemed like the swoosh of the Spirit's wind and fire
of its light lit the world. Now both John XXIII and John Paul II have the title "Blessed."
John Paul II built on the principles in Paul VI's Humanae Vitae and fashioned a beautiful understanding of human life in the "theology of the body."
Pope Benedict a true teacher issued his first encyclical on love: God Is Love. His summary of the work of the Synod on the Word of God, titled Verbum Domini", The Word of God is a wonderful meditation on Scripture and a call to all of us to become immersed in the Word. Today I was walking the isles of our book center and amazed at how prolific a writer is this Pope. Check our Discover Hope page to see some of the covers of his many books. Our Pauline Books & Media weekly newsletter "Strength for the Week" offers a video tribute to Pope Benedict.
This week's edition lists several of the books written by Pope Benedict.
I say my humble thank you to Pope Benedict who has always been an inspiration to me. When I spent a year in Rome (2003--2004) I often saw the then Cardinal Ratzinger at Masses in the Vatican. At times John Paul II was present, but not well enough to preside. Ratzinger was usually the celebrant whose humble and devout manner impressed me. He never seemed pompous or arrogant.
As a smiling Pope Benedict XVI he has given me plenty to study and to meditate on. May his retirement be blessed with peace and,  if God wills,  with more of his insightful writings.

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