Pope Benedict XVI
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Credit to Catholic Memes; click the picture to see their facebook site.
This was the news story I woke up to this morning about the resignation.
I must admit, I am still in quite a bit of shock over this one. I don’t think it’s fully sunk in, but from what I understand, I take away these main points:
1) This has not happened for about 600 years. Take a moment and let that sit. Since 1415, no Pope has resigned. Many have tried since, but this is the first full papal resignation in just about 600 years. Wow.
2) What a humble gesture of leadership. To recognize the limitations of one’s own capabilities, and abdicate in favor of someone who is capable of performing required duties. With the limitation of travel being placed on him, the Pope saw himself as unable to minister to his global flock anymore. True, true humility. What other world leader would do this?
3) This is an exciting time to be a Catholic. It may be a bit frightening, but remember that the fate of this upcoming conclave is not in the hands of men. It is under the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit; we must just continue to pray and unite our sufferings that Christ sees fit to bestow His mercy on His church on earth. Our coming leader will reflect some quality of Christ which the world needs to reflect on in great detail.
4) For the most prominent Catholic leadership figure to resign with such significant timing, just before the Catholic Lenten season begins on Wednesday, indicates the severity of his claims. This was not thought of lightly. Arguably, Lent (and/or Advent) is one of (if not the) most important season of our faith. A time of renewal and transformation, this Lenten journey will be particularly poignant for the Church as a whole. Together we are united in the unknown, and together we seek the clarity of Christ’s will for us as His flock.
5) Beyond all else, pray for our Pope Benedict. Pray for his health, for his soul, for his effect on the world, that those who will gain something from this will gain something positive, and that those who are troubled by it will come to find peace in the turbulence that will undoubtedly follow. Pray that his example means something to this world. Pray for our future leader, that he will be guided by Christ in thought word and deed. Pray that he will be able to shoulder the burden that is this temporal world, and perform his vocation of service with love and compassion.
What an exciting time to be Catholic.
Viva il Papa.
Pardon the long quote.
“Benedict XVI is the first pontiff of the age of addiction – and he knows it. In almost all his speeches to young people he mentions illegal drugs: not just to condemn their use, but also to acknowledge their seductiveness.
During his visit to Britain, he told the youth of Scotland: “There are many temptations placed before you every day – drugs, money, sex, pornography, alcohol – that the world tells you will bring you happiness, yet these things are destructive and divisive.”
Note that the Pope lists drugs before all other addictions. This is deliberate. When making foreign trips he warns his young audiences about narcotics before listing other temptations. His anxiety about drug addiction has gone largely unnoticed by the media, but it crops up again and again. In Brazil in 2007, he visited a rehabilitation centre and praised the work of voluntary groups that rebuild lives drained of meaning by addictive substances.
This Pope does not often utter thunderous condemnations, but he makes an exception for drug dealers. “God will call you to account for your deeds,” he said this year in Mexico, in what amounted to a papal declaration of war on the country’s mighty cartels. Earlier, on the plane, he told journalists that it was the responsibility of the Church to “unmask the false promises, the lies, the fraud that is behind drugs”.”
” Pope Benedict often mentions pornography alongside other seductive dangers; he’s right to do so, but I wonder if he can begin to grasp the full devastating effect of hardcore videos on young people who, tragically, are beginning to model their first romantic encounters on the grotesque scenarios of digital erotica.
The epidemic of addictions is beginning to eat away at the neat distinction between addicts and non-addicts that we take for granted ….Pope Benedict is a prophetic figure in so many ways, and I believe he has worked this out. By offering the Gospel as an antidote to addiction he places it at heart of the disturbing changes that, as human beings with volatile appetites, we are too weak to resist through the exercise of solitary willpower.”
What a beautiful trait to have in a leader of all people; someone who understands the fall and consequent temptations facing humanity to indulge in hedonistic behavior… and who will be honest about their consequences on a person and their eternal fate.
May God grant grace to those struggling with addictions and place in their lives those who are able to help them when they realize they need it.
Viva il Papa!