As the Family Goes

JP II Quote

"As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live." John Paul II

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Our Beloved Pope Benedict XVI

Like many Catholics, I woke to the news yesterday of Pope Benedict XVI's resignation.  And let me say this - I was shocked.  I had no idea a Pope could even do that.  I was confused, and could not make sense of it. My husband and I shared a series of text messages about it, and he was in the same boat.  Kind of like being tossed in the air, knowing of course that you are going to land somewhere that is safe, but still that feeling of being in the air is terrifying until your feet hit the ground once more.

I talked briefly with the kids over breakfast, only to say that the Pope had prayed and discerned it was time to step down, and that he must have had a serious reason for doing that.  That we needed to keep him in our prayers, as well as his successor, and our Church.  It was a passing moment for them, but for me it just sat so deeply inside. I am so grateful for the wisdom of good friends that I trust in helping me to navigate a situation like this.  I composed my initial thoughts and emailed them to a handful of people I trust, who are in similar walks of life. People I wanted to ask how they were handling it in their families, what they were telling their children. I laid myself out and asked for their thoughts, insights, and corrections to my thoughts.  And I got all three.

Perhaps the most helpful response came from a mentor of mine who admitted she was struggling to process things as well, and that she was waiting for wisdom from the Holy See.  There is so much virtue in waiting, and her response showed me that I didn't need any answers right now - that it is okay to ask questions and to still trust that the Lord has a greater purpose.

Over the course of the day I read many wise words from different people that helped set my mind at rest and convinced me that this was indeed a work of the Lord.  As the responses from my friends trickled in I could sense the goodness in waiting for answers, and gratitude for the witness of Pope Benedict's service.  What made it harder for me initially I think was that Pope John Paul II was the only pope I ever knew - he was the pope for my whole entire life prior to Pope Benedict.  And as I struggled to understand how Pope Benedict could step down in the wake of John Paul II's witness of long suffering for the Church, my dear friend and mentor put everything into perspective when she said that maybe, perhaps, the Lord intended John Paul II as an example of suffering and perseverance, while He intended Pope Benedict to teach humility and courage in the face of weakness.

Rest well Holy Father.  May the Lord grant you many more peaceful years, and continue to guide the Church through your wisdom and your legacy.

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