Not many may care about the thoughts of a stay at home mom regarding the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, but here they are, nonetheless.
Of course my initial reaction was shock and sadness. I remember vividly the day Joseph Ratzinger was hailed as the next successor to Peter. My children still laugh as they tell the story of my jumping up and down and cheering so loudly the entire neighborhood could hear me. As Holy Father, he has not disappointed. I caught my single glimpse of him on his visit to the United States in 2008 with the throngs of people in DC and it was thrilling. He will be sorely missed.
It was profoundly heartbreaking to watch as Pope John Paul II aged before our very eyes and so obviously struggled with the effects of Parkinson's Disease, and yet his very public suffering served a deeper purpose. He showed this youth obsessed world what it meant to grow old and feeble, and although at times it was not dignified, he did it with great humility and dignity. He showed us all that every human life is precious from it's fragile beginning to it's often fragile ending.
Yet, our current Pope chooses not to do the same. He is a different man with a different humility. His conscious decision to relinquish his post before his body gives out is admirable. I'm sure it is not lost on any Catholic that Benedict chooses to step aside now, just at the beginning of Lent. So many of the faithful will be focusing their Lenten prayer toward the end of this papacy and the beginning of the next. New life comes for the Church, just as we celebrate the new life that comes from the Resurrection of our Savior. May God Bless Benedict XVI and may God Bless his successor! God's Will be done!
As a sweet aside, our six year old was very worried we would not be able to have Blue Knights on Tuesday because of the Pope's abdication. I reassured him that all was fine and that nothing would really change. Isn't his reaction similar to ours? How profoundly we are affected by the news today, but in the end, God is unchanging and His Church will go on.